Why is it called cricket?

Cricket belongs to the family of bat-and-ball games. It is postulated to have originated in the 16th century. Many theories have been proposed to decode the reason behind its nomenclature.

Craic/Creag – 1300

King Edward I of England’s wardrobe accounts had a ticket to enable his son Prince Edward to play “creag and other games” in 1300. It is suggested that creag could have been an early form of cricket. Creag is also considered as an earlier form of the Irish word craic which means fun and entertainment. However, there are barely any concrete evidences to support this theory.

Criquet – 1478

A letter of grievance that dated back to the reign of King Louis XI stated an argument between two parties in Liettres which involved a disagreement over a game of “boules” and “criquet.” This Old French term is thought to be the basis of the words cricket and croquet.
Another source suggested by Bowen’s dictionary in 1970 is the word krickstoel, which is a wooden stool that resembles a wicket of two stumps.

Crekettes – 1533

A poem authored by John Skelton in 1533 mentions that Flemish weavers were the “kings of crekettes” indicating towards a game or sport. 
This term further gained momentum as the possible origin of the word cricket, when in 1597, papers of a legal dispute involving the usage of a piece of land came into the limelight. The testimony states that a coroner named John Derrick in his defense said that the debated piece of land in Surrey was his as he played a game of creckett in 1550.

Cricket – 1598

An Italian-English dictionary by Giovanni Florio was the first instance when the term cricket was used to describe both insect and the sport. 

Cryce – 1755

A 1755 English dictionary stated that cricket is derived from the term “cryce” which means “a stick.”

Given the many theories, it is safe to say cricket is a game that finds its roots well before the 16th century. Its nomenclature though is yet controversial.

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