Cricket is a 180-year-old sport. The first game was played between the USA and Canada in 1844. Australia and England played the first-ever Test match in 1877. International Cricket Council (ICC) is the parent body that governs the game. There are a total of 104 member nations in the ICC. 92 of them are associate member nations and 12 of them are full member nations. Look out how many countries do not play cricket.
Here is the list of How many countries do not play cricket – Stumpsandbails
Associate member nations:
These 92 nations are all given the official status of playing T20I cricket. They have to play various qualification leagues to qualify for an ICC limited-overs tournament. Teams like Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Ireland, and Bangladesh were associate nations once. Sri Lanka especially has come up the ranks quite strongly in world cricket.
Poor representation in ICC tournaments:
But the sport that has been played since the 19th century hasn’t found a global following as compared to football. The fact that a FIFA World Cup sees 64 nations participating in the World Cup as compared to 16 nations maximum in T20 cricket World Cup. The number narrows, even more, when it comes to ICC ODI tournaments. ICC 2019 ODI World Cup saw just 10 teams compete. The representation is even worse in the Champions trophy where only 8 teams participate. Despite the best efforts of the ICC, the game has not been able to spread its wings across the globe.
The reason behind the game’s lack of popularity:
Global sports like Football have a universal following mainly owing to the game’s duration. A regular football match lasts for a maximum of 90 minutes. The audience is glued to the action right from the word go. Cricket on the other hand demands a lot of time from its viewers. The longest format of the game lasts for 5 days. ODI format lasts for 7 hours and a T20 match lasts for 3 hours. This is one of the prime reasons why, unlike football and hockey, cricket has failed to attract viewership and participation.
Countries that don’t play cricket:
It is a widely accepted notion that the Britishers gifted the game of cricket to the world. Hence the sport is primarily popular in the countries where the Britishers ruled. Australia, India, South Africa were all part of colonial rule. This is the reason why the sport has such a strong connection in these countries. On the other hand, nations like Russia, China, Switzerland, Japan, France have never taken the game seriously. The main reason behind their denial to follow the sport is their belief that cricket is a colonial sport. Hence except for England you hardly see any European nation being a strong cricketing force in the world.
Preference for Olympic sports:
China and Japan are two strong sporting nations. They attach prime importance to Olympic events. Their athletes keep churning out medals for one. Japan on the other hand is a strong football nation. They almost always qualify for the FIFA World Cups. The Korean nations also take the Olympic sport seriously. South Korea hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2002 along with Japan. These nations hardly pay attention to cricket. Spain is a homeland to many sporting icons but they hardly take interest in cricket. Brazil, Germany, Belgium, France, Argentina, and other football powerhouses don’t take cricket seriously.
It’s time ICC addressed this sheer lack of acceptance from the majority of the nations towards its game. The game will only be richer if it’s played across the globe. Cricket remains a beautiful game but it definitely needs a wider audience to embrace it.