How many countries play cricket?: These days, cricket is a global sport, and the introduction of Twenty20 has expanded the family. The number of nations playing T20 Associate may be expanding, while the number of nations with full Test status may still be quite small.
When you think about the entire globe, how many countries do you think play cricket?
Most countries in the world play cricket in some way, but there are only 106 national teams that are connected to the ICC in some way.
The International Cricket Council is the governing body in charge of letting certain countries play official games in any of the three main formats.
List of Cricket Playing Countries
As of 2022, 12 countries have full membership in the ICC. At the moment, these are the only teams that can play official test matches.
These countries are:
- Australia (1909 – Founding Member)
- England (1909 – Founding Member)
- South Africa (1909 – Founding Member)
- India (1926)
- New Zealand (1926)
- West Indies (1926)
- Pakistan (1952)
- Sri Lanka (1981)
- Zimbabwe (1992)
- Bangladesh (2000)
- Afghanistan (2017)
- Ireland (2017)
Australia, England, and South Africa were the first three countries to join the International Cricket Council when it was set up in June 1909. In 1877, Australia and England played the first official test match in Melbourne. In 1889, South Africa played its first test match.
From this point on, growth was slow until 1926, when India, New Zealand, and the West Indies joined the ICC and made the number of test-playing nations six. After South Africa was kicked out of international sports in the 1970s, there were only five teams left on the list until Sri Lanka joined in 1981.
In 1992, South Africa was let back in, and in the same year, Zimbabwe joined. Bangladesh has been good at cricket for a long time, and in 2000, the country joined the ICC as a full member.
After a long break, cricket in Afghanistan and Ireland began to improve at the start of the new millennium. Both countries had some success with limited overs cricket, and in 2017 they became the most recent full member teams.
Associate Cricket Countries with ODI Membership
The first list of additional countries shows which teams are allowed to play official One Day International cricket. This time, in alphabetical order, these are:
- Papua New Guinea
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Most of these teams have been to ODI World Cups, where they made a name for themselves. Scotland also won a famous game against England in 2019, which will make the Scots feel like they are ready to become a full member. The Netherlands have been the best of these teams for a long time, and they often play in ODI World Cups. The most important win was when the Dutch team beat England in the 2009 T20 World Cup, which was held in England.
Namibia is also strong and has made it to the T20 World Cup in 2021. Nepal and Oman could be teams to keep an eye on in the future, and both countries are bringing up talented young players.
Other countries on that list are still getting better, and it will be interesting to see how they change in the coming years.
List of All Associate Cricket Countries
The addition of T20 cricket was good for the game around the world. Because T20s are so fast-paced, they got a whole new group of people interested in the sport, and this format was perfect for countries that were still learning how to play.
To help with this growth, the ICC gave international status to the T20 to a number of countries. Any international games they play are considered to be official T20is, and the countries involved are:
- Cayman Islands
- Cook Islands
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Hong Kong
- Isle of Man
- Saint Helena
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Korea
- Turks and Caicos Islands
Most joined the ICC in the late 1990s. The list has grown since T20 cricket began in 2003.
Many of these countries have long played cricket and produced great players. Tim David, a Singaporean, plays for T20 franchises worldwide. China and other Asian countries providing financial support will be intriguing to watch. The USA has a large population, and Major League Cricket starts in 2023. Mainland Europe’s leagues are now televised, therefore we should watch Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Russia in the coming years.
These teams usually play T20 internationals among themselves and rarely face full member sides. Because of this, associate nations haven’t caused a huge T20 upset. A system is in place to help them grow and rise in the ICC.