Although predecessors to the game of cricket date back to before the Norman Invasion of 1066, the first known game of cricket took place in approximately 1550. The first mention of the word "cricket" in a dictionary occurred in 1598.
By the late 16th century, cricket was recognizable as the game played in modern times. It quickly became well-established in the south of England as a leisure activity, and was subsequently taken up by young men at school. The official Articles of Agreement defining the rules of cricket were established in 1727, with improvements made to both the bat and the ball in the 18th century as well.