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How Popular is Cricket Compared to Other Sports and Why?

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How Popular is Cricket Compared to Other Sports and Why?
How Popular is Cricket Compared to Other Sports and Why?

A quick search on the internet will tell you that cricket and IPL is one of the most popular sports in India that comes next to football. Based on where you’re in the world, you might doubt this fact. For someone from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Australia, this information would sound true. And if you are in the Philippines or Canada, you would probably doubt this information.  

However, the truth is that cricket is an immensely popular sport in a major part of the world. Be it the IPL or T20 World Cup, billions of people turn to their screens to watch every match live. 

On that note, let’s delve deeper today into the popularity of the sport. 

India – The country where cricket is a religion 

In terms of the popularity of cricket, it is impossible to ignore the fan following that the sport enjoys in India. It can be undoubtedly said that India has the biggest role to play in making the sport popular because the country has the most cricket crazy population in the world. Though cricket is not officially the national sport of India, the nation loves the sport and millions of people bet on international cricket.

Reports have suggested that nearly 93 percent of the sport viewers in India never miss a cricket match. In fact, going by calculations of the International Cricket Council (ICC), out of the one billion fans of cricket worldwide, about ninety percent come from India. In fact, the love that the country has for the sport is pretty evident by the number of bet games played for each match all over the nation. 

India is also the place that has gifted such big names to cricket that have made the sport more popular worldwide. Be it Sachin Tendulkar or Sourav Ganguly (who now heads the Board of Cricket Control in India) – India’s contribution to cricket is undeniable. 

The Board of Cricket Control in India happens to be the governing body for the sport in the country and holds the management responsibility of every cricket match held in the nation. It’s under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, which is regulated by the Government of India. The board has been present since 1928 and, at present, they are also in charge of the IPL matches. 

The International Cricket Council aims to make cricket more popular than football 

The ICC has been aiming to let cricket edge past football in terms of popularity. Of course, this makes many people wonder whether this is ever possible. Football not only enjoys a huge popularity in European countries, but also has a major fan following in the United States and Asia. 

FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) had reported that the World Cup final 2018 between Croatia and France had reached an average viewership of more than 517 million all over the world. They also mentioned that this particular match alone gained more than 1.1 billion viewers worldwide through the entire duration of ninety minutes. 

Now, going by the current estimates, football has more than four billion fans in the world. At the same time, cricket has amassed more than 2.5 billion fans. Thus, if cricket hopes to overtake football in terms of popularity, it will need to gain ground in more countries around the globe – starting with America. Going by the increasing demand for cricket bet games, it seems like the sport is going in the right direction. 

Make cricket great again in America 

The Civil War was the turning point for the popularity of cricket in America. Before this major historical event, the twenty states saw a lot of cricket matches being played. However, as the war came knocking. Many of the soldiers were seen dedicating their spare time to playing baseball. Many Americans took up baseball as an act of solidarity and patriotism. After the war ended, baseball became popular and the charm of cricket started dwindling. 

But cricket has not completely faded away from American soil. At present, the United States of America has a national cricket team that is a part of some very important tournaments like the Auty Cup played in Canada. Nowadays, American Cricket is trying to develop once again and gain lost ground in the country.  

Once cricket becomes popular enough in the nation, it can be safely said that it won’t be long before cricket comes close (or even overtakes football) in popularity. Going by the current pace of growth, the day does not seem too far away. 

The endnote 

And that’s all we had to say about the popularity of cricket in the world! And one thing is for sure, this popularity is only going to increase as time passes.