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cricket, n.3


α. 15 kricket, 16 crickett, 16 kricet, 16 krickett, 16– cricket.

β. 15 creckett, 16 crekitt.

(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Perhaps formed within English, by conversion. Etymon: cricket n.2
Etymology: Etymology uncertain. The parallel of stool-ball n.   suggests that the word may show an extended use of cricket n.2 (which has forms corresponding to both α. forms   and β. forms), on the supposition that the object to be defended either was or resembled a small stool.
Quot. 1598   suggests currency in English in the mid 16th cent., but this is far from certain.
In quot. ?1575   Tut-staues or Kricket-staues   renders Middle Low German Kolven  , plural of Kolve   bat used in a ball game.
The Middle French form *criquet   included in a number of dictionaries of French and interpreted as denoting a piece of wood serving as a target in a game of boules almost certainly results from a misreading of etiquet   in this meaning (see palaeographical discussion of the single supposed example and reproduction of the relevant document in Jrnl. Soc. Archivists 4 (1973) 579–80). Middle French criquet   piece of wood (1550), recorded in Französisches etymologisches wörterbuch at krikk-, is probably unrelated.
The word cannot be, as often suggested, a derivative of Old English crycc   ‘crutch, staff, crozier’ crutch n., because the cc   in this word was palatal, hence giving modern English //.
For an argument that the first element of the word shows a Middle Dutch regional (Flemish) form krik   (Middle Dutch crucke  , cricke  ; < the same base as crutch n.) see H. Gillmeister ‘The Flemish Ancestry of Early English Ball Games’ in N. Müller and J. K. Rühl Sport History (Olympic Scientific Congress) (1985) 54–74. Gillmeister argues that (unrecorded) use of the Middle Dutch word to denote a game arose as a calque on Middle French crosse   (see cross n.) denoting a game (compare lacrosse n., although it appears that in Middle French the word denotes the implement as used in a game but not the game itself; compare quot. 1611 at sense 1a); he further argues that the English word arose from an (unattested) Middle Dutch regional (Flemish) *krik ketsen   (in which the second word is Middle Dutch ketsen   to hunt, chase < a variant of Middle French chasser  chase v.1). However, it should be noted that there is no documentary support for the intermediate steps assumed in this explanation.
The character of the game denoted by the word has changed enormously over the centuries. For important developments in various of the terms associated with the game see bail n.4, bat n.2, bowl v.1, wicket n.   The early collocation of the word forms cricket   and wicket   in cricket-a-wicket adv.   is probably coincidental: see discussion at that entry. The same probably applies to the following passage, which apparently shows an example of cricket n.1   (it occurs in an extended passage of invective where e.g. ‘eater of frogges’, ‘As hinde as an hogge, And kinde as any dogge’ also occur):
a1550   Image Ipocrisie ii, in J. Skelton Poet. Wks. (1843) II. 406   O lorde of ipocrites, Nowe shut vpp your wickettes, And clape to your clickettes, A farewell, kinge of crekettes!

 a. An outdoor game played on a large grass field with ball, bats, and two wickets, between teams of eleven players, the object of the game being to score more runs than the opposition.Cricket developed in the south-east of England, probably out of the earlier game of stow-ball, in the 16th and 17th centuries. The earliest known version of the laws of the game dates from 1744. By the end of the 18th cent., organized cricket was common, frequently with one or both sides fielding more than eleven players, and in the 19th cent. it came to be viewed as the English national game and, subsequently, as an expression of English national identity or Englishness in general (cf. sense 2b). It is now played principally in Britain and in territories formerly under British colonial rule, such as Australia, South Africa, the West Indies, New Zealand, and South Asia. The full game with two innings per side lasts for a specified number of days (five in international cricket); shorter single-innings matches are usual at amateur level and (in the limited-overs format) have become popular at professional level since the 1960s.
See also county, league, test cricket, etc., at the first element.

