Cricket Sports Fuels India Revenue Boom


By Daniel Asikpo Aug 02, 2023


When it comes to sports, many underestimate India as a country. Cricket sport in India has proven vice to this underlying theory making India one of the highest revenue earners in the sporting world.


image representation of India cricket


History of Cricket In India


India boasts of a rich cricketing history, and the sport holds a special place in the hearts of millions of Indians. It has the power to unite people, break down barriers, and generate fervent emotions among fans during major cricketing events. 


Dated back to the 18th century, Cricket was introduced to India by the British. From then, it quickly gained massive popularity among Indians who adopted the game passionately. It was earlier played by Traders and British soldiers who stationed themselves in different parts of India. In the early 20th century, the Bombay Quadrangular Tournament was established, featuring teams representing the Parsis, Hindus, Muslims, and Europeans. This tournament played a significant role in promoting the sport and building cricketing talent in the region. 


With its popularity increasing every year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was formed in 1928 to regulate and govern cricket in India. It is still the current governing body for cricket in the country and is responsible for organizing domestic and international matches involving the Indian cricket team. 


In June 1932, they played a Test match against England at the Lord's Cricket Ground. It was their first Test match although they lost, it was the beginning of India's journey in Test Cricket. CK Nayudu led that Indian team. India gained independence in 1947 and cricket continued to grow in popularity. 


In 1952 with Vijay Hazare as the captain, a first Test series was again played with England but this time as an independent nation. India achieved its first-ever Test victory in 1952 when they defeated England at Chennai (then known as Madras) in the Madras Test. The emergence of One-Day Internationals (ODI) in the 1970s saw India playing its first ODI match against England in 1974 at Headingley, Leeds. 


India won their first-ever Cricket World Cup title in 1983, one of the most significant turning points in Indian cricket history led by Kapil Dev, They defeated the mighty West Indies in the final at Lord's. The introduction of T20 cricket in the mid-2000s brought a new dimension to the sport. 


The Indian Premier League (IPL), launched in 2008, became a massive success, attracting top players from around the world and catapulting the popularity of T20 cricket in India. Their second World Cup Victory came in 2011 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, defeating Sri Lanka in the final at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. 


In the 2010s, the Indian cricket team established itself as a dominant force in Test cricket, reaching the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.


Revenue generation


Sport as a whole has become a money-minting industry generating billions and these figures keep on increasing year after year. As of 2021, the global sports market was at around $480 billion and currently in 2023 is over $500 billion. It is expected to surpass the $700 billion mark by 2026. 


According to Sportstar, on July 13, "ICC Board Meet: India gets maximum share from revenue distribution from 2024-2027. It is expected that BCCI will annually earn USD 230 million from the USD 600 million pot for the next four years. It is around 38.4 per cent approximately and at least six times more than England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which is set to receive approximately USD 41 million at 6.89 per cent and Cricket Australia (CA), which will get 37.53 million (around 6.25 per cent). They are distant second and third on the list.".


The revenue generated by cricket in India comes from various sources, including broadcasting rights, sponsorships, ticket sales, merchandise, and advertising. In 2021, BCCI signed a new media rights deal for the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Star India, which was worth approximately $2.55 billion for five years (2022-2026). 


The IPL is one of the most lucrative and popular cricket leagues globally and contributes significantly to the overall revenue of Indian cricket. The IPL ranks second in the top ten richest sports leagues in the world with a whopping $11 billion, two times the amount generated by the most watched football league in the world- The English Premiere League which ranks 5th with $5.3 billion. 


The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the governing body for cricket in India, earned substantial sums from the IPL and international cricket matches hosted in the country. Cricket has also opened many doors of employment and opportunity for the individuals and government of India to generate extra funds. With foreigners coming to enjoy the game of cricket, airlines will definitely be busy, and real estate(hotels and motels) will be receiving new guests. 


It expands beyond this, touching food, tourist centres, road transportation, fashion and many others. Thus, extra taxes to the favor of the government and betterness of the economy.


India as a country has gotten a good hold on the cricket game and I'm sure they are not ready to lose their spot any sooner. The Indian sports industry revenue increased by 49% in 2022. Cricket itself currently holds 85% of the revenue generated in sport for India and I must say the game is worth it citing the interest, value and development it has added to India as a country.



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