How Many Countries Play Cricket?

Most nations on the globe play cricket in some capacity, but there are now 106 national teams that are connected in some manner to the ICC.

These days, cricket is a global sport, and the introduction of Twenty20 has expanded the family. 

The number of nations playing T20 can be expanding, while the number of nations with full Test status may still be quite small.

The sanctioning organisation for allowing specific nations to participate in official matches in any of the three primary forms is the International Cricket Council.

Australia, England, and South Africa were among the original members of the Imperial Cricket Conference, which became the International Cricket Council (ICC), which was established at Lord’s on June 15, 1909.

At first, only Commonwealth nations were eligible to join. However, later, other nations like Pakistan joined in 1953, after 1926 saw the addition of India, New Zealand, and the West Indies.

How many countries play cricket

Due to their departure from the Commonwealth, South Africa resigned from the Conference in 1961.

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Nonetheless, they continued to play Test cricket until their exile from international competition in 1970.

The Imperial Cricket Conference was renamed the International Cricket Conference in 1965, with new rules allowing for the first time the election of nations outside the Commonwealth into the governing body.

Fiji and the USA were the first Associate Member nations in that year. Sri Lanka was the first Associate Member to be elected a Full Member in 1981, bringing the total number of countries that play Test matches back up to seven. 

The International Cricket Council replaced the ICC as the organization’s name in 1989. 

Zimbabwe was elected to the ICC in 1992, Bangladesh in 2000, and South Africa was re-elected as a Full Member in 1991.

Ireland and Afghanistan were given Full Member (and Test) status on June 22, 2017, bringing the total to 12.

There are 106 ICC members as of July 2021, including 12 full members and 94 associate members.

All future membership applications, both full and associate, will be evaluated by the Membership Committee in accordance with a set of impartial standards. 

There used to be a third level called Affiliate Membership, but it was eliminated in June 2017, making Full Members and Associate Members the only two levels. 

Any new member elected to the ICC would start out as an Associate Member, with the possibility of advancement to Full Member status based on continued success in international competition.

Due to political influence, the ICC suspended Zimbabwe Cricket from July to October 2019, marking the first time this had happened with a Full Member team.

Full Members

The cricket governing bodies of a nation or a collection of related nations that represent a region are known as Full Members.

All full members are entitled to send a team to official Test matches, are given full voting privileges at ICC meetings, and are immediately eligible to participate in ODIs and T20Is.

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While the English cricket team represents both England and Wales, and the Irish cricket team represents the entire island of Ireland, the West Indies cricket team represents a total of 15 Caribbean nations and territories.

Before being chosen as Full Members, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Ireland played as Associate Members among these 12 countries.

Associate Members

Associate Members are nations with well-organized cricket that do not meet the requirements for Full Membership. Presently, there are 94 Associate Members.

All Associates were qualified to participate in the World Cricket League, an ICC-run tournament of international one-day cricket that runs until 2019.

From 2019 onwards, the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 and ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League will take their place.

Additionally, there are ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier competitions that serve as a means of qualification for the tournament; up until April 2018, only qualified teams received Twenty20 International status.

How many countries play cricket

The ICC stated in April 2018 that all of its members would be eligible for T20I status beginning on July 1, 2018 for the women’s game and on January 1, 2019 for the men’s game.

Former Members

There are five nations that were ejected from the International Cricket Council after previously belonging as associate or affiliate members.

One would be curious to discover how many Asian nations participate in cricket after learning the total number of participating nations. If you fall into this category, keep reading.

The game of cricket was invented in England. According to the facts at hand, the early 1900s were in south-east England. 

Australia, South Africa, and the West Indies were the other nations where the sport was played at the time. 

The sport has gradually gained popularity on the Asian continent as well. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India all began participating in the sport.

Asian Countries

Asian nations like India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan earned a name for themselves in cricket by winning the World Cup once each in the late 1900s. 

It resulted in the creation of the Asian Cricket Conference in 1983, which was tasked with expanding the game throughout the rest of Asia. 

Bangladesh had emerged as a new force in Asian cricket by the twenty-first century. 

Currently, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Nepal all play competitive cricket. Among these three countries, Afghanistan gained notoriety by earning a spot in the 2014 World Cup.

In 2003, the Asian Cricket Conference, which had its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, changed its name to the Asian Cricket Council. The council has a membership of 25 nations and reports to the ICC.

Non Asian Countries 

Cricket was first played in England, Australia, the West Indies, and South Africa in the early 20th century. 

The idea of creating an international council came from Abe Bailey, who was the South African Cricket Association’s president at the time. 

In 1906, the Imperial Cricket Conference was established; it eventually changed its name to the International Cricket Council. 

Over the past 20 years, international competitions have included Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, Scotland, and the United Arab Emirates. 

The sport has recently gained popularity in the United States as well. More than 100 nations currently participate in this sport and are connected to the ICC.

Three forms are used when playing international cricket. The three formats are a five-day match called a Test, a one-day match with 50 overs each side called a One-day International, and a 20-overs per side match called a T-20 International. 

The most recent and well-liked format during the previous five years is T-20

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