After an incredible summer of cricket saw England lift the Cricket World Cup for the first time, the ECB have reported record levels of engagement with cricket by people across England and Wales.
The initial results from research conducted by the ECB – in partnership with Cricket World Cup 2019, UK Sport and Chance to Shine – reveal that 15.4 million viewers tuned in to watch at least part of the World Cup final, 31 per cent of whom had never watched a cricket match before. The tournament as a whole saw 24 million people across England and Wales watching at some point. Away from the TV, the ECB stated that 52,000 new ticket-buyers snapped up 227,000 tickets.
What an amazing summer of cricket. A very emotional clip reliving it all and seeing the impact cricket has had on everyone this summer #InspiringGenerations
— Jos Buttler (@josbuttler) October 18, 2019
This exposure to the sport was not limited to just watching, with 61 per cent of clubs reporting an increase in members and 62 per cent an increase in the number of junior players. The Cricket World Cup Clubs Programme reached over half a million people, with 184,000 of whom were new to their clubs.
The Cricket World Cup Schools Programme, run in partnership with Chance to Shine saw to the participation of 800,000 primary school students across 8,000 schools.
The ECB’s CEO Tom Harrison said in a press statement: “It has been the most incredible summer of cricket and I’m extremely proud of the hard work that has resulted in such a memorable tournament. We knew hosting the 2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup would give us a great platform from which to diversify and grow the game and these findings demonstrate that we’ve been able to both reach new fans and to strengthen connections with existing supporters.”
Harrison added: “Cricket can play a powerful role in bringing communities together – we witnessed that this summer – and we’ve seen that moments like the one we saw at Lord’s can help to inspire a generation. This summer has helped to ignite heightened passion for the game across the country and I look forward to seeing how we utilise that through our 2020-2024 strategy, Inspiring Generations.”