In Europe and the USA, there are some sports that massively dominate the respective events. Sometimes they are the same, sometimes there are differences. Football is one of them. It exists on both continents and is also celebrated worldwide. But there is also American football, baseball, basketball or ice hockey. All these disciplines are great events. The finals of major championships are watched by billions of people on the planet. Even by those in Asia and Australia. Yet they are not even necessarily the most popular there. Because from the other direction comes a real mega sport that is hardly known in the western hemisphere. While in Asia and the Pacific, billions are also watching. It is cricket. We introduce the sport and show you in which dimensions you should think about it.
Cricket – what is it?
Cricket is a sport that originated in the United Kingdom. Basically, it is somewhat similar to baseball. It is a team sport where a ball is thrown. This has to be hit as far away as possible with a bat in order to score points. We don’t want to explain much further, because it is a very complicated game. But it has a huge fan base. Just look at sites like cricketwinner.com and then one can see, how large this industry is.
Cricket is the most important national sport in India and Pakistan. Only far behind somewhere comes football. And with a population of 1.3 billion or over 200 million, you can imagine what happens there when an important match is on TV. The final of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup in 2021 was watched by over 167 million viewers.
Where is cricket particularly popular?
It’s mainly the regions where the British Empire used to pitch its tents. And in the countries around it. That is, England itself, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and so on. In all these countries, cricket is really happening. When top-class matches take place, the masses are spellbound by the television. When the Black Caps from New Zealand play an ODI in Bangladesh, it is a top-level game that appeals to the entire Asia-Pacific region. ODI, by the way, is a format for a tournament game. Such matches can run for as long as 9 hours. This means that on such days, it is better to do nothing else. Not every game runs that long, though.
Who are the most successful teams?
In the years from 1999 to the 2019 World Cup, it was mainly Australia that took the crown. A World Cup is played every four years. Australia had won the title four times. India managed to secure the World Cup once. And at the last World Cup in 2019, the English were once again able to celebrate – after a long time.