Which Country Does Not Play Cricket?

Which Country Does Not Play Cricket? Many Countries Where Cricket Is Not Played: Insights from the International Cricket Council

Cricket, a sport with deep roots and a vast following, weaves through the history and culture of numerous countries around the globe. Yet, it remains absent in several nations, leaving a curious gap in the global cricketing map. This article delves into the fascinating world of countries where cricket is not played, uncovering the reasons behind this absence and exploring the broader implications for the sport’s global reach.

which country does not play cricket
Which country does not play cricket?

In this article, we’ll delve into ‘Which Country Does Not Play Cricket,’ exploring the nations where the sport has yet to make its mark.

Introduction to Cricket’s Global Presence

Cricket is governed at the global level by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which has over 104 member countries. Among these, 12 are full members that play official Test matches such as England, Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Zimbabwe and 2 recent additions – Ireland and Afghanistan. The ICC also has 92 associate members like Netherlands, UAE, Nigeria etc. that play limited over cricket.

The game of cricket has been played since 1844 when the first game was played between Australia and England in 1877. Cricket has evolved over the years from just Test matches to also include shorter formats like One Day Internationals and Twenty20 matches. The T20 format was introduced in 2003 and the first T20 World Cup was played in 2007. It has emerged as a popular short format of cricket.

which country does not play cricket
Introduction to Cricket’s Global Presence

Despite cricket’s seeming popularity across five continents, the ironic fact is a majority of the world’s 200+ countries do not play serious competitive cricket at the international level. Let’s explore which some prominent non-cricket playing nations are and why the sport has not taken off there.

Which Country Does Not Play Cricket: Major Many Countries Do Not Play Cricket

A quick look at the ICC members list reveals that cricket has little or no presence in some major sporting powerhouses and advanced economies. Here are a few significant examples:

United States of America

Cricket has very limited appeal with other sports like baseball, basketball and American football dominating the market. The small expat population is the only active participant group in amateur club cricket. USA does not have a competitive national cricket team and does not actively participate in ICC tournaments.


Like the US, baseball and ice hockey are the major sports here. Cricket is restricted to amateur league play among expatriates. There is no broad-based spectator interest or infrastructure to develop cricket professionally.

Oman and Kuwait

These associate member nations have recently taken up cricket but still lack the grassroots infrastructure, fan interest and governance needed to qualify for major ICC tournaments like the T20 World Cup.


Cricket is almost unknown as a sport to the wider Chinese public. The most popular sports are table tennis, basketball and badminton. China does not actively participate in international cricket and does not have a national  .


Despite a large immigrant population from cricket countries, the sport has not taken off. Football is by far the most watched and played sport. Cricket has negligible spectator following or infrastructure.


The football obsessed nation has no history with cricket. Lack of exposure, infrastructure and governance support means cricket is alien to sporting culture and public consciousness.


A leading African nation but with almost zero cricketing DNA or heritage. Traditional football and handball dominate sports space. Lacks the ecosystem for cricket adoption.


In Russia, sports like football, ice hockey, and basketball dominate the national consciousness, leaving little space for cricket. The country’s cold climate and lack of British colonial influence contribute to cricket’s absence.


Though Italy has a small cricket-playing community, the sport struggles to compete with football, cycling, and motorsports, which have a more substantial historical presence and following.


Home to the Olympics, Greece favors sports with ancient heritage, such as athletics and wrestling, over cricket, which lacks historical roots in the country.


Winter sports, along with football and handball, capture the Norwegian spirit more than cricket, which is seen as an alien sport with little relevance to Norwegian culture.

In summary, despite cricket’s long history and popularity within the Commonwealth, it has not managed to spread its footprint in these sports superpowers who prefer their own local games.

Discover why cricket has a minimal presence in these regions through our analysis on how much does a cricket umpire get paid, reflecting on the sport’s professional aspects.

Challenges for Cricket Becoming a Global Sport

Cricket certainly faces some inherent challenges in pushing wider international adoption due to the following practical realities:

Colonial Roots

Cricket was conceived and propagated by England during the colonial era. So cricket playing was limited to other Commonwealth countries under the British rule. Non-British colonies did not adopt cricket.

Intricate Rules

The complex nature of cricket rules, gameplay nuances, multiple formats etc. make it harder for new audiences unaware of it to quickly comprehend and follow the game of the cricket.

Stadium and training facilities

Cricket requires dedicated stadiums and training facilities. Outfields with grass pitches require higher maintenance compared to a simple football field. This pushes up the infrastructure cost.

ICC’s Limited Reach

Despite 100+ members, ICC engagement with amateur cricket bodies in non-playing countries remains limited. Football global body FIFA in contrast has 211 member associations.

