The evolution of competitive balance in men’s international cricket

Sarthak Mondal*, Daniel Plumley, Rob Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Downloads (Pure)


Rationale: This study analyses competitive balance (CB) in all formats of men’s international cricket longitudinally between 1877 and 2019 with the results broken down into segregated time periods to account for changes in the format of the sport over the course of its history. 

Methodology: Using recognised measures of league concentration, the results display a mixed picture in respect of competitive balance across the various formats of cricket. Men’s international cricket has seen growth in the last five years after all Twenty20 (T20) matches between International Cricket Council (ICC) member nations have been awarded international status and competitive balance in all formats of the game has remained relatively stable. 

Findings: No significant changes have been observed in CB scores in test and One Day Internationals (ODI) while improvement in CB scores have been observed for T20I. We did not find any impact of the introduction of T20I on competitive balance in ODI cricket. 

Practical implications: In a broader governance context, questions remain over the potential for further growth of the international cricket market given the dominant market position of the full members of ICC, in particular India, Australia and England, who have access to majority of the central revenue funding from the governing body.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Early online date13 Jun 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 13 Jun 2021


  • competitive balance
  • concentration
  • dominance
  • international cricket
  • Sports economics

Cite this