The Cricket World Cup concluded with Australia triumphing over India, eliciting euphoria from players like Pat Cummins, who declared a newfound love for ODI cricket. The tournament, spanning 46 days, commenced memorably with Sachin Tendulkar’s solitary walk onto an empty Indian cricket ground and culminated in record-breaking attendance of 1.26 million across ten venues, surpassing previous records.
India’s Hotstar streaming service saw soaring viewership, notably during Glenn Maxwell’s astounding double century, reaching a peak of 59 million concurrent viewers. The ICC anticipated increased viewership globally, building on the 43% surge in viewing minutes observed midway through the tournament compared to 2019.
Despite ongoing discussions about ODI cricket’s future amidst the T20 era, the men’s Cricket World Cup remains a valuable commodity, with broadcasting rights secured in India until 2027 and extending to the 2031 edition. However, debates persist around reviving interest in bilateral series beyond the World Cup, exemplified by Cricket Australia’s proposal to reinstate the ODI Super League.
Cummins’ admission about rekindling his passion for the format during World Cups sheds light on the challenge of sustaining interest between tournaments, potentially impacting the quality of cricket played. The World Cup holds significance as it unites Test and T20 talents, showcasing diverse skills. Although T20 innovations enhance bowlers’ arsenals, mastery of Test cricket remains crucial.
Proposals to modify the World Cup, including introducing bonus points or reducing overs, are under consideration. However, the tournament’s role as a unifying force in cricket is crucial to prevent unintended consequences.
Despite favorable viewership figures and existing contracts, the recent World Cup narrowly missed breaking attendance records set in previous editions. Nevertheless, the World Cup’s significance as a unifying event in cricket remains evident, emphasizing the potential ramifications of losing such a prestigious tournament.