Development Costs

For any country to build cricket from scratch requires significant financial investment and human resources to build facilities, fan interest, corporate sponsorship etc.

Lure of Existing Sports

Nations like New Zealand or Afghanistan with no significant local sport adopted cricket more readily. Bigger countries with football, basketball etc. have little incentive to invest in cricket promotion.

For insights into cricket’s complexities and its historical spread, read about what is a powerplay in cricket.”

Prospects for Cricket Expanding its Global Footprint

which country does not play cricket
Prospects for Cricket Expanding its Global Footprint

Despite the challenges, ICC has taken concerted initiatives to promote cricket beyond the Commonwealth and Asian confines over the past decade.

Major drivers aiding this expansion include:

  • Increasing Cricket World Cup participants from 10 to 14 teams.
  • Funding high performance programs for associate members like USA, Canada, PNG etc.
  • Expanding T20 Cricket leagues and bilateral cricket to untapped regions in Europe, Americas and Africa.
  • Relaxing visa rules to allow diffusion of experienced coaches and trainers globally.
  • Investing in stadium infrastructure and cricket academies in partnership with local boards.
  • Awarding ODI and T20I status more freely to boost competitiveness.

With a targeted approach leveraging T20 cricket league as an entry product, ICC hopes to foster sustainable international cricket ecosystems in at least 25 more countries in the next decade.

The Role of the ICC and Global Cricket Expansion

The ICC has categorized its membership into Full Members, who play Test cricket, and Associate Members, which are countries where cricket is growing. Yet, there are nations outside these categories where cricket is virtually unknown.

which country does not play cricket
Role of the ICC and Global Cricket Expansion

Why Many Countries Remain Cricket-less

The absence of cricket in certain nations can be attributed to a myriad of factors, including the lack of colonial cricketing heritage, competition from more dominant sports, or simply different recreational preferences. This section delves into the multifaceted reasons why cricket has not taken root in these countries.

The Colonial Legacy and Its Limits

Cricket’s spread has historically followed the map of the British Empire. However, in countries where British influence was less pronounced or resisted, cricket did not establish a foothold, showcasing the complex relationship between colonialism and sports propagation.

Football vs. Cricket: A Tale of Global Dominance

In numerous countries, the universal appeal of football has overshadowed cricket, attributed to its simpler rules, shorter game duration, and minimal equipment requirements. This part compares the global reach of football and cricket, analyzing why football has become the world’s most popular sport, while cricket remains concentrated in specific regions.

Potential for Cricket in New Territories

Despite historical absences, there’s potential for cricket’s expansion into new markets. This section discusses the ICC’s initiatives and the appeal of T20 cricket league as potential avenues for introducing the sport to new audiences, signaling growth opportunities beyond traditional cricketing nations.

Spotlight on Countries Without Cricket Cultures

An in-depth exploration of specific examples of countries without a cricket culture, such as Russia and Japan, to understand the local sports landscape and the reasons behind cricket’s absence. This exploration reveals how cultural preferences and historical developments influence sports popularity.

Cricket’s Future Beyond Traditional Boundaries

The potential for cricket world to expand its global footprint exists but faces significant challenges in competing with established sports and overcoming cultural barriers. This section speculates on cricket’s potential to become more universally adopted and the challenges it faces.

Key Takeaways

  • Cricket’s global presence is widespread but not universal, with significant absences in several countries.
  • Historical, cultural, and competitive factors significantly influence the adoption of cricket.
  • The ICC’s classification of countries underscores the varied levels of cricket development and participation.
  • The future of cricket world in non-traditional nations hinges on strategic growth and embracing new fans, with initiatives aimed at making the sport more accessible and appealing worldwide.

Conclusion of Countries That Do Not Play Cricket

Understanding why cricket isn’t played in certain countries uncovers a complex tapestry of historical, cultural, and sporting preferences that shape the global sports landscape. As cricket continues to evolve, so too will the strategies for introducing it to new territories, potentially changing the cricket world map.

In summary, cricket has limited reach as an international sport beyond the British Commonwealth and Asian region currently. Historical roots, governance gaps and high adoption costs have constrained global growth. But with expansion initiatives like targeted infrastructure support and digital outreach, ICC aims to build cricketing traction in hitherto untouched markets. If the catalysts deliver, we could realistically see more countries take up cricket seriously going forward.

As a closing note, direct readers to a platform for live cricket streaming, emphasizing cricket’s global appeal: To witness the global appeal of cricket live, stream matches on Touchcric Live Cricket Stream, where the sport’s universal spirit comes to life.

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