Greek philosopher Heraclitus penned a now famous phrase, “Change is the only constant in life, ” and well, it seems that the Cricket World Cup (CWC) formats took this quote a little too seriously.
Group stage, round-robin, Super Sixes, Super Eights, knockouts—you name it, the format has been experimented with.
History Repeats Itself
From an 8-team event (1975, 1979), the CWC gradually grew to nine teams (1992), then 12 (1996, 1999), 14-teams (2003), and finally reached its inflection point with 16 teams in the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
The 2007 iteration was poorly received for various reasons, but one of the fallouts was halting the gradual expansion of Associate nations in World Cups. With genuine upsets from Ireland & Bangladesh against Pakistan, India, and later South Africa, the ICC lost a major chunk of funding.
2011 & 2015 World Cups went back to the ‘90s formats with an elongated 14-team event, while the 10-team 2019 & 2023 events have revived the 1992 round-robin structure, providing as much game time (and hence, financial stability) for the big teams.
If It Is Broke, Fix It
The change of management has done wonders for the ICC—reducing the power of the Big 3, promoting the idea of cricket in the Olympics, and expanding the game with coordinated World Cups with a blockbuster World Cup schedule for the next decade:
Men’s ODI World Cup & Women’s ODI Champions Trophy (2023, 2027, 2031)
Women’s ODI World Cup & Men’s Champions Trophy (2025, 2029)
Women’s & Men’s T20I World Cups (2024, 2026, 2028, 2030)
World Test Championship Final (2023, 2025, 2027, 2029, 2031)
There is at least one major tournament for both men & women every year with the odd years also including the World Test Championship final.
Expansion Is the Will of the Nature
If you thought that was good news, hear this out.
The 54-match ODI World Cup is expanded to a 14-team affair (throwback to 2003) – 2 groups of 7, followed by Super Sixes, and finally the semi-finals & the finals.
The 55-match T20I World Cups will well and truly be a ‘world cup’—20 team tournament, 4 groups of 5, a Super Eight Stage, followed by semi-finals & finals. The T20I World Cup will guarantee at least 4 games for eight non-Test playing nations. Massive improvement.
With expanded World Cups, this provides incentive & motivation for Associate players to continue the game. Several Associate cricketers have taken premature retirements for opportunities elsewhere. This will add the fuel to keep them going.
Basketball has caught up with the FIFA benchmark of world cups with a 32-team event, while field hockey & rugby are 16-team affairs. It is time that cricket expand and catch up to the will of nature.
Revisiting the Glory Days
Remember Dwayne Leverlock’s one-handed stunner? Or Shapoor Zadran’s emotional celebration?
This is what World Cups are for—discovering new talents, cherishing the moments, providing a platform for smaller teams to grow, and promoting competition, not diminishing it.
The Associate Nations have provided numerous moments of glory—World Cup’s fastest century at the hand of Kevin O’Brien to hand England a defeat in Bangalore, Stuart Broad’s missed run-out/overthrow giving way for a Netherlands victory, Zimbabwe’s defeat to world-beaters Australia in 2007, and Bangladesh’s rise via CWC victories against Pakistan (1999), India, South Africa (2007), and England (2011, 2015).
Gruesome Qualifier Tournaments Out of the Window
With the expanded World Cup formats, one thing is for certain. The added salt to injury, also known as the Qualifiers, will have a lesser impact.
After Afghanistan & Ireland attained Test Status and became Full Members, the 2019 & 2023 formats were even more difficult to digest. It is a cricket sin for Full Members to not be a part of the World Cup. Zimbabwe & Ireland did not make it to the 2019 WC, and it is likely that even someone like Sri Lanka can lose out on a spot in the next world cup.
Case & point is the 2018 CWC Qualifier, one of the more closely fought tournaments in recent times. Scotland was in sight of qualifying at the expense of the West Indies or Afghanistan, when rain arrived and Scotland mathemagically lost by 5 runs due to the DL method. Zimbabwe also missed out on a qualification spot due a rained-out match.
