Every major sporting event is a learning curve. You look back later and think, “how did I not see that happening?” Usually, the answer is because of your lack of objectivity at the time. You want your team to win so badly that you ignore the warning signs and play up the positives.
The 2021 T20 World Cup was no different for Indian fans who assumed their nation was going to run away with the tournament. They didn’t. Of course, that wasn’t the only thing the cricketing fraternity learned from the competition, either. Here are the most important features we now know after the dust has settled.
India & Pakistan Must Play More
Cricket matches don’t get much more intense than India versus Pakistan, arguably the biggest rivalry in the sport – or, indeed, any sport. Unfortunately, the two nations don’t play against one another regularly, which is why there is so much excitement when they meet.
The T20 World Cup didn’t disappoint, as the game between the two behemoths secured an audience that garnered 15.9 billion minutes of viewership in India. It was by far the largest global audience to view a Super 12 match at the tournament, and one of the biggest ever recorded. This surely proves one thing – that India and Pakistan must play against each other in global tournaments more often.
Betting on Cricket Is Huge
When we talk about sports betting, it’s tempting to concentrate on football because it’s the most popular game in the world. But cricket is a close second, and it’s beginning to show what it’s capable of in a gambling sense. India reflects this better than any other country.
For example, Virat Kohli’s men accounted for 29% of all wagers for the 2021 T20 World Cup, making them the clear favourites to win the competition with the likes of Sportsbet.io and several other operators. With another World Cup due next year, India will be hoping to add to their impressive betting stats.
Indian Fans Didn’t Hang Around
The World Cup didn’t go to plan for the billions of Indian fans tuning in to watch on TV and via digital and mobile streams. After losing too many games, the Blues found themselves in major trouble and didn’t qualify from the Super 12s section of the competition. Even though the group was pretty tough, India was expected to get past Pakistan and New Zealand.
As a result, Indian fans didn’t hang around. The audience quickly lost interest in the rest of the T20 matches slated to be played. Of the 167 million viewers that watched the India-Pakistan T20I, nearly half of them bounced for the semi-finals and final. It wasn’t what the advertisers wanted, yet it showed the dominance of the subcontinent as far as cricket is concerned.
India Must Do Better at T20
Finally, India needs to do better when the next T20 World Cup kicks off in Australia. Of the seven tournaments that have taken place to date, India has just one solitary victory. What’s more, the triumph occurred in 2007, more than a decade ago. Since then, India hasn’t managed to perform, particularly as the Indian Premier League dominates the calendar as far as domestic leagues are concerned.
With the next edition now on the horizon, what do you think we’ll learn after the next T20 World Cup finishes?