FROM COUNTRY CRICKET TO FANTASY CRICKET

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Here is how cricket evolved from mere bat and ball game to a tech based tournament

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FROM COUNTRY CRICKET TO FANTASY CRICKET- HOW CRICKET EVOLVED Cricket has evolved a lot since its inception in the period as early as the 16 th century. From fields to phone. From thousands of screaming fans in the gallery to millions of people who passionately watches it from their phones or TVs. As time went by cricket went through a sort of technological revolution. Nowadays cricket is played more outside than it is played inside the stadium. Thanks to the phenomenon called Fantasy Sports. Fantasy cricket has totally changed the scenario of the cricket loving nations where fans hungry for participating in the game now can actually do it through participating in the fantasy games. What makes the experience of this different from any other online games is that in order to play fantasy cricket the player needs to follow the real live game and create a team accordingly. Undoubtedly he will win if his team performs well. Cricket has now touched the best of both worlds both real and virtual world.

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However things were simple back in the days when even the English nobility refrained from playing cricket as it was primarily a peasant’s sport. The game of cricket not club cricket though was recorded to have started from as early as the 16 th century. It was played mainly by the farming communities or to be more precise by the shepherd community. Cricket has its origin in the south eastern part of England and it evolved from various sources like a Scottish sport known as cat- and-dog and a thirteenth century pass-time called hand in and hand out. It was only from the 18 th century that the format of cricket was adopted by the English elites and this common farmer’s pass-time evolved into a full-fledged sport. The Hambledon club which is founded in about 1750 had played a significant part in the evolution of the game. It was superseded by the Marylebone Cricket Club M.C.C with its headquarters at Lords London. This became the world authority of the sport and its sanctuary. With formation of the Hambledon cricket club the first set of cricket rules came into the fore. The oldest surviving set of cricket laws date from 1744 – printed on a handkerchief naturally. Its now in the MCC Museum at Lord’s in London. The oldest permanent fixture is the annual Eton v Harrow match played since 1805. A young Lord Byron turned out for Harrow in the first match though history doesnt record how poetic – or “mad bad and dangerous” – his bowling was. An official country championships began in England in 1873 and it became an International game with the formation of the Imperial Cricket Conference I.C.C in 1909. The I.C.C membership was confined only to the British Commonwealth countries. In 1956 the name of Imperial Cricket Conference was changed to International Cricket Conference to enable countries outside the common wealth to become its members.

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The first international match was in 1877 when Australia beat England in Melbourne. The match was dubbed a “Test” since the gruelling nature of playing over five days was deemed the ultimate “test” for any side. But it was Australia’s first win on English soil – in 1882 at The Oval in London – that led to matches between the two nations being christened the Ashes. Following the defeat newspapers published an obituary mourning “the death of English cricket” adding that “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so is the modern cricket.

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