Football is the undisputed king of the sporting world. More than half of the planet’s population is estimated to follow leagues across the globe, with the English Premier League at the top of the list. However, cricket is a close second, as 2.5 billion people are thought to support the game yearly.
That makes the events some of the biggest in the sporting calendar. It’s been a strange year, so you may not know when the top competitions will take place this year – but there’s no need to worry, because the list below has got you covered. These are the biggest events in the cricket calendar this year.
The Indian Premier League
Whether the IPL is the biggest event in cricket is controversial. The role of the Test Match arena is important to the history and growth of the game, which is why it’s classed as the main article. Still, there’s no denying the numbers.
The Indian Premier League is a professional Twenty20 cricket league that attracted an average of 105 million unique viewers during the first 17 matches of the 2021 edition. Although it was postponed, it’s due to return very soon and the demand isn’t expected to reduce. If anything, more people may tune in via their TV screens for the final fixtures than ever before.
The T20 World Cup
Twenty20 cricket, or T20, is a form of the game that has revolutionised the way supporters experience matches. It’s so popular that it has permeated every inch of cricket, with Test Matches now lit up by all-format cricketers who can play reverse sweeps and score at five to six runs per over.
Like any World Cup, the T20 World Cup is an explosive tournament that is fun and fast-paced from start to finish. The United Arab Emirates and Oman will be the hosts, and the pitches are expected to be placid with a hint of turn. Therefore, the runs should flow freely, while spinners will play vital roles in taking wickets and stemming the run rate.
Only Australia and England compete in the Ashes, yet there’s no denying that it’s a global phenomenon. The 2005 version is often credited as increasing the viewing and playing participation figures worldwide because of how effectively it captured everyone’s attention.
Regardless of nationality, nobody will forget Michael Kasprowicz gloving to Geraint Jones in the Miracle of Edgbaston or Kevin Pietersen’s incredible score of 157 at the Oval to secure the urn. The nations are nowhere near as strong, but the fact they are weak batting-wise and strong bowling-wise makes for a fascinating spectacle.
ICC World Test Championship
The World Test Championship was formed to ensure the other forms of the game didn’t outgrow Test Matches. What makes the concept fun is that every series, and every game within a series, counts.
So, although the final will take place in 2022, the rest of the fixtures on the calendar affect which countries will battle it out for the crown of the best Test Match team in the world. You’ve got the fifth and final match between England and India at Old Trafford to look forward to, as well as India and New Zealand and Bangladesh and Pakistan.
These aren’t only the biggest events on the cricket calendar for the rest of the year, they are the biggest events full stop.