Cricket continues to extend its reach to a lot of countries all over the world. Nigeria is one of the nations that is getting on the hype train.
Nigerian cricket continues to grow, and most of the fans of the local sport scene are eager to see the sport push for a higher level of popularity in the same way as Nigerian football. So far, there is a lot of hope that the sport will continue to flourish in the country, but it will take some time before it reaches the same level as India’s cricket.
With cricket popularity in Nigeria on the rise, fans can expect the sport to extend its reach all over the country. Just as how the Nigerian Professional Football League took its time to grow as a nationwide league, the same can be said for cricket.
However, there are ways that Nigeria can speed up its growth in cricket even more so the sport becomes more popular and competitive. One of those is to follow the same standard that India has set for cricket.
Nigeria should allot more budget for cricket
Cricket is easy to play and does not need too much maintenance. Just get to know the rules and players and you are good to go. Anyone can swing the bat and throw the ball, so it should be easy for any person to succeed in cricket.
The only thing the sport needs is a proper budget and funding. Any league would need that to begin with, but there is a need for sponsors, bigger salaries and a lot of huge stadiums for the masses to watch the intense matches in.
Most of the best Indian cricket stars knew the game by being the top sport played in the country. This means if cricket takes over football as the alpha sport in Nigeria, it would be easy to lure in a lot of players, and it takes a lot of money to help cricket rise as a premier sport.
Make a prestigious cricket league
As soon as India won the inaugural T20 World Cup, the Indian Premier League was made to cater for the rising popularity of cricket. The IPL played a huge role in helping the masses learn more about the sport and appreciate cricket as a whole.
On top of that, it lured a lot of popular people from all over the country, and it even led to the draft of foreign players who want to play there. This is the peak of the IPL and its own system has made the sport bigger and better over the years.
Nigeria should focus on making a league that is at the same level as the IPL. It is a tall order but that would help them well in their goal to make cricket popular.
Win games in international tourneys
India is known for being a top team in the sport. The Men in Blue are one of the top contenders in most contests, and it is their focus on winning each and every match that gives them a bigger spotlight in the sport.
Nigeria can try to do the same, but just as how India did it, it will take years and decades before they can build a reputation as a strong frontier in cricket. Their success and the recent surge in the past few contests have made them a key team in every tourney.
Unite the nation under the sport
Cricket is a sport that has united India from within. It is not even their national sport, and yet it gets love and respect from a lot of people in the nation. It has become a phenomenon in the country and fans go crazy in the biggest games played there.
The mere fact that it is able to stabilize the tension between India and Pakistan says a lot about cricket’s importance to the nation. While there is a huge surge of cricket popularity in Nigeria on the rise, then one can say that the country is in for a big shift just as India had.
Aside from being watched on live television, cricket is being played in every corner of India. There are other sports that are popular in the nation, but only cricket has managed to unite them under one banner.