When England won its maiden Cricket World Cup in 2019, cricket fever had reached fever pitch in the United Kingdom. Everybody was glued to their television sets or situated themselves in their favorite pub to watch that game versus The Black Caps. Cricket is a sport ingrained in the English way of life. From its quaint countryside cricket grounds to the statelier grounds where county cricket is played and legends are born, to St John’s Wood in London, the home of cricket, Lord’s cricket ground, or simply, Lord’s. Seating a maximum of 30 000 spectators, it is the home ground of the English National team, the home ground of the World Champions. In 2019, its popularity even surpassed that of the English Premier League, the most-watched and richest Soccer League in the world.
English cricket has a county cricket circuit that feeds the national side. The best of the best will pit themselves against each other weekly, with eighteen county sides being randomly divided into two groups of nine. These county sides, which include the national side’s players when they are available, play each other with the top four moving forward to the quarter-finals. They will pit their skills against each other until two sides are left standing. These two teams will play in the final at Lords. This competition provides the backbone for the promotion of the best players to the national side.
The English Premier League is often described as the best and most exciting football league in the world. The teams that compete in this league attract the best players in the world, who compete on a stage watched by billions every week. Twenty teams each playing 38 games, battle each other from August to May every season to be crowned the kings of the premier league. The current champions of England are Liverpool Football Club. However, they will not be retaining the title as their form this season has been patchy. Instead, they are in a titanic struggle to attain a top-four position at the end of the season
Directly below the premier league is League 1, where clubs vie for supremacy for the privilege of participating in the said premier league. The skills are not as good, the money is not as much, the stadiums are not as big and the pitches are not manicured, but the players of these teams give 110% every week to attain that place in the elite league.
Horse racing is an institution in the UK. From the pinnacle of the flat season at Royal Ascot to the hurdle equivalent at Cheltenham to the most famous race of them all, the Grand National at Aintree in Liverpool, horse racing is a daily occurrence in the UK (and Ireland), with millions of Pounds being wagered daily. Despite the poor weather in the English winter, very few race meetings are canceled due to inclement weather conditions.
To fill the gap between Royal Ascot and Cheltenham, and during those winter months when the rain falls incessantly, the void is filled by “bread and butter” meetings, where horses not as good as their graded races counterparts partake in the meetings that keep the sport in the forefront of punters minds. During these months, flat racing still takes place despite the bulk of the meetings happening over the hurdles. The fibresand tracks at Southwell, coupled with the all-weather tracks at Lingfield, Wolverhampton, Kempton, Chelmsford City, and Newcastle take pride of place for the flat racing enthusiast during these times.
Despite Rugby League being popular in the United Kingdom, no sport with the oval ball is as popular as Rugby Union. From England playing at Twickenham to Wales at the Millenium Stadium, the six nations tournament is one of the best and toughest rugby competitions in the world where no quarter is asked or given and only the toughest survive. With the current champions being Wales, who completed a grand slam in their last match versus England, they will go into the next six nations full of confidence.
One level down from the Six Nations and its Internationals is the Premier Rugby league consisting of the 12 best professional clubs. The second level is the RFU Championship, and that league is the feeder to the Premier League. Rugby is massive in the UK, especially in the year leading up to a World Cup which if we return to “normality” after the Covid 19 pandemic, should be in 2023.
Sport is massive in the UK. It is bankrolled by the 101greatgoals social media mega-machine, which allows the viewer 24-hour saturation coverage of all the top sporting events across the globe, into your living room, as it happens. Viewers across the world take advantage of this saturation coverage to not only watch, but also bet on matches that involve their favorite sports, or their favorite teams. With 101greatgoals beaming all these events into UK homes or pubs, sport will continue to be integral to the fabric of all sports lovers who reside in the United Kingdom.