ricket is 2nd Most Popular Sport in the World with 2-3 billion fans (Across India, UK, Pakistan, Asia, Australia, etc.
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on a field at the center of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. The two competing teams take turns to bat, attempting to score runs. While one team is batting, the other team fields. Each turn is known as an innings. Cricket has three different formats i.e. Test, ODIs, and T20. After the introduction of the T20 format, the popularity of cricket has been increasing drastically. Cricket is very popular in India, Pakistan, Australia, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, West Indies, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe.
Global Fan Base and Audience: The fan base of Cricket is limited to some countries. It is not a major sport in the US, most of Europe and Africa. However, some of the biggest countries in the world play this sport. Overall, with about 2 to 3 billion fans, cricket has the 2nd highest number of fans in the world.
Viewership on TV: Cricket is the most-watched sport in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, and Australia. It is one of the most-watched sports in the UK. About 2.2 Billion people from around the world watched the Cricket World Cup 2015 on their televisions.
TV Rights Deals: ICC which is the global body for world cricket grosses hundreds of millions of dollars for the TV rights deals of its major tournaments like the ICC T20 World Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup (50 Overs), and ICC Champions Trophy. The TV rights for the bilateral series among different countries are also worth hundreds of millions of dollars in many cases.
Popularity on the Internet: Cricket has seen increased popularity on the Internet over the years. The number of cricket related searches is increasing day by day. This is partly due to the fact that more and more people are getting access to the Internet in developing countries where cricket is famous, for example in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India. Another reason for the growing popularity of cricket is the fact that the game itself becomes popular in other parts of the world.
Presence on Social Media: The presence of Cricket on social media is confined to the countries where it is played. For example, in India, cricket related pages and social media profiles enjoy the highest number of following. The famous cricket stars from around the world are quite popular on social media as well. But this popularity is restricted to cricket playing countries only.
The number of Professional Leagues in the World: This is one area where cricket lags behind some other sports in the world. With only about 15 countries having cricket as a major sport, the number of professional leagues in the world is also limited to these countries. The league system is relatively new to cricket but it is growing in popularity. IPL the Indian Premier League is one of the top leagues of any sport in the world and it was launched only a few years ago. Big Bash in Australia is another major league of cricket. More and more countries are slowly developing their cricket leagues and the number of professional leagues is likely to increase in the near future.
Average Salary of Athletes in the Top Leagues: The average salary of players in the top leagues of cricket is in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Although these numbers are nowhere near that of soccer, they are pretty good for a sport that is still developing and evolving.
Sponsorship Deals: Cricket stars and cricket teams enjoy some pretty handsome sponsorship deals from major brands, this is particularly the case in India, Pakistan, the UK, and Australia.
Number of Countries in Which the Sport is Popular: Although cricket is popular only in about 15 to 20 countries, the population of these countries alone is close to 2 billion. The sport is gaining popularity in other countries of the world as well.
Biggest Competition: The biggest competition of Cricket is the ICC Cricket World Cup that is held every 4 years. Billions of fans from around the world gear up to see this festival of sixes and fours. ICC T20 World Cup is also gaining momentum and this World Cup of the shorter format of the game is held every 2 years.
Relevancy Throughout the Year: The game is relevant almost throughout the year, as different countries keep competing against each other in the bilateral series. However, the relevance of the sport skyrockets during the major competitions.
Gender Equality: Like all other sports, the male version of the sport is more popular than the female version. But the ICC has taken steps to bring women cricket into the mainstream. And many countries have developed their women’s cricket teams. With international competitions, women’s cricket is expected to see the rise in its popularity.
Access to the General Public: When it comes to access to the general public, cricket is definitely among the top sports. Requiring a bat, a ball and wickets, you can see young boys play this exciting game in the streets of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and South Africa. The abundance of cricket grounds in countries like New Zealand, Australia, and the UK has made it easy for the public in these countries to play and enjoy this magnificent sport.
The number of Amateur Players in The World: There are hundreds of thousands of amateur players of the game in the cricket playing nations.
The prominence of the sport in sports headlines on print and electronic media: The prominence of cricket in sports headlines on different media outlets varies a great deal from country to country. For example, in the cricket playing nations like India, Pakistan, Australia, and New Zealand, cricketing news is the most prominent news out there and in non-cricket playing nations like Germany and the US, it would be hard for you to find any cricket related news.