For nearly five centuries now, cricket as a sport, involves predominantly the Commonwealth countries, which translates into roughly 1/3 of the world’s total population. But even if we are talking about cricket’s popularity in such a big part of the entire population, we are still seeing the game be confined to the geography of the former British empire, with minimal and in some cases non-existent expansion outside the specific countries.
Leading cricket nations such as India, England, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, New Zealand and Caribbean islands are the powerhouses of the sport. The ICC boasts a surge in the popularity of cricket games, especially as the sport is now expanding in the United States, picking up on the fertile grounds for cricket growth.
But even if there is such a surge in cricket’s popularity outside the Commonwealth countries, there is still a long way to go until we can say that cricket is truly a global game.
For nearly everyone who loves the sport and for every fan who also loves to wager on cricket games especially on attractive betting markets offered by online betting sites in Bangladesh -including every Bangladeshi betting site bkash-, cricket is in need of promotion and widespread access. If the ICC, cricket itself and its fans want it to become global, then it should go about this by growing in popularity. It is the only way to achieve what everybody involved in cricket has been dreaming about since forever: to make it a global sport.
While there have been several attempts and initiatives, there are two factors that appear now to have a strong power in making cricket a global game. These two are the emerging dominant format of cricket, Twenty20 and the inclusion of cricket in the next Olympic Games that are going to take place in Los Angeles in 2028.
Let’s see how each of these two factors are going to push cricket outside the Commonwealth boundaries and make it more widespread and accessible than ever.
Twenty20 cricket driving growth outside the traditional cricket nations
The Twenty20 format of cricket is not new. In fact it has been around for nearly two decades now. In 2003 the first official T20 matches were played between English countries in the Twenty20 Cup and since then they have been an absolute success, recording tremendous growth in both the traditional cricket nations and in relatively-new-to-cricket countries.
Twenty20 cricket addresses those who want to see more action, greater speed and more ‘condensed’ games than the admittedly, often exhaustive, long versions of the classic cricket matches.
This shortest and more exciting version of cricket began to have strong supporters all across the cricketing world and helped the sport get out of the confines of the Commonwealth nations.
And what has helped a lot in making cricket more popular across various parts of the world is the development of famous T20 leagues such as the Indian Premier League, the BigBash League and the Bangladesh Premier League which generate global attention.
The LA 2028 Olympic Games
Besides the fact that Twenty20 makes cricket far more accessible and interesting for countries which don’t have a cricket tradition, another thing that is expected to boost the sport’s popularity in the forthcoming years is the LA 2028 Olympic Games.
Ever since the LA28 Committee proposed cricket for inclusion in the official games and the IOC announced its affirmative decision, the hopes for getting cricket globally have been really high. The Olympic Games are about to take cricket worldwide and have everyone in this world get a glimpse of this magnificent sport.
Cricket is going to be watched by literally the entire planet and will get access to the homes of billions and billions of people who are going to watch the Olympic Games. And this is expected to drive an insane popularity in the sport that involves nearly one third of the global population, but it still isn’t global! The effects of the IOC’s announcement have already started to be feld and the growing popularity has already started to happen!
With such an anticipated growth in cricket’s popularity, it is forecasted that cricket will began its journey outside the Commonwealth countries and will become a dominant sport in many non-traditional cricket nations.