How Many Cricketers are there in the World?

Know how many cricketers are there in the world and who are the most popular among them all. Also, know how many countries play cricket internationally.

How Many Cricketers are there in the World?
Subhayan Dutta

Written by: Subhayan Dutta

(Sports Writer)

Fact checked by: Dillip Mohanty

(Sports Editor)

Last updated: 2023-11-09

Cricket is a game played by millions of people around the world, but none more than in India, the sport’s spiritual capital. When Cricket was adopted in India after the Britishers started to play it in Commonwealth nations, Indians started to adopt it immediately, and it became an instant success.

However, there was one thing evident. While the sport continued to be played in every nook and corner of the country, the representation at the highest level was a domain of the privileged. The Royals of the country were the first ones who played cricket with vigor and even if you consider the Indian Cricket Team, it was filled with former princes and kings.

Similarly, elsewhere in England and Australia, there were clear distinctions between professional and amateur cricket. They forged together to create a team, but how they played gave away the secret.

Masaai Cricket Warriors.jpegWhile a professional cricketer was typically contracted by their county club and was paid expenses as well as a bonus for being on the tour, an amateur cricketer was not always a full-time player during the season, with other income sources that mainly paid their bill. That made the crux of cricket in England before the distinction between amateurs and professionals was abolished, and all first-class players became nominally professional in 1962.

How many countries play cricket internationally?

Currently, the sport has come a long way. It is governed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and as many as 108 members participate in the sport. The ICC is responsible for the governance and administration of the game, apart from working with the members to grow the sport.

The ICC is also responsible for hosting multiple prestigious events like the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, ICC T20 World Cup, ICC U19 World Cup, ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, and ICC Champions Trophy, among others. Over the years, achieving success in global events has become a huge thing for players across the globe, and they look forward to playing in those events and winning the trophy for their national side - which in turn etch their names in the history books. 

Teams During Opening  Ceremony of 1987 Cricket World Cup.jpeg

How many cricketers does a country have?

Normally, a national team has around 25 players under their radar, but the vastness of a country defines the size of its cricket talent. India, for example, has 38 domestic cricket teams, with each team having at least 50 players designated to join the senior stateside at any moment. Even within that, Mumbai, which is the epicentre of India’s cricketing economy, has more players than many other countries.

India also has an age-group system, and hence, on average, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) conducts around 2500 domestic cricket matches in a year. From that count alone, we can figure out that approximately 20000 active cricket players are plying their trades across the country.

If you take count of past and present cricketers, there will be over a couple of million cricketers in India who have played cricket at a decent level. They make the body of Indian cricket what it is today.

On the other hand, the amount of talent who comes through in other countries is not small either. Despite being small in size, South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal continue to produce cricketers of exceptional ability thanks to a thriving domestic cricket structure. The grants that come from International Cricket Countries, as a part of the revenue-sharing model, are being used to conduct domestic cricket and invested in other pathway programs to ensure that the flow of talents never stops.

Even though the likes of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan don’t have as big structures to continue and create a pipeline as India has been able to do in the last 40 years, they still have enough good cricketers coming through due to exposure to many foreign T20 leagues.

Number of Players

In International Cricket

FormatPlayersSpan
Test31391877-2023
ODI29021971-2023
T20I36762005-2023
Overall67671877-2023
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How do T20 leagues create cricketers across the world?

It is often said in jest as the single biggest economic vehicle of the sport, but look deeply; there is nothing more unique and democratic than the T20 leagues, which help propel the game forward. Due to the abundance of leagues in the world, there is a supply of cricketers coming through every single day.

A player like Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal made it big in the Indian Premier League; a player like Rahmat Shah from Afghanistan is considered a big shot in almost every single league around the world; a player like Paul Stirling from Ireland is a very popular name among cricket fans due to his explosive batting ability. The way T20 cricket provided opportunities to these cricketers and made them household names in the world makes it all worth it.
 

Number of International Cricket Players

By Countries

TeamPlayersSpan
England7671877-2023
Australia5341877-2023
South Africa4191889-2023
India3991932-2023
West Indies3931928-2023
New Zealand3451930-2023
Pakistan3451952-2023
Sri Lanka2421975-2023
Bangladesh1731986-2023
Zimbabwe1661983-2023
U.A.E.1201994-2023
Canada1131979-2023
Netherlands931996-2023
Scotland801999-2023
Ireland762006-2023
Afghanistan722009-2023
Kenya671996-2023
Hong Kong652004-2023
Bermuda582006-2023
Nepal522014-2023
U.S.A.522004-2023
Malta492019-2023
ICC World XI482005-2018
Italy422019-2023
Bahrain412019-2023
Germany412019-2023
Namibia412003-2023
Saudi Arabia412019-2023
Bulgaria402019-2023
Czech Rep.402019-2023
Kuwait382019-2023
Oman382015-2023
Qatar372019-2023
Singapore372019-2023
Gibraltar362019-2023
Maldives362019-2023
Romania362019-2023
Uganda362019-2023
Belgium352019-2023
Norway342019-2023
Panama342019-2023
Luxembourg332019-2023
P.N.G.332014-2023
Sweden332021-2023
Thailand332019-2023
Denmark322019-2023
Guernsey322019-2023
Malaysia322019-2023
Turkey322019-2023
Austria312019-2023
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Subhayan Dutta

Subhayan Dutta

An M.A. in English Literature, Subhayan is an experienced journalist and sports writer. Having worked as a journalist at Hindustan Times, Subhayan covered diverse beats including sports, education, and health, showcasing his versatility and in-depth understanding of various subjects.

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