An over or two should not determine fates for a World Cup qualification. Even worse was the T20 tournaments. After a 51-match qualification tournament for Associates, teams would enter a 3-match ‘pre-qualification’ stage in the actual world cup itself! Ludicrous.
In 2016, Bangladesh & Afghanistan proceeded to the next round while Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Oman, & Ireland crashed out.
Double disqualification, I like to call it. Survivor of the fittest ones that have the most money.
Warning: Potential Conflicts & T10 Format Ahead
Not everything will be fixed by expanding the Word Cup, however. Last month, the ICC backed T10 Cricket in Olympics. I am in full support of cricket in the Olympics albeit T20.
However, with a T20 World Cup now scheduled every two years, including 2028 & 2032, T20 cricket in the Los Angeles & Brisbane Summer Olympics look like a distant dream. Creating an international T10 format might be the only feasible choice, further crowding the international and the T10/T20 leagues calendar.
In any case, I will definitely take more context in cricket calendar, & support for the Associate & lower-ranked nations in exchange of embracing the T10 format.
It is the Little Moments That Matter
Did we really need a World Cup to prove that in the ‘80s the West Indians were a class apart or the Australians were the best in the world in the 2000s?
No, but a World Cup or Olympics is much more than that. So, why have predictable world cup formats?
Surprises & uncertainty, thrills & chills, unity in a divided world, and sportsmanship & hope amidst despair—that is what sport is all about.
It is about time cricket puts the world back in its so-called world cup.
USA Cricket —two terms that do not go together, BUT did you know:
The first international cricket match was played between the United Statesof America and Canada way back in 1844?
In fact, it was the first modern international sports match. That’s right. Even before the first official Ashes Test match between England and Australia in 1877, and before the first international soccer game between England and Scotland in 1872.
Interesting piece of trivia, isn’t it?
Cricket was played in the US for several decades after independence from Great Britain with Philadelphia as its major center. Even George Washington is said to have played a game of cricket at Valley Forge.
Well, cricket in the US has been downhill ever since. After the Civil War in 1865, cricket lost its steam in the U.S. By the time World War I ended, the decline was complete with baseball & The World Series taking over. The detail history of Cricket in the United States can be found here from USA cricket’s website. Quite fascinating actually. Anyway…
Today we will discuss:
Recent developments that have suddenly propelled USA Cricket in the news.
Status of cricket in America & Major League Cricket.
The Money Factor: Sports business & major leagues in US—NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS.
The Broken Dream: Leagues that have failed in America
Where I think USA cricket will go and how you can participate & watch the games.
Fasten on your seatbelts! Here we go – will answer all your questions on the way!
(But before we go ahead, click on the “JOIN US FOR FREE” button 👇 for more such articles!)
Note: Videos are linked & bolded. Sources & Articles are just linked.
1. Recent Development: Heavy Investments In USA Cricket
Recently USA Cricket has been in the news for various reasons.
AirHogs stadium, a former minor league baseball stadium, in Grand Prairie, Texas (outskirts of Dallas) is being converted to a cricket stadium. It has support and funding from the local authorities as well as USA cricket.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, and other high profile names interested in investing in Major League Cricket, a $1 billion investment.
Ex-cricketers from other nations recruited. South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand internationals Dane Piedt, Sami Aslam, and Corey Anderson respectively have already confirmed their moves (retirement from home country and signing of a 3 year Major League Cricket deal), while World Cup winner Liam Plunkett and other South African expatriates are targeted.
Major League Cricket is right around the corner! MLC will launch between July 13-30 in Dallas, Texas.
In order to understand prospect of cricket in America, we first need to understand where Team USA sits in the cricket world rankings.
ICC* Cricket rankings consists of (1) Full Members and (2) Associate Members. As of 2019, 12 countries had Full Member status while 92 were Associate Members. The 12 full members consists of (mostly) former British colonies:
Australia (Aus), New Zealand (NZ), India (Ind), England (Eng), Sri Lanka (SL), South Africa (SA), Pakistan (Pak), West Indies (WI), Bangladesh (Ban), Zimbabwe (Zim), Ireland (Ire), & Afghanistan (Afg).
