Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the world and by far the most popular bat-and-ball game played internationally. The modern game developed in England in the 16th century. As the British Empire expanded, cricket became popular in various parts of the globe, especially in India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies. Women have been playing cricket for more than two centuries, according to the West Vancouver Cricket Club -- just one of many interesting facts about this time-honored sport.
The exact origins of cricket are unclear. According to the ESPN Cricinfo website, cricket originated in the Dark Ages, sometime after the Roman Empire but before the Norman conquest of England. The game probably developed from a basic game in which one person tossed a rock or wooden ball to a club-wielding batter. A game resembling modern cricket appeared in the Tudor period. The first documented women's cricket game was held in Surrey, England in 1745. Prizes ranged from lacey gloves to plum cake to cash.
The longest cricket match in history occurred in 1939 between England and South Africa. According to the RBC website, the match lasted for 14 days and finally ended in a tie. England needed 42 more runs to win, but the team's boat was sailing home the next day and so the match was abandoned and declared a draw.
It is always a notable achievement in cricket when a batsman scores 100 runs, commonly known as a century. A double century, or 200 runs, is an even greater achievement. Former Australia women's team captain Belinda Clark was the first player ever -- male or female -- to score a double-century in one-day internationals cricket. It happened during a 1997 match against Denmark, in which she scored 229, according to ESPN CricInfo.
According to the BBC Sports Academy website, a batsman can be dismissed, or declared out, in 10 different ways. One of the least common is to be timed out. According to the rules of cricket, a new batsman must be on the field within three minutes of the previous batsman's dismissal, or the incoming batsman is also dismissed.
A cricket match can be paused or suspended for a number of reasons. Rain and bad light are the two most common causes, but a match also can be paused because of animals entering the field of play. According to the University of Southern Indiana Cricket Club, play has been held up for hedgehogs, bees, sparrows and mice. In 1889, a match in England was paused when a pig ran across the field.
- ESPN Cricinfo: A Brief History of Cricket
- RBC: Fun Facts About Cricket
- Cricket Equipment USA: Cricket Facts
- BBC Sports Academy: Cricket – Ways of Getting Out
- University of Southern Indiana Cricket Club: Cricket Facts and Funnies
- ESPN CricInfo: Belinda Clark
- West Vancouver Cricket Club: The History of Women's Cricket
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.