From left, file image of MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli (TOI Photo)
NEW DELHI: India skipper Virat Kohli‘s popularity knows no bounds and once again it has been re-affirmed by a study which has revealed that the 31-year-old is the most popular cricketer in the world. Meanwhile, ‘The Men in Blue‘ also topped the chart as far as THE most popular cricket team in the world is concerned.
According to a SEMrush study, Kohli was searched online an average of 16.2 lakh times per month from January to June this year while the Indian cricket team was searched an average of 2.4 lakh times per month in the same period.
Other cricketers among the top 10, as per the study, were Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, George Mackay, Josh Richards, Hardik Pandya, Sachin Tendulkar, Chris Matthews and Shreyas Iyer. From January to June 2020, each cricketer, respectively, was searched an average of 9.7, 9.4, 9.1, 7.1, 6.7, 5.4, 4.1 and 3.4 lakh times.
With respect to the cricket teams, India led the chart, followed by England, Australia, West Indies, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Afghanistan, and Zimbabwe, who were searched 0.66, 0.33, 0.29, 0.23, 0.16, 0.12, 0.12, 0.09, 0.05, 0.04, and 0.03 lakh times per month respectively
In addition, cricket followers across the globe were captivated by women cricketers as well. Despite not being in the top 10, Smriti Mandhana and Ellyse Perry were searched 12th and 20th most times, topping big names like Yuvraj Singh and Shikhar Dhawan.
“While we are not entirely surprised by the results of our study, we are excited nonetheless. Finding that Virat Kohli is the most searched cricketer and India the most searched cricket team is not surprising. What’s surprising is that women cricketers are being searched more often than a lot of top-rated men,” Fernando Angulo, Head of Communications, SEMrush said.
“Our study suggests that stereotypes of cricket as a man-only sport no longer hold. There is considerable enthusiasm about women cricketers and women playing cricket. In the future, there are likely to be many more women playing cricket; and India, as the most important cricket-playing nation, is likely to supply many of them,” he added.