*ICC – International Cricket Council
USA Cricket – The Administration
After the decline of US cricket in the 20th century, USA Cricket Association (USACA) was created in 1965 as an Associate Member. For the next few decades, USA hovered around qualification tournaments, even qualifying for the 2004 Champions Trophy. However, the downhill spiral started once again, and the organization was expelled in 2017 due to financial and administrative trouble.
Under a new governing body, USA Cricket (USAC), the US was finally re-inducted as a new Associate member 2019. The progress continued as US achieved ODI status after qualifying for World Cup League Division 2.
It looks like USA Cricket has finally found its feet after years of turmoil.
Rankings: 19/20 (ODI), 34/104* (T20I)
Current Captain: Saurabh Netravalkar (replaced Ibrahim Khaleel, ex Indian first class player)
Newly Prominent Recruited Players: Xavier Marshall (WI) Rusty Theron (SA), Dane Piedt (SA), Corey Anderson (NZ), Sami Aslam (Pak)
Players With CPL* Experience: Hayden Walsh Jr. (now plays for West Indies), Ali Khan (Also selected for the IPL*), Cameron Gannon (BBL), Steven Taylor (ex USA captain), Timroy Allen, Nikhil Dutta, Jasdeep Singh
*Note, in April 2018, all 104 cricket nations were granted T20 International status.
*CPL – Caribbean Premier League, IPL – Indian Premier League, BBL – Big Bash League (Australia)
The goal? Make cricket a mainstream sport in the United States and become an ICC Full Member by 2030.
Other goals in the foundational plan includes focusing on (1) current players and fanbase, (2) youth development, (3) T20 cricket, and (4) women’s cricket. In addition, USAC plans to bid for international tournaments hosting starting from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics (Even the ICC has started pitch for cricket in Olympics with the 2022 Commonwealth Games).
Here is their 2020 progress report – Zonal Trials, Umpire Training, and in 2021, even a national softball tournament?
Currently the structure is semi-professional but growing in the right direction. According to USA Cricket, the selection route to the national team involves “Regional Combines, Zonal High Performance Programs, and National Training Camps,” with regional and national championships planned in future years.
In the club circuit, there are several tournaments such as Leather Ball Cricket (T20, T30, T40) along with tape-ball (indoor) and tennis ball cricket. Other tournaments like the recently concluded US Open T20 tournament, which included stars like Chris Gayle and Rayad Emrit, have also been organized by independent organizations like Cricket Council USA.
The Airhogs stadium will be the second professional cricket stadium in the US after Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Here is a list of the major cricket stadiums and facilities in the US:
Central Broward Regional Park: Lauderdale, Florida, $70 million (ICC certified international quality)
Hosted 10 T20 internationals (SL, NZ, WI, Ind, Bang), several CPL matches, World Cricket League Division 2 (USA, Namibia, Papua New Guinea), American College Cricket (ACC) finals
AirHogs Stadium: Grand Prairer, Texas (under renovation – to become international quality)
Indianapolis World Sports Park: Indianapolis, Indiana, $5.1 million (2014 – multipurpose)
USA Cricket has partnered with the American Cricket Enterprises (ACE), who invested $1 billion in Major League Cricket (MLC).
The vision is to create a 6-team world-class T20 tournament with the best USA and international talent, starting in 2022. According to the Major League Cricket organizers, “MLC is developing cricketing infrastructure including international quality stadiums, elite youth academies, and high-grade training facilities.” Here are the details:
Teams: San Francisco, Los Angeles (Western Conference), Dallas, Chicago (Central Conference), New York (Eastern Conference), Atlanta (Southern Conference)
Academies: Investment in youth academies like the Willow Academy (San Francisco/Seattle). Currently there are 2 indoor facilities, 6 grounds, and over 500 students enrolled.
Minor League: A precursor to the Major League will be the Minor League Cricket, beginning in 2021. It is a development league that would feed into Major League. In the 2020 Minor League Exhibition tournament featured 24 teams & 155 matches.
