The vintage cricket
November 18, 2021
The first known match was at Coxheath near Maidstone in 1646. A tree stump was utilized but because on the downs of Sussex and Kent, where the game had its stronghold, there weren’t many trees, a new target had to be found–the ‘wicket-gate’, through which passed throngs of sheep. This gate took the form of a minor hurdle, comprising two uprights known as stumps. The stumps were 12 inches high and set 24 inches apart. On top of them was laid a crosspiece, known to this day in Australian meadows as a bail. This produced a superior target to a tree stump, as there could be no argument when the bail fell to the ground.