Cricket Mania In India

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Although cricket is not the official national sport in India, it begets much more excitement and a greater fan following than the official national sport Hockey. Why only hockey? In fact no other sport in India can claim the position of cricket in respect to its popularity and revenue generation.

The cricket mania in India would leave an onlooker amazed and wonderstruck. Go to any part in Indian from Jammu & Kashmir in the north to Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the south or from Maharashtra in the west to Assam in the east, you would definitely spot a bunch of boys busy with a cricket bat (or may be it's poorer version) hitting a ball.

If you wondered why, reasons are many. That India often makes it to the top teams of cricket, scores high among the reasons. In its nearly 60 years of history after independence, the biggest international success of India is the World Cup victory in 1983, which the Indians still hold dear to heart. Subsequent appreciable performances in other World Cups and international tournaments have much to do with the huge popularity of cricket in India.

A short history
The British brought the game of cricket to India. Initially only the Parsi community of western India, who were rather close to the British Officials, started playing the game. In course of time the game found favor with the Indian royalty. Some of the Indian Maharajahs even gained favor with the British for their cricketing merits. After India gained Independence in 1947, the British left, but the legacy remained. It did not take long for Indians to make it to the international arena.

Today cricket in India play the role of an adhesive in this land of contrasts and contradiction. At least the Indians from Srinagar to Kochi from Mumbai to Kolkata have some thing in common! No wonder an ace Indian cricketer is worshipped like a deity. Whether he is from Uttarakhand or Andhra Pradesh from Maharashtra or Arunachal Pradesh, hardly makes any difference. The movie stars from Bollywood, the biggest film industry in Asia, do not even enjoy the similar status.

Almost all the states play cricket in India and quite a few first class tournaments are played at the domestic level. The middleclass Indian kids of today do dream of taking cricket as a career. The government encourages the sport with supporting and developing the infrastructure. There are a number of important stadiums for playing cricket in India. Some are:

Barabati Stadium, Cuttack K. D. Singh Babu Stadium, Lucknow
Bombay Gymkhana, Mumbai Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad
Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Eden Gardens, Kolkata M.A.Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai
Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
Gandhi Stadium, Jalandhar PCA Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh
Green Park, Kanpur Sardar Patel Stadium, Motera, Ahmedabad
Nehru Stadium, Chennai Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh
Vidarbha C.A. Ground, