Cricket Has Over 1 Billion Fans Worldwide: Report

Cricket’s first global market research has been conducted by Nielsen Sports. It comprises over 19,000 interviews around the world including over 6,600 in-depth interviews with cricket fans aged 16 to 69 years.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) today unveiled the results of the largest ever market research project into the sport.

The report reveals that cricket has over one billion fans (in the surveyed age category of 16-69) globally, the average age of which is 34 with a demographic breakdown of 61% male and 39% female.

The research was undertaken to enable the ICC and its Members to understand the growth potential of cricket, help shape the development of the growth focused global strategy for the game, drive decision making and to provide a benchmark upon which to measure the outcomes of the strategy.


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It also supports the ICC and its Members in shaping and implementing their fan engagement strategies and clearly presents cricket as a vibrant and popular sport globally.

Key Points of the Research

  • The average age of a cricket fan is 34 years
  • 39% of fans are women and girls
  • More than 300 million participants

The breakdown of cricket’s three different formats in the research showed two-thirds of fans over the age of 16 who were interviewed are interested in all three international formats of the game. The importance and popularity of ICC global events was evident with 95% of fans interested or very interested, with the ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC World T20 the most popular.

The women’s game continues to gain momentum and on the back of the game-changing ICC Women’s World Cup, two-thirds of cricket fans are interested in women’s cricket (68%) and the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup (65%) – in addition, 70% of fans want to see more live coverage of women’s cricket.

Close to 70% fans are interested in Test cricket with fans in England & Wales showing the strongest interest in this format (86%), South Africa lead the interest in ODI cricket (91%) and Pakistan in T20I cricket (98%). Globally, T20I is the most popular format with 92% interest whilst ODIs are close with 88% interest.

The research highlighted that cricket has a significant growth potential in both traditional and non-traditional markets. The ICC will use the insight to guide decision-making and its approach to growing fans and participants in cricket.

The research study also identified more than 300 million active participants over the age of 16, ranging from occasional social players to the elite level; this number is likely to grow significantly if under 16s are counted. These participants highlighted the fun and sociability of the sport as well as the health benefits.

The World of Cricket - Global Market Research
The World of Cricket – Global Market Research

The main motivators for sports followers who are not currently interested in cricket include a better understanding of the cricket calendar and making it an easier sport to follow, which is being addressed in the global strategy for cricket currently being shaped across the sport.

Fans were also asked about cricket and the Olympic Games with 87% of fans claiming they would like to see Twenty20 cricket in the Olympic Games.

Sports Analyst & Head of Sports Desk.

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