Is Cricket a Global Game Indeed?
Recently the International Cricket Council has started a campaign named “Bigger Better Global Game”. The campaign is calculated for four sequent years, and enshrines the increasing popularity of cricket, which is believed to turn cricket into a truly global game with increased number of teams and fans. But aren’t the board of ICC too optimistic, and have they any reasons for making such claims on a day before the fair? Let’s take a closer look on the game of cricket and try to identify can it really be called a global game.
Cricket is in some ways similar to baseball and golf. As baseball it is bat-and-ball game, which implies competition between two teams, who try to score as may runs as possible. And just like golf cricket lack dynamics and requires patience and precision in movements; and it is also considered the gentleman’s game. Cricket is played on an oval-shaped field with a 22-yard long rectangular pitch in the middle of it. The run is scored when the batsman hits the ball and runs across the pitch without being dismissed by the 11 members of the opposite team.
Cricket comes from England, where it was known from the 16th century. During the expansion of the British Empire the Englishmen brought this game overseas. At the end of 18th century cricket became the national sport of England and were played in USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The period of the First World War became a Golden Age for cricket, as the list of European countries, India and New Zealand have joined the cricket community. However, even before the Second World War, the popularity of cricket eventually decreased.
Nowadays, the cricket community counts 9 Full Members and 6 Affiliate Members. It is notable that Great Britain is not included in any of the lists, neither is USA. The largest cricket championship – Twenty20 International – accommodates only 12 teams, and the total number of the players is slightly hither than 17,000, and some 2 billion viewers. The one and only time cricket was played on Olympics, was in 1900 in Paris on the Games of the II Olympiad. Since then the popularity of this game is constantly decreasing.
Now, can the ICC really call the game of cricket a “Global Game”? The answer was given in the previous paragraph. A total of 15 members in not “Global”, and the number of spectators comparable to the population of a single medium-sized city is not “Global” (for example, soccer is played in more than 200 countries and is watched by 720 billion people). As to me, the claims of the…