Around the world, millions of people watch cricket every year. For a sport that’s seldom known outside of a few areas, cricket has amassed quite the dedicated following. Its viewership has been steadily rising meaning the future of the sport is looking bright. With so many other great pastimes available, what is it about cricket that keeps its fans coming back? Let’s compare cricket to some other massive sports and see why cricket fans prefer the game over any other.
Compared to Other Sports
Cricket is by no definition a new sport as the origins of the game go back hundreds of years to as early as the mid 1500s. While other sports like football have reached an ever bigger audience, cricket demonstrates that it has lasting potential. It has also somehow managed to stay relevant without changing up its rules or pacing to appeal to the modern day crowd.
Even in a sport like football that has been around for hundreds of years in its own right, there are still new changes taking place. Expected goals or xG has become a somewhat controversial trend. Though xG is a relatively new addition to football, it has quickly become a big factor, especially for fantasy football players. It’s clear that we are still pushing football to the limit to make it more exciting and build it up even more. The cricket world is unconcerned with such things, we are happy with the sport as it is and are more interested in retaining the qualities that make it great.
In a world that is growing obsessed with bigger spectacles, faster technology and more flashy events, cricket stays true to its roots. Many high-adrenaline sports are continuously taking off, like Mixed Martial Arts, Motorsports, and others, but we prefer the leisurely pace that cricket provides.
So What Makes Cricket Stand Out?
When you compare the game of cricket to the many others out there, you can easily see that cricket stands alone. With such a rich history that spans centuries, there have been plenty of incredible moments that will never be forgotten. There is no other sport like cricket around and the unique characteristics of it are precisely why fans can’t get enough.
First there is the unique playstyle involved. Cricket is a slow-paced game that leaves a lot of time for strategy and discussion. Surprisingly, there is a lot of depth and tactics involved which means that for fans, the more you learn about the game the more you enjoy it. It also has its own language meaning that to really understand it, you have to dive deep in the game. Casual onlookers may not get it immediately but that just adds to the fun.
Other sports may be finished in just an hour or two whereas cricket is an all-day and multi-day affair. American football for instance lasts a few hours each game, but then the next match won’t be for a full week! Cricket keeps the fans engaged and satisfied. There is also the very unique culture of the cricket buffet. English tea breaks are just part of the tradition that cricket strives to keep alive. Many players enjoy the regular snack breaks during the cricket matches.
In most sports, an athlete’s prime is in their mid 20s and oftentimes they are retired by their mid 30s. Cricket is also unique because the average player can continue right on into their 40s, 50s or even longer. This is amazing to watch as a cricket fan because you feel like you are growing older with these players and the storylines keep going. What other sport can say the same?
The Cricket World is Dedicated
Not everyone may be into this phenomenal pastime but that’s ok. Cricket has more than enough fans to keep it going for quite a long time. Sports like baseball have been reporting dwindling numbers for decades, but it seems like cricket just keeps on getting better. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 reported the most viewers ever for the sport, reaching 1.6 billion reviewers worldwide. That is sensational. For further evidence, you can look to the women’s cricket world. The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 reached over 1.1 billion viewers around the world, breaking records in the process as one of the most watched women’s sporting events of all time. This just goes to show that cricket doesn’t need to change for anyone as our sport is perfect just how it is.