Sponsors/TV Rights: Apart from Nadella, former CTO of Facebook & Dropbox, CEO of Adobe have also pitched in. ACE has a partnership with Willow TV and the Times of India Group. A full list of sponsors can be found here.
Now that we have demystified cricket in America to you, let us answer the real question:
Can Major League Cricket survive in America? Can cricket capture the imagination in the USA?
*Baseball fans, new to cricket? Check this blog by CricAmerica – explains cricket via baseball terms
According to Forbes, Sal Galatioto states, “There is no lack of multi-billionaires that want to get into the sports business right now.” If there was a place to invest in sports right now, it is the United States.
America has a vibrant sporting culture. USA dominates the Summer Olympics with 2,523 total medals, including 1,022 gold and not far behind in the Winter Olympics with 305 total medals (105 gold). Golf, tennis, boxing, NASCAR, and several other sports have a safe space in the U.S. market.
For Major League Cricket to prosper, we have to look at templates of other leagues in America. We will restrict our analysis to the Big 5 leagues: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS.
In Forbes’ top 50 most valuable teams, only 7 teams are non-American. NFL’s Dallas Cowboys tops the list and has 27 teams in the top 50, NBA has 9 teams, 7 for MLB, and none for NHL or MLS.
The first non-American team is at #6 with Real Madrid, valued at $4.24 billion. Barcelona is at #8 valued at $4.02 billion. There are 5 other soccer teams in the list with teams from La Liga, English Premier League, and Bundesliga making the cut.
No cricket league makes the Forbes’ list, but for comparison, Indian Premium League (IPL), the most popular cricket league, is valued around $5 billion with an average annual player salary of $5.3 million, only behind the NBA.
BUT guess what? Dallas Cowboys are worth $5.5 billion, more than the entire IPL.
National Football League (NFL)
Year Founded: 1920
Teams/Matches Per Season: 32 – 267 matches
Average Attendance: 67, 100 (2019)
Total Revenue/TV Viewership : $16.9 billion (2019)
Most Valuable Team: Dallas Cowboys: $5.5 billion (value) – #1 Most Valuable in the World
Average TV Viewership (Per Game): 16.6 million
TV Rights: $4.52 billion (2019)
Average Annual Player Salary:$3.26 million (2019/20)
Cultural Impact: American football is, by far, the most popular sport in the U.S dominating viewership, TV rights, and money generated. Football is widely followed at all levels—high school, NCAA football, and NFL. The NFL season begins around September and culminates in February with the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event of the year with the iconic Super Bowl adsand Halftime Shows. From Friday night high school games to Sunday night NFL, football is imbued in the American culture. The impact of American football is far reaching through growth in local businesses, restaurants, and bars on game nights.
Teams/Matches Per Season: 30 teams (29 US, 1 Canada) – 1312 matches
Average Attendance: 17,857 (2019)
Total Revenue: $8.8 billion (2018)
Most Valuable Team: New York Knicks: $4.6 billion
Average TV Viewership (Per Game): 7.3 million
TV Rights: $3.12 billion (2019)
Average Annual Player Salary: $8.32 million (2019/20)
Cultural Impact: After American football, basketball is the most popular sport in the United States across and also followed across different levels. The NBA season runs from October to June culminating in the widely watched NBA Finals. The most easily accessible sport, pick-up backyard games is a common summer activity. Culturally, around 80% of NBA players are African Americans, producing legends like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James.
Teams/Matches Per Season: 30 (29 US, 1 Canada) -2467 matches
Average Attendance: 28,180 (2019)
Total Revenue: $10.37 billion (2019)
Average TV Viewership (Per Game): 4 million
Most Valuable Team: New York Yankees: $5 billion
TV Rights: $1.65 billion (2019)
Average Annual Player Salary: $4.03 million (2019/20)
Cultural Impact: Baseball is considered to be America’s national pastime. Since MLB is the oldest professional sports league in the US, baseball enjoys a rich history, culture, and lifelong fans. However, according to several surveys and the New York Times, the popularity in baseball has vastly decreased for the past decade. Certainly, football has taken over nationally in TV coverage and fan following. Yet, baseball is still alive since it provides a ‘social experience’ due to the presence of local Minor/Major League teams in most cities. The sport has also provided several iconic players over time such as Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Micky Mantle.
