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If you haven’t been living under a rock for the last two months, you’d know that the cricket world is roaring with excitement about the Cricket World Cup 2019, being played right now in England and Wales. To celebrate this wonderful game, we have decided to put together a little list of fun facts about cricket and its history that you might not know! New Zealand is playing a special role in this tournament.
The first recorded game of cricket was played in 1656 (wow!), but the rules have changed massively in the next couple of centuries. The first official cricket club (the Hambledon) was founded in England in the 1760, and about the same time cricket was considered to be England’s national sport.
Beginning of the game
With the colonisation of New Zealand after the year 1800, the English settlers brought with them the game of cricket. The first game of cricket was recorded in 1832 in the diary of Archdeacon Henry Williams, but the first proper match wasn’t recorded until 1864.
First official cricket match in New Zealand
This match was played in Canterbury Province – Canterbury vs. Otago. In this game, which was played in Christchurch, Otago scored 73 and 61 and Canterbury scored 80 and 55-6. In the following years, this game became an annual fixture and became part of the Plunket Shield in the 1911.
Wilfred Rhodes was an incredible English cricketer, one of the legendary heroes of the game. He ended up taking a total of 4204 wickets during his time in the first-class cricket. The man holds the world record both for this number of taken wickets and the most appearances made (1110 matches).
The longest cricket match took place in 1939 between South Africa and England. It lasted for 14 days, and even after this time, England still needed 42 runs to win. However, the homebound ship was due to leave the next day, and it was decided to call the game a draw.
Great New Zealand Batsman
One of the greatest batsmen in New Zealand, Bert Sutcliffe, never won a match in 42 tests between 1949 and 1965. He captained New Zealand in four Tests in the 1950s. In the 1985, he was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Faster ball in cricket
The amazing record of bowling the faster recorded delivery in cricket goes to Shoaib Akhtar from Pakistan. He bowled a staggering 100.23 miles per hour (161.3 kmh) during the world cup in South Africa in 2003.
Highest runs in a single over
Despite the urban myths, the highest runs in a single over was not 36, but a staggering 77 runs! The bowler who takes this record is R.H. Vance, and this amazing feat was accomplished in a game between Canterbury and Christchurch. This Wellington’s Shell Trophy match took place in February 1992, it was the last game of the season and the team needed to win to ensure the title. Way to go, Kiwis!
Oldest cricketer in the New Zealand
The title of the oldest cricketer in New Zealand goes to John Reid, who was born in 1928 and made his debut in a Test on the 23 July 1949. As of 3rd June 2019, he is 91 years old – and in fact, that’s his birthday! What an amazing man, with an incredible career. Happy birthday John!
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