History (NTSE/Olympiad)  

4. History and sport [ The Story of Cricket ]

The Peculiarities Of The Test Cricket

Modern cricket has different varieties; among these the two important ones are:
(i) Test matches, and
(ii) One-day matches. Test matches are played over a longer period often (five days presently), whereas a one-day match is restricted to a limited number of overs that each side is to bowl to the other side. Originally, cricket developed in the form of test matches.
A. There were certain features of this game that made it different than other games:
(i) Test matches were open-ended games. There i was no time limit defined. They would go on and on till the result was decided (presently a test match is a five day game, If no result is achieved in five days it is declared a drawn game). There is no other game with such a large time span.
(ii) In cricket, the length of the pitch is specified- 22 yards- but the size or shape of the ground is not defined. This is not so in any other game.
(iii) In cricket, all important tools are made of natural materials, unlike golf and tennis where man made materials are used.
(Iv) In cricket, a player is a member of a team. He plays for the team and not for individual laurels,
B. Peculiarities of cricket are shaped by its historical beginning as a village game:
One, cricket's rules were made before the industrial revolution. The rhythms of village life were slower. A match could go on till it was decided Games that were codified after the industrial revolution were strictly time-limited to fit the routines of industrial city life.
Two, cricket was originally played on common lands in the countryside. The size of the common lands varied from village to village, and region to region. Therefore, it was left open to decide the boundaries of the ground in the area in which the match was being played
There, unlike other games cricket's most important tools are all made of natural, pre-industrial materials. The ball is made of wood as are the stumps and the balls. The ball is made with leather twine and cork. In the matter of protective equipment, cricket has been influenced by technological change. The invention of vulcanized rubber led to the introduction of pads in 1848. Protective gloves were introduced soon thereafter. Helmets made out of metal and synthetic lightweight materials became an important part of protective equipment.
But technological change did not materially alter the essence of the basic tools of the game, viz.
(i) bat (ii) stumps (iii) bails, and (iv) ball. These continue to be made out of natural materials.


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