Cricket is a widely popular sport mostly associated with the UK and countries that were at some point under British rule. This year, the Cricket World Cup includes some unlikely teams. Afghanistan for one, a team made up of Afghanis and Pakistanis, made its debut onto the world stage this year. While their fight is off to a rocky start with a loss to Bangladesh, another strong team, Afghanistan, and other countries are here to make their name known in the cricket world.
Cricket is most popular in the Commonwealth of Nations, but players can find leagues in Europe and many countries across the globe. When Britain’s empire expanded, its culture was spread throughout the world in many forms including food, language, and sports such as cricket. The sport has been around since the 16th century with international matches played since 1844.
For Americans and Canadians, cricket seems like a different version of baseball and the sport is not very popular in North America. However, the sport may have been created by kids playing with a ball and a bat or plank long before baseball was invented. Once England began expanding its empire, the game grew in popularity as well. It reached North America before it even reached northern England in the 17th century. In every country that England entered from there on out, cricket was not far behind.
This year’s World Cup has two pools. In Pool A: New Zealand, Australia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, England, and Scotland. Pool B: India, South Africa, Ireland, UAE, West Indies, Zimbabwe, and Pakistan. With the first round of group play over, there are still many more games to be played, and the quarterfinals will not be held until mid to late March. Cricket is a sport that can be played for hours or days, making it one of the longest playing times of any sports match. But long match durations do not keep viewers away! An average world cup match may have millions of viewers. When Pakistan and India faced off last week, over a billion people tuned in to watch, making it one of the highest watch sporting events ever. Cricket may be a complicated sport, but it is clearly growing and here to stay.
For more information on the Cricket World Cup, visit the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 website: http://www.icc-cricket.com/cricket-world-cup