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US Cricket is on the Rise
It is always any niche sport's dream to one day crack America and become a household name right across the globe rather than in just a few select areas of the planet. Such is the fervor for cricket in far off places like Asia and Australasia, it had always seemed like something of a pipe dream that cricket would one day win over the hearts and minds of sporting communities in the US.
However, thanks to the work of organizations such as the ICC and others, it now looks as though cricket is on the verge of breaking through into the big time, so that Americans can enjoy the wonders of T20 cricket, ODI's and perhaps even the lengthy Test format. Here we take a look at the factors that are building to create the perfect cricketing storm in the US, and which could propel the sport onto the world stage like never before.PHOTO: piqsels.com
With baseball already being such a beloved US pastime, it could be difficult for cricket to find a space for itself in the American sporting landscape, but that's not stopping it from trying
Still Searching for Olympic Recognition
The journey to worldwide acceptance can begin in many ways, but one of the tried and tested routes is to get the sport you love into the Olympic schedule. The ICC has been attempting to do this for years now and are making a renewed effort in 2028, precisely because the Games are due to take place in Los Angeles. If cricket can get itself into the 2028 Olympic Games odds lines and headlines in LA, then it has every chance of breaking out as a wider sporting craze. It's a big if, but if it happens then it may not be long before the sites and apps that offer sports betting in Pennsylvania to New Jersey begin presenting all sorts of cricket odds, whether that is for local US-based leagues and competitions or those that take place further afield in places like India and the rest of the Sub-Continent.PHOTO: piqsels.com
Growing the game at the grass roots level is ultimately what will enable cricket to break through on the US sporting scene and there are lots of volunteers working tirelessly to make it happen
Indian and Pakistani Immigrants Bring Their Passion Stateside
Of course, the reason for there being any sporting passion in a given territory is because there is a strong base of amateurs who dedicate themselves to the sport on a weekly and indeed yearly basis. This is increasingly becoming the case in both the US and Canada, where an influx of Asian immigrants has seen a boom in local leagues of all levels. This is most evident in the rise of the popular Minor League Cricket structure, which saw 200+ official matches take place in 2021 across the United States. Many of these teams are packed with talent with origins from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australasia.
Major League Cricket Launching 2022
And it is not just the amateurs who are getting to have all the fun, because there is some serious money from big investors going into the Major League Cricket venture, which hopes to spring up in much the same way as the MLS did for soccer. The action is all set to begin in 2022 and there will be plenty of eyes trained on how it gets on.
Online Streaming Bringing New Audiences to Cricket
Another reason that the popularity of this ancient game is on the rise is down to the fact that those same immigrant populations in North America are now creating a financially viable demand for pro cricket to be streamed to American television sets and mobile phones. Although this started off with small niche streaming sites, the rights to many top cricket competitions like the Big Bash, The Hundred, and of course the ODI and T20 World Cups have been picked up by more traditional and larger scale broadcasters in the US and Canada.