In cricket, the term wicket has several meanings. Firstly, it is one of two bails at either end of the pitch; the wicket is guarded by a batsman who, with his bat, attempts to prevent the ball from hitting the wicket. Secondly, through metonymic usage, the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket, thirdly, the cricket pitch itself is sometimes called the wicket; the origin of the word is from a small gate. Cricket wickets had only two stumps and one bail and looked like a gate; the third stump was introduced in 1775. The size and shape of the wicket has changed several times during the last 300 years and its dimensions and placing is now determined by Law 8 in the Laws of Cricket, thus: Law 8: The wickets; the wicket consists of three wooden stumps. The stumps are placed along the batting crease with equal distances between each stump, they are positioned. Two wooden bails are placed in shallow grooves on top of the stumps; the bails must not project more than 0.5 inches above the stumps, must, for men's cricket, be 4.31 inches long.
There are specified lengths for the barrel and spigots of the bail. There are different specifications for the bails for junior cricket; the umpires may dispense with the bails. Further details on the specifications of the wickets are contained in Appendix D to the laws. For a batsman to be dismissed by being bowled, run out, stumped or hit wicket, his wicket needs to be put down. What this means is defined by Law 29. A wicket is put down if a bail is removed from the top of the stumps, or a stump is struck out of the grounds by the ball, the striker's bat, the striker's person, a fielder. A 2010 amendment to the Laws clarified the rare circumstance where a bat breaks during the course of a shot and the detached debris breaks the wicket; the wicket is put down if a fielder pulls a stump out of the ground in the same manner. If one bail is off, removing the remaining bail or striking or pulling any of the three stumps out of the ground is sufficient to put the wicket down. A fielder may remake the wicket, if necessary, in order to put it down to have an opportunity of running out a batsman.
If however both bails are off, a fielder must remove one of the three stumps out of the ground with the ball, or pull it out of the ground with a hand or arm, provided that the ball is held in the hand or hands so used, or in the hand of the arm so used. If the umpires have agreed to dispense with bails, for example, it is too windy for the bails to remain on the stumps, the decision as to whether the wicket has been put down is one for the umpire concerned to decide. After a decision to play without bails, the wicket has been put down if the umpire concerned is satisfied that the wicket has been struck by the ball, by the striker's bat, person, or items of his clothing or equipment separated from his person as described above, or by a fielder with the hand holding the ball or with the arm of the hand holding the ball; the dismissal of a batsman is known as the taking of a wicket. The batsman is said to have lost his wicket, the batting side is said to have lost a wicket, the fielding side to have taken a wicket, the bowler is said to have taken his wicket, if the dismissal is one of the types for which the bowler receives credit.
This language is used if the dismissal did not involve the stumps and bails in any way, for example, a catch. Though note that the other four of the five most common methods of dismissal do involve the stumps and bails being put down, or prevented from being put down by the batsman; the word wicket has this meaning in the following contexts: A team's score is described in terms of the total number of runs scored and the total number of wickets lost. The number of wickets taken is a primary measure of a individual bowler's ability, a key part of a bowling analysis; the sequence of time over which two particular batsmen bat together, a partnership, is referred to as a numbered wicket when discriminating it from other partnerships in the innings. The first wicket partnership is from the start of the innings until the team loses its first wicket, i.e. one of the first two batsmen is dismissed. The second wicket partnership is from when the third batsman starts batting until the team loses its second wicket, i.e. a second batsman is dismissed.
