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Why USA Does Not Play Cricket And Only Like Baseball?

Cricket and baseball are both popular bat-and-ball sports enjoyed by millions of people worldwide, yet their popularity varies significantly between different countries. While baseball has firmly established itself as America’s pastime, cricket has failed to gain widespread traction in the United States. This stark contrast raises the question: why does the USA not play cricket?

To understand this phenomenon, we must delve into the historical, cultural, and social factors that have shaped sports preferences in the United States. Baseball’s roots in American history run deep, dating back to the mid-19th century when it emerged as a recreational activity and later evolved into a professional sport with the formation of Major League Baseball (MLB). Its popularity soared, becoming intertwined with American identity and culture, celebrated through iconic moments like Babe Ruth’s home runs and the World Series.

To know more about why the people of the USA do not play cricket and prefer baseball, continue reading ahead. 

Early Introduction of Cricket in the US and Emergence of Baseball

Cricket struggled to gain a foothold in the USA despite attempts to introduce it during the 18th and 19th centuries. While cricket enjoyed some popularity in certain regions, particularly among immigrant communities, it ultimately failed to capture the broader American audience’s interest. 

The reasons behind cricket’s limited appeal in the USA are multifaceted, including its perceived complexity, lack of exposure, and competition from established American sports like baseball and football. As a result, baseball emerged as the dominant bat-and-ball sport in the USA, overshadowing cricket and shaping the nation’s sporting landscape.

Also Read: Top 12 Most Popular Sports In USA

Why US not Play Cricket?

There are two main reasons why the USA does not play cricket. This includes both cultural and economic reasons that are explained in this section. 

1. Cultural Factors

In the United States, sports like basketball, American football, and baseball reign supreme, captivating audiences with their rich history and widespread popularity. For instance, Major League Baseball (MLB) reported revenues of over $10 billion in 2021, reflecting the entrenched position of baseball within American culture. 

Similarly, the National Football League (NFL) consistently ranks as the most-watched sports league in the USA, drawing millions of viewers annually. With such established sports monopolizing the American sports landscape, newer sports like cricket face an uphill battle for recognition and acceptance.

Unlike cricket-loving nations where the sport enjoys robust infrastructure and extensive media coverage, cricket’s presence in the USA remains limited. For example, a survey conducted in 2020 revealed that only 2% of Americans claimed to have watched or followed cricket regularly. 

Moreover, the lack of dedicated cricket facilities and leagues across the country underscores the sport’s marginalization within American sports culture. Despite sporadic efforts to promote cricket at the grassroots level, the absence of a well-defined pathway for aspiring cricketers and the scarcity of televised cricket events contribute to the sport’s low profile in the USA.

Also Read: Role of Sports Diplomacy in International Relations

2. Economic Factors

In the United States, the commercial viability of sports plays a significant role in shaping their popularity and prominence. Major sports leagues like the NFL, MLB, and NBA boast lucrative television deals, sponsorship agreements, and merchandise sales, contributing billions of dollars to the national economy each year. 

For instance, the Super Bowl, the championship game of the NFL, generated over $500 million in advertising revenue alone in 2021. In contrast, cricket struggles to attract similar levels of commercial interest and investment in the USA. According to a survey conducted by Nielsen Sports in 2020, cricket ranked low in terms of popularity among American sports fans, with only 3% expressing interest in the sport. 

This lack of consumer demand and market potential makes it challenging for cricket to compete with more established sports in securing corporate sponsorship and media rights deals, hindering its growth and mainstream appeal.

The investment in infrastructure and grassroots development programs is crucial for the growth and sustainability of any sport. In the USA, sports like basketball and soccer have benefited from substantial investments in youth leagues, training academies, and state-of-the-art facilities, nurturing talent from a young age and fostering a strong sporting culture. 

However, cricket lags behind in terms of investment and development initiatives. According to data from the United States Youth Cricket Association (USYCA), only a small fraction of schools in the USA offer cricket programs, limiting access to the sport for aspiring young athletes. 

Additionally, the scarcity of cricket-specific venues and training centers further hampers the sport’s growth potential. While there have been efforts to promote cricket at the grassroots level, such as the Major League Cricket (MLC) initiative launched in 2020, sustained investment and infrastructure development are needed to elevate cricket to the same level of prominence enjoyed by other sports in the USA.

Also Read: Top 10 Most Popular Sports in India


In conclusion, the absence of cricket as a mainstream sport in the United States can be attributed to a combination of cultural, economic, and logistical factors. While cricket enjoys widespread popularity in many parts of the world, including former British colonies like India and Australia, its growth in the USA has been hindered by the dominance of American sports culture, limited commercial viability, and inadequate investment in infrastructure and development programs. 

Despite efforts to promote cricket at the grassroots level and initiatives like Major League Cricket, the sport continues to struggle to gain traction and compete with established American sports like baseball, basketball, and football. However, as the demographics of the USA evolve and the global popularity of cricket rises, there may be opportunities for the sport to carve out a niche and expand its presence in the country. Ultimately, the future of cricket in the USA will depend on continued efforts to raise awareness, improve infrastructure, and attract investment.


Q1. Why is cricket not as popular in the USA as it is in other countries?

Cricket’s popularity in the USA is hindered by the dominance of American sports like baseball, basketball, and football, which have deep-rooted cultural significance and extensive infrastructure.

Q2. Are there any efforts to promote cricket in the USA?

Yes, initiatives like Major League Cricket (MLC) and grassroots programs aim to raise awareness and develop the sport in the USA, but they face challenges in competing with established American sports leagues.

Q3. Why Russia Doesn’t Play Cricket?

Russia doesn’t play cricket because it’s not traditionally popular there, with a strong preference for sports like football, ice hockey, and basketball.

Q4. Why Europe Does Not Play Cricket?

Europe doesn’t play cricket mainly due to its historical development of other sports like football, rugby, and tennis, which have dominated the region’s sporting culture.

Q5. Why China Doesn’t Play Cricket?

China doesn’t play cricket primarily because it hasn’t been historically popular or widely introduced, with a focus instead on sports like table tennis, basketball, and badminton.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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