The origin of cricket can be traced to the early \(16th\) century in South East England. It was also dated back to the Saxon and Norman invasion times when England was inhabited by French and Dutch rulers. There are speculations and relics of King Edward II, having played at Westminister. The etymology (origin of a word) of cricket has several interpretations. It is said that the word stands for krick, a Dutch word meaning stick. Some say that it is derived from the French word 'Criquet', which means a wooden post. It is also believed that it stands for the Dutch word for the game of hockey which they call Krik ket (Stick Chase).
Cricket was originally played only by children up until the \(17th\) century. Later, adults picked it up, but it was soon taken as a gambling sport. Soon people began developing interest in the game and divided into teams within their local frames. But it was after Colonisation (The period when England started settling and establishing control over the rest of the world), cricket took to a new form and was seen as a proper sport. Over the years, the game saw a lot of changes. The ball was initially rolled over in the ground and struck, which later changed to bowlers pitching the ball high. Cricket started off with \(4\) balls per over. It changed to \(5\) and was finally changed to \(6\) balls per over. Certain countries like New Zealand, South Africa experimented with eight balls, but after the second World war, it was finalised to \(6\) balls, which remains the same till date. The first recognised form of cricket was the Test series. Today, cricket is the second most recognised sport in the world, next to Football. It is governed by ICC (International Cricket Council).