Etc... The tenth wicket or last wicket partnership is from when the eleventh batsman starts batting until the team loses its tenth wicket, i.e. a tenth batsman is dismissed. A team can win a match by a certain number of wickets; this means that they were batting last, reached the winning target with a certain number of batsmen still not dismissed. For example, if the side scored the required number of runs to win with only three batsmen dismissed, they are said to have won by seven wickets; the word wicket is sometimes used to refer to the cricket pitch itself. According to the Laws of Cricket, this usage is incorrect, but it is in common usage and understood by cricket followers; the term sticky wicket refers to a situation in which the pitch has become damp due to rain or high humidity. This makes the path of the ball more unpredictable thus making the
Australia national cricket team
The Australia national cricket team is the joint oldest team in Test cricket history, having played in the first Test match in 1877. The team plays One-Day International and Twenty20 International cricket, participating in both the first ODI, against England in the 1970–71 season and the first T20I, against New Zealand in the 2004–05 season, winning both games; the team draws its players from teams playing in the Australian domestic competitions – the Sheffield Shield, the Australian domestic limited-overs cricket tournament and the Big Bash League. The national team has played 820 Test matches, winning 386, losing 222, drawing 210 and tying 2; as of March 2019, Australia is ranked fourth in the ICC Test Championship on 104 rating points. Australia is the most successful team in Test cricket history, in terms of overall wins, win-loss ratio and wins percentage; the Australian cricket team has played 932 ODI matches, winning 566, losing 323, tying 9 and with 34 ending in a no-result. As of March 2019, Australia is ranked fifth in the ICC ODI Championship on 102 rating points, though have been ranked first for 141 of 185 months since its introduction in 2002.
Australia have made a record seven World Cup final appearances and have won the World Cup a record five times in total. Australia is the first team to appear in four consecutive World Cup finals, surpassing the old record of three consecutive World Cup appearances by the West Indies and the first team to win 3 consecutive World Cups; the team was undefeated in 34 consecutive World Cup matches until 19 March at the 2011 Cricket World Cup where Pakistan beat them by 4 wickets. It is the second team to win a World Cup on home soil, after India. Australia have won the ICC Champions Trophy twice making them the first and the only team to become back to back winners in the Champions Trophy tournaments; the national team has played 116 Twenty20 International matches, winning 60, losing 52, tying 2 and with 2 ending in a no-result. As of March 2019, Australia is ranked third in the ICC T20I Championship on 120 rating points. Additionally, the team made the final of the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. On 12 January 2019, Australia won the first ODI against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground by 34 runs, to record their 1,000th win in international cricket.
The Australian cricket team participated in the first Test match at the MCG in 1877, defeating an English team by 45 runs, with Charles Bannerman making the first Test century, a score of 165 retired hurt. Test cricket, which only occurred between Australia and England at the time, was limited by the long distance between the two countries, which would take several months by sea. Despite Australia's much smaller population, the team was competitive in early games, producing stars such as Jack Blackham, Billy Murdoch, Fred "The Demon" Spofforth, George Bonnor, Percy McDonnell, George Giffen and Charles "The Terror" Turner. Most cricketers at the time were either from New South Wales or Victoria, with the notable exception of George Giffen, the star South Australian all-rounder. A highlight of Australia's early history was the 1882 Test match against England at The Oval. In this match, Fred Spofforth took 7/44 in the game's fourth innings to save the match by preventing England from making their 85-run target.
After this match The Sporting Times, a major newspaper in London at the time, printed a mock obituary in which the death of English cricket was proclaimed and the announcement made that "the body was cremated and the ashes taken to Australia." This was the start of the famous Ashes series in which Australia and England play a series of Test matches to decide the holder of the Ashes. To this day, the contest is one of the fiercest rivalries in sport; the so-called'Golden Age' of Australian Test cricket occurred around the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, with the team under the captaincy of Joe Darling, Monty Noble and Clem Hill winning eight of ten tours. It is considered to have lasted from the 1897–98 English tour of Australia and the 1910–11 South African tour of Australia. Outstanding batsmen such as Joe Darling, Clem Hill, Reggie Duff, Syd Gregory, Warren Bardsley and Victor Trumper, brilliant all-rounders including Monty Noble, George Giffen, Harry Trott and Warwick Armstrong and excellent bowlers including Ernie Jones, Hugh Trumble, Tibby Cotter, Bill Howell, Jack Saunders and Bill Whitty, all helped Australia to become the dominant cricketing nation for most of this period.