?1575   tr. H. Niclaes Terra Pacis v. f. 13   Ther are made likewyse, many-kynde of Balles, Tut-staues or Kricket-staues, Rackets, and Dyce [MLG. Ballen/Koluen/Raketten/vnde Terlingen], for that the foolish People, shoulde waste or spende their tyme ther-with, in Foolishnes.
1598   Guild Merchant Bk. (MS. in Guildford Borough Records)    John Denwick of Guldeford..one of the Queenes Majesties Coroners of the County of Surrey being of the age of fyfty and nyne yeares or there aboute..saith upon his oath that hee hath known the parcell of land..for the space of Fyfty years and more, and..saith that hee being a schollar in the Free schoole of Guldeford, hee and several of his fellowes did runne and play there at Creckett and other plaies.
1611   R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues   Crosse,..also, a Cricket-staffe; or, the crooked staffe wherewith boyes play at Cricket. Crosser, to play at Cricket.
1662   J. Davies tr. A. Olearius Voy. & Trav. Ambassadors 297   A certain Game, which the Persians call Kuitskaukan, which is a kind of Mall, or Cricket.
1676   H. Teonge Diary (1825) 159   Wee had severall pastimes and sports, as duck-hunting..handball, krickett, scrofilo.
1712   J. Arbuthnot Lewis Baboon iv. iv. 18   When he happen'd to meet with a Foot-Ball, or a Match at Cricket.
1740   Ld. Chesterfield Lett. (1932) (modernized text) II. 453   You will desire to excel all boys of your age, at cricket, or trap-ball, as well as in learning.
1781   W. Cowper Let. 28 May (1979) I. 487   When I was a Boy, I excell'd at cricket and Football.
1823   E. Moor Suffolk Words 14   Bandy-wicket, a game with bats, or sticks, and ball, like cricket.
1851   H. Melville Present State Austral. 321   Cricket is a game much played in Van Diemen's Land... The ground is in the Government paddock, within sight of the city.
1882   Sporting Times 2 Sept. 5/3   In affectionate remembrance of English cricket which died at the Oval on 29th August, 1882, deeply lamented by a large circle of sorrowing friends and acquaintances. R.I.P. N.B.—The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.
1924   H. de Sélincourt Cricket Match iv. 83   However any sane person could prefer soccer to cricket the good little Horace totally failed to comprehend.
1963   C. L. R. James Beyond Boundary xiii. 160   Cricket, we may note in passing, was in 1837 still no more than a camp-follower in the life of the nation.
1966   Listener 23 June 923/3   White men in Trinidad had only taught the Trinidadians how to play cricket because there were not enough of their own sort to make a team.
2001   Times 6 July ii. 19/5   Can't tell your silly mid-off from your backward square leg? This summer the Australians are in town and cricket becomes sexy.

?1575—2001(Hide quotations)


 b. In plural. Eng. regional (orig. Kent). Now rare.

1672   G. Swinnock Life T. Wilson xviii. 40   Maidstone was formerly a very prophane Town, insomuch that I have seen Morrice dancing, Cudgel playing, Stool-ball, Crickets, and many other sports openly and publickly on the Lords Day.
1695   W. Kennett Parochial Antiq. sig. Mmmmm/2 (Gloss.)   The wicket or cross stick to be thrown down by the ball at the game call'd Crickets.
1855   G. Brown Personal Adventure in S. Afr. iv. 53   The men were just going out to have a Christmas game at crickets.
1863   Bell's Life in London 30 Aug. Suppl. 2/1   There wos lots of larks besides crickets, includen theatrickles, wich drew a big house.
1896   F. M. T. Palsgrave List Words & Phrases Hetton-le-Hole 12   Crickets. The game of cricket is always spoken of in this plural form.

1672—1896(Hide quotations)


 c. As the second element in the names of versions of the game (some more or less informal), as dab, deck-, fantasy, French, snob-cricket, etc.


 a. The playing of the game of cricket; the game played to a specified standard or in a specified way.

1851   J. Pycroft Cricket Field x. 200   Have me to bowl..Box to keep wicket, and Pilch to hit, and then you'll see Cricket.
1857   T. Hughes Tom Brown's School Days ii. viii. 388   Such a catch hasn't been made in the close for years... ‘Pretty cricket,’ says the Captain.
1898   K. S. Ranjitsinhji With Stoddart's Team (ed. 3) x. 209   The dropped chances were the result of poor cricket on the part of the fieldsmen.
1904   P. F. Warner How we recovered Ashes viii. 150   The rain came down in torrents, and no cricket took place until 2.15.
1928   R. Lynd Green Man xviii. 147   A world in which young men enjoy playing bad cricket is clearly a far happier place than a world in which young men would enjoy playing only good cricket.
1988   Daily Gleaner (Kingston, Jamacia) 21 Apr. 12/4   Kensington has always produced some excellent cricket.
2007   Wisden Cricketer July 77/2   When cricket was resumed, Johnston was encouraged by the former Test captain Jack Ryder to switch.

