As known, the motherland of cricket is England. For the first time, something like modern cricket appeared in the 16th century. Those rules of the game and tactics of behavior that are known to today’s players and fans, were developed by Marylebone Cricket Club.
In general, there are 18 clubs that are professionally engaged in cricket, 17 of which are located in England, and one – in Wales. All eighteen clubs are named after the historic districts in which they were located, and were originally their representatives.
Currently, the English cricket team represents England and Wales in international competitions. Since 1997, the national team has been led by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Scotland was also a member of the England team, but only until 1992. England, as the founding country of Curling, is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the status of Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I).
Teams in England and Australia were the first to hold a cricket trial in 1877. A little later, in 1909, the Imperial Cricket Conference was formed along with South Africa. This organization is the forerunner of the famous International Cricket Council.
Matches were held more often, and in early 1971, England and Australia played the first ODI. By the way, the first T20I was played much later, in June 2005, and again against Australia.
A bit of history
The first team, which claimed to officially represent England, consisted solely of purebred English gentlemen from all corners of old England. A team of 11 people declared itself in July 1739. So, just a few months later, this team played against Kent. Such matches were repeated several times throughout almost the entire century.
A little later, in 1846, William Clark founded a team with the name of the speaker All-England Eleven, which meant that the structure was exclusively English. This team eventually competed side by side with United All-Eleven Eleven in the annual matches held in 1847-1856.
Gradually, it was time to move on. For the first time the England national team on cricket made a foreign tour in 1859, having played in the cities of North America. The tour team consisted of six players from the All-England Eleven team and six from the United All-England Eleven team led by captain George Parr.
With the beginning of the US civil war, the national team had to focus on other countries. So, from 1861 to 1862, England managed to hold the first Australian tour. Later, up to 1877, the team actively participated in the games, adding several players to the main team for a more even distribution of forces.
The Australian tour was so successful that in 1863 George Parr led the national team to the next tour for almost two years.
James Lillywhite became captain of the next England team. The new composition of the team played with the Australian team. Their first match was a match at the Melbourne site in March 1877, in which the Australian team XI won.
On the territory of England, the first such match took place already in 1880, in which England won the victory; this was the first time England had a fully representative side with W.G. Grace included in the team.
About England and Wales Cricket Board
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is the governing body of English cricket and the English cricket team. It was created on January 1, 1997 and combined the roles of the District Testing and Cricket Council, the National Cricket Association and the Cricket Council. Like many sports authorities in the United Kingdom, it is a company limited by a guarantee, legal status, which allows it to focus on maximizing the financing of sports, and not on returning funds to investors.
Until 1997, the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) was the governing body of the English cricket team. In addition to the test matches, during the tour abroad the team of England officially acted as an MCC until the Australian tour in 1976–1977.
Player’s uniform of an English cricket team: history
The last time the touring team in England wore the colors of the MCC with bacon and egg in the 1996–97 tour of New Zealand.
Now, on the form of the players there is an icon with three lions on the left sleeve of the shirt, and the name and logo of the sponsor NatWest is on the right. English field players usually wear a dark blue cap or a white cap with an ECB logo in the middle. Players’ helmets are also painted in dark blue. Until 1997, the emblem of the lion and stumps of the TCCB was on the form, and the emblem of the three lions was depicted on helmets, jumpers and hats. But why lions?
Lions would not be depicted on emblems, if in the Middle Ages the king of England did not die during the hunt.
For the first time, three lions were depicted on the emblem of the Anlie national football team uniform, which at that time more resembled rugby. Lions were depicted for a reason and the number three is not accidental.
Lions became popular in England at a rather strange time. The country was already called England, but in Anglo-Saxon (the language of the tribes that inhabited the island) only peasants spoke. To know, city dwellers and other elite used the old French language. Actually, King Henry I was of French origin. The son of William the Conqueror, who sailed from Normandy and won a whole country in a single battle. After the death of William the Conqueror, his children quickly quarreled over the English throne, and the future Henry I in poverty retired to temporary exile with only three faithful servants. At the same time, the First Crusade ended. The first knights returned with honor: they conquered Jerusalem from the Muslims, saw new countries and brought thousands of stories of exotic wonders. Including about lions. The courage of the lions (then all the big predatory cats were then called lions) quickly became overgrown with legends and became almost mythological. Lions are a hit. It is not surprising that many knights who visited far-off countries began to decorate their emblems with lions. One of these knights was the brother of the future King Henry. He could never become a king, and then the lions would not have got on the shirt of the England team, if not the case. The reigning king (another brother) died in an accident during a family hunt. It was not possible to find out whether death was truly accidental. And while the rest figured out how it all happened and what to do next, Heinrich rushed to the city of Winchester and seized the state treasury. After that, the barons elected the king who had the money. On its new royal coat of arms, a new ruler depicted a lion.
Soon, King Henry I married. On the emblem of his bride, a rich French noblewoman, was also a lion. Coats of arms united, there were two lions. And 50 years later, his grandson, Henry II, married French Queen Eleanor, on whose family coat of arms was … right, a lion. So three lions finally became the symbol of royal England.
The official symbol does not necessarily become popular, but the lion has become. So much so that the author of the epic about King Arthur and the knights of the round table, allegorically called the king “The Lion of Justice.” A charismatic king Richard I, who coached the national team of England during the Third Crusade, was nicknamed the Lionheart for bravery. Richard finally introduced three lions to the people when he made this emblem obligatory in the whole army: each detachment added one more to its flank, with lions. Since then, three lions have been on the flags, and then the stripes of some units of the English army for 700 years.
The England Lions
The England Lions is the “second tier” of England and Wales, inferior to the cricket team in England. This team is largely intended as a way for promising young cricketers to gain experience of playing international cricket.
The recently renamed “English Lions” were merged with the National Academy of the ECB, and the tour was taken from the Academy. On June 15 2007, the ECB announced that the inaugural lion side would conduct a one-day warm-up tour against the West Indies in Worcester. Later in the summer against the touring Indians, the Lions held a 3-day match in Chelmsford. And the one-day match was canceled due to rain in Northampton.
On January 4, 2008, the England team for the English Lions tour was announced, and the captain of the Sussex team, Michael Yardy, was appointed. The team participated in the 2008 Duleep Trophy 2008 home competition in addition to friendly matches.
The England Lions is actively replenished with new promising players; many have received invitations from world clubs.