Victor Trumper became one of Australia's first sporting heroes, was considered Australia's greatest batsman before Bradman and one of the most popular players. He played a record number of Tests at 49 and scored 3163 runs at a high for the time average of 39.04. His early death in 1915 at the age of 37 from kidney disease caused national mourning; the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, in its obituary for him, called him Australia's greatest batsman: "Of all the great Australian batsmen Victor Trumper was by general consent the best and most brilliant."The years leading up to the start of World War I were marred by conflict between the players, led by Clem Hill, Victor Trumper and Frank Laver, the Australian Board of Control for International Cricket, led by Peter McAlister, attempting to gain more control of tours from the players. This led to six leading players walking out on the 1912 Triangular Tournament in England, with Australia fielding what was considered a second-rate side; this was the last series before the war, no more cricket was played by A
Meyrick Wayne Pringle is a former South African cricketer who played in four Tests and seventeen One Day Internationals from 1992 to 1995. Pringle played for Kingswood College at school level. After matriculating in 1984 Pringle started playing provincial cricket for a number of teams, including Orange Free State, Eastern Province, Western Province and Eastern Province again. Pringle made his ODI debut for South Africa against Australia at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, at the same tournament had the best bowling performance of his career, taking four wickets for eleven runs against the West indies, a performance which earned him the man of the match award, he made his Test debut that same year on South Africa's tour to the West Indies, the first Test played by South Africa since the lifting of sporting sanctions after the end of Apartheid. Pringle took 2/105 in that match. In the following series against India at home, Pringle was injured during the second Test match in Johannesburg. On the second day of the match, Pringle was batting when Indian fast bowler Javagal Srinath bowled him a bouncer which struck him on the eye.
Pringle fell to the ground and was forced to retire hurt, being carried off the field on a stretcher. He would not play again until 1995. Pringle announced his retirement from international cricket in 1996 having played four Tests and 17 ODIs for South Africa. After his retirement Pringle coached and assisted in Holland and Namibia before being appointed coaching director at the Jaipur Cricket Academy, he was appointed as Rajasthan's bowling coach on 5 December 2011 came on board on a full-time basis for 2012/2013 Pringle is consulting at all levels of cricket around the world in all formats of the game. Meyrick is a Freelancing TV broadcaster In 2009 Pringle started the Pringle Sports & Education Foundation with his cousin Grant Pringle; the foundation is aimed at establishing a system that ensures underprivileged children receive education and sports training. The foundation is involved in coaching clinics and school development and is looking at working on international scholarship exchanges between various countries such as India.
In 2013 South African Sport TV Broadcaster SuperSport launched an IsiXhosa language Channel option for Xhosa viewers in South Africa. Pringle, fluent in Xhosa, was asked to join the isiXhosa commentating team. With the start of the Champions Trophy cricket tournament which took place in June 2013, the new language channel did phenomenally well and since to date Pringle has become a controversial figure being the first white male South African to commentate in a South African native language. There has been a tremendous incline of viewers in the channel option and the viewers have been amazed with the outcome of Pringle's commentating. Pringle's new apparent nickname in the studios is White Sangoma meaning "White Doctor". Meyrick Pringle at ESPNcricinfo
Batting average (cricket)
In cricket, a player's batting average is the total number of runs they have scored divided by the number of times they have been out. Since the number of runs a player scores and how they get out are measures of their own playing ability, independent of their teammates, batting average is a good metric for an individual player's skill as a batter; the number is simple to interpret intuitively. If all the batter's innings were completed, this is the average number of runs they score per innings. If they did not complete all their innings, this number is an estimate of the unknown average number of runs they score per innings; each player has several batting averages, with a different figure calculated for each type of match they play, a player's batting averages may be calculated for individual seasons or series, or at particular grounds, or against particular opponents, or across their whole career. Batting average has been used to gauge cricket players' relative skills since the 18th century.