1851—2007(Hide quotations)


 b. Chiefly colloq. Cricket played in the correct manner or proper spirit; (hence more generally) honourable dealings between opponents or rivals in any sphere; fair play. Chiefly in negative contexts, denoting something contrary to traditional standards of fairness or rectitude, esp. in not cricket. Cf. to play cricket at Phrases.

[1823   A. Moysey Confederates II. vi. 125   It was all a trick, he settled, just as he dropped asleep—not the real, old, legitimate system of play—not cricket, properly so called; but all a deception.]
1851   J. Pycroft Cricket Field xi. 210   We will not say that any thing that hardest of hitters..does is not cricket, but certainly it's anything but play.
1867   J. Lillywhite Cricketers' Compan. 13   Do not ask the umpire unless you think the batsman is out; it is not cricket to keep asking the umpire questions.
1900   Westm. Gaz. 5 June 2/2   We should be very much surprised if the Duke really thought that to dissolve would be ‘cricket’.
1900   Westm. Gaz. 31 July 1/3   We believe that the feeling is very widespread that it would not be ‘cricket’ to get back to power again as the result of an appeal to the country.
1930   ‘S. S. Van Dine’ Scarab Murder Case 20   It didn't seem cricket to leave the poor devil there.
1955   Times 21 July 5/7   When one was called to the Bar one was a public menace but one learnt what was and was not cricket during the period of pupilage.
1996   J. T. Hospital Oyster (1997) 82   We don't talk about stuff like that, he says. It's not cricket.

1851—1996(Hide quotations)



  colloq. to play cricket : to act fairly or honourably. Frequently in negative contexts. Cf. sense 2b, to play the game at play v. 13e. Now somewhat rare.

1902   Strand Mag. Sept. 305/1   This is not playing cricket, but it is what I have witnessed Chauncey Depew and all American show dinner orators play at.
1922   Daily Mail 14 Nov. 10   I appeal to the Conservatives to do what is patriotic and honourable and to play ‘cricket’.
1934   Trans. Grotius Soc. 20 104   Herr Hanfstaengel..has stated that Panter played rather the rôle of a military spy, and that this was not ‘playing cricket’.
1987   Autocar 6 May 10/1   Why do we always have to ‘play cricket’ and get walked all over by our competitors?

1902—1987(Hide quotations)



 C1. attributive.

 (a) General attributive.Some of the more established compounds of this type are treated separately.

1756   Gentleman's Mag. Oct. 489/1   The state By Cricket-rules discriminates the great.
1833   Standard 29 May   A cricket game was not illegal, nor was a wager on such a game of itself illegal.
1838   Sportsman June 331/1   He was thought to be the strongest cricket bowler in England.
1885   Decatur (Illinois) Daily Republican 14 Nov. 4/4   A West Indian cricket eleven is coming to Philadelphia next season.
1901   R. H. Lyttelton Out-door Games iv. 81   Any reform of cricket law has for its object a levelling up of attack and defence—in other words, of batting and bowling.
1938   Winnipeg Free Press 27 Aug. 10/2   I have met recently an elderly Somerset gentleman, who is a walking dictionary of cricket lore—past and present.
1971   J. Betjeman in Listener 18 Nov. 688/1   Near splash of dive and tock of cricket stroke How straight the crematorium driveway lies.
2008   Daily Tel. 29 Aug. 23/5   Rachel Heyhoe-Flint, the then English cricket captain.

1756—2008(Hide quotations)


  cricket ball   n.

1658   E. Phillips Myst. Love & Eloquence 50   Would my eyes had been beat out of my head with a cricket-ball.
1750   C. Talbot Rambler No. 30. 164   Sometimes an unlucky boy will drive his cricket-ball full in my face.
2007   Wisden Cricketer July 23/1   Depending on who you listen to, there are as many as three different ways to make a cricket ball swing—conventional, reverse, contrast swing.

1658—2007(Hide quotations)


  cricket club   n.

1731   Daily Advertiser 29 June   Eleven Gentlemen of Kent, belonging to Esquire Steed's Cricket-Club.
1887   F. Gale Game of Cricket 153   Cricket clubs are very much larger affairs than they used to be.
1997   P. Carey Jack Maggs (1998) xci. 327   He was twice president of the shire and was still the president of the Cricket Club.

1731—1997(Hide quotations)


  cricket fan   n.

1905   San Francisco Chron. 24 Sept. 41/7   Cricket fans are looking forward to this contest with considerable interest.
1977   C. Storr Tales from Psychiatrist's Couch xi. 118   I'll be back to take her off to the Oval... She's a cricket fan.
2004   Eastern Eye 11 June 52 (advt.)    Pakistan Vs India is a must own DVD for all cricket fans worldwide.

