Originally Posted by Strike!
Nope, I just assumed that the more popular sport gets more players. And when you have a small population like in NZ the effect is bigger.
You would be right in some circumstances and wrong in others. Golf is our number 1 sport with over 400 000 people playing at least part time. And 138 000 people with club memberships.
Golf is far behind rugby in the country's mind in terms of general popularity yet more people play it. So this goes against your theory that the more popular sport gets the players.
That said, we have lost some cricketers to the game of rugby so the effect is there. But from my high school days you can play both at school and it is only when you leave school that you need to choose between both sports if you want to be a pro. If you are a regular Joe who plays club cricket you can play both rugby and cricket to your dieing day.
If rugby wasn't around I would hazard a guess we would have 10% more cricket players. It wouldn't be more than that my knowledge of cricket players is that they are quite "different" from rugby players. No one in my 1st XI was in the rugby team. More of them were soccer players.
Israel Dagg and some others did make the switch though so there you go.