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Of all the rules governing sport, the laws of cricket are among the oldest. The first written rules of 1744 survive uniquely on the border of a piece of linen at the MCC Museum of Cricket. They were drawn up by certain `Noblemen and Gentlemen' at a time when gambling on cricket matches was rife. The `laws' were codified to ensure a fair outcome when so much was riding on the game. The story of the evolution of these laws and how they affected the game is a fascinating and seldom told chapter in the history of cricket. Following on from the success of The Rules of Association Football 1863 and The Original Rules of Rugby, this book reproduces the complete text of the original laws and is illustrated with images from the unique manuscript held at the MCC as well as images of the game from the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It also includes what is thought to be the first kwn image of cricket dating from a fourteenth-century manuscript w in the Bodleian Library.
Michael Rundell is a noted expert on the history of cricket and is the author of The Oxford Dictionary of Cricket (London, 1995) and The Wisden Dictionary of Cricket (London, 2007).