1905—2004(Hide quotations)


  cricket ground   n.

1745   Gen. Advertiser 29 Apr.   On Wednesday next the Cricket Ground will be open'd.
1825   in W. Hone Every-day Bk. (1826) I. 636   I was stunned with shouts..from the cricket ground.
2004   A. Buzo Legends Baggy Green xiii. 146   He went on to a comfortable career selling advertising space in cricket grounds..when all the pointers suggested an embittered life away from sport.

1745—2004(Hide quotations)


  cricket match   n.

1677   in T. Barrett-Lennard Fam. Lennard & Barrett (1908) 317   The crekitt match at ye Dicker.
1747   Scheme Equip. Men of War 37   In as great Esteem in London, as Cricket Matches are at this Day.
1797   Norfolk Chron. 15 July   Swaffham Assembly will be on Wednesday, July 19th, 1797 (being Cricket Match Week).
1955   Times 9 May 15/1   One travels not only to see a cricket match as such.
2002   H. Kunzru Impressionist (2003) 180   A crowd at a cricket match poured on to the pitch, ripping up the matting wicket and waving stolen stumps in the air.

1677—2002(Hide quotations)


  cricket play   n.

1691   J. Dunton Voy. round World II. viii. 87   Rost-beef, Minc'd-pies, Gammon of Bacon, Bottl'd-ale, Football, and Cricket-play.
1748   I. Cousteil French Idiomatical & Crit. Vocab. 213   Cricket-play, or the Bat.
1853   Morning Post 1 Nov. 5/6   Much beautiful and scientific cricket play was shown.
1868   St. Pauls Mag. Aug. 553   A ‘duck’,—as by a pardonable contraction from duck-egg, a nought is called in cricket-play.
2007   J. Chetwynd & B. A. Belton Brit. Baseball & West Ham Club 247/2   Australian cricketers were known for integrating baseball techniques into their cricket play.

1691—2007(Hide quotations)


  cricket season   n.

1829   Horæ Sarisburiensis (ed. 2) ii. 53   He stated as his reason that the cricket season was approaching.
1900   Manch. Guardian 17 Sept. 4/7   The first-class cricket season of 1900 came to an end at Lord's on Saturday.
1996   T. N. Murari Steps from Paradise 63   It wasn't the cricket season but he wished it was.

1829—1996(Hide quotations)


  cricket stump   n.

1835   Morning Post 22 Jan.   The defendant had a cricket stump in his hand.
1903   Baily's Mag. Mar. 195/1   The Committee of the Marylebone Club propose to submit the widening of cricket stumps by one inch.
2010   F. Pyke & K. Davis Cutting Edge Cricket iii. 52   He has..tried the Bradman technique of hitting a ball with a cricket stump.

1835—2010(Hide quotations)


  cricket team   n.

1866   Belfast News-let. 30 Aug.   The celebrated I Zingari cricket team have opened their annual campaign in Dublin.
1908   J. Flood New Norcia 109   The first season the native cricket team went from home to try their prowess against the outside world they were an object of deep interest.
2005   S. Elmes Talking for Brit. viii. 191   The local cricket team he loved and nurtured.

1866—2005(Hide quotations)


  cricket tour   n.

1853   Bell's Life in London 18 Sept. 6/2   The members of the Harrow Club started upon a cricket tour.
1917   F. Lenwood Pastels from Pacific iv. 66   The system is altogether like a cricket tour of the Australians in England.
2008   Outlook 8 Dec. 54/1   It's not merely a cricket tour being called off.

1853—2008(Hide quotations)


  cricket umpire   n.

1866   Bell's Life in London 21 Apr. 8/1   Mr. C. K. Pullin, the well-known cricket umpire,..was injured in the back and face.
1903   C. P. Trevor Rugby Union Football xiii. 117   As in the case of cricket umpires, the public soon learn who are the men who..have a right to be regarded as standing at the top of the tree.
2001   B. Broady In this Block there lives Slag 12   The farmer, looking up, scissored his dangling arms across his thighs, like a cricket umpire signalling dead ball.

1866—2001(Hide quotations)


 b. Designating (frequently white) clothing designed to be worn when playing cricket, as cricket cap, cricket flannels, cricket trousers, etc. See also cricket whites n. at Compounds 3.

