The exact origins of cricket are uncertain. The name 'cricket' possibly derives from the Anglo-Saxon word 'cricce,' meaning 'crooked staff,' and the precursor to cricket may have been the 13th century English game called club-ball. An alternate theory connects the name with a short Church stool known as a 'krickstoel' in Flanders and a 'cricket' in England, a side view of which suggested the long, squat wicket of the game in its fledgling stage.

A game known as 'criquet' is also historically mentioned in northeastern France in 1478 and conjectural evidence points to the game’s evolution in southeastern England in the Middle Ages. Rather than a single ancestral pastime however, is the greater probability of several variant sporting pursuits gradually merging to form the game loved by so many.

The earliest cricket bats were shaped like hockey sticks, while the balls were bowled with the hand below the level of the shoulder and the palm turned upward and forward. This is known as underhand ball delivery. It was only in the mid-19th century that bats were introduced which more closely resembled those of today; overhand delivery of the ball was simultaneously legalized.

The enthusiasm of wealthy landlords in engaging their leaseholders and the district country folk in competitive recreation contributed immensely to the establishment of cricket as a major English sport by the time of the 18th century Anglo-French wars. Official transcripts chronicle matches between teams from London and Kent in 1719 and between Sussex and Kent in 1728. The game’s original written regulations, however, appeared in 1744.

The first great cricket club was established at Hambledon in County Hampshire, remaining the host ground of matches between 1768 and 1788. The Hambledon venue regularly attracted the finest cricketers and thrived on the patronage of the upper classes, gradually transforming the game from a rural pastime into today’s revered spectator sport.

Thomas Lord of Yorkshire opened a cricket ground in London in 1787, the very year of the Marylebone Cricket Club’s inauguration. The current Lord’s cricket venue at St. John’s Wood is indisputably the most renowned in the British Commonwealth, while the Marylebone Cricket Club (M.C.C.) is the body responsible for international cricket legislation.


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography 

The ICC Cricket World Cup, commonly known as the Cricket World Cup, is organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body for the sport. The Cricket World Cup, which is the premier international One-day cricket tournament, is one of the world's largest sporting events. It is held every four (4) years with a different territory hosting (similar to the Olympics).

The inaugural Cricket World Cup was held in England in 1975, with the West Indies being the victorious team. The first three (3) tournaments were referred to as the Prudential Cup after the financial services company Prudential plc which sponsored the event. The ICC trophy was introduced in 1979.

The 2007 Cricket World Cup was hosted by the West Indies from March 13 to April 28, 2007. Matches were played at Sabina Park: Jamaica, Warner Park Stadium: St. Kitts and Nevis, Beausejoun Stadium: St. Lucia, and Queen’s Park Oval: Trinidad and Tobago. This is the first time that the event was held in this region. The Opening Ceremony took place in Jamaica on 11th March, 2007. Sixteen countries took part, the largest ever for a Cricket World Cup. The countries are divided into 4 groups of 4 teams, the top 2 teams from each group will then compete in a “Super 8” format (previously Super 6) from which the semi-finalists will be decided.

Fifty-one (51) matches were played. The day after each match was a scheduled reserve day allowing for weather or other delays. The sixteen teams competing were:

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • New Zealand
  • Pakistan
  • Scotland
  • India
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Bermuda
  • Canada
  • West Indies
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Kenya
  • Zimbabwe


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Did you know?

  • The World Cup began in 1975, with eight (8) teams participating, and fifteen (15) matches played in fifteen (15) days
  • In 2003, fourteen (14) teams played fifty-four (54) matches in forty-three (43) days
  • Neutral umpires stood for the first time in 1987
  • Coloured clothing with the player's name was introduced in 1992
  • The 3rd umpire studied his first monitor in 1996
  • The controversial Super Sixes was introduced in 1999
  • In 1987, the matches were reduced from 60 overs to 50 overs when the World Cup was hosted in India/Pakistan because of the shortened daylight hours there
  • A pinch-hitter refers to a batsman promoted up the order who goes for his shots from the start
  • The first pinch-hitter was New Zealand’s bewhiskered Mark Greatbatch, who in 1992, playing in seven (7) matches made 313 runs off 356 balls, hitting thirty-two (32) fours and thirteen (13) sixes
  • The first World Cup match to be abandoned was in 1996, because of unruly behaviour when a group of Indian fans in Calcutta began throwing bottles on the field as India was losing to Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka became the first side batting second to win the World Cup in 1996
  • In 2003, Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar bowled cricket’s first recorded 100 mph delivery against England’s Nick Knight
  • Canada’s John Davison smashed a 67 ball century against the West Indies in 2003, the fastest century in World Cup history
  • In the 1975 World Cup Tournament 15 matches were played
  • In the 1979 World Cup Tournament 14 matches were played
  • In the 1983 and 1987 World Cup Tournaments 27 matches were played
  • In the 1992 World Cup Tournament 39 matches were played
  • In the 1996 World Cup Tournament 36 matches were played
  • In the 1999 World Cup Tournament 42 matches were played (2 forfeited)
  • In the 2003 World Cup Tournament 52 matches were played
  • India’s Sachin Tendulkar has won the Man of the Match award eight (8) times at the World Cup
  • Vivian Richards has won the award five (5) times, the highest for a West Indian, with Brian Lara four (4) times and Gordon Greenidge three (3) times
  • Nitish Kumar of Canada is the youngest player (16yrs, 283d) to play at the World Cup in 2011
  • N.E. Clarke of the Netherlands is the oldest player (47yrs. 257d) to play at the World Cup in 1995/1996
  • Ricky Ponting has played in forty-six (46) matches at the World Cup, the most for an individual


