Cricket originated in southern England and has been played since at least the 16th century. By the end of the 1700s it was played all over England and the expansion of the British Empire brought it around the world. In the mid 1800s, the first international matches were held. Today, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has ten full members:
New Zealand (Oceania)
South Africa (Africa)
Sri Lanka (Asia)
West Indies (multi-national member located in the Caribbean)
The game of cricket underwent major changes in the 1700s when sports betting played a major role in developing the sport and making it more spectator and better friendly. Rich patrons formed their own “select Xis” in London during this period, and the single wicket form of the game was very popular among the audience. Huge crowds gathered to the watch the games, especially at the Artillery Ground in Finsbury north of London City. Betting on cricket is still very popular today, and the practice has spread from England to other the parts of the world were cricket is now a major sport, such as Australia, New Zealand and parts of South East Asia. Outside major cricket regions there might be difficult to find a local bookmaker willing to accept a bet on cricket, but there are numerous international bookmakers available online that offers odds for a wide range of cricket events, including regional Asian cricket competitions.
By the 1800s, the British Empire had successfully spread cricket overseas and by the middle of the century it was well established in countries and regions such as India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
Cricket in India
Cricket is an extremely popular sport in India and is played throughout the country. Several domestic competitions are arranged, including the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Series.
The national cricket team has had significant success in international competitions. They won the Crick World Cup in 1983 and 2011, as well as the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007. In 2002, they shared the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka.
The introduction of cricket to India is strongly linked to the East India Company and the development of the British Raj. As early as 1721, English sailors of the East India Company were playing cricket at Cambay (now Khambhat) in western India. The first known references to the Calcutta Cricket and Football Club are from 1792, but it may have been founded much earlier.
Today, cricket in India is managed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (CCCI), the richest cricket board in the world. It is a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test and One Day International (ODI) status.
India's national team was considered quite weak until the 1970s when famous players such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Erapalli Pransanna, Srinivas Venkataraghavan, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Bishen Singh Bedi emerged. In 1983, the team won its first Cricket World Cup, followed by another victory in 2011. Only India, Australia and the West Indies have won the World Cup more than once. The current Indian national team contains some of the world's best cricket players, including Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.