1838   Osborne's Guide Grand Junction Railway (Advt. section) 107   Gentleman's dress stocks, dress and plain shirts, rowing and cricket shirts,..&c.
1848   Bell's Life in London 6 Feb. 8/2 (advt.)    Running or cricket caps.
1870   Routledge's Every Boy's Ann. Apr. (Suppl.) 8/2   A good wool-worked Cricket-belt.
1906   R. R. Gilson Miss Primrose i. iv. 48   I should be happier when I grew old enough to wear white cricket flannels and a white hat.
1959   Times 6 July 9/1   Peter's mother never forgets to collect the cricket trousers from the cleaners.
1997   Daily Mail 27 Mar. 78/2   Those garish pyjamas which pass for cricket attire in the one-day game.
2003   Daily Tel. 19 Sept. i. 27/1   Luella Bartley's boy-meets-girl vibe with oversized cricket-sweaters as dresses.

1838—2003(Hide quotations)


 c. Designating or relating to media coverage of cricket, as cricket commentator, cricket correspondent, cricket news, cricket report, etc.

1844   Spirit of Times 11 Oct. 1/1   The Cricket report, as well as that of the Pigeon Shooting, have been published.
1853   W. D. Arnold Oakfield I. xii. 263   The cautious science with which..he contented himself with scoring singles, might have won admiration from the very cricket correspondent of ‘Bell's Life’.
1894   ‘R. Andom’ We Three & Troddles xvii. 149   Those miserable, hollow shams who read up the cricket news..in the evening papers.
1901   Daily Chron. 13 Dec. 4/5   The old, hammered ‘stereos’ of the cricket reporter.
1947   D. Thomas Let. 11 June (1987) 641   You're not only the best cricket commentator..; but the best sports commentator I've heard, ever.
1967   Punch 21 June 907/1   Transistor radios for getting the cricket commentaries.
1989   Daily Tel. 26 June 19/4   The serious..cricket writers are now far outnumbered by the news–sports reporters.
2002   Sunday Times of India 22 Sept. 10/3   The MTVisation of cricket coverage is almost complete.

1844—2002(Hide quotations)

 C2. Objective.

  cricket lover   n.

1855   Morning Post 31 Mar. 6/6   A feature of unusual novelty..will this season be introduced to the cricket lovers.
1906   Strand Mag. Aug. 183/2   To cricket-lovers the plight of the corpulent batsman shown in the next post-card explains itself.
2005   Asian Age 28 Sept. 10/5   Cricket lovers can be anything—Marxist, Trot, Old Labour, even (like my grandfather) Scottish Nationalist.

1855—2005(Hide quotations)


  cricket-loving adj.

1828   Caledonian Mercury 10 May   I have much pleasure in informing him and all your cricket-loving readers that this health-promoting game is not quite so great a novelty on this side of the Tweed as he imagines.
1908   Westm. Gaz. 20 Oct. 11/2   The Jam Sahib of Nawanagar, who, however his name may be printed on the match-cards, will always be known to the cricket-loving public.
2002   R. Mistry Family Matters (2003) ix. 213   Bookies and bribes and match-fixers who break the cricket-loving hearts of us subcontinentals.

1828—2002(Hide quotations)


  cricket player   n.

1654   in Notes & Queries (1924) 147 325/1   Cricket players on ye Lord's Day.
1752   S. Jenyns Poems ii. i. 95   Hence all her [sc. England's] well-bred heirs Gamesters, and jockeys turn'd, and cricket-play'rs.
1851   J. Pycroft Cricket Field xi. 214   Pugilists have rarely been cricket players.
1995   M. A. Malec Social Roles of Sport in Caribbean Societies iv. 91   Many of the better cricket players were not members of elite clubs.

1654—1995(Hide quotations)


  cricket-playing   n. and adj.

1700   Post Boy 30 Mar. (single sheet)   Gentlemen, or others, who delight in Cricket-playing.
1837   Microcosm June 117   All my recreations, up to a good Latin-learning, cricket-playing age, were of the silent, sedentary, sentimental kind.
1993   Cricket World 3 Apr. 13/2   Zimbabwe..had their test cricket baptism against India at Harare in October following their inclusion into the elite cricket playing nations by the International Cricket Council.
2006   N. Barnes Cultural Conundrums i. 28   Caribbean cricket playing emerges as a fitting metaphor for the history and future development of a regional consciousness.

1700—2006(Hide quotations)


  cricket bag   n. a long bag used for carrying a cricketer's bat and other equipment.

