County cricket makes its debut
The first cricket match involving county teams was played this year between Kent and Surrey.
Cricket was developing into the national sport as a result of the linked factors of patronage and gambling. Heavy betting meant that there was money to stage the matches, so they were no longer simply village affairs. The patronage of aristocrats made a vital difference too, because they set up their own teams in order to strengthen their bets.
Large crowds flocked to matches at locations such as the Artillery Ground in Finsbury, which developed a fairground atmosphere on match days.
The wicket’s third, middle stump to support the bails wasn’t introduced until 1775