Watched by over 2 billion people across the world and played by thousands in England alone, cricket is a fascinating and highly entertaining sport. Here are 25 stats and facts about cricket to prove it.
Cricket Statistics in the UK
1. Around 294 thousand adults in England play cricket every month.
The annual survey by Sport England reveals that the number of adults in England who play cricket on a monthly basis has reduced from 364,600 in 2016 to 294,000 in 2020. This figure, though, is a slight increase from the previous year when 292,200 English adults participated in the sport.
Currently, there are more than 3,000 cricket clubs in England and Wales that accept both male and female players.
2. Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world.
(Topend Sports) (Sport MR)
With an estimated 2.5 billion fans, cricket ranks second on the list of most popular sports. It is preceded only by football which has about 3.5 billion fans worldwide.
The situation is similar in the UK, where five million adults are very interested in the sport compared to a third of the population who said the same thing about football.
3. 80% of men in the UK follow cricket.
Cricket fans tend to be male and fall in the AB socio-economic grouping. Actually, 80% of UK men are cricket fans, and 35% are in the AB social class. Most of them (28%) are also over 65 years old.
4. Australia has won a total of 136 test matches in The Ashes.
This puts the team from down under at an advantage over the English, who have won a total of 108 test matches in this biennial cricket series.
Cricket legend Sir Don Bradman holds the record for most runs scored in this competition—5,028 runs in 63 Ashes innings at an average of almost 90. Another Australian player leads the way when it comes to all-time wickets taken at the Ashes—Shane Warne took 195 wickets across 36 Ashes matches.
IPL Stats and Facts
5. Generating $7 billion in revenue, the Indian Premier League is one of the richest sports leagues in the world.
Cricket accounts for nearly 85% of the Indian sports economy, with the IPL being the biggest contributor. Cricket generated revenue of $1.9 billion in India in 2019, 72% of which came from broadcasting, 20% from sponsorship and only 8% from matchday ticket sales.
6. The IPL was valued at $4.4 billion in 2020.
Media rights make up the lion’s share of income for the IPL. In fact, the average annual cost for IPL’s broadcasting rights is expected to amount to $510 million between 2018 and 2022. A total of 247 brands were advertised during the 2018 season, 18% of which were feature and smartphone brands.
7. Virat Kohli is the highest all-time run-scorer in the IPL, with 6,283 runs scored.
Judging by IPL records and stats, Kohli is followed by Delhi Capitals Shikar Dhawan with 5,784 runs scored and Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma with 5611.
Lasith Malinga, on the other hand, is the leading wicket-taker in the IPL as of November 2021, with 170 wickets.
8. Cricketers for the Mumbai Indians are the highest-paid in the IPL.
The average annual salary for a player of the Mumbai Indians reached $5.47 million in 2019. Royal Challengers Bangalore are second, with average earnings of $5.43 million the same year, and Kings XI Punjab are third with an average annual salary of $5.34 million.
Cricket Viewership and Attendance Statistics
9. The MCG holds the record for the biggest crowd for a single day of Test cricket.
91,112 people came to watch Australia vs England on Boxing Day in 2013—the largest crowd for a single day of Test cricket. The Melbourne Cricket Ground also holds the record for the biggest crowd for a cricket match (2015 World Cup Final with 93,013 visitors) and the largest crowd for a domestic cricket match (80,883 watched the Stars v Renegades in 2016).
Worldwide, an estimated 25.71 thousand people attended IPL games during the 2019 season.
10. The ECB’s new tournament, the Hundred, recorded a TV audience of 16.1 million viewers.
The total number of spectators for the women’s fixtures was 267,000, the highest ever for a women’s cricket match, cricket records and statistics reveal. Viewership numbers for the finals also peaked (2.4 million for the men’s game and 1.4 million for the women’s finals). Total video viewership for the tournament reached 34.3 million, while 510,000 tickets for the tournament were sold.
11. The CWC 2019 was the most-watched cricket event in history.
The CWC 2019 recorded a global cumulative average audience of 1.6 billion for live coverage and 706 million viewers as a unique broadcast audience. 41% of the unique audience was women, and 32% were between the ages of 18 and 34.
The event was also watched for a longer time, amassing 13.7 billion global viewing hours. The most-watched match was the one between India and Pakistan, with 273 million unique viewers and 50 million digital-only viewers.
12. 86,174 people came to watch the AUS Women vs IND Women Final 2019/20—the most attended women’s cricket match in history.
