Page:Jubilee Book of Cricket (Second edition, 1897).djvu/484

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common, one local champion would often play another. These, too, were the days of country gentlemen with country seats. Attached to these were clubs or elevens who played matches against others of the same kind or against local clubs. In both cases the basis of the club was local. Though in the case of the country gentleman's eleven the match was the thing. English gentlemen liked (as they like still) matches, whether between horses, prize-fighters, game-cocks, or cricket elevens. Of course the recreative side of the game came in also; in fact, it is, and always has been, what philosophers call the final cause of cricket.

The early form of county cricket soon developed. It was played on an extended local basis. Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Middlesex, and Nottinghamshire had county clubs very early. The great local club of the early days was the famous one of Hambledon in Hampshire. It played against selected elevens and against the counties. It was founded in 1750 and lasted till 1791, when it was dissolved, its members going to the Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, and Middlesex clubs. From county to bigger representative matches was an easy step. The Gentlemen v. Players began in 1806, and the North v. South in 1836. It is interesting, by the way, to note that Eton and Harrow played one another right at the beginning of the century. The M.C.C. was founded in 1789. It originated partly in the desire of certain gentlemen in London to form a club and play cricket, partly in the business enterprise of a man named Lord, who is immortal for ever. From the beginning the M.C.C. was purely and simply a club for cricket purposes. It had no local basis. The fact that it drew its members from London secured this. London as a whole is not exactly suited for local interests. The M.C.C. soon numbered many famous cricketers among its members, and became the great typical cricket club once and for all. It is a club, neither local nor anything else, but simply a cricket club. Its position is unique. As the leading cricket club, it is universally regarded as the supreme authority in all matters that are purely cricket, and all matters that concern cricket clubs as such.

But another kind of club grew up in those days—the Wandering Club. Probably there were many of this kind. The basis of such is social and cricket. The early wandering clubs were no doubt formed by men of means and leisure who had no local club to play for, but who liked the game and one another sufficiently well to band together. I Zingari was the most noted, and remains so. It was instituted in 1845. Innumerable others