There is no denying that football (soccer) is the mode widespread and therefore the most played and favorite sport on the planet. The sheer amount of people who play it, watch it, bet on it, and support it is staggering. Practically every country has its own national league and/or cup, while international club and national team competitions draw millions of spectators. However, what about the other sports? Is there something that is a close second, and what sport it may be?
Could basketball with all of its stars be the second-most popular sport on the planet? Something individual like tennis perhaps? What about racing, fighting, extreme, and snow sports? No, not even close. The answer may surprise you, but it is cricket that is the second global sport. However crazy this may sound to you, there are plenty of good reasons why it is so. In this article, we explore why cricket is actually so popular, where it is played, and what makes it so interesting.
1. Geographical Spread
If you live in the West, you probably know nothing about cricket, with the exception of the UK. North America, South America, and most of all Europe never watch or follow the sport. The majority of Africa and some parts of Asia are also clueless. This leaves us with only a handful of countries where cricket is the number one sport. These countries include the UK, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and a few others. As you can see, it is the Commonwealth nations that make up the most cricket-friendly places in the world. If we take into consideration that India alone has over 1.5 billion people, the math alone shows us just how big the game truly is. Add to that the enthusiasts from the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and South Africa, as well as the fans from other countries and corners of the world who happen to like it, and you get closer to 2.5 or even 3 billion fans. A football sits at over 3.5 billion and it will hardly ever be beaten. Moreover, many of the top sports like American football, golf, baseball, volleyball, and table tennis are yet to cross the billion mark. Only basketball (over 2 billion), field hockey (2 billion), and tennis (1 billion) are somewhat close.
Just like with real sport, football is king when it comes to sports betting. This is largely due to the number of fans and enthusiasts all over the globe, as well as due to the intensive and thrilling matches between the greatest clubs, national teams, and players. Other sports are nowhere near as popular as football is, at least none other than cricket. Due to the numbers alone, it is again second-most popular. However, there is something else. People who do not really follow the sport also bet on it. Although they usually lose because they simply do not know enough, they continue to wager money on the outcomes of games in an effort to broaden their sports betting portfolio. This has made cricket gambling even bigger, and indirectly the sport itself too. The big national games between the world’s top teams have billions of fans at the edge of their seats, so naturally many of them opt to bet on their favorites and make things that much more interesting. In case you are looking to try your luck in cricket gambling, make sure to check out BettingKing. It is one of the best places to place a bet or two on this great sport.
3. Recognition and Development
Due to its initial popularity in recent decades, those in charge have recognized the potential of cricket and acted accordingly and appropriately. The biggest nations that love the sport are actively doing things to make it even bigger. Academies and schools are spouting in every major town and city, giving children a chance to start at a young age and develop a love for the sport. There is more than enough room in the sport as a whole for new teams and stars, so naturally, everyone strongly believes they can make it. Moreover, other countries are doing the same since the popularity is reaching new heights each year. Whenever something like this happens, the future is as bright as it can be. A similar thing took place in Africa with basketball, where former NBA players and other professionals recognized the potential kids have, and the love for the sport they feel. Now there are more African-born players in the major basketball leagues around the world than ever before. It is only a matter of time before the same takes place for cricket.
Without money and the right people noticing it, things can rarely succeed on their own. Due to the fame and glory of cricket, major corporations and brands have joined in on the fun and helped make the sport what it is today. Sports equipment companies, sports betting organizations, as well as big-name consumer brands from all industries are sponsoring and making deals with the individual players, national teams, and professional clubs. The formula that helped so many other sports and disciplines rise above the competition is working with cricket as well, cementing its position as the number two overall spot by popularity and fan base in the world. Since European and North American nations are crazier about sports in general, and by this, we mean following more sports and everything around them at the same time, they are far more likely to notice something if the brands and companies they know start investing and supporting it. And look at you now, reading and being interested in cricket while living in a country that has no active cricket players whatsoever. Who would have thought?
5. Still No Pressure
To finish things off, we have to mention the thing that always makes somewhat popular things attractive to millions, despite not being the model, classic choice. This would be the lack of pressure and competition to succeed in the sense that everyone is doing it. If you want something that is still in its infancy in most parts of the modern world, something that not everyone can or is willing to do, cricket is your thing. You will be as unique as they come and most people will envy you. Despite wondering why you chose it and not football or basketball, you will have earned their respect, whether it is actually playing or just watching, supporting, and betting.