How many countries play cricket?

Cricket, a game commonly known as the “Gentleman’s Game,” boasts a widespread following with millions of enthusiasts spanning the globe. As per current information, the International Cricket Council (ICC), the authoritative body for international cricket, presides over a total of 105 member countries as of the September 2021 cutoff date. The aforementioned nations are segregated into three categories, namely Full Members, Associate Members, and Affiliate Members. The cohort of Full Members, comprising 12 in total, is constituted by the conventional cricket-playing countries such as Australia, England, India, and South Africa. These nations possess complete electoral privileges and are exclusively authorized to engage in Test cricket, the most extensive and esteemed configuration of the sport.

The subaltern members of the cricket-playing community are denominated as Associate Members, encompassing a total of 93 nations, amongst which are renowned entities such as Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland, and the United Arab Emirates. It is notable that Associate Members may become eligible for participation in prominent ICC tournaments, such as the ODI World Cup and the T20 World Cup, in accordance with their performance. Nevertheless, the full international matches are primarily reserved for a chosen group of Associates who possess the status of ODI and T20I players. The category formerly known as the Affiliate Members, which was replaced by a more streamlined membership framework in 2017, encompassed those nations in which cricket was considered a sport of minor significance. Some examples of countries encompassed within this category are Costa Rica, Slovenia, and Turkey. The International Cricket Council (ICC) vigilantly observes the advancements of the sport in said countries while also offering support for its continued growth and development. The dissemination of cricket worldwide stands as evidence of the sport’s burgeoning prominence and impact.

Countries that don’t play cricket

Although cricket has gained significant popularity across a notable fraction of the globe, certain regions exhibit scarce awareness or minimal participation with respect to the sport. Primarily, these countries are characterized by a strong preference for sports other than the one in question, which has failed to gain significant traction in the national consciousness. In various European regions, such as Spain, Italy, and Germany, association football (commonly known as soccer) holds a pronounced position as the preeminent sport, whereas cricket maintains a minor status at most. In North American countries, specifically the United States and Canada, athletic endeavors such as American Football, basketball, ice hockey, and baseball enjoy a predominant presence, resulting in limited opportunities for the proliferation of cricket. Despite the presence of limited contingents of cricket enthusiasts in these nations, mainstream acknowledgement and extensive engagement remains elusive for the sport in these regions.

Cricket is a sport that is virtually non-existent in countries situated in South America, including Brazil, Argentina, and Chile. In contrast, other sports such as football, volleyball, and rugby adequately enjoy popularity and cultural significance. In the region of East Asia, countries including Japan, China, and South Korea exhibit a greater preference for athletic activities including baseball, basketball, and soccer, with minimal to no engagement in cricket-based pastimes. Despite the concerted efforts put forth by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to promote the global expansion of the sport, there remains a substantial amount of work to be done by countries in terms of acknowledging cricket as a significant athletic pursuit, much less gaining proficiency in playing it at an international standard. The process of transforming these nations into cricket-playing entities is presumed to entail a protracted and demanding expedition.

Our hypothesis as to why cricket has taken over the world

The postulation that cricket has attained global prominence is contingent upon various underlying factors. Primarily, the historical impact of the British Empire, which serves as the birthplace of cricket, exerted a momentous influence in disseminating the game to multiple regions worldwide, including the Indian subcontinent, Australia, the Caribbean, and select areas of Africa. After obtaining a solid foothold in the aforementioned areas, the game became intricately intertwined with their societal and cultural foundation, progressing beyond its mere athletic function. The inception of different cricket formats, namely Test, One Day International (ODI), and the Twenty20 (T20) version, has effectively catered to varied audiences and their preferences, thereby enhancing the accessibility and engagement of the sport. Moreover, the expansion of profitable cricket leagues such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Big Bash League has elevated the prominence of the sport, presenting a fusion of first-rate cricketing skills and amusement. The proliferation of cricket worldwide can be partly attributed to the persistent endeavors of the International Cricket Council (ICC) in promoting the globalization of the sport. This, along with the emergence of cricketing facilities and financial investments in nations that do not traditionally play cricket, has significantly contributed to the sport’s expansion on a global scale.


In summary, Cricket, a sport that emerged in England, has witnessed remarkable progress and garnered a massive following across the world. The ubiquitous reach of cricket is irrefutable, as evidenced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) recognizing 105 member nations. The degree to which the game is played and observed varies considerably among countries. The sport in question is regarded with fervent enthusiasm in certain nations such as India, Australia, and England, while its awareness remains to be comparatively limited in several others. Nevertheless, the increasing prominence of brief formats such as T20 cricket and endeavors to expand the reach of the sport suggest a prosperous outlook for cricket. The query regarding the number of countries participating in cricket is prone to accommodating a progressively larger number of nations owing to the sport’s continued proliferation into uncharted territories.

More Articles