No one person simply invented the game cricket, instead the modern sport developed out of a game commonly played by children in southern England as far back as the early 1500s. The adoption of the sport by adults is believed to have happened in the late 16th or early 17th centuries. It has been suggested that cricket derived from bowls, by children attempting to hit the ball away from its intended target with a stick or other implement.
The first definitive reference to the sport was in a court case filed against an elderly coroner, John Derrick in 1598, concerning the ownership of a plot of land. Derrick testified that he had played "creckett" (the old English spelling of cricket) on the land 50 years earlier whilst he was at school.
In the aftermath of the English Civil War, cricket, like most sports was banned, and it wasn't until after the restoration in 1660 that cricket became increasingly popular. In the late 17th and early 18th century the sport thrived amongst gamblers and cricket became a significant betting sport. Indeed the first teams are believed to have been founded by gamblers in order to strengthen their bets.
Cricket then started migrating out of England and was introduced to the American colonies in the 17th century. Colonists introduced the game to the West Indies and the British East India Company brought the game to India in the early 18th century. Cricket was then played in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa when they were colonized by the British empire.
Overarm bowling replaced underarm around 1760 and as a result of this straight bats were developed. Prior to this curved bats similar to hockey sticks were used. Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) was founded at Lords in 1787. A year later, the MCC revised the laws of the sport, and has held the copyright to the laws ever since.
The first international cricket match was played in 1844 between the United States and Canada although neither country have ever had test match status.