Ben Stokes: Saudi Arabia Poised to Make Big Impact on Cricket

Ben Stokes, England cricket captain

England cricket captain Ben Stokes believes that Saudi Arabia could become a major player in cricket in the coming years. Stokes, who is one of the world’s top cricketers, says that the kingdom’s financial resources could attract top players and help to transform the sport.

The England cricket captain believes that Saudi Arabia’s significant financial investments in the sport could transform the world of cricket which could make the country a global power of the game.

The Saudi cricket board’s chairman, Prince Saud bin Mishal al-Saud, aims to make the nation a global cricketing destination. Stokes acknowledges that Saudi Arabia’s substantial financial resources could attract players with lucrative contracts.

Stokes said the entire world of sport could be transformed in the coming years.

“I think Saudi Arabia over the next five to ten years is going to interesting to see where they take sport. Not just for cricket, football, rugby, golf, it will be interesting to see how the world of sport actually changes“, he said.

Cricket, the world’s second-most popular sport after football, is experiencing growth in countries like the United States and the United Arab Emirates, with new leagues backed by wealthy individuals. The Indian Premier League is currently the most lucrative cricket league, but Saudi Arabia’s financial power could lead to significant changes in the cricketing landscape.

Saudi Arabia has previously considered launching its own cricket tournament and has partnered with cricket’s global governing body to sponsor the World Cup. Stokes believes that Saudi Arabia’s influence will extend beyond cricket to other sports like football, rugby, golf, and more in the coming years.

While Stokes has already earned significant wealth from the Indian Premier League, he remains open to potential opportunities in Saudi Arabian cricket. He is also committed to maintaining an involvement in the sport even as he explores other ventures.

Stokes has invested in a venture capital firm that allows sports stars to invest in consumer-facing startups. Stokes, along with other athletes, is part of The Players Fund, which focuses on investing in startups related to the future of sport, new-age media, digital communities, and smart commerce. He sees this as an opportunity to use his profile to support and promote fledgling companies, similar to how Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds has revived a football club. He also expresses a desire to involve women in their business plans within The Players Fund.