By Shane Dell
On 25 February 1774, at a meeting of a group of distinguished gentlemen at the Star and Garter pub in Pall Mall, the very first Official Laws of Cricket were drawn up and adopted throughout England by all players, teams and officials engaged in the sport. Although cricket was played under various laws and rules prior to this date, their inconsistency often resulted in laws being implemented on the spur of the moment dependant upon varying circumstances applicable to any particular match. Subsequently, it was decided a meeting of players and officials should be called for the purpose of laying down the Official Laws of Cricket and of course, what better place to hold this meeting than at a Pub.
What is a stand out feature of the first Laws of Cricket is how they have continued to be used to form the basis of every set of laws or amendments applied to the sport since their inception in 1774. Written with such clarity by those who attended the meeting at the Star and Garter over 200 years ago, it was clearly evident then as it is now, they knew exactly what they wanted to ensure cricket continued to be played with a spirit and focus on fair play for all.
Six basic Laws were implemented. To view the exact wording of each of these Laws, select one of the links below.
Note: The Laws are reproduced exactly as they were first written and include all spelling, grammar and punctuation errors that were evident in the first copies of these writings.
A History of Cricket by Trevor Bailey