New book reproduces the first laws of cricket

27 June 2008

Cover_smallThe Bodleian Library’s latest publication, The Original Laws of Cricket, reprints in full the first laws of the game which are among the oldest of all the rules governing sport.

The book is a collaboration between the Bodleian Library which possesses several early laws of the game and the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) which has a unique copy of the earliest surviving laws (1744) preserved on the edge of a linen handkerchief.

The book looks at the fascinating story of the origins and evolution of these laws and how they affected the game, from the earliest times to the present day. It reprints in full the first two laws of the game from 1744 and 1755 as well as bringing to light surprising parallels with ongoing controversies, such as ball-tampering and match-fixing.

Following on from the success of The Rules of Association Football 1863 and The Original Rules of Rugby, this book reprints the complete text of the original laws and explores their significance in light of the early game of cricket. It also looks at how these early laws shaped the development of the game and in turn how the social dimensions of the game affected the laws.

The book is illustrated with images from the Library’s collections including what is thought to be the first known image of cricket dating from a fourteenth-century manuscript now in the Bodleian Library. It also features images from the unique manuscript held at the MCC as well as other images of the game from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  • THE ORIGINAL LAWS OF CRICKET
    Foreword by Mike Atherton
    Introduction by Michael Rundell

    Hardback, £5.99, ISBN: 1 85124 312 7, ISBN 13:  978 1 85124 312 9, 64 pp, 30 b&w images
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