Most players have career batting averages in the range of 20 to 40. This is the desirable range for wicket-keepers, though some fall short and make up for it with keeping skill; until a substantial increase in scores in the 21st century due to improved bats and smaller grounds among other factors, players who sustained an average above 50 through a career were considered exceptional, before the development of the heavy roller in the 1870s an average of 25 was considered good. All-rounders who are more prominent bowlers than batsmen average something between 20 and 30. 15 and under is typical for specialist bowlers. A small number of players have averaged less than 5 for a complete career, though a player with such an average is a liability unless an exceptional bowler as Alf Valentine, B. S. Chandrasekhar or Glenn McGrath were. Career records for batting average are subject to a minimum qualification of 20 innings played or completed, in order to exclude batsmen who have not played enough games for their skill to be reliably assessed.
Under this qualification, the highest Test batting average belongs to Australia's Sir Donald Bradman, with 99.94. Given that a career batting average over 50 is exceptional, that only five other players have averages over 60, this is an outstanding statistic; the fact that Bradman's average is so far above that of any other cricketer has led several statisticians to argue that, statistically at least, he was the greatest athlete in any sport. Disregarding this 20 innings qualification, the highest career test batting average is 112, by Andy Ganteaume, a Trinidadian Keeper-batsman, dismissed for 112 in his only test innings. Batting averages in One Day International cricket tend to be lower than in Test cricket, because of the need to score runs more and take riskier strokes and the lesser emphasis on building a large innings, it should be remembered in relation to the ODI histogram above, that there were no ODI competitions when Bradman played. If a batter has been dismissed in every single innings this statistic gives the average number of runs they score per innings.
However, for a batter with innings which finished not out, the true average number of runs they score per innings is unknown as it is not known how many runs they would have scored if they could have completed all their not out innings. This statistic is an estimate of the average number of runs. If their scores have a geometric distribution this statistic is the maximum likelihood estimate of their true unknown average. Batting averages can be affected by the number of not outs. For example, Phil Tufnell, noted for his poor batting, has an respectable ODI average of 15, despite a highest score of only 5 not out, as he scored an overall total of 15 runs from 10 innings, but was out only once. A batter who has not been dismissed in any of the innings over which their average is being calculated does not have a batting average, as dividing by zero does not give a result. Highest career batting averages in Test matches. Table shows players with at least 20 innings completed. * denotes not out. Last updated: 14 October 2018.
Highest career batting averages in First-class cricket as follows: Source: Cricinfo Statsguru. Table shows players with at least 50 innings batted, note this table has no requirement for minimum number of runs scored. * denotes not out. Last updated: 10 November 2018. Alternative measures of batting effectiveness have been developed, including: Strike rate measures a different concept to batting average – how the batter scores – so it does not supplant the role of batting average, it is used in limited overs matches, where the speed at which a batter scores is more important than it is in first-class cricket. A system of player rankings was developed to produce a better indication of players' current standings than is provided by comparing their averages. Cricket statistics Batting average Bowling average
ESPNcricinfo is a sports news website for the game of cricket. The site features news, live coverage of cricket matches, StatsGuru, a database of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present; as of March 2018, Sambit Bal was the editor. The site conceived in a pre-World Wide Web form in 1993 by Dr Simon King, was acquired in 2002 by the Wisden Group—publishers of several notable cricket magazines and the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack; as part of an eventual breakup of the Wisden Group, it was sold to ESPN, jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, in 2007. CricInfo was launched on 15 March 1993 by Dr Simon King, a British researcher at the University of Minnesota, with help from students and researchers at universities around the world; the site was reliant on contributions from fans around the world who spent hours compiling electronic scorecards and contributing them to CricInfo's comprehensive archive, as well as keying in live scores from games around the world using CricInfo's scoring software, "dougie".
