English cricket suffers as participation in cricket falls in England and Wales.
Cricket is the national sport of England, but its popularity in the country has been dropping over the years. Football has always topped cricket in the country in terms of viewership, but the already avid cricket fans are also diminishing slowly. The latest figures released by the ECB show that players between the age of 14 to 65 have dropped from 908,000 in 2013 to 844,000 in 2014.
The ECB obtained these figures after they conducted a survey from 37,500 recreational cricketers in tandem with the analysis of 1.2 million scorecards. There may be a few factors that might affect these numbers – amateur cricket is played in England only on Saturdays and this year, there were only 15 ‘dry’ Saturdays, compared to 20 last year. On the other hand, there was also the much hyped 2014 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil in June.
These are two very important factors that need to be considered when studying the results, however the general consensus is that people of England and Wales are losing interest in cricket.
Testimony to this are the attendance numbers in the series that are played at home in England. The new NatWest T20 Blast, that was relaunched, saw the average attendance fall. All this is not helped by the fact that England cricket has been hit by several controversies in the last few months.