1865   Bell's Life in London 6 May 7/4   There were also presented to R. O. Cotton..a large cricket bag by G. F. Parry, Esq., for the best analysis bowling in the eleven.
1904   P. F. Warner How we recovered Ashes xiii. 244   The rubber was won: the ‘ashes’ were in my cricket-bag.
1992   Sports Q. Winter 71/1   His cricket bag is neatly packed with batting gloves, all carefully labelled, and during an innings he will send for fresh mits, carefully instructing the twelfth man which ones to bring.

1865—1992(Hide quotations)


  cricket blazer   n. a blazer in the colours of a cricket club or team; cf. cricket jacket n.

1881   Cambr. Rev. 9 Mar. 215/2   The vexed question of a new Cricket ‘blazer’ has been settled: the colours chosen are purple and thin yellow stripes.
1959   Times 9 Dec. 17/4   Attired in a Pakistan cricket blazer and tie, Mr. Eisenhower..saw Pakistan lose their second and third wickets when their second innings total was only 25.
1995   G. Burn Fullalove vi. 198   Cricket boots and strident striped cricket blazers teamed with designer face furniture.

1881—1995(Hide quotations)


  cricket boot   n. = cricket shoe n.

1853   Manch. Examiner & Times 7 May 7/4 (advt.)    J. H. Reynolds, Cricket Boot Maker, 14, Princess-st. begs leave to inform Players of Cricket, that he has now got a large stock of the celebrated Oxford Bats.
1925   Times 24 Apr. 13/4   If white cricket-boots could be added, his manhood and his crickethood would be complete.
2009   G. Thomas Secret Wars vii. 133   Sinclair walked to work and unfailingly paused for a friendly word with a vagrant who wore regularly whitened cricket boots.

1853—2009(Hide quotations)


  cricket box   n.  (a) a money box for funds relating to cricket (obsolete rare);  (b) a box in which cricketing equipment is stored (now rare);  (c) = box n.2 15f.

1859   F. W. Farrar Eric ii. x. 312   I will just look and see if there's five pounds in the cricket-box.
1863   Notts. Guardian 15 May 3/6   We have kept our cricket box there for seven years, and our foot ball flags.
1919   F. Reid Pirates of Spring (1920) i. vii. 52   Beach, sitting on one of the green, wooden cricket-boxes, opened Janet's letter.
1956   M. Pugh Frogman xi. 162   They sometimes carried shields to protect themselves from bricks and cricket boxes to protect themselves from hatpins.
1967   R. C. Bennett-England Dress Optional iv. 44   Adolescents using handkerchiefs and wearing cricket boxes for general wear to create an impression of being well-endowed.
1995   Focus Aug. 20/1   Don't ever forget to wear a cricket box when you go in to bat.

1859—1995(Hide quotations)


  cricket day   n.  (a) a day on which cricket is played, esp. a dry, clear day which is perfect for cricket;  (b) (in plural) the days in which one plays or is able to play cricket; (hence) the period of one's youth or active life.

1782   O. Humphrey in J. Goulstone Cricket Etymol. (1998)    I trouble you with this to beg to know for certain from you when the great cricket day and Ball will be at Sevenoaks.
1830   Children as they Are 136   The poor wood-pigeons' cricket-days are over, and I know not when any others of their species will be taught such an extraordinary accomplishment.
1831   H. J. C. Blake Reminisc. Eton 49   That day was a glorious one: it was one of the Almighty's most beautiful of the creation—it was a cricket day; one in which that noble game is enjoyed to perfection.
1870   H. Jackson Dangerous Guest xi. 39/2   I have no time for that sort of thing now. My cricket days are over.
1969   Times 12 June 12/1   It was a perfect pale blue and green cricket day at Lord's yesterday.
1991   D. Brailsford Sport, Time, & Society 161   When his health failed,..he saw the coming end of his cricket days.

1782—1991(Hide quotations)


  cricket field   n. the whole area of play for a cricket match, as opposed to the square; cf. pitch n.2 18a.

1760   Public Advertiser 4 July   The Foundation of a Powder Magazine is digging in the Cricket-Field for the Use of the Garrison.
1884   I. Bligh in Lillywhite's Cricketers' Ann. 3   An eleven on an Australian cricket-field.
1994   I. Botham My Autobiogr. iii. 61   The more successful I was on the cricket field, the more the so-called hard men of life wanted to have a pop at me.

1760—1994(Hide quotations)


  cricket jacket   n. a jacket worn by cricketers; (in later use) esp. one in club or team colours worn on a formal occasion.