In 2000, Cricinfo's estimated worth was $150 million. Cricinfo's significant growth in the 1990s made it an attractive site for investors during the peak of the dotcom boom, in 2000 it received $37 million worth of Satyam Infoway Ltd. shares in exchange for a 25% stake in the company. It used around $22m worth of the paper to pay off initial investors but only raised about £6 million by selling the remaining stock. While the site continued to attract more and more users and operated on a low cost base, its income was not enough to support a peak staff of 130 in nine countries, forcing redundancies. By late 2002 the company was making a monthly operating profit and was one of few independent sports sites to avoid collapse. However, the business was still servicing a large loan. Cricinfo was acquired by Paul Getty's Wisden Group, the publisher of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack and The Wisden Cricketer, renamed Wisden Cricinfo; the Wisden brand were phased out in favor of Cricinfo for Wisden's online operations.
In December 2005, Wisden re-launched its discontinued Wisden Asia Cricket magazine as Cricinfo Magazine, a magazine dedicated to coverage of Indian cricket. The magazine published its last issue in July 2007. In 2006, revenue was reported to be £3m. In 2007, the Wisden Group began to be sold to other companies. In June 2007, ESPN Inc. announced. The acquisition was intended to help further expand Cricinfo by combining the site with ESPN's other web properties, including ESPN.com and ESPN Soccernet. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed; as of 2018, Sambit Bal is the Editor-in-Chief of ESPNcricinfo. In 2013, ESPNcricinfo.com celebrated its 20 anniversary of founding with a series of online features. The annual ESPNcricinfo Awards have become an popular event in the cricket calendar. ESPNcricinfo's popularity was further demonstrated on 24 February 2010, when the site could not handle the heavy traffic experienced after the great Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar broke the record for the highest individual male score in a One Day International match with 200*.
ESPNcricinfo contains various news, blogs and fantasy sports games. Among its most popular feature are its liveblogs of cricket matches, which includes a bevy of scorecard options, allowing readers to track such aspects of the game as wagon wheels and partnership breakdowns. For each match, the live scores are accompanied by a bulletin, which details the turning points of the match and some of the off-field events; the site used to offer Cricinfo 3D, a feature which utilizes a match's scoring data to generate a 3D animated simulation of a live match. Regular columns on ESPNcricinfo include "All Today's Yesterdays", an "On this day" column focusing on historical cricket events, "Quote Unquote", which features notable quotes from cricketers and cricket administrators. "Ask Steven" is another regular section on ESPNCricinfo. It is a Tuesday column. Among its most extensive feature is StatsGuru, a database created by Travis Basevi, containing statistics on players, teams, information about cricket boards, details of future tournaments, individual teams, records.
In May 2014, ESPNcricinfo launched CricIQ, an online test to challenge every fan’s cricket knowledge. The Cricket Monthly claims itself to be the world’s first digital-only cricket magazine; the first issue was dated August 2014. ESPNcricinfo History of the first decade of Cricinfo by Badri Seshadri, September 26, 2013 CricInfo – How it all began by Rohan Chandran, 2013, with an insiders view of the who and what and comments by other pioneers
Queenstown, Eastern Cape
Komani Queenstown, is a town in the middle of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa halfway between the smaller towns of Cathcart and Sterkstroom. It is the commercial and educational centre of the surrounding farming district, its former nickname, "Rose Capital of South Africa", comes from the large gardens and open places for flowers, in and around the town. Komani was founded in early 1853 under the direction of Sir George Cathcart, who named the settlement, fort, after Queen Victoria. Work on its railway connection to East London on the coast was begun by the Cape government of John Molteno in 1876, the line was opened on 19 May 1880; the town war memorial was designed by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1922 with its sculpture by Alice Meredith Williams. The town prospered from its founding up to the worldwide depression of the 1930s, again thereafter. In the 1960s, the majority of the Black population were moved east to the township of Ezibeleni, as part of the attempt to move African people to so-called "homelands".
