Cricket is a worldwide sport watched by billions around the globe. However, many countries are not familiar with the sport, and it is often left out from the debate of which sport has the most impact or views in the world.
What is Cricket?
Cricket is England’s national summer sport, played in places like Australia, India, Pakistan, the West Indies, and the British Isles. It is played with a bat and ball, and involves two competing sides of 11 players. The field is an oval and has a rectangular pitch in the middle where the bowlers deliver the ball and try to hit the wicket at the end of the pitch.
The batsman tries to defend its wicket by hitting the ball as far as possible. Two batsmen are positions at each end of the pitch, and after an offensive hit, the two batsmen change places, scoring one point. Four points are earned if the ball is hit beyond the boundary after touching the ground, and six points if it reaches the boundary from the air.
The International Cricket Council (ICC)
The International Cricket Council (ICC), the governing body of cricket, said that figures form the 2019 associate member census showed a huge leap in the amount of cricket being played around the world. In the 2019 T20 World cup, 49 of the men’s and 29 women’s teams played in their first international tournament. Global participation is said to have risen by 14%, and more regional cricket events have been added to the calendar.
ICC General manager for development William Glenwright hopes to grow cricket globally by introducing global rankings and new minimum standards to make it simpler for players to participate in international cricket in a sustainable and affordable way.
ICC Cricket World Cup
The ICC Cricket World Cup happens every four years, and the tournament is one of the world’s most viewed sporting events in the world. The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup had one of the highest watched television broadcasts of all time, with an estimated audience of 2.6 billion.
The ICC offers partner brands opportunities to connect with fans through the popularity of cricket events. Some of ICC’s global sponsors include Nissan, Uber, Coca-Cola, and Emirates. It also partnered with Sports Travel & Hospitality Group to provide fans with different travel and tour packages to ICC events.
The Rise of Cricket in the US
In 2014, ESPN aired the world T20 Finals between India and Sri Lanka, which Sri Lanka won. “We think cricket has the chance to get out to a broader audience and be on a bigger platform,” said Russell Wolff, ESPN International Executive Vice President. He also said that there are 30 million self-identified cricket fans in America.
USA Cricket partnered with ACE, American Cricket Enterprises, in 2019 for the development of a professional T20 tournament in the US. The company is the largest media conglomerate in India, and the agreement has resulted in over $1 billion invested in the development of cricket domestically.
International Cricket Council insiders have mentioned that a T20 World Cup will be staged in the US within a decade. Satyan Gajwani, one of the founders of ACE, said, “We want to develop a lasting institution that brings to the US the excitement and passion of cricket, enjoyed by billions of people globally.”
Cricket has been mocked for its on and off-field woes, and many have disregarded the sport as from the mainstream sports in America. However, the emergence of cricket in the US will greatly impact sports fans and become a huge success.