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Having originated in 16th century England, cricket can stake a pretty good claim to being the oldest sport still played today. While it doesn’t have the same global reach as other sports like football, and when they play this sport, the country loves cricket. Whether it is T20 or test cricket, the appetite for the sport in places like India, the UK, and Australia is undeniable.
Which Country Loves Cricket The Most?
There have been numerous high-profile events in the cricket world in recent years, most notably England’s remarkable comeback during the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Spectators across the globe are also itching to see more of the recently launched World Test Championship, a competition that has been going since 2021.
World cricket championships are extremely exciting, especially for fans used to watching the Indian Premier League (IPL) or ECB Premier League. There is nothing like watching your favorite cricket players strut their stuff on the world stage, especially if they’re in the same form as cricketers like Ben Stokes. All this international cricket talk got us thinking: what countries love cricket the most? Keep reading to find out.
A History of Cricket
To get a proper grasp of the countries most in love with the sport, we’ll have to delve into the history of cricket before looking at modern examples. Amazingly, cricket has been played in some shape or form since the 16th century. Historians tend to agree that shepherds were the first to play cricket. The name comes from the Anglo-Saxon “cricc”, the word used to describe a shepherd’s staff. As a result, people think the first cricket players were shepherds using their staffs as bats.
Another common hypothesis is that cricket originated as a children’s game in the same sports family as hockey. Regardless, by the 17th-century, cricket was played extensively in local English parishes. There are several recorded examples of cricket matches in the late 1600s, with a particularly notable event taking place in Sussex in 1697.
Cricket became England’s de facto national sport in the 18th century and saw a wholesale set of developments. Several dedicated cricket grounds were built during this time, and British colonizers also brought the sport to places like India and the Caribbean. Later on, in the 19th century, rules were changed to allow overarm bowling in place of underarm bowling, a significant development in the sport.
1844 saw the first ever international game of cricket played between the USA and Canada. Soon after, an English team went on their first North American tour before reaching Australia in 1862. This paved the way for the first proper cricket Test match between England and Australia in 1876-77. The subsequent rivalry is what we all now know as “the Ashes”.
Nowadays, cricket is huge across numerous countries, especially in the Commonwealth. The rules have mainly stayed the same, although new limited-overs contests like T20 matches are getting more common.
Country With Rich Cricket Heritage
That’s a whistle-stop tour of cricket history out of the way. Now let’s take a look at the countries with rich cricket heritage:
Cricket first came to India due to British colonialism, but it quickly adopted the sport as its own. These days it’s massively popular, with the IPL being the most attended cricket league in the world.
Spectators gather across the country to watch IPL matches. It also recently started streaming on YouTube, so people can watch from home anywhere in the world. Although simply watching IPL cricket is enough, many sports fans love to place wagers at the same time. Cricket is by far the most wagered on sport in India, especially when the national team is involved. There are several types of bets to enjoy, from simple wagers on who will win to more complex ones involving individual players and their scores. The best sports betting sites in India offer ample choice regarding cricket matches, whether in India or further afield. These platforms are also hugely informative, helping bettors understand the basics and how to hone their betting strategy. Of course, sports betting isn’t for everyone, so check out Indian fantasy cricket platforms for a free way to intensify the fun.
Of course, the UK has a rich cricket heritage: it’s the country that invented it. You can really see the traces of empire in the way cricket has spread across the world, with almost all countries that play it today being part of the British Empire at some point.
Cricket is widely regarded as the Australian national sport, especially during the summer. Almost two million Australians play cricket yearly, and far more love watching it. In fact, more than 90% of Australians say they’ve watched the sport at some point in the last year!