The area has in the past had severe weather problems, luckily only affecting the surrounding areas. In 2002, heavy snowfall around Queenstown caused a severe disaster since the area was not funded or ready for such a disaster. In 2004, the surrounding areas of the Eastern Cape were affected by strong winds and heavy rainfall, although Queenstown once again escaped much flooding and some wind damage, power shortages soon followed. Other natural disasters include veld fires; the name of the town was changed to Komani in February 2016. The following high schools serve the town and surrounding areas: Queen's College, Get Ahead Project and College, Queenstown Girls' High School, Hangklip High School, KwaKomani Comprehensive, Maria Louw High School, Nkwanca High School, Luvuyo Lerumo High School, John Noah High School, W. B. Rubusana High School Bulelani High School Hexagon High SchoolPrimary schools in the area include: Hangklip Primary Balmoral Girls' Primary School Queens College PrimaryTertiary education institutions in Queenstown include Walter Sisulu University, Ikhala Public FET College, Boston City Campus and Business College Lukhanji FET College.
The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Queenstown as well as the Anglican Church's Diocese of Ukhahlamba. The imposing Cathedral of St. Michael lies adjacent to the town's public gardens. Churches of all faith denominations are to be found around the town; the town lies on the Komani River which forms part of the Great Kei system of rivers and has a refreshing climate and plentiful water supply from the surrounding rugged mountains. The water is collected in the Bongolo Dam, set in the hills, used extensively for recreation and watersports; each year, around the beginning of June, the town holds an art exhibition with the emphasis on paintings and sculpture. Inspired by some of the most interesting Bushman paintings in nearby caves, which are accessible to the visitor. Close to the town is a nature reserve with numerous antelope, white rhinoceros and spectacular flowering plants together with panoramic views from the mountain summit; the layout of the town reflects its original objective as a defensive stronghold for the frontier area and has a most unusual design.
There is a central hexagonal area where canon or rifle fire could be directed down six thoroughfares radiating from the centre. The canon sites have now been replaced with gardens and a central fountain was the dominant feature. A striking abstract sculpture replaced the fountain as part of the town's 150th anniversary; the hexagon still exists, with the outer road surrounding it named Robinson Road, which encircles it. Surrounding the Hexagon to the east and west lies more commercial and administrative facilities. Formerly'white suburbs' surround the hexagon to the north and west, one of the city's great townships lies to the south, it is a collection of black and coloured townships named Mlungisi, Aloevale, a new township, Victoria Park has been built to the south-east of the city. East of the town lies the much larger Ezibeleni township, which although the same surface area as the main town, has by far a larger population; the Komani area is in the Burgersdorp formation of the Tarkastad sub group, in the upper Beaufort Group Triassic in age in the karoo super group.
The lithology is red mudstone 1 to 10 m rich layers and sub-ordinate 1 to 2 m rich sandstone layers deposited by meandering rivers in the flood plain in an oxidising environment filling the Karoo basin. The formation reaches thickness of 600 m in the Lady Frere area. Numerous dolerite dykes and ring structures intruded the area creating good localities for ground water exploration; the town has a newspaper called The Representative, fondly known as the Rep, as well as The Express and a community radio station, Lukhanji fm. The Eastern Cape newspaper, Daily Dispatch, is read in the area; the Queenstown municipal council assumed a pseudo-heraldic coat of arms in October 1902. The shield was quartered, depicted the Union Jack, a landscape with hangklip mountain in the background, a landscape with a mimosa tree in the foreground, a portrait of King Edward VII; the crest was a demi-antelope, the motto Unity is strength. The council assumed a new coat of arms; the new shield displayed a golden royal coronet on a red background.
