Cricket is a sport that is played in teams, first mentioned during the 16th century in England, the country that gave the world many other sports, such as football and rugby. The first official game was played during the 19th century. Today, there are 104 countries in the Cricket International Federation, and the popularity of this game grows every year. The game is based on running, and on preventing the opponent from scoring. A cricket game can last up to five days, depending on the pace of the game. Cricket is something like the American baseball, but it has major differences.
Why is it so popular?
The reasons for the increasing popularity of this game are diverse. People play it at an international level, especially in the countries that formed the British Commonwealth. Unfortunately, it is not played on TV as much as it should, especially because the games are long. You can watch it on the sports dedicated channels, but also on national televisions when an important cricket event happens, such as the worldwide championship or the national leagues in England and India, where the game has huge levels of popularity.
The new cricket
Cricket was the game of English aristocracy. When it was first played, people didn’t rush to watch it, because of several reasons. First, it was a long game, and the players used to make it even longer. The players used to take long breaks, and sometimes, they played a few hours a day, just to start over again the next day. The true popularity of cricket came when the people of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan imported the game, and changed the rules, so it could be more alert. Today, it is a national sport and a phenomenon in the Eastern Asia countries, especially because of the modern rules that make the game thrilling and exciting.
The new version is named Twenty 20, being the official cricket version in India. The game lasts 20 rounds, which can be finished in less than one day. With such fixed playing intervals, televisions started to promote the game, and the sponsors also started to be interested about it. The English players are not so thrilled about this new cricket, because it somehow ruins the traditions of the game, but the new demands of commercial sport requested those rules. Even the Worldwide Championship is played under these rules, so the classical cricket is only played by the exclusive players.
A bright future
Cricket gains more and more adepts every year. The last World Cup benefited of a huge audience, a lot more than anticipated, so the 2014 World Cup, which will be held in Bangladesh, will surely have an immense success. Bangladesh is honored to host the cup, especially because cricket becomes a national anthem in this country also. It might be the Indian influence, but the Bangladeshi cricket has its own particularities. This only shows how popular the new shorter cricket will be, especially because the new rules really make a fast paced and entertaining game.