Cricket's Incredible Rise in Popularity in the USA: A Deep Dive

Cricket's Incredible Rise in Popularity in the USA: A Deep Dive

Cricket's Incredible Rise in Popularity in the USA: A...

credit. AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Cricket, a sport with roots in South Asia and Australasia, is gaining a fan base in America. Team USA over Pakistan was upset at the Men's T20 Cricket World Cup, and the result has only continued the sport's rapid increase in popularity across the country.


Cricket on the Rise in the US

The dichotomy is a result of a century-old demographic shift that has made cricket one of the few growth sports in the US during the 21st century. The collapse in the late 19th century of cricket in the United States was met with a long drought that ended in the 20th century when increased emigration from the West Indies and South Asia among other regions created a new demand and audience for cricket-savvy Americans. But almost the entire diaspora population in the United States consists of established Indian American communities, which now number over five million people - and the thirst for cricket only seems to be getting stronger.


Infrastructure and Challenges

American cricket certainly has its detractors, and while interest in the game continues to increase, several major obstacles stand in the way of a growing network. The facilities to play at an elite sporting level are still a few years away, with home venues a major headache and cities still to be convinced of cricket's value. In addition, the previous provisional government of cricket in the US had been thrown out of the International Cricket Council, and a new entity, USA Cricket, has existed for just five years.


Major League Cricket

One key step in the rise in popularity of cricket in the United States has been the introduction of Major League Cricket, a new US men's pro league featuring six teams. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, and Access Healthcare chairman Anurag Jain are among the big names investing in Major League Cricket, according to reports, opening up a bright future for the sport in the US.


2028 Summer Olympics


This interest in cricket is even more pronounced by the news that cricket would be a part of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. The move is quite significant and will only make cricket more widespread attracting attention to the sport.


Media and Broadcasting

Cricket is quickly becoming a lucrative offering for media companies interested in catering to the Indian diaspora in the USA. More than $1 billion in investment has poured into the domestic game during that time, with much of it on developing Major League Cricket, which is set for its second season this summer.


Domestic Marketing and Cricket

Regional factors aside, an approved new T20 competition lends itself neatly to the arguments in favor of a sustainable professional competition in the United States, there being next to no appeal to the broader market. It would go some way towards the perception of cricket as an alien import and broaden the game beyond immigrant populations. Second, the identification and promotion of American cricket stars are essential to the development of the brand game in the country.


In the End

Cricket might not be the American sport for everyone, but the rapid emergence of the sport on North American soil in the past decade, transcending across the spectrum of culture, best encapsulates the mystique pull of cricket around the globe. Riding on the backing of high places, the rise of growing leagues, upsurge in media interest, cricket is charted on the upward path in the United States, offering an enthralling life to fans and the players together.


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