The crest was the same as before. Tony Greig Dary
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players on a field at the centre of, a 20-metre pitch with a wicket at each end, each comprising two bails balanced on three stumps. The batting side scores runs by striking the ball bowled at the wicket with the bat, while the bowling and fielding side tries to prevent this and dismiss each player. Means of dismissal include being bowled, when the ball hits the stumps and dislodges the bails, by the fielding side catching the ball after it is hit by the bat, but before it hits the ground; when ten players have been dismissed, the innings ends and the teams swap roles. The game is adjudicated by two umpires, aided by a third umpire and match referee in international matches, they communicate with two off-field scorers. There are various formats ranging from Twenty20, played over a few hours with each team batting for a single innings of 20 overs, to Test matches, played over five days with unlimited overs and the teams each batting for two innings of unlimited length.
Traditionally cricketers play in all-white kit, but in limited overs cricket they wear club or team colours. In addition to the basic kit, some players wear protective gear to prevent injury caused by the ball, a hard, solid spheroid made of compressed leather with a raised sewn seam enclosing a cork core, layered with wound string. Cricket's origins are uncertain and the earliest definite reference is in south-east England in the middle of the 16th century, it spread globally with the expansion of the British Empire, leading to the first international matches in the second half of the 19th century. The game's governing body is the International Cricket Council, which has over 100 members, twelve of which are full members who play Test matches; the game's rules are held in a code called the Laws of Cricket, owned and maintained by Marylebone Cricket Club in London. The sport is followed in the Indian subcontinent, the United Kingdom, southern Africa and the West Indies, its globalisation occurring during the expansion of the British Empire and remaining popular into the 21st century.
Women's cricket, organised and played separately, has achieved international standard. The most successful side playing international cricket is Australia, having won seven One Day International trophies, including five World Cups, more than any other country, having been the top-rated Test side more than any other country. Cricket is one of many games in the "club ball" sphere that involve hitting a ball with a hand-held implement. In cricket's case, a key difference is the existence of a solid target structure, the wicket, that the batsman must defend; the cricket historian Harry Altham identified three "groups" of "club ball" games: the "hockey group", in which the ball is driven to and fro between two targets. It is believed that cricket originated as a children's game in the south-eastern counties of England, sometime during the medieval period. Although there are claims for prior dates, the earliest definite reference to cricket being played comes from evidence given at a court case in Guildford on Monday, 17 January 1597.
The case concerned ownership of a certain plot of land and the court heard the testimony of a 59-year-old coroner, John Derrick, who gave witness that: "Being a scholler in the ffree schoole of Guldeford hee and diverse of his fellows did runne and play there at creckett and other plaies". Given Derrick's age, it was about half a century earlier when he was at school and so it is certain that cricket was being played c. 1550 by boys in Surrey. The view that it was a children's game is reinforced by Randle Cotgrave's 1611 English-French dictionary in which he defined the noun "crosse" as "the crooked staff wherewith boys play at cricket" and the verb form "crosser" as "to play at cricket". One possible source for the sport's name is the Old English word "cryce" meaning a staff. In Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, he derived cricket from "cryce, Saxon, a stick". In Old French, the word "criquet" seems to have meant a kind of stick. Given the strong medieval trade connections between south-east England and the County of Flanders when the latter belonged to the Duchy of Burgundy, the name may have been derived from the Middle Dutch "krick", meaning a stick.
Another possible source is the Middle Dutch word "krickstoel", meaning a long low stool used for kneeling in church and which resembled the long low wicket with two stumps used in early cricket. According to Heiner Gillmeister, a European language expert of Bonn University, "cricket" derives from the Middle Dutch phrase for hockey, met de sen. Gillmeister has suggested that not only the name but the sport itself may be of Flemish origin. Although the main object of the game has always been to score the most runs, the early form of cricket differed from the modern game in certain key technical aspects; the ball was bowled underarm by the bowler and all along the ground towards a batsman armed with a bat that, in shape, resembled a hockey stick.