Teams: 31 (24 US, 7 Canada)/extends to 32 teams in 2021 – 1358 matches
Average Attendance: 17,380 (2019)
Total Revenue: $5.1 billion (2019)
Most Valuable Team: New York Rangers: $1.65 billion
Average TV Viewership (Per Game): 1.6 million
TV Rights: $220 million (2019)
Average Annual Player Salary: $2.69 million (2019/20)
Cultural Impact: Ice Hockey (aka hockey) also enjoys mild support in the United States, especially in the midwestern and northern regions. With several teams from Canada and stars like Wayne Gretzky, the NHL continues to prosper and grow. The US and Canada are two of the best six international teams and they are usually contenders in the Winter Olympics.
Cultural Impact: Soccer is a relatively recent major sport in the United States. The precursor to MLS was the North American Soccer League (1968-84) attracting the likes of legends like Pelé. After its decline, hosting the 1994 FIFA World Cup boosted soccer into the American mainstream. The USA Women’s Soccer Team, the most successful women’s team, has further established its hold in the US, winning 4 World Cup titles and 4 Olympic Golds. Although soccer is not as popular as the other sports, it has created a space for itself and is growing in school and collegiate levels.
4. The Broken Dreams: Leagues That Failed in America
All that glitters is not gold.
Now that you have seen the possibilities and money involved, let us bring you back to Earth. Not all leagues in the United States succeeded. In fact, most of them failed.
Cricket fans, think of these competitive ventures along the lines of Kerry Packer’s World Series Cricket (1977-79), Stanford 20/20 (2006-08), or the Indian Cricket League (2007-09). Here is just a small list.
Competitors to the Big 5
Even before the Big 5 Leagues succeeded, there were several precursors or competitors that failed.
NBA: American Basketball League (1961-62), American Basketball Association (1967-76), Slamball (2002-08)
MLB: Senior Professional Baseball Association (1989-90) – for retired stars
NHL: World Hockey Association (1971-79), Roller Hockey International (1993-1999)
MLS: North American Soccer League (1968-1984)
America is a land of creativity, but sometimes a little too much creativity can be dangerous as the XFL, Slamball, and Senior Baseball League shows.
It is all about American football. For high profile NFL competitors, we will need its own section.
United States Football League (1982-85): Football in Spring/Summer season (feat Donald Trump)
Alliance of American Football (2018-19): $100 million invested – lost $88 million
XFL (2001): Directly competitor to NFL – $ 70 million loss (courtesy WWE’s Vince McMahon) – may return in 2022
NFL Europe(1991-2007): Spread Football to Europe? Lost around $30 million/year
Arena Football (1987-2009): Internal football league – successful 2 decades but declined eventually
Other Serious Ventures
Here are some other niche sports that did not go far in their first attempt.
Rugby: Pro Rugby League (2015-17)
Lacrosse: National Lacrosse League (1974-75), American Lacrosse League (1988)
Ultimate Frisbee: Major League Ultimate (2013-16)
Several women leagues have been launched post successful Olympics/World Cup campaigns.
Volleyball: Major League Volleyball (1987-89), United States Professional Volleyball League (2003)
Soccer: Women’s United Soccer Association (2000-03) – post US Women’s 1999 FIFA WC victory, Lost around $100 million
Baseball: All-American Girls Professional Baseball Association (1943-1954)
In conclusion here, money can’t buy you happiness, can it? More investment—Higher the prospects, but deeper the fall.
What’s more? MLC is not the first attempt to get cricket into Americans.
