Australia defeated England in the first Test match between two national teams, which was contested in Melbourne in 1877. The “play for the Ashes” was born when Australia triumphed once more at the Oval in Kennington, London, in 1882. The Sporting Times published an obituary notice stating that English cricket will be cremated and the ashes sent to Australia. Regardless of whatever nation wins, the ashes are maintained at Lord’s and are purported to be those of a bail that was burnt during the 1882–1883 England tour of Australia. The two nations met virtually annually for the remainder of the 19th century. Even though Australia had the best bowler of this age in F.R. Spofforth and the first of the great wicketkeepers in J.McC. Blackham, W.G. Grace, the finest player of Victorian England, on its side, England was sometimes too powerful for the Australians.
South Africa played its first Test matches in England in 1907 and faced Australia, whose supremacy between the two World Wars was represented by Sir Don Bradman’s huge run totals. With the addition of the West Indies in 1928, New Zealand in 1930, and India in 1932, the number of nations participating in Test matches increased noticeably during this time.
The employment of “bodyline” bowling techniques, in which the ball was delivered close to or at the batsman, during the tour of the English side to Australia in 1932–1933 significantly strained ties between the two nations. The English captain, D.R. Jardine, came up with this plan, which called for quick, short pitches to be bowled to the batsman’s body in order to hit him in the head or upper body, or alternatively to catch him by one of the fielders on the leg side (the side behind the striker when in a batting stance).
The strategy was designed to limit Bradman’s scoring, but it resulted in several catastrophic injuries for the Australian side. The Australians fiercely objected to the practice because they believed it to be unsportsmanlike. Even though the series was over (with England winning 3-1), Australia was left with resentment for a while. Quickly following the series, bodyline bowling techniques were outlawed.
Australia was the most frequent visitor to England after World War II, and Pakistan joined the Test ranks in 1952. Test matches were played there every summer. The number of trips between the Test-playing nations increased steadily to the point that, instead of the next 500 Test matches taking up 84 years, they do so in only 23. When Sri Lanka became the eighth Test-playing nation in 1982, the West Indies ruled the roost. The devastating assault of the West Indies was built, for the first time in cricket history, on four fast bowlers. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe were both accepted as Test-playing nations in 2000.
In response to criticism that Test matches dragged on for too long, one-day internationals were introduced in 1972. The inaugural World Cup was played in England in 1975, consisting of a series of one-day matches of 60 overs each (the number of overs was reduced to 50 in 1987). The event was a huge success and was repeated every four years. In 1987, it was first held outside of England in India (cricket bet 1xbet) and Pakistan.
Since the late 1960s, test cricket has had a series of crises. In one such instance, in 1969–1970, resistance to South African apartheid led to the cancellation of a South African tour of England. Threats of violence, property destruction, and disruption of play had been made. An additional danger to Test cricket came from Kerry Packer, a television network tycoon from Australia, who contracted many of the top players in the world for a number of private matches between 1977 and 1979.
Retaliations were filed against the players, however they were rejected after legal proceedings in England. The participants rejoined the group, but the game had become commercialized. Twelve first-class English players agreed to participate in a commercially sponsored South African tour in 1982, against the rules, earning up to £50,000 per player. As a result, the players received a three-year test cricket ban. The participation of English professionals as players and instructors in South Africa posed a significant rift between the Test-playing countries that only ended with the overthrow of apartheid. Cricketers from Sri Lanka and the West Indies also toured South Africa and got harsher penalties.
A match-fixing scandal that started in 1999 once again rocked test cricket. In the early years of cricket, betting on games was widespread in England, but in the current period, several Test countries have outlawed it. Cricketers who competed in international matches in India and Pakistan, where betting on the sport was permitted, claimed that bookies and betting gangs there would pay them to perform poorly. The integrity of the game was questioned, and members of the Australian, South African, Indian, and Pakistani national teams were also tarnished by the scandal. Several players received lifetime cricket bans.