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What does the future of cricket look like according to fans?

Future of cricket: Where do fans see the game in the next 10-15 years?
Out of 1,018 respondents, 44.3% believed that cricket will be a regular feature in the Olympic games. There is a push for cricket to be at the 2028 Los Angeles games, but 2032 is looking likelier.

41.5% of respondents expect women’s cricket to go from strength to strength. The Women’s IPL is set to kick off in 2023, which is likely to see the game flourish even more as the best cricketers from India and around the world compete. Also, with the WBBL achieving record numbers in 2021, fans expect to see more women’s leagues around the world.

Speaking of the IPL, 35.7% of respondents believe there will be two IPLs in a calendar year by the time 2032 rolls around. Earlier this year, former India coach Ravi Shastri said that such an event is inevitable given the league’s financial might, highlighted by the mammoth broadcast rights which put the IPL behind only the NFL in terms of value per match.

Also, 68% of respondents believe that IPL franchise owners can hold more power than cricket boards in the future. In April 2023, a report suggested that such owners have approached England players to offer lucrative T20 contracts for millions of pounds per year, making franchises the players’ employer rather than boards or county.

Future of Test cricket safe for now in the eyes of the fans
A huge 91.3% of respondents said that Test cricket will still be alive in 2037. The game’s most traditional format, which has delivered endless memories over the years, is also at a crossroads given the rise of domestic leagues around the world. However, fans believe the format still has a place as it is the ultimate test of skill and can balance out the incredible pace at which white-ball cricket moves.

But, Tests are expensive to host for boards around the world. Whether they are financially feasible enough for nations other than England, Australia and India remains to be seen. Perhaps there is a need for the ICC to step in and make Test cricket as accessible as possible for fans. In fact, one of the respondents put forward a Netflix style subscription for ICC.tv to host Tests. Other respondents called for more day/night Tests, more affordable tickets, a reduction in T20Is and better marketing.

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