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English cricket in the 18th and 19th centuries

The game underwent major development in the 18th century to become England’s national sport.  Its success was underwritten by the twin necessities of patronage and betting.

 Cricket was prominent in London as early as 1707 and, in the middle years of the century, large crowds flocked to matches on the Artillery Ground in Finsbury.

In 1844, the first-ever international match took place between what were essentially club teams, from the United States and Canada, in Toronto; Canada won. In 1859, a team of English players went to North America on the first overseas tour. 

World cricket in the 20th century

The inter-war years were dominated by Australia’s Don Bradman, statistically the greatest Test batter of all time.

Test cricket continued to expand during the 20th century with the addition of the West Indies (1928), New Zealand (1930) and India (1932) before the Second World War and then Pakistan (1952), Sri Lanka (1982), Zimbabwe (1992), Bangladesh (2000), Ireland and Afghanistan (both 2018) in the post-war period.

South Africa was banned from international cricket from 1970 to 1992 as part of the apartheid boycott.

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