How cricket went from an old British pastime to primetime entertainment for billions

We explain the worldwide sporting phenomenon in this week’s episode of our Netflix show.

Cricket is one of the most complicated sports in the world. Invented in 19th-century London, it doesn’t have “rules”; it has “laws.” In its traditional form, a single match can go on for five days, and there are tea breaks in the middle of the game.

It is old. It is long. It is complicated. And yet it’s evolved into one of the most popular sports in the modern world. In 2015, one billion people watched a cricket match between India and Pakistan in 2015. That’s 1 in 7 humans.

So how did this long, confusing British game become one of the most popular sports on earth?

Vox tackled this question in this week’s episode of our Netflix show, Explained. We have new episodes every Wednesday on topics ranging from the racial wealth gap to dieting and more. If you like our videos, then you’ll love this show; it’s our most ambitious video project to date.

To watch, search “Explained” on Netflix or go to Netflix.com/explained. Click the “My List” button to make sure you don’t miss an episode.

Learn more:

Stephen Fry explains the laws of cricket (Actor and cricket lover Stephen Fry, whom we interviewed for this episode, narrates these videos explaining the laws of cricket. They’re also available in Urdu and Hindi.)

The Game Changer (Meet Stuart Robertson, the man who invented a new style of cricket that’s swept the globe, whom we also interviewed for this episode)

Brian Lara’s 375: The inside story of a world record-breaking innings (Highlighting West Indian cricketer Brian Lara, whom we also interviewed for this episode)

Map: The most popular sport in every country (soccer is really popular) (Take a look at the Indian subcontinent. By Zack Beauchamp, Vox)

ESPNcricinfo (An ESPN site devoted to all things cricket, featuring writer Jarrod Kimber, whom we also interviewed for this episode)

A History of Indian Cricket (a book by Mihir Bose, whom we also interviewed for this episode)