Big money launch of WPL 2023 further establishing women’s cricket’s desire to grow and reach more fans

Big money launch of WPL 2023 further establishing women’s cricket’s desire to grow and reach more fans

In some countries, cricket is barely even noted as a sport, while in others, it’s either one of the biggest or the outright biggest sport going with the money involved in WPL 2023 showing so

Somehow, even with these extremes of followings, cricket is the second-most popular sport in the world in terms of participation and viewership, according to most findings.

Yet, cricket has long had the desire to grow further, reach a wider audience, and remake its game to become more accessible and appealing. To commence 2023, the cricketing world has welcomed the big-money launch of the Women’s Premier League in India, which sold TV rights for nearly $119 million and sold five franchises for almost $600 million.

It’s a huge step that seeks to emulate the colossal success of the IPL both at home and overseas. Still, it’s certainly not the only action that the sport’s governing bodies and associated factions have taken to grow the sport.

Big money launch of WPL 2023 further establishing cricket’s desire to grow and reach more fans

Even shorter-form cricket is proving a hit in the UK

The ECB took a huge gamble when they decided to run and back The Hundred. The new 100-ball format with men’s teams and women’s teams running alongside each other in new teams looked set to dismiss stalwart fans who see test matches as the prime form of the sport and may not have been enough to convince onlookers of how exciting cricket can be on TV and in stadiums.

As it turns out, the gamble has paid off so far. The first campaign saw attendance across the tournament hit around 90 percent while a record-breaking 1.6 million people watched the opening women’s match. The second season saw BBC viewing figures drop by around 20 percent, but the Commonwealth Games were on, and the Premier League started early.

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The ECB still hailed the second edition a success, with female ticket buyers going up by seven percent, family tickets up by five percent, and over 500,000 people attending the tournament at large. Of the 14.1 million viewers via the BBC and Sky, 42 percent reportedly hadn’t watched any other cricket staged by the ECB before 2022. A third season will begin on August 1, with all dates being double headers of the men’s and women’s games.

Tech-driven entertainment driving further engagement

Engagement with sports goes far beyond the stadiums and TVs these days, with so many platforms available to drive interest and keep people within the sport outside of these standard methods of viewing. Easily the most left-field in modern entertainment comes in the form of Cricket War Live from Ezugi.

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In this new creation for the live casino online, you play a cricket-themed card game based on Dragon Tiger. It’s entirely luck-based, and you simply back the bowler or batsman hand to come out on top, or the coveted tie at odds of 11 to 1. It’s simple, and fun, and puts the sport of cricket in the heart of the increasingly popular entertainment platform.

Going all in on reaching the seemingly unreachable audience

Just as the MLB decided to start staging some games of baseball in London for whatever reason, cricket is going big on breaking into the biggest sports market in the world, the US. Under the stewardship of USA Cricket, the Foundational Plan aims to make the national team a full member of the ICC by 2030.

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It’s certainly got some backing, too, with the new competition Major League Cricket securing $120 million in funding to push on with US cricket development. It was also reported in May 2019 that American cricket is to receive $1 billion in investment, predominantly powered by Indian backers through American Cricket Enterprises.

On paper, all of these moves for cricket or to integrate cricket were a gamble, but those that have arrived in full have proven to be successful. The growth of the sport in the US will be particularly intriguing over the coming years.

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