1827   E. Neale Living & Dead 163   A dozen different cricket jackets.
1903   Cricket 30 Apr. (advt.)    Cricket Jackets. Navy, Melton, Trimmed Ribbon, or Cord.
2005   R. Barron Fear Screaming Oysters xvi. 186   Skip wore his Pirates Club cricket jacket.

1827—2005(Hide quotations)


  cricket-mad adj. displaying enormous enthusiasm for cricket.

1789   Norfolk Chron. 22 Aug.   My son is cricket mad..his head is like his cricket-ball, Compos'd of dross and leather.
1897   C. Scott Wheel of Life 30   When I arrived in Bombay in the winter of 1892, I found that gloriously beautiful city literally cricket mad.
2006   Daily Tel. 8 Apr. (Weekend section) 2   I remember, as a cricket-mad schoolboy, swelling fit to burst with pride at appearing in Wisden, the holy of holies.

1789—2006(Hide quotations)


  cricket pad   n. a long padded protective guard covering the knee and shin, worn when batting or keeping wicket; frequently in plural; cf. pad n.2 9.

1857   Bell's Life in London 5 Apr. 7/2   These sports came off on Thursday last, when the prizes contested for were awarded as follows... Vaulting.—Cricket pads.
1908   E. Phillpotts Human Boy Again iv. 87   Fowle, with some cricket-pads and Thompson's bicycle, faked up a most extraordinary and hideous monster.
2006   C. Fowler Ten Second Staircase (2007) xliii. 408   Bryant opened the cupboard and checked inside to find cricket pads, footballs, broken pieces of science equipment, [etc.].

1857—2006(Hide quotations)


  cricket party   n. a social gathering at which cricket is played; the people attending such a gathering; (also) a group of cricketers.

1771   C. J. Fox Let. 23 Aug. in J. H. Jesse George Selwyn & Contemp. (1844) III. 11   My love to Carlisle, and tell him we have a cricket party here, at which I am very near the best player.
1808   J. Stewart Acct. Jamaica ix. 119   Cricket parties have sometimes amused themselves at this game in the evenings.
1921   F. Hamilton Here, There & Everywhere 273   One of my oldest friends..had an annual cricket-party for the benefit of his son.
2001   Australian (Nexis) 30 May (Sport section) 22   It doesn't make sense that the ACB would simply indulge a touring cricket party a detour to Gallipoli.

1771—2001(Hide quotations)


  cricket pavilion   n. a pavilion (pavilion n. 5) at a cricket ground.

1851   Rugbæan 12 Mar. 48/1   On Tuesday last, a levèe of Big-side unanimously determined..to accept of Mr. Haddon's tender for building a Cricket Pavilion.
1897   Reynold's Newspaper 5 Sept. 8/1   The cricket pavilion at the Saffrons at Eastbourne was entered on Friday night by burglars, who appear to have had a carouse.
1920   Argus (Melbourne) 17 May 9/3   The Victorian Greenkeepers' Association's annual smoke night will be held at the Fitzroy cricket pavilion on Saturday.
2001   G. A. Parker in L. A. Dugatkin Model Syst. in Behavioral Ecol. i. 3   I was transported in my mother's arms to my proper place among the drowsy little throng awaiting tea by the cricket pavilion.

1851—2001(Hide quotations)


  cricket pitch   n. = pitch n.2 18a.

1876   North Wales Chron. (Bangor) 2 Sept. 4/3   There is a gymnasium and cricket pitch, with a very comfortable hut.
1890   Daily News 17 Oct. 5/3   The London Playing Fields Committee is now laying fifteen good cricket pitches in Epping Forest.
1995   M. Coren Conan Doyle (1996) ii. 39   Some of the mothers in Southsea were encouraging their daughters to meet this friendly-looking Scot who cut such a dashing figure on the cricket pitch.
2000   M. Fletcher Silver Linings (2001) iv. 92   The buffet table was the length of a cricket pitch, and laden with silver drums full of bacon, sausages, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and potato bread.

1876—2000(Hide quotations)


  cricket score   n. the score in a cricket match; (hence) a high number; spec. (in sports other than cricket) an unusually high score.

