Cricket is the world’s second most popular sport, with about 3 billion followers. It has become an integral part of our lives; we live by it, or at least most of us do, and we can’t fathom our lives without it. It is quite dubious to assert that cricket is losing popularity.
But, even if we accept so, the answer would be extremely debatable and contingent on factors such as the game’s format, spectators, sold tickets, and fan base, to mention a few. However, there are a few hints that the magnificent game of cricket, particularly test matches and one-day internationals, is waning.
Back in those heady days of the late 1990s, it seemed more like a festival. That, too, appears to have faded over time. Who knows, perhaps this is a piece of solid evidence that people are losing interest in cricket?
In the last century, cricket has become more of a religion than a sport in the eyes of every cricket fan. It has become an inextricable part of every cricket fan’s life, but does cricket still possess the same allure? Is it a sport on the decline?
The Cricket Search
Cricket supporters were proud of the fact that the attendance in the 2015 World Cup finals in Australia was higher than the attendance at the FIFA World Cup finals in 2014. Following that, life as a cricket fan has not been easy, as other cricket nations such as Sri Lanka and Pakistan have experienced a decline in cricket. The Windies suffered their collapse long before 2015. To say the least, cricket-playing nations like Australia and New Zealand do not have a large population. Despite all of the rebuilding efforts, Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s fan bases have remained relatively stable. At the moment, it is Asian fans who are keeping cricket alive.
The game’s tv viewership has declined with the aid of using 40% in current years, to a weekly sixty-one gross score points (GRPs) in 2018, down from one zero five in 2008. The retirement of a number of stalwarts from other countries hasn’t helped matters either. Constantly contentious topics in sports have worked as a stumbling block, but despite this, supporters have managed to keep the sport alive by flocking in big numbers to watch events and engage in social media activities. Cricket has one of the highest levels of social media participation of any sport.
Is Cricket A Dying Sport?
In order to reply to the question, “Is cricket a weakening sport?” It is not dying, but rather developing. This development has resulted in a few changes, leading some to feel cricket is doomed. During the English summer, the barmy army from England alone keeps everyone occupied. Every year, the Boxing Day test match in Australia manages to fill the stadium to capacity. Despite the fact that India vs Pakistan matches are not common, they consistently attract a billion-plus audience. To sum up, while cricket is no longer as competitive as it once was, the intensity of the game has not diminished and is far from dying.
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The following are the primary reasons why cricket’s popularity is fading:
1.No legends left to watch
People grew up watching legends of the game including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Shane Warne, Kumar Sangakkara, Brett Lee, Malinga, Sehwag, Dravid, Yuvraj Singh, and others.
They began to retire one by one, and fans were unable to connect with the new players in the same way that they had with the classics.
2. Increase in the number of matches
People used to watch practically all of the matches when there were fewer of them. You now have numerous competitions running at the same time. It’s almost as though watching too much cricket is the same as watching none at all. People don’t have time to watch the full game; instead, they prefer to check the scores on mobile applications while they’re on the move. These technical advancements have influenced the quality of views as well as the degree of fanaticism.
3. Entertainment may be located at a click on of a button
On video platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, to mention a few, people now have access to considerably more engaging content. One of the reasons that young people are turning away from cricket is because of such interesting content.
4. To time-consuming for the fast-paced 20th century
Again, time is crucial; people are just too busy; they do not have time to watch a five-day test match ball-by-ball. People are more linked to T20 than other forms, according to the findings. They enjoy the T20 since it lasts only three hours.
5. All business, no sport
Cricket used to be a pure sport, but it’s now more of a business. This understanding also jeopardizes the competition’s reputation as well as the athletes’ integrity. Players are now auctioned off like commodities, with the true spirit of cricket, a sense of patriotism, taking a second seat.
6. Another rueful factor is match-fixing
Match-fixing is one of the primary causes of spectator depreciation, as shocking as it may appear. Unscrupulous practices are well-known in tournaments such as the IPL and PPL. Not only has match-fixing been accused, but it has also been intercepted and prosecuted.
7. It is relatively less difficult now to attain boundaries
The fours and sixes were entertaining since they only appeared once in a while. The batters are now swinging their bats like it’s gully cricket with every other delivery. People also expect that from the players. Perhaps cricket is no longer a sport, but rather something that people desire to witness. Everyone is slamming sixes, fours, and centuries. Perhaps the bowling is poor and the batter is favored by the rules.
Where are those nail-biting games with impossible-to-follow scores? Where are those bowlers who are delivering tight lines at breakneck speeds? To assist batters in scoring more boundaries, boundaries are shortened. It’s possible because borders appeal to the masses; more of them will result in more excitement, more viewers, and hence more money.
Cricket may appear to be increasing if we merely examine money, the number of cricket-playing nations, and new events. The genuine cricket spirit, on the other hand, has long since faded. It’s not quite accurate to state that cricket’s popularity is waning as a whole. Women’s cricket is also gaining popularity. The most-watched Women’s World Cup in 2019 is the finest illustration of this.
Today, recurrent boundaries are a common sight; they are no longer an exciting sight; they are a method for batters to stay relevant. Cricket is still one of the most popular sports in the world, and it is by far the most popular in India. Other sports, such as football, hockey, tennis, badminton, and Kabaddi, have just begun to make an impact with new leagues.
To cut a long tale short, it is true that cricket is losing its allure among the general public, albeit in part and not entirely. Perhaps even less so in India, but cricket is steadily dwindling in popularity throughout the world as other sports gain popularity.