Cricket Storms Ahead
The results of the largest ever market research project into cricket from the International Cricket Council shows that the interest in cricket in all its forms continues unabated, with over one billion fans globally.
A survey of 19,000 16-69 year olds, undertaken by Nielsen on behalf of the International Cricket Council (ICC), has revealed that the average age of cricket fans is 34, with a demographic breakdown of 61% male and 39% female. ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “It is the first global market research project ever undertaken in the sport and having more than one billion fans in the surveyed age category of 16-69 alone, with an average age of 34, is undoubtedly an exciting and strong position from which we can drive the sport forward.”
The women’s game continues to gain momentum and on the back of the game-changing ICC Women’s World Cup, two-thirds of cricket fans are interested in women’s cricket (68%) and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (65%) – in addition, 70% of fans want to see more live coverage of women’s cricket. Close to 70% of fans are interested in Test cricket with fans in England and Wales showing the strongest interest in this format (86%). South Africa leads the interest in One Day International (ODI) cricket (91%) and Pakistan in T20I cricket (98%). Globally, T20I is the most popular format with 92% interest whilst ODIs are close with 88% interest.
The research highlighted significant growth potential in both traditional and non-traditional markets and also identified more than 300 million active participants over the age of 16, ranging from occasional social players to the elite level. These participants highlighted the fun and sociability of the sport as well as the health benefits. The main motivators for sports fans who are not currently interested in cricket to become fans include a better understanding of the cricket calendar as well as making it an easier sport to follow, which is being addressed in the global strategy for cricket currently being shaped across the sport. “There are opportunities to grow in both our traditional markets, where the focus will be on attracting more women and girls, children and families, to the game, as well as non-traditional cricket playing nations where there is clearly both interest and opportunity,” said Richardson. “A global growth strategy for cricket is currently being developed and this research is a significant cornerstone of that, guiding our decision making and providing us with a benchmark to measure progress as we look to drive long-term growth of the game.”
The Women’s World T20 2018
The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2018 is being held in the West Indies from 9-24 November. England’s reigning ICC Women’s World Cup winners will be determined to keep their heads held high as they take on nine other teams in the tournament, including three-time champions Australia and defending champions the Windies. “We’re really excited about the World T20 in the Caribbean,” said England Captain Heather Knight. “It’s an amazing chance to become double world champions but we have a lot of hard work to do first. We showed in India in our tri-series that we’re capable of playing very good T20 cricket but we need to keep improving as a side and add more consistency to our game.”
Defending champions the W. Indies are in Group A along with England, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Qualifier 1 from the Netherlands event, while Australia, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Qualifier 2 will be in Group B. The event kicks off at the Guyana National Stadium, starting with India and New Zealand. In the second match, Australia will play Pakistan and the Windies round off the day playing Qualifier 1 under lights. This venue will also host matches between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on 11 November and trans-Tasman adversaries Australia and New Zealand two days later. The Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia will be the other venue for the group stage with the first match there pitting England against Sri Lanka on 10 November, while the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua will host both semifinals on 22 November and the final on 24 November.
ICC Women’s World T20 Tournament Director, Jennifer Nero said: “I want to urge the fans to come out and see the best players in the modern game. Women’s cricket is growing at a rapid rate as we saw from last year’s ICC Women’s World Cup in England, and teams are getting stronger. Here in the West Indies, we are committed to playing a major role in the continued growth and development of the sport. We want to invite the cricket world to be part of this exhilarating world-class event on and off the field.” All 23 matches will be broadcast live and the Decision Review System (DRS) will be used for the first time in any ICC World Twenty20 event.
And there’s more – 2019
Next summer sees both an ICC Cricket World Cup and an Ashes Series, so a season to savour for all cricket fans. “It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to build an even bigger following for all formats of the game,” said ECB CEO Tom Harrison. “There is nothing more important to England cricket fans than an Ashes Series. With the added element of being England’s first Test series in the new World Test Championship, it’s a hugely exciting prospect and we anticipate unprecedented demand for tickets.
Ashes tickets Each of the host venues of The Specsavers Ashes Series will run a public ballot for tickets. Visit https://www.ecb.co.uk
The 2019 World Cup Hosted in England and Wales, the 2019 World Cup sees 10 teams in a round robin group stage, followed by the semi-finals and final.