Pro Cricket League (2004): 8 team T20 competition with stars like Ajay Jadeja & Daren Ganga. Did not see the light of a 2nd season
American Premier League (2009): 6 international teams & partnership with NZ cricket with matches in New York, but it fell through before materializing
American National Championship (2014) – The Indianapolis World Park stadium was created for this reason with a 3 year deal and public support. Also failed to materialize
Cricket All Stars (2015): Sachin Tendulkar XI vs Shane Warne XI held in baseball stadiums across NYC, Houston, and LA. Team made up of retired stars. It was fun when it lasted but they never returned for another series as originally planned.
Although these attempts failed, Major League Cricket gives different vibes. This time things feel different. T20 leagues in the world have stabilized, more & more cricketers are abandoning national duty and becoming T20 mercenaries, and the expatriate population in the U.S. is growing.
In all reality, Major League Cricket will most likely not go the way of the NFL and NBA, but it might not crash like the XFL or USFL. Smaller leagues have created their own niche and survived, without TV rights and mainstream media.
Here are professional sports league in the US with recent average attendance.
Women’s National Basketball Association (1997-): 6,535
Major League Lacrosse(2001-): 3,844
National Women’s Soccer League(2013-): 7,337
Major League Rugby(2018-): 4,125
Note: Other leagues include National Women’s Hockey League, National Lacrosse League, and Major Arena Soccer League, etc.
ICC Americas: The CPL & Global T20 Canada Model
With the ICC Americas initiative, West Indies cricket has been supportive of USA cricket.
The CPL franchises now reserve some spots for American players and increase exposure, while Florida also hosts some of WI & CPL matches in Florida. Yet the numbers have been decreasing – 6 CPL games in 2016, 4 & 3 in the next two years, and none after 2018.
In 2018, a fairly successful 6-team Global T20 Canada was launched. Each team had an array of international stars such as JP Duminy, Andre Russell, and Imrah Tahir interspersed with Canadian and American players. For the first edition, 5 teams & a ‘West Indies B’ team took part, which could be an interesting idea for USA Cricket to adopt.
Fun Fact: Brendon McCullum’s last game in any type of cricket was the 2019 Global T20 Canada league.
The Cricket World Cup – A Far Fetched Dream?
Yet, even if MLC succeeds, it does not guarantee Full Membership and ICC funding.
The Cricket World Cup is the pinnacle of the game, and qualification for the CWC is a major goal for the Associate nations, but it has gotten harder recently.
With the new 10-team World Cup Format and ODI Super League, the top 7 ranked teams & hosts qualify directly, while two teams compete in a 10-team qualifying tournament. With the likes of competitive teams like Netherlands, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, and Nepal, it will be hard for the USA Cricket Team to beat these teams, let alone the Full Members.
The T20 World Cup may be more compelling with 16 possible teams, but with USA languishing at #34 right now, it is hard to fathom.
USA And China are the sleeping giants of world cricket.
For cricket fans around the world, the status of cricket in America is an anomaly. With immigrants from all around the world, surely a few of them can get together to make a decent team?
$20 Trillion economy, 330 million population, about 6 million immigrants from cricket playing nations, and the gradual decline of baseball, surely cricket in America is a possibility? It’s got to be!
What I Wish To Happen: The Afghanistan Model
The Afghanistan National Cricket Team is well-known for its rapid rise. In a war torn country, it became an Affiliate Member in 2001. Rising from Division 5, they qualified for the T20 World Cup in 2010, became an Associate Member in 2013, a Full Member in 2017, and have produced talents like Mohammad Nabi & Rashid Khan.
In my ideal scenario, the newly recruited international cricketers make the USA cricket team and climb up the ladder in qualification bid for the 2027 World Cup. The following year, Los Angeles hosts cricket at the 2028 Olympics. A few years later, say by 2036, USA hosts a T20 World Cup. Next thing you know, the MLC regularly starts attracting international stars, spectators increase, funding stabilizes and there you go, cricket established in the American market within 10-15 years.
What is Actually Going to Happen: The MLS Model
The issue with the Afghanistan Model is it already was a cricket crazy nation. USA is not.