1838   Bell's Life in London 16 Sept.   Several cricket scores reached us too late for insertion this week.
1925   Musical Times 66 24/2   How many rehearsals were necessary for ‘Pierrot Lunaire’? I forget the exact figure but I do remember that it suggested quite a decent cricket score.
1927   Times 24 Jan. 5/1   The Scottish backs..looked quite capable of piling up a cricket score.
1962   Grimsby Town F.C. Official Programme 30 Mar. 4/1   Against Bradford City Juniors they ran up a cricket score of 11 goals to 1.
2006   Eventing Feb. 47/2   Heelan eventually remounted and went on to complete, albeit with a cricket score.

1838—2006(Hide quotations)


  cricket shoe   n. each of a pair of shoes, usually with spiked soles, designed for playing cricket; usually in plural.

1844   Bell's Life in London 21 July 1/2 (advt.)    Spiked soles for cricket shoes.
1908   W. E. W. Collins Leaves from Old Country Cricketer's Diary ii. 27   I should doubt whether he ever owned a pair of cricket-shoes in his life.
2005   J. Craik Uniforms Exposed ii. 49   Spikes for cricket shoes were patented in 1860.

1844—2005(Hide quotations)


  cricket society   n.  (a) an official association of cricketers or cricket supporters;  (b) the social group involved in or associated with cricket (esp. in a particular place).

1769   Public Advertiser 28 June 2/4   The Gentlemen of the late Knightsbridge Cricket Society.
1871   Sporting Gaz. 9 Sept. 645/1   Let us strive to attain that position in cricket society which should be ours.
1895   Times 10 Sept. 4/1   It might have been wished by the more strictly earnest element of English cricket society that the match..had been less delayed.
1995   M. St. Pierre in H. McD. Beckles & B. Stoddart Liberation Cricket vi. 112   These West Indians were denied entrance into the top echelons of West Indian cricket society.
2008   Hobart Mercury (Nexis) 14 June (Weekend section) 12   The Tasmanian chapter of the Australian Cricket Society.

1769—2008(Hide quotations)


  cricket spike   n. (usually in plural) each of a number of sharp-pointed metal studs on the sole of a cricket shoe or boot; (hence, in plural) a pair of cricket shoes or boots.

1845   Sportsman's Mag. 13 Sept. 328/2   Bendigo's shoes and his foot were damaged by Caunt's cricket spikes in his soles.
1886   Manch. Weekly Times 29 May 4/1 (advt.)    R. G. Barlow's patent durable cricket spike.
1988   Hobart Mercury (Nexis) 3 Dec.   The little Aussie bleeder, who had never worn cricket spikes.
1996   Z. Z. Cheema Majestic Khan 111   Asif Iqbal..decided to hang up his cricket spikes.

1845—1996(Hide quotations)


  cricket square   n. = square n. 11b.

1891   Leeds Mercury 24 July 3/3   There will be nine [tennis] courts, eight of which will be in the cricket square.
1950   F. J. Reed Lawns & Playing Fields xvii. 174   On established cricket squares mowing should commence as early as possible.
1992   Sports Q. Winter 72/1   He sprinted round and round the cricket square, sweating buckets as he went.

1891—1992(Hide quotations)


cricket-staff   n. Obsolete (hist. in later use) a wooden staff or club with a crook at the end like a hockey stick, used by the batsman to strike the ball; cf. bat n.2 3a.

?1575Kricket-staues [see sense 1a].
1611   R. Cotgrave Dict. French & Eng. Tongues   Crosse,..also, a Cricket-staffe; or, the crooked staffe wherewith boyes play at Cricket.
1894   A. B. Gomme Trad. Games I. 82   Cricket... Wedgwood (Etym. Dict.) suggests that the proper name for the bat was ‘cricket-staff’, A.-S. criec, a staff.

?1575—1894(Hide quotations)


  cricket week   n. a week-long festival in which a number of cricket matches are played at a single location.

1842   Era 24 Apr. 10/4   The following arrangements have been made for the cricket week, in August next.
1916   E. F. Benson David Blaize xiii. 256   There's a cricket week at Baxminster, and they've asked me to play in two matches.
2002   D. MacPherson Suffragette's Daughter viii. 87   As the popularity of cricket week grew, three other grounds were involved.

1842—2002(Hide quotations)


  cricket whites   n. an outfit worn to play cricket, typically consisting of white shirt, trousers, and sweater; cf. white n. 6b(c).

1956   Manch. Guardian 31 Jan. 12/5   Boys..had changed into cricket whites for yesterday's ‘open day’.
2004   A. Buzo Legends Baggy Green vi. 69   A farmer who could breeze into town on a Saturday, change out of his muddy boots and into cricket whites, knock up a century in an hour and then take plenty of wickets.

1956—2004(Hide quotations)