Cricket Web Team | 12:01am BST 18 October 2020
Cricket is Becoming a Popular Sport among the Brits
England, the land of the Queen, is known for its love of football more than any other sport. Interestingly enough, the United Kingdom boasts a vast array of activities for any sports fan to indulge in. Horse racing, rugby, combat sports, tennis, and of course football are but a few sports that locals get to enjoy while living in the UK. With that said, cricket has gained a lot of popularity over the years, much to the surprise of many, who historically viewed it as a boring sport, to say the least. It was perceived as a primitive version of baseball, a sport to be played among family members and friends, only. With time, the sport has changed age-old perceptions. Much like the history of bingo, it has come a long way, gaining popularity among children, and adults alike.
Let’s check out a few facts about Cricket in the UK.
Background of Cricket in the United Kingdom.
In England, cricket has become the major summer sport. Historically, across the world in England particularly, this game was played amongst children, primarily in short grassed areas. Adults didn’t get a taste of the game until the 17th century. Spectators found it a viable approach to making some money while betting. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the game took off when England faced off with Australia in a test match. Later on, in 1971, the first ODI took place against England and Australia.
Cricket has come a long way since its inception centuries ago. From using sticks and rags to make a bat and a ball, to international stardom and heavy betting of the same, it is quickly growing as a favorite among the Brits. Currently, England plays One Day Internationals and test matches. They are also involved in mainstream Cricket which revolves around what is commonly known as Twenty20 games.
The Elite Bring Life Support to the Game.
With time, cultured Britons brought life support to the game. Top-notch schools and distinguished gentlemen took on the sport, putting it in a class of its own. At some point during 2019, the game was on a downward spiral, and lobbyists were in a frenzy trying to figure out a way to revive the game. This cricket renaissance seems to have paid off, with the Prime Minister photographed at some point showcasing his batting talent (or lack of). Summer Games will be back on track again, much to the pleasure of fans everywhere, after it seemed football would overshadow the sport come July 2020. That being the case, lobbyists had found a way to bring life back to the game with a new form of play known as the Hundred.
Where do We Go from Here?
The last free to view Test game played in England took place in 2005. Revenues from television streams keep clubs running, and as Sky Sports continues to sequester the game, it is gaining even more popularity among Brits. Covid – 19 seemed sure to kill off any life cricket had in the UK. The Hundred is a condensed version of what fans know cricket to be, and it has now been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic. Part of the reason for the inception of this new form of play is the fact that the England Cricket Board felt the game needed resurrection. As much as it is popular in the nation, it seems to be falling behind among super sports like football and rugby. However, England did win the ICC Cricket world cup for 2019, so it’s clear that players aren’t losing the momentum, but more needs to be done in terms of leadership.
Teams making up a part of the ICC compete with a maximum of 20 overs. England participates in this competition and is part of 105 members. This tournament has become profoundly more popular than the ODI, or one-day internationals. With the current pandemic, all manner of moves are being made to bring the sport to fans at home, and online. Many are still nostalgic about the days of free-to-air cricket matches, but those are long gone. The game’s popularity doesn’t seem like it will die anytime soon, even with the likes of juggernauts like the Premier League and Rugby, in England.
To put it all into perspective, Cricket’s popularity can only be shown in numbers, and statistics don’t lie. Currently, England is ranked second in the world, right underneath Australia. These stats are cover ICC, Women’s Cricket, and Twenty20 rankings. Part of the downward spiral may have been due in part to Covid-19 in 2020, but the game is nowhere as far gone as some perceive it to be. Quite the contrary, it is picking up the pace after a few unexpected hiccups, promising punters and fans plenty of excitement to come.
Cricket isn’t going anywhere, at least not as far England is concerned. Once considered a village game, it quickly gained popularity among the elite and has since shot its way to the top of the most popular games in the country. Players like Ollie Pope continue to bring excitement to fans all over the world, virtually or on the ground. Notwithstanding Covid-19 and its restrictions, it is time, again, for players to batter up, game on.
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