The only template cricket has for a new sport to mix into the mainstream is soccer. After the NASL in 1968, it took the USA team 22 years to qualify for a World Cup in 1990, hosted the 1994 World Cup, and finally the MLS began in 1996. Women’s Soccer started to take shape in the late-1980s and won the 1999 World Cup, just 10 years later. It has taken a further 20 years for the sport to come in the public eye.
If cricket follows a similar model, the women USA team will qualify by 2030, USA men’s cricket team will qualify for the 2043 World Cup, host the 2047 World. By the team we hit 2050, cricket may finally come into the sports conversation. It may take a generation or two more for cricket to spread to each city, each grade level, and compete with the likes of American football, basketball, and baseball.
In any case, the money is here, the audience here. Let’s play.
Here are some resources from if you want to get involved in the growth of cricket in America. Rookie Leagues: Entry Level program for kids & youth. Officiating (umpires) & coaching resources as well. Player Registration: If you are interested in playing or trying out for the Minor League/Major League/ USA Cricket, fill out this application. What Is Cricket?: ICC’s short minute videos on the different aspects of cricket/rules. Nice 3 minutes high quality videos here to share ahead to your “Future Cricket Fans.” Here are some of the questions this article has answered along the way.
Is Cricket Popular In America?
Cricket is not yet a popular sport in America. Team sports is dominated by 5 major leagues – the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and MLS. Cricket is trying to break into the sports market with the inaugural Major League Cricket in 2022.
How Much Do USA Cricket Players make?
USA cricketers make around $70,000-$90,000 although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some budget cuts, which has impacted players salaries.
Is cricket growing in America?
Cricket is growing in America. USA cricket is investing in infrastructure and age-school cricket as well as high performance academies. USA Cricket’s foundational plan emphasizes focusing on (1) current players and fanbase, (2) youth development, (3) T20 cricket, (4) women’s cricket, and (5) hosting ICC events starting from the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
Why there is no cricket in USA?
American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, NASCAR, and other individual sports (Olympics) dominate the conversation. Hence, cricket has yet to break in, but it is growing in the right direction.
How many sports leagues are there in the US?
Sport in America is dominated by the Big 5 Leagues: NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and the MLS. We have provided details on each of the leagues here – value, player salary, cultural impact, and much more!
Which sports league is the most valuable?
The NFL is the most valuable sports league with $16.9 billion. Dallas Cowboys itself is valued at $5.5 billion. The MLB comes next with $10.37 billion and the NBA with $8.8 billion.
Where can I watch cricket in America?
Cricket is available in the USA on Willow TV. Willow TV can be purchased directly on their website or with TV providers subscriptions like Sling TV.
Living in a country where cricket is not a popular sport, it has been hard explaining the rules of cricket to my friends. In this new segment we call Cricket ABCs – For new future fans, we will try to explain the game of cricket for people who have not yet had the exposure to this sport. And don’t worry seasoned fans, we will have lots of videos here so it will not be just boring instructions!
This is a great three minute video by the ICC, the International Cricket Committee (basically the FIFA of cricket).
Still have questions? Leave a reply below, and we will address it in our future posts.
New Zealand: Played-7, won-3, lost-4. South Africa: Played-7, won-1, lost-6.
Looks pretty close, right? Wrong. New Zealand are currently sitting in 4th place of the World Test Championship (WTC) table with 180 points while South Africa is languishing near the bottom with just 24 points. Even though these two teams are separated by two losses, South Africa are behind by a seemingly insurmountable 156 points.
The number of points awarded in the WTC fluctuates depending on the number of matches played per series. A 2-match series is allotted 60 points per game, while 3, 4, and 5 match-series are awarded 40, 30, and 24 points respectively. Although dead-rubbers are eliminated in this format, some games now are worth more than others.
England lost the first test of the Ashes and the Wisden trophy, but it did not cost them much since the series consisted of more than 2 games. Teams playing 2-match series cannot afford the same degree of flexibility.
First, an all-or-nothing point system for a 5-day match is not justified. Test matches are enthralling to watch because of their ebb and flow. One Stuart Broad session can completely turn the series around or Faf Du Plessis-esque blockathon for multiple sessions might save a test match. Therefore, session-by-session match-ups need to be considered, not only the overall result. Second and more importantly, we need to incorporate home and away matches properly.
