Cricket is a sport that is played at the amateur, club, intercollegiate, and international levels in the United States. It is one of the most popular sports in England, where hundreds of clubs play an important role in their communities. In America, several hundred clubs play in regional leagues, while many more individuals play for fun on the social side of the game.
The sport was first brought to America by English immigrants who founded cricket clubs throughout the new world. The first official national championship was held in 1877 with Harvard College defeating Princeton University by two points. Today, there are three major professional leagues in the US: the Legends Series, which features former World Cup players; the Premier League, which includes all current World Cup teams except Australia and South Africa; and the Celebrity Cricket League, which only includes former American celebrities.
American cricket started coming up against strong opposition from baseball and football during its early years. But thanks to the efforts of many pioneers, the sport has grown steadily since then, and today has millions of fans across the country.
An important factor in the sport's growth was the founding of the National Cricket Association (NCA) in 1872. The NCA organized major cricket tournaments that attracted large crowds.
Contests within the country The highest level of domestic cricket sanctioned by USA Cricket, the national governing body for cricket, is Major League Cricket. Furthermore, the following tournaments are held: Pro Cricket: The United States' first professional cricket league. Founded in 2003, it was originally called the Big City Series and then the Global Cricket League before it was renamed in 2005. It was initially composed of only two teams but today there are six teams that play a ten-game season from April to October. Each team plays all other teams twice with at least one match being played at each club's home ground. The top four teams qualify for the post-season playoffs.
The second division of American cricket, Minor League Cricket, began in 2009. There are five teams in this league which play a ten-game season from April to October.
College cricket A collegiate league known as the Cricket Academy League was formed in 2001. There are currently eight teams that play a fourteen-game season from April to September at various locations across the United States. The champion college team is given an opportunity to play in the Men's College World Cup, which started in 2002.
See USA Cricket for the governing body of cricket in the United States. The national cricket team of the United States is the side that represents the country in international cricket. They first played in 1969 and have since then gone on to achieve second place in the 1986 World Cup and third place in the 1995 World Cup, both held in England. They also took part in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 tournament.
USA Cricket was founded in 1961 by four cricketers who were dissatisfied with what they considered to be an unfair distribution of funds between the National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB). The founders of USA Cricket decided to establish a professional league of their own but were unable to come to an agreement with any of the major sports leagues. As a result, USA Cricket started an independent league called the American Cricket Federation (ACF) in 1963. In 1970, the ACF merged with three other cricket organizations to form the United States Cricket Association (USCA). This new association began to distribute funds more evenly between the various sports and in 1971 became one of the founding members of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Through all these changes, the number of players participating in the sport of cricket in the United States has been growing steadily. By 1987, over 1,000 Americans were playing cricket across the country.
Cricket is a dynamic, thrilling, difficult, and, most importantly, FUN "bat and ball" team sport that is appropriate for both children and adults. It is a non-contact sport that may be played inside or outdoors, for short or long periods of time. The object of the game is to score more runs than the opponent down the other end of the field.
As with many sports that are popular in various parts of the world, cricket has developed numerous rules and regulations over time. These rules are established by committees of ex-players and coaches who have influence on how the game is played today. Some of the changes have been made to make the sport easier to play or watch, others to make it more competitive. For example, helmets were initially banned because they were thought to be too dangerous. However, they now are required by law for all cricketers younger than 18 years old.
The first recorded match of cricket was played in England in 17th century. The sport really took off when the English aristocracy began to enjoy the game. They would hire outdoor grounds for their matches which often lasted several days at a time. This is why cricket is known as a "longer game."
Today, cricket is widely played throughout the world, especially in countries where the sport is native.