As much as you may want to address Cricket as a ‘national sport’, very few of us are aware of the fact that we do not officially have a National Sport, as confirmed by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. Yet we think Cricket is national sport.
One may wonder, why there’s is wider confusion considering cricket as a national sport. Therefore, facts on the table might not be the best criterion for understanding the importance of Cricket in our daily lives.
Popularity after 1983 World Cup
In its first fifty years of international cricket, India didn’t have a strong team, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches. The fascination regarding Cricket gained momentum after the 1983 World Cup with the emergence of players such as batsmen Gavaskar, Viswanath, and world-class all-rounder Kapil Dev. India won World Cup twice, once in 1983 under the captaincy of Kapil Dev and the other in 2011 under the captaincy of Mahindra Singh Dhoni. As a result today we are all crazy about the sport and want to be updated every moment from sports portals that provide latest cricket news.
Gradually, the popularity had expanded with resulting victories and player consistency to such an extent that fans would cross borders to watch their favorite batsman in the field. The kind of excitement they bring by waving the national flag shows how much we as Indians, hold Cricket close to our hearts. Indians in a true sense worship cricketers like Gods- from hanging posters to wearing Blue Team jerseys every time the match is round the corner. Sachin Tendulkar was an idol for most of us Cricket Fans when we were growing up. Ask any millennial what it felt to watch him get a standing ovation in every country he ever played and it would give goosebumps.
Commercial and easy to access.
Cricket is the most commercial and accessible sport for every athletics or fitness enthusiast. In ‘Gully Cricket’ where one is playing manually – all they need is a bat, a ball, and stumps. In India, you will find youngsters extensively in the streets or playground playing cricket in their leisure time.
No other sport other than Cricket so far has very minutely infused with the culture of the country. Cricket has developed a deeply rooted sentiment by appearing repeatedly in matches and cultivating their resilience over so many years of practice, hard work, and professionalism, give rise to first-class heroes of the sports quota.
Support from BCCI and the sports industry
The BCCI and junior level sports training enables various sports techniques and programs for leading players. It is due to BCCI’s efforts that India has produced successful teams frequently, be it in men’s cricket or women’s, and continue to be ‘brilliantly marketed’ in India. Even amateur crickets who have not yet gained an upper hand in cricket, earn handsomely and are provided with many amenities to boost their confidence.
Celebrity infused, imbibed with big franchises, and paid promotion, the Cricket industry has paved a way into the glamour industry. So many cricket players are being approached every day for advertisements and sponsors. IPL has brought in extraordinarily beautiful cheerleaders and anchors from all across the world, to applaud the fours and sixes by their favorite teams. Even, their athletic experiences are now tied to the fitness industry.
Technology and Internet
With rising technology and the Internet, cricket fans can keep up with the latest cricket news all over the world. Now not only do they have access to live games, but also to top video games and legal betting sites.
Regardless to say, Cricket is every bit of a reason that brings joy and spark to domestic households. It binds us with an inevitable spirit of togetherness and ‘Indianess’ that exists even when you’re away from home, away from your motherland, away from India.