India and Australia are classic examples. Over the last decade, India has won 36 matches, drawn 9, and lost merely 3 at home from the 48 played. However, they only won 17, drew 12, and lost 26 from the 55 played abroad (even this is skewed by away games played at the subcontinent). Similarly, Australia has a 36-9-9 record at home versus 17-7-25 away.
It has always been tough to win abroad, but in the last decade, the situation has worsened. In the 2010s, every country had a win-loss (W/L) ratio less than 1, meaning they lost more away than they won. Contrastingly, in the 2000s, Australia and South Africa had W/L greater than 1, while India and England were close with 0.8 and 0.739 W/L respectively. In order to better incentivize winning abroad, more emphasis should be provided on winning away games.
Last week, we discussed how the various ‘marquee’ series’ were skewing the World Test Championship (WTC). We proposed that every team should be allocated exactly 24 games against nine different opponents over a period of two and a half years. Each team plays a total of six 2-match series along with 5-4-3 or 4-4-4 distribution against the remaining three opponents. Now that each team is on a level-playing field with an equal number of games, we can move on to solve the issues plaguing the point system.
We will take inspiration from the other major innovation the ICC came up with apart from WTC to contextualize the cricket calendar—the ODI World Cup Super League (WSL). The points system for the Super League provides a more competitive environment than the WTC.
For instance, in the WSL,10 points are assigned for a win, 5 for tie or no-result, and 0 for a loss. On the other hand, for a 3-match test series, winning constitutes 40 points, tie 20 points, draw 13 points, and defeat 0 points. Theoretically, bouncing back from a 3-match series loss is possible in the WSL, unlike a similar scenario in the WTC.
So how do we fix this? We need to combine the ODI Super League system, provide a mechanism for home versus away, and distribute points across sessions. The overall points distribution for one match will consist of (1) base point system like WSL adjusted on a home/away basis, and (2) points awarded per session of a test match.
Here is our proposal. Note, each team plays 24 matches total-12 home and 12 away.
Every test match has a maximum of 15 sessions (3 sessions – 5 days).
If the match finishes before the last session on the 5th day, the winning team is awarded the points for the remaining sessions
Points Possible Per Match:30
Home – Max Points Possible: 360 (12*30)
Away – Max Points Possible: 360 (12*30)
Next, we provide criteria for home and away as displayed below:
Home and Away – Points Distribution
Maximum points for Home team: 360 +192 = 552 points.
Maximum points for Away team: 360 + 288 = 648 points.
Total possible points: 552 + 648 = 1200
Average Points/Match: 1200/24 = 50 points per match.
As a demonstration, we take the recently concluded West-Indies tour of England series, which ended in 1-2. In the current format, West Indies got 40 points, while England got 80. We looked back at the scorecards in detail and allocated the points per session:
West Indies vs England – Session by Session
*Sess:Sessions (Points Awarded)
We then repeated the process for each test and computed the following result:
7 +0: 7/54
West Indies vs England – Total Points
Altogether, even though 59-87 is not as close as the 40-80 from the earlier system, it is still much better and keeps the hope of a comeback alive. Had West-Indies survived the final session of the second test, they would have earned a few points in the session-category as well as received 12 points for the draw in an away match, thereby closing the gap.
In the 45 sessions during the series, West-Indies won 6, England won 16, and 23 were either evenly matched or washed out.
West Indies were playing for a maximum of 54 points per test, while England were playing for a maximum of 46 points per test.
Is this system perfect? Not quite, but it is definitely an improvement on the current system. But imagine, teams trying to survive an extra session or opposition teams bowling aggressively to finish the game in an early session due to this extra incentive. This system is not as simple as the current format, but at least it is not as complex as the D-L system!
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Stay tuned for Part III coming up – where we redo the WTC Points Table with our method and compare it with the skewed table currently in place.
Image Courtesy: Leighhubbard, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons