How Big is the Global Audience for Cricket?
By Space Coast Daily // December 30, 2021
When assessing the biggest sports globally, cricket is without doubt one of the most popular. In fact, coming in closely behind football, cricket is the go-to option for many sports fans and provides a great deal of entertainment throughout the year.
Cricket’s overall appeal has clearly reached new markets, too. For instance, in 2019, the Cricket World Cup, which concluded with an epic final between New Zealand and England, was the most-watched sporting event of the year, registering viewing figures which were 20 times the audience of the Super Bowl.
Since then, cricket continues to captivate large audiences, with fans debating issues within the sport, discovering the benefits of cricket betting with the help of a guide, and tuning in to some of the biggest and best clashes which regularly take place around the world in cricketing hotbeds like England, Australia, the West Indies and South Africa.
Given the evident growth cricket in currently displaying, which countries around the world are both watching and playing the game more than the rest? Let’s take a look below.
India’s most popular sport by a country mile, cricket is played in villages and major cities throughout the seventh-largest nation on the planet. Over the years, as a dominate force within the game, the country has produced some of the most iconic names from the sport, with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid being adored by Indian cricket fans. Cricket in India is more than just a sport, too.
In fact, it forms a large part of the country’s culture and provides a real buzz whenever the national team is playing. The introduction of the Indian Premier League highlights just how in-demand the sport is in India, too.
There are various theories floating around but, for many, the game of cricket was invented in England during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands which can be located in south-east England. Given the country’s attachment to the sport, it’s certainly one of the most popular options in the country behind the likes of football and rugby and has been played since the 16th century.
The only downside for fans of the sport, though, is that the big games are generally not available on free-to-air TV, although stadiums are still packed for major cricket matches such as ODIs and T20s.
Australia and New Zealand
The southern hemisphere has an affinity with the game of cricket too. In both Australia and New Zealand, the sport is hugely popular with the general population. New Zealand cricket sides have rugby to contend with, which is undoubtedly the number one sport with Kiwis, but cricket is coming in just behind.
In Australia, though, it’s the current top participation sport thanks to club, state and national cricket matches taking place all over the country. Aussies regularly follow the national team wherever they’re playing, too.
Other countries where cricket is popular are South Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.