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Friday, 8 July 2011

First definite reference

First definite reference

John Derrick was a pupil at The Royal Grammar School in Guildford when he and his friends played creckett circa 1550
Despite many prior suggested references, the first definite mention of the game is found in a 1598 court case concerning an ownership dispute over a plot of common land in Guildford, Surrey. A 59-year old coroner, John Derrick, testified that he and his school friends had played creckett on the site fifty years earlier when they attended the Free School. Derrick's account proves beyond reasonable doubt that the game was being played in Surrey circa 1550
The first reference to cricket being played as an adult sport was in 1611, when two men in Sussex were prosecuted for playing cricket on Sunday instead of going to church.[7] In the same year, a dictionary defined cricket as a boys' game and this suggests that adult participation was a recent development.[5]

Early 17th century

A number of references occur up to the English Civil War and these indicate that cricket had become an adult game contested by parish teams, but there is no evidence of county strength teams at this time. Equally, there is little evidence of the rampant gambling that characterised the game throughout the 18th century. It is generally believed, therefore, that village cricket had developed by the middle of the 17th century but that county cricket had not and that investment in the game had not begun.[1]

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