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Winner: West Indies
Host Country: England
Participating Teams:

England West Indies New Zealand Australia
India Pakistan East Africa Sri Lanka

Final played at Lord's
West Indies 291/8 Australia 274
West Indies won by 17 runs

Winner: West Indies
Host Country: England
Participating Teams:

India England West Indies Australia
Sri Lanka Pakistan New Zealand Canada

Final played at Lord's
West Indies 286/9 England 194
West Indies won by 92 runs

Winner: India
Host Country: England
Participating Teams:

West Indies Pakistan Zimbabwe England
India Sri Lanka Australia New Zealand

Final played at Lord's
India 183 West Indies 140 
India won by 43 runs

Winner: Australia
Host Countries: India & Pakistan
Participating Countries:

Australia Pakistan India England
New Zealand West Indies Zimbabwe Sri Lanka

Final played at Kolkata/Calcutta
Australia 253/5 England 246/8
Australia won by 7 runs
Man of the Match: D.C. Boon

Winners: Pakistan
Host Countries: Australia & New Zealand
Participating Countries:

Australia Sri Lanka South Africa England
India West Indies New Zealand Pakistan

Final played at Melbourne
Pakistan 249/6 England 227
Pakistan won by 22 runs
Man of the Match: Wasim Akram

Winners: Sri Lanka
Host Countries: India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
Participating Countries:

West Indies England Zimbabwe New Zealand
Sri Lanka South Africa Australia United Arab Emirates
Kenya Holland India Pakistan

Final played at Lahore
Australia 241/7 Sri Lanka 245/3
Sri Lanka won by 7 wickets
Man of the Match: P.A. de Silva

Winners: Australia
Host Country: England
Participating Countries:

England Australia India Bangladesh
Kenya New Zealand South Africa Pakistan
Sri Lanka Scotland Zimbabwe West Indies

Final played at Lord's
Pakistan 132 Australia 133/2 
Australia won by 8 wickets
Man of the Match: S.K. Warne

Winners: Australia
Host Country: South Africa
Participating Countries:

West Indies Australia India Pakistan
Bangladesh Sri Lanka South Africa Canada
Holland Namibia Scotland Kenya
Zimbabwe New Zealand    

Final played at Johannesburg
Australia 359/2 India 234
Australia won by 125 runs
Man of the Match: RT Ponting

Winners: Australia
Host Countries: West Indies
Participating Countries:

Australia Bangladesh New Zealand Pakistan
Kenya India England Ireland
Netherlands Zimbabwe Canada West Indies
South Africa Sri Lanka    

Final played at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados
Australia 281/4 India 215/8
Australia won by 57 runs

Winners: India
Host Countries: India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka
Participating Countries:


Australia Bangladesh New Zealand Pakistan
Scotland India England Ireland
Netherlands Bermuda Canada West Indies
South Africa Sri Lanka Kenya Zimbabwe

Final played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
India 277/4 Sri Lanka 274/6
India won by 6 wickets
Man of the Match: MS Dhoni


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography

Cricket, ''the glue which keeps us together'' as stated by Clive Lloyd, was introduced to the West Indies by the English in the 18th century. It was first played on Caribbean soil by English soldiers, as a form of recreation during the Anglo-French conflicts.

The West Indian planters welcomed the game and staged matches on their estates by the opening years of the 1840's. Although played initially only by white colonists, matches eventually involved the active participation of Africans and people of colour, due to the changing social conditions in the islands after the 1860's.

