Dubai: Unveiling the largest ever market research project into the game of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed that the sport has over one-billion fans, globally.
The research further revealed that the average age of a cricket fan is 34 years with a demographic breakdown of 61% male and 39% female.
Talking about the relevance of the research, ICC chief executive David Richardson stated that it would enable the ICC and its members to understand the growth potential of cricket.
“It is the first global market research project ever undertaken in the sport and having more than one billion fans in the surveyed age category of 16-69 alone, with an average age of 34, is undoubtedly an exciting and strong position from which we can drive the sport forward,” he said.
“There are opportunities to grow in both our traditional markets, where the focus will be on attracting more women and girls, children and families, to the game, as well as a non-traditional cricket playing nations where there is clearly both interest and opportunity,” he added.
The breakdown of cricket’s three different formats in the research showed that two-thirds of fans over the age of 16 years are interested in all three international formats of the game.
The importance and popularity of ICC global events were evident with 95% of fans opting for interested or very interested, with ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC World T20 being the most popular.
The women’s game continues to gain momentum as 68% of cricket fans are interested in women’s cricket and 65% of them are keen about the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. In addition to that, 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. It 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.
When asked about cricket and the Olympic Games, 87% of fans claimed that they would like to see Twenty20 cricket in the Olympic Games.
Cricket’s first global market research was conducted between November 2017- January 2018 by Nielsen Sports and comprised over 19,000 interviews around the world including over 6,600 in-depth interviews with cricket fans aged 16-69 years.