Cricket on the Artillery Ground, Finsbury, 1743. This painting shows men playing cricket at Finsbury in London. By the 18th century cricket was a popular game that was well supported by the landed gentry of England, as can be seen by the two well-dressed gentlemen on the field. Bowling at that time was underarm, the wicket had two stumps and the ball was white (over 200 years before white balls were reintroduced ). The scorer kept account of the runs with notches on a piece of wood.