The Garrison Savannah was the site of the first West Indian inter-colonial cricket match, played in 1865 between Barbados and British Guiana. By the second half of the nineteenth century, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana were participating in triangular tournaments.

The international tour by West Indian cricketers of Philadelphia (U.S.A.) and Canada in 1886 was the first by a Caribbean team. However, between the early 1890's and the opening years of the 1950's, most West Indian cricket matches were played against England. The West Indies team toured England for the first time in 1900, then again in 1906 and 1923, while by 1900 three English teams had completed tours of the Caribbean.

In 1928, the West Indies team was admitted to the International Test-playing fraternity. At this time, the other teams were England and Australia, both of which began playing test cricket in 1876/77 and South Africa, which began in 1889.


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography


Did you know.....?

  • George Headley was the first West Indian to score a century on his Test debut, and the only player to score four (4) centuries before the age of 21
  • Sonny Ramadhin was the first East Indian to play for the West Indies team, and the first great spin bowler of the team
  • In 1950, the West Indies celebrated their first Test victory against England in England 3-1
  • In 1954-55, while playing against Australia, Walcott was the first batsman to score a century in each innings twice in a Test Series
  • The 3W's are....Weekes, Worrell and Walcott
  • Frank Worrell was the first black Series captain of the West Indies team
  • In 1964-65 Australia toured the Caribbean, and West Indies had their first ever Series victory against them
  • Wes Hall was the first West Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in a Test match against Pakistan in Lahore in 1958/59
  • The first tied Test was between West Indies and Australia in 1960
  • Wes Hall bowled the last over in that tied Test between Australia and West Indies at Brisbane in 1960
  • Gary Sobers was chosen as one of the 5 Wisden Cricketers of the Century in 2000
  • Sobers held the record for the highest Test Score of 365 against Pakistan in 1958, until it was broken by Brian Lara, who scored 375 in 1994 against England. 
  • Brian Lara has the highest individual score in Test cricket: he scored 400 not out against England in 2004.
  • Michael Holding's nicknames are “Whispering Death” and “Rolls Royce of Fast Bowlers” because of his pace as a fast bowler
  • Alvin Kallicharran scored a century on his Test debut
  • In 1979-80 playing against Australia in Australia, the West Indies achieved their first Series win
  • West Indies had 26 consecutive Test victories without defeat with Clive Lloyd as captain
  • Vivian Richards is known as the “Master Blaster”, and named by Wisden 2000 as one of the 5 Cricketers of the Century
  • Richards was the first West Indian cricketer to score 100 first class centuries. 
  • The fastest century in Test cricket was off 56 deliveries in 81 minutes against New Zealand by Vivian Richards
  • West Indies had their first “whitewash” in Test cricket against South Africa in 1998/1999
  • The West Indies won the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, the fourth ICC World Twenty20 competition, which took place in Sri Lanka from September 18 to October 7, 2012.


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography


Curtly Ambrose


George Challenor Barbados
Learie Constantine Trinidad
Jeffery Dujon Jamaica
Joel Garner Barbados
Lancelot Gibbs Guyana
Gordon Greenidge Barbados
Wesley Hall Barbados
Desmond Haynes Barbados
George Headley Panama
Michael Holding Jamaica
Conrad Hunte Barbados
Alvin Kallicharan Guyana
Rohan Kanhai Guyana
Brian Lara Trinidad
Clive Lloyd Guyana
Malcolm Marshall Barbados
Sonny Ramadhin Trinidad
Vivian Richards Antigua
Anderson Roberts Antigua
Garfield Sobers Barbados
Clyde Walcott Barbados
Courtney Walsh Jamaica
Everton Weekes Barbados
Frank Worrell Barbados


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography


Birbalsingh, Frank. The Rise of West Indian Cricket: From Colony to Nation. St. John's, Antigua: Hansib, 1996.

Brown, Phillip and Booth, Lawrence. Cricket: celebrating the modern game around the world. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2005.

King, Tony and Laurie, Peter. The Glory Days: 25 Great West Indian Cricketers. Oxford: Macmillan Caribbean, 2004.

Mars, Eon Osmond. The Best of Cricket: World Cup 1975-2003. 2nd ed. St. Patrick's, Grenada: Eon Osmond Mars, 2003.

The Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury, Conn.: Grolier, 2003.

The World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, 2002.


Cricinfo.com: World Records & Statistics.  (Accessed on 20/11/2012)


  • West Indies Cricket Bibliography