Cricket is a sport that is quite old with its original appearance in the early 16th century in England but became an international sport in the 19th century. The expanding British Empire spread throughout the world, causing the game to be popular among former British Colonies worldwide.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) has over 100 member countries that play the game. Still, only 12 are recognized as full members, with England, Australia, and South Africa being the grand patriarchs. Due to its popularity, it may come as a surprise that many countries regarded as great sporting icons don’t play cricket. So, what are these countries?
Famous countries that do not play cricket include Russia, China, Switzerland, Japan, Spain, Brazil, Germany, France, and Belgium, among others. Some of these countries may play cricket, but other ball-playing games undermine their fame and strength within these countries.
What Are The Countries That Do Play Cricket?
There are very few countries that take cricket very seriously. By serious, I mean like “a game’s going on, and all your neighbors are gathered to watch” kind of serious. These countries were formerly known as Full Member countries of the ICC.
They have all the privileges attached to them, including voting rights during meetings and a full-time qualification at One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20s (T20s). The countries that play cricket are:
- South Africa
- New Zealand
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies
In India, this game draws a lot of crowds like you have never seen before. I’m talking about sold-out tickets to games, billboards, high sales of cricket merchandise, lots of traffic at stadiums, and enthusiastic fans in great numbers. It is the single most popular game in the whole of India.
Furthermore, these countries can be ranked according to the strength of their national representative teams. Though England is the founder, over time, other countries have developed their tactics and strategies in the game.
With this, New Zealand stands as the top dog in this division as both men and women categories have the highest ICC ratings.
What are the various Versions of Cricket?
Cricket is a sport with various forms and, as such, is graded in order of importance of the game’s competitions. These forms are:
- Test match/cricket is a game variant ranked as the game’s highest completion with great standards. It is called a Test match because it is a game that involves a four innings match between two teams that lasts for five days which certifies the strength and endurance of each team.
- Limited Overs Cricket AKA One Day Cricket is a type of cricket played and completed in a single day. A LOC game could either be a List A match, an 8 hours’ game, or a Twenty20 match, which is set for 3 hours. This is often fitting for the fans as it encourages healthy competition with intense endings.
- Single Wicket Cricket is also one of the versions of cricket between two persons, with each taking a turn to bowl at each other with a team of fielders at the disposal of the bowler amongst the two. This form was usually played early on by people of high status.
Is Cricket Played During the Olympics?
From earlier on, I bet you’ve known that cricket is a great game (and long), but it’s not very popular in many countries. It is to that note that the game has not been received by the Olympic Committee to be featured as one of its games.
However, the game had once been featured in the Olympics back in 1900, but it has been scrapped out because it had very few participants although, the ICC has made it clear that they intend to make cricket be played in the Olympics once more.
Why is Cricket not as Popular as other Sports?
Cricket, for one, is a very enticing sport. There’s a lot to keep you glued to your seat during a game, from the innings to the overs to the runs. But unfortunately, there are a good number of reasons why this great game is not very popular as other games around the world.
One of them is that cricket needs to be played in a relatively dry condition, unlike soccer and American football. Cricket equipment is way too fragile to be treated carelessly, as a little bit of moisture can ruin them almost instantly. Playing the game on a wet surface or as little as using a wet ball during bowling can cause damage to the cricket bat, most especially.
Not only is cricket material hard to come by and damage easily with little moisture, but they are also really expensive. Last I checked, the (SS Retro Classic Max Power English Willow Cricket Bat) costs over $200 on Amazon. That’s quite a lot of money just for a cricket bat.
Another factor causing the game not to be globally entertaining is the rules. Anyone who has never watched a cricket match can’t just walk into a stadium and intend to understand everything in just a day. Cricket as a game is one of the most complicated to comprehend. Also, the laws are quite too many to keep up with.
And finally, no one likes to watch a game where the winner is very much ascertained before the game even gets to start. The big teams always tend to win most of the games and cups. Australia, for one, has bagged three Cricket World Cups in the last decade and destroyed every other team in their path on the way to the top. Many prospective fans would prefer it if the matches were more intense, with nail-biting endings to every game.
My Favorite Cricket Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite cricket equipment that I think you’ll like!
- Bat: My favorite cricket bat is the SS Kashmir Willow Cricket Bat, perfect for leather balls, beginners, and intermediate players. I’m not a competitive cricket player, so this affordable yet fantastic bat gets the job done. The best things about it are the blade size, weight, durability, and overall feel.
- Cricket balls: Pro Impact Cricket Balls are the creme of cricket balls. These balls are even fit for professional cricket matches, so the quality is incredible. For intermediate and better players, these balls are great. However, a traditional leather cricket ball may be hard to play for beginners and juniors. That’s why balls such as Nivia Hard Tennis Balls are made for cricket.
- Cricket shoes: Are you tired of focusing on your every step and fearing which step you will slip? When using the Kookaburra Pro 300 Cricket Shoes, you can forget all of that. These shoes are comfortable and slip-resistant; however, they won’t slow your movement on the field.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.