Zythophile’s link to the origins of Cricket is quite informative, particularly the fact that even the venerable Bede mentions it. As I suggested in another thread, the Brits take their sports rather seriously, perhaps more than any other nation. One point in the article caught my eye (not literally, but figuratively, or else I’d be in the hospital right now):
The likeliest hypothesis is that it took shape as the sport of shepherd boys on the downland of south-east England.
There the sheep-cropped grass was short enough to allow the earliest bowling to be simply trundled all along the ground.
Now, in the interest of fairness, the record should be amended to reflect that Andy Griffith postulated this theory more than fifty years ago. His being in all probability a Welshman by heritage, as I am proud also to have some very small claim to, it kind of makes sense that he would view the national pastime with such historical accuracy. What It Was, Was Football:
Probably the original game didn’t have the convicts and pretty girls, but it appears certain that the first players also had to exercise fancy footwork.