Cricket and Football: The Relationship Between the Well-Followed Sports
Football is frequently called as world’s most popular sport. However, the level of popularity will really depend on where you are in the world. Football has a great following in Europe and even the US. However, in Asia, this isn’t really the case.
In Asia, particularly in India, cricket is the sport that everybody loves. The popularity of cricket still isn’t as widespread as football’s popularity, but it may eventually get there. Football is already played by more than 200 nations. Meanwhile, cricket is only known to be played by around 124 nations.
Despite the difference between the number of nations playing either sport, both are still seen to be lucrative industries. Both sports bring in crowds, television ratings, bets, promotions, etc. This just means that both sports are big in terms of money.
Both sports are popular when it comes to sports betting. Football is still leading when it comes to this, but cricket bettors are not far behind. Sites that contain football and cricket predictions are just really popular when it comes to sports betting.
When it comes to the rules and duration of the game, it’s really hard to see a lot of similarities between the two. A football match can last up to 90 minutes, while cricket can last up to five days with around 6 hours or so of the game each day.
A player’s fitness is usually looked at when it comes to most sports. In this aspect also lies a major difference between both sports. Football definitely requires its players to be physically fit and well-trained. Cricket, on the other hand, is pretty different.
Vision and techniques are more important when it comes to playing cricket. Consistency is what cricketers should be really after. It’s important that cricketers are still on top of the game despite the long hours of gameplay.
With these in mind, only money matters seem to be what’s mainly similar between the two. It’s hard to imagine that both sports are actually once related because of specific players. Nowadays, it’s just really impossible for both sports to clash, but back in the day, this wasn’t the case.
Back in the day, athletes professionally playing football and cricket was actually common. Nowadays, of course, this isn’t going to be possible, but let’s go back and learn about athletes who conquered both industries.
The Compton brothers were popular for both sports. Both have on the county cricket championship and the football league title. Denis and Leslie played cricket for Middlesex and football for Arsenal. They also represented England in international football tournaments.
However, it was really Denis who got most of the spotlight. Aside from reigning in both sports, he also became one of the first English athletes to get commercial sponsorships. He was even called the Brylcreem Boy because of this.
The career of Denis as a football and cricket player was tested multiple times. There were times that he would miss a football season because of cricket, which is why many believe that he is more of a cricketer.
His football career still had a great run as he was able to score on his full league debut for Arsenal in their match against Derby in 1936. He was also able to be part of 120 matches and score 74 goals, despite being based in India.
But the defining moment of his football career was Arsenal’s FA Cup final victory over Liverpool in 1950. Compton won the honour with his brother Leslie, who went on to become England’s oldest outfield debutant. He was 38 years old when he won his first cap.
Aside from the Comptons, the Neville brothers are also known for their footballing and cricketing prowess. They are basically the modern equivalent of the Compton brothers. Gary and Phil Neville were known to have also excelled in both games.
It was Phil who captained the England Under-15s for both football and cricket. Steve Kirby, a former Somerset Bowler, said in an interview that he sees Phil as a brilliant athlete. He even saw him as someone who was better than Andrew Flintoff.
Eventually, Phil was forced to quit cricket. This happened when Manchester United finally offered him a professional contract. He just had to start focusing on football after this.
The Crompton and Neville brothers were just really four of the popular athletes who played both football and cricket back then. Other players who were also known for this were Steve Ogrizovic, Ian Botham, Viv Richards, and Clive Lloyd.