They were professionals, in an era where the term was pejorative, so they didn’t have access to the gentlemen’s better-appointed dressing rooms. Not just that, they walked into the ground through a separate gate, while the gentlemen walked out through another reserved for them.
Why is cricket called a gentleman’s game?
Rajeshwari Singh of New Delhi adds:
Although the first reference to cricket appeared in the 13th century, the game only gained popularity in the 17th century, when English aristocrats started playing it. They decreed that cricket would be played in ‘a gentlemanly manner’, which means no sledging, cheating, body line bowling, temper tantrums or excessive appealing. If the batsman knew he was out, he should ‘walk’ even if the umpire decided otherwise.