Women’s cricket is growing in popularity, which is reflected in both attendance figures and winnings from tournaments. The Australian women’s team won a prize pot of $1 million, which was allegedly equal to the winnings awarded to the men’s team. What’s more, the ladies will be playing for $3.5 million in 2022 for the 50 over format, a huge increase from the $660,000 the winning women’s team got in 2017.
Cricket World Cup Facts and Stats
13. Australia has won the Cricket World Cup five times.
In the 46 years since the first ICC Cricket World Cup first took place in England, the tournament has been held a total of 12 times. Australia tops the list of Cricket World Cup winners with five wins, followed by India and the West Indies with two wins each, and England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka—each of them has won the Cup once.
14. Amassing 673 runs in 11 matches, Sachin Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer in World Cup history.
In fact, there are only three players in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup who have scored more than 600 runs in one edition: Sachin Tendulkar (673 runs in the 2003 World Cup), Matthew Hayden (659 runs in 2007) and Shakib Al Hasan (606 runs in 2019).
15. The prize money pot of the 2019 CWC stood at $14 million.
The total prize money for the Cricket World Cup has gradually increased over the years, going up from just $4.5 million in 2003 to $14 million in 2019.
Cricket Betting Stats and Facts
16. The annual turnover of the legal cricket betting industry is a little under $3 billion.
However, the illegal cricket betting market is believed to be worth an incredible $150 billion in India. It is estimated that there are 140 million people in the country who bet on a regular basis and as many as 370 million who place wagers on major sports events like the IPL.
17. Cricket accounts for 1.86% of the GGY generated by online betting in the UK.
(The Gambling Commission)
It may not be as popular as football, which generates £1,128 in GGY, but cricket is fast becoming one of the most common sports to bet on in the UK. As a matter of fact, GGY from remote betting on cricket went up from £1,953 in April 2016/March 2017 to £2,330 in April 2019/Match 2020.
18. The UFDS detected suspicious activity in six cricket matches.
As betting on cricket grows in popularity, so do instances of match-fixing and corruption. In the first nine months of 2021 alone, the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS) found suspicious activity in 12 sports, including six cricket matches.
Cricket Players Statistics
19. Virat Kohli is the only cricket player on the Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in the world.
Earning a total of $26 million, Virat Kohli is 66th on the list of the highest-paid athletes in the world. The present captain of the Indian national cricket team and one of the best batsmen, Kohli makes $2 million in salary and $24 million in endorsement deals with companies like Google, Uber, Flipkart and Puma.
20. The leading wicket-taker of all time is Muttiah Muralitharan.
Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan, taking 800 wickets throughout his test career, is the leading wicket-taker as of August 2021. He is followed by former captain of the Australian national team Shane Warner (708 wickets taken) and England paceman James Anderson (620 wickets).
21. Shoaib Akhtar was the first bowler to break the 100mph barrier.
Nicknamed the Rawalpindi Express, the Pakistani paceman holds the record for the fastest ball bowled in international cricket at 161.3km/h. He achieved this feat in 2002, and his record has been unbroken ever since.
Just for comparison, the fastest pitch in baseball was recorded at 169.1 km/h (105.1 mph).
Fun Facts About Cricket
22. Cricket has only been played at the Summer Olympics once.
Although it was scheduled for the 1896 Athens Games, cricket was taken off the itinerary due to a lack of participants. Its official Olympic debut actually took place during the 1900 Paris Games. The only two countries that competed were Great Britain and France, with the former winning by 158 runs. Currently, a campaign is underway to put cricket back on the Olympic schedule in time for the 2028 games in Los Angeles.
23. The longest match ever lasted 9 days, test cricket records show.
(Guinness World Records)
The longest cricket match in history was played in Durban, South Africa, from 3 to 14 March 1939 between England and South Africa. Also known as “the timeless test”, the match lasted 43 hours and 16 minutes, eventually being cancelled because the English players’ ship was due to return.
24. In 2018, England became the first country to play 1,000 test matches.
(The News International)
England faced India in Birmingham in August 2018 and won the series with a score of 4:1.
On the same day, England completed 1,000 test matches, becoming the first country in 142-years of test cricket history to do so.
The Final Over
Cricket may be played in a handful of countries, but it is followed almost religiously, beating Leagues like the NFL and NBA to become the second most popular sport in the world.
Which stats and facts about cricket surprised you?
Let us know in the comments.
- Female Cricket
- Guinness World Records
- ICC Cricket
- ICC Cricket
- ICC Cricket
- India Today
- Insider Sport
- Sport MR
- The Gambling Commission
- The Guardian
- The News International
- Topend Sports