Significance Of Cricket In The 18th Century

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During the early part of the 18th century there is substantial evidence to suggest that cricket attracted widespread gambling. At the time it was commonplace for press reports to lay more emphasis on betting than that of most forms of sport. Indeed a newspaper report published in 1697 gave an account of an important match played in Sussex in which the substantial sum of 50 guineas a side was the stake. And since one of the principal attractions of sport was the potential for gambling, it was not unusual for tenacious gamblers to underpin their chances of success by forming their own teams. Consequently, members of the local nobility, together with other gentlemen of influence, enhanced their potential of realising success by employing the…show more content…
By 1751 cricket by and large remained a rural game, which for the most part flourished predominately in the southern counties of England. However, the popularity of the sport was beginning to spread further afield. And early references of the game being played in the cricketing counties of Durham, Somerset, Warwickshire and Yorkshire were first mentioned in reports giving details of the cricketing season. During the season of 1751 cricket was stunned by reports of the death of the Prince of Wales, an eminent patron of the game. At the time, it was suggested he died as a result of being struck on the head by a cricket ball. However, although the Prince may well have suffered a blow to the head, it was not the cause of his death which was brought about by a burst abscess in his lung. By far the most famous of the early cricket clubs is considered to be the Hambleton Club, which was formed in 1750 in the rural village of Hambledon in the county of Hampshire. The Hambleton Club came into prominence six years later and is recognised by devotees as the ‘cradle of

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