How Cricket World Cup became popular in India
Cricket World Cup popularity
Is Cricket World Cup gaining popularity now?
Cricket World Cup has been always popular in Commonwealth countries, but now Cricket World Cup is gaining popularity since it is the second most televised event in the World and the first one televised in India.
Cricket World Cup is held every four years, being the premier tournament premier contest in one-day cricket and one of the most-watched sporting events in the world. According to historians, England had hosted the first Cricket World Cup in 1975:
“The first Cricket World Cup was contested in England as a series of one-day matches of 60 overs per side in 1975. It was held outside England, in India and Pakistan, for the first time in 1987. The 1987 contest also saw the number of overs per side reduced to 50”, historians say.
Around history, the Australians has got the most winning Cricket World Cup numbers. In 2007, Australian team became the first one to get three consecutive World Cup competitions. Since then, Australia’s team has been considered one of the best ones around the world.
Currently, Cricket World Cup is turning more popular as many cricket fans number is increasing through the time. Now, you can see people from Latin American and other Western regions becoming cricket fans, even this is not a popular sport in most of countries from the West.
If you live in India, maybe you are wondering why cricket is turning popular in America, but what happens is that globalization lets people from diverse countries and cultures be familiarized with cricket and other Indian cultural features.
Therefore, the next Cricket World Cup, which will be held in 2023, might have better ratings than other editions. On the other hand, since people are getting more familiarized with streaming platforms, the next Cricket World Cup might increase its audience and it will let cricket gain more popularity as we mentioned before.
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How did the Cricket World Cup become popular in India and around the World?
Before checking out the history of Cricket World Cup, it is important to talk about the cricket origins to understand it in a better way. Although there are records of cricket dating back centuries, the actual origins of the game are rather vague.
According to diverse sources, historians disagree on the details, but it is often believed that cricket originated from an ancient pastime played by English shepherds as historians consider that they used their crooks to hit a stone or wool ball.
The origin of cricket is in England, but there is not an exact date. According to experts, there is a theory about cricket beginnings. Experts say that children from a community between Kent and Sussex could invent the sport in the Middle Ages.
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Moreover, there is evidence of a similar sport played by Prince Edward of Navenden in 1300 as "creag”. Until 1550, it was played in some schools and later: “The earliest evidence of cricket dates to 1550 when a game was played by pupils at the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, England. The next record of the game dates to 1598 when cricket was included in Florio's Italian-English dictionary”, media sources say.
In 1611, Randle Cotgrave's French-English dictionary used the word "cricket staff" as a translation of the French word "crosse". At the same time, there is a story about how two young men from Sussex, England, were punished for playing cricket instead of going to church right then.
However, some type of cricket games was gaining popularity in the mid-16th century. The first recorded match was almost a century later, in 1646. The match was played at Coxheath in Kent, England. Consequently, cricket spread throughout southern England during the seventeenth century, where it was played with 11 players per team.
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Even though, nobody knows the exact day when cricket became popular in other countries, but we know that the British brought cricket to India in the early 18th century. The first game in India was played in 1721. By the end of the 18th century, cricket spread everywhere due to England's imperialism.
Right then, it was already the national sport of the country and founded the Middlesex County Club (MCC), which established the rules and supervised the game until 1969. Subsequently, some changes were introduced, Therefore, the first Cricket World Cup was held in 1975. Today, cricket is a very popular game in the countries that adopted it, but not so much in the rest of the world.
History of the Cricket World Cup
As mentioned previously, the first international match in the history of cricket took place in 1844 between Canada and the United States. In 1877, the match, considered the first Test match in history, took place between Australia and England.
Years later, England, Australia, and South Africa had organized the Triangular Tournament in 1912, but it was a failure. “For decades, it was the only high-level multilateral competition: international cricket usually revolves around bilateral tours that include series of test matches. The duration of these matches, three to five days, makes it impossible to imagine a large-scale multinational competition”, experts say.
In the 1960s, clubs in England had sought new revenue. Some of them competed in the Midlands Knock-Out Cup in 1962, when were completed in one day and teams had only one round, limited in number of shots to score. The official Gillette Cup followed in 1963.
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The format spread to other countries. In 1971, Australia and England organized a one-day match in the middle of a series of test matches: it was the first One-day International (ODI) in history. Each team has forty sets of pitches to accumulate runs. Other teams play similar matches in subsequent years. The format allows the International Cricket Conference to organize the first World Cup in 1975.
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First editions in England (1975-1983)
The International Cricket Conference organized the first World Cup in England in 1975. Eight international matches took part: England, Australia, India, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and a combined team, East Africa, representing Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.
According to cricket history, the semifinals and a final follow a group stage, where teams were divided into two groups of four. Each team has a round of sixty sets of pitches to score. At Lord's, West Indies captain Clive Lloyd receives the trophy from Prince Philip after completing a century in which his team won the game against the Australians by 17 runs.
The Australian media mogul Kerry Packer founded an unofficial cricket league, World Series Cricket (WSC) in 1977, and recruited some of the best players in the world, who were often dismissed from their selection.
The WSC ended in 1979, when an agreement was signed between Packer and the Australian federation, shortly before the second World Cup, which was again held in England. Despite the deal, Australia is depriving itself of former WSC participants. For the first time, a qualifying tournament is organized before this edition: the ICC Trophy.
“It allowed two national teams to join the six full ICC member nations in the tournament. As four years earlier, the West Indies won the final, this time against the hosts England, defeated by 92 runs. Right then, Viv Richards amassed 138 runs on his own, which let to get the victory”, some media sources say.
For the third time in a row, the tournament was hosted in England and sponsored by Prudential in 1983 with eight participants, including seven automatic qualifiers this time, Sri Lanka being one of the full members of the ICC since the previous year. To everyone's surprise, India beat the favorites and double champions, the West Indies, in the final.
The 1987 tournament was held in India and Pakistan, being the first time, the tournament is held outside England. Each team is entitled to 50 pitches (instead of the previous 60) to make the matches shorter due to the time difference with the Asian continent and allow Europeans to follow the competition more easily. Australia won the tournament for the first time against England by seven runs in the final.
The World Cup 1992 held in Australia and New Zealand introduced many changes to the game, such as the color of clothing, white balls, and night matches. South Africa participated for the first time in the competition due to the end of apartheid and its boycott.
Pakistan was beating England by 22 runs in the final. Then, the Cricket World Cup was held in India and Sri Lanka for the first time in 1996. During the tournament, Sri Lanka won after beating India at home in the semifinal. Then, Australia in the final by seven grounds in the final in Lahore.
Australian domination (1999-2007)
The event was held in England in 1999, where some matches were played in Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and the Netherlands. Australia dominated Pakistan in the final with 8 grounds. For the 2003 World Cup, the tournament is jointly organized by South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. Fourteen teams (instead of twelve) participate in the event.
Some events took place during the tournament such as Kenya's victories against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, the loss of New Zealand who refused to play against Kenya due to security conditions, which allowed Kenya to reach the semifinals. In the final, Australia beat India by 125 runs. For the 2007 edition, hosted in the West Indies sees another victory for Australia (taking their unbeaten streak to 29 straight World Cup matches) against Sri Lanka by 53 runs.
Organization and qualification through history
Full member nations of the International Cricket Council, ten in number since 2000, automatically qualify for the World Cup. These are the teams authorized to play Test matches: England, Australia, India, West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan (all full members before the first World Cup), Sri Lanka (full member since 1982), South Africa (since 1991 after a period of isolation), Zimbabwe (since 1992), Bangladesh (since 2000). The number of places allocated to other nations, known as "affiliated" or "associate" nations, varies from edition to edition.
The first edition of the ICC Trophy, in English ICC Trophy, a tournament reserved for "affiliated" and "associated" teams, was held in 1979. The finalists of the competition qualify for the 1979 World Cup.
Sri Lanka and Canada are the first two teams to benefit from this system. The ICC Trophy is organized before each World Cup. Its format and the number of qualifying places offered change according to the competitions.
After the 1996 World Cup, Kenya and Bangladesh were offered ex officio qualification for the following editions, with the aim of becoming full members of the ICC. If Bangladesh is successful in 2000, Kenya withdraws from this status in 2005 and therefore must go through the qualification tournament organized for the 2011 World Cup.
In 2009, the ICC Trophy was renamed ICC World Cup Qualifier. This competition is the final test of a set of tournaments, the World Cricket League (ICC World Cricket League), which has several divisions.
General chronology of Cricket and Cricket World Cup history
- ✔️ According to diverse sources, the name "Cricket" comes from the English word "Crick", which means the same thing: shepherd's patch; this was the shape of the first slightly curved bats of the 18th century.
- ✔️ In 1877, the first cricket match was held between England and Australia took place in the city of Melbourne, Australia.
- ✔️ The cricket bat is now flat, paddle-shaped, made of willow wood, 96 centimeters long and 10.8 centimeters wide, with a tubular handle.
- ✔️ India's Kapil Dev, a thrower, broke the record by knocking down 434 rakes in his 24 years of competition.
- ✔️ In the years 1978-1992 Allan Border of Australia posted 11, 174 editions.
- ✔️ The West Indies cricket team won the World Championships in 1975 and 1979.
Cricket has gained popularity in other countries due to the globalization. Even though, cricket has been always popular in Commonwealth countries like India, England, and Australia. On the other hand, we do not know the exact date when Cricket was invented, we just know that English people were who started playing cricket matches.
Nowadays, Cricket World Cup is the most important cricket tournament, and it will be held in 2023. So, let’s get ready to enjoy the greatest performances of cricket next year, when millions of people will have fun when watching the best of international cricket on the field!