A classic all-rounder: The 2019 Cricket World Cup in pubs

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

On a good run: England's one-day team are expected to do well at this summer's World Cup
On a good run: England's one-day team are expected to do well at this summer's World Cup
Alongside the Women’s Football World Cup and UEFA Nations League finals, the Cricket World Cup can play a massive role in filling the Premier League vacuum

Fixture list - 6 May - 19 May

Saturday 20 April – Monday 6 May ​– Snooker World Championships

Monday 6 May

Premier League – Manchester City v Leicester City – Sky Sports

Tuesday 7 May

UEFA Champions League – Liverpool v Barcelona – BT Sport

Wednesday 8 May

UEFA Champions League – Ajax v Tottenham – BT Sport

ODI Series Cricket – England v Pakistan – Sky Sports

Thursday 9 May

UEFA Europa League – Valencia v Arsenal – BT Sport

UEFA Europa League – Chelsea v Eintracht Frankfurt – BT Sport

Saturday 11 May and Sunday 12 May​ – Emirates Spanish Grand Prix weekend

Saturday 11 May

Champions Cup Rugby Union – Saracens v Leinster – BT Sport

ODI Series Cricket – England v Pakistan – Sky Sports

Sunday 12 May

Final day of the Premier League season

Scottish Premiership – Rangers v Celtic – Sky Sports

Tuesday 14 May

ODI Series Cricket – England v Pakistan – Sky Sports

Thursday 16 May until Sunday 19 May​ – US PGA Championship

Thursday 16 May

Betfred Super League – Leeds Rhinos v Castleford Tigers – Sky Sports

Friday 17 May

ODI Series Cricket – England v Pakistan – Sky Sports

Betfred Super League – St Helens v Salford Red Devils – Sky Sports

Saturday 18 May

FA Cup Final – Manchester City v Watford – BT Sport and BBC One

Betfred Super League – Catalans Dragons v Wigan Warriors – Sky Sports

Sunday 19 May

ODI Series Cricket – England v Pakistan – Sky Sports

Comprising 48 one-day international matches – each one unfolding over an average eight-hour stint in beer garden weather – this summer’s Cricket World Cup can be big business for pubs.

Cricket World Cup 2019

Dates:​ 30 May until 14 July

Format:​ Ten nations compete in a round robin group stage with the top four teams progressing to the tournament’s knockout stage comprising two semi-finals followed by a final.

Number of fixtures:​ 48 one-day international matches

Tournament odds (Ladbrokes):​ England 9/4 (favourites), India 3/1, Australia 7/2, South Africa 8/1, New Zealand 8/1, Pakistan 10/1


On average, almost 500,000 people per day watched The Ashes series in a pub when it was hosted in the UK in 2015, while last summer more than 720,000 people watched day two of the England v India Test match in their local, according to Ipsos MORI’s Out of Home Viewing Panel.

Additionally, cricket is the third most popular sport among pubgoers over the age of 55, behind only football and rugby union, with more than one in 10 sports fans of any age watching it in a pub – numbers that are higher than viewers of rugby league, darts, horse racing and golf, according to CGA research.

Given that sports fans are creatures of habit – 93% will go back to the same pub to watch sport according to sport pub and fan network MatchPint – and that England welcome Australia for the 2019 Ashes tour less than a month after the World Cup Final, one that England are tipped to win, pub operators who win over fans with their World Cup offer will most likely see the same numbers of punters back to watch England’s efforts to regain The Ashes.

Oval ball game

Cricket is big business at the Griffin Belle in Vauxhall, south London.

The Griffin Belle’s licensee Mike Reed said: “Previously, this pub didn’t cater for sports fans, so being able to show top-quality sporting action is an excellent way of driving business.

“The way we show sport is far removed from the old, traditional manner with a dusty TV screen over the door that no one can really see. We use state-of-the-art technology and all our screens are the best UHD screens, along with a giant multi-screen wall and three sound zones. We try and offer customers a perfect way to watch sport.”

Unsurprisingly given how close his pub is to ­the Oval cricket ground, Reed’s sporting highlights, and a large proportion of the Griffin Belle’s footfall, hinge on cricket. “Alastair Cook’s farewell ton in last summer’s final Test (against India) at ­the Oval, just 10 minutes down the road, was so special. You couldn’t have written the script any better.

“Our customers were willing him to get to that milestone hundred. From a trading perspective, we couldn’t have asked for better timing as he was batting at lunchtime and we had a good crowd in, as well as about 50 builders from the local site trying to squeeze into the pub.

“­The cheer that went up when he reached three figures was amazing – although we didn’t allow any beer showers like we saw during last summer’s World Cup. ­Then after the day’s play had finished, we had lots of people who had been in the ground come back to the pub and continue the celebrations, watching the replay on Sky Sports. It was an absolutely fantastic moment.”

Is your pub the best in the country for sport?

Entry for this year’s Great British Pub Awards are now open. More info on how you can put your pub forward, free of charge, is available here​.


Fantastic coverage

“Of course, we’re fortunate being on the doorstep of ­the Oval, but cricket drives footfall for our pub. We know that it’s a popular sport among the local community and they have, in turn, supported the pub. Our customers know they can come in and watch their team, or their country, in a great environment and with a great atmosphere.

“In the past, cricket would have perhaps been perceived as boring to watch but Sky’s fantastic coverage has really helped boost interest. ­This year we’ve got the Cricket World Cup, the T20 Blast and then, of course, ­the Ashes. We dedicate screens to it – our customers know it won’t just be on a small screen in the corner – we will put it on our main screen and that is a draw for people.”

Finals countdown

In the space of a fortnight, the finals of two of the most high-profile cup competitions in club football – the FA Cup and Champions League – will take place to wrap up what’s been an action-packed year in both tournaments.

Potentially concluding in a domestic clean sweep at Wembley, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City take on Watford – appearing in their first FA Cup final since 1984 – while Liverpool and Tottenham are both a two-legged tie away from flying the Premier League flag in the Champions League final at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

While the glitz and the glamour of the Champions League has, arguably, gazumped the history and tradition of the FA Cup since the turn of the Millennium, how do the European and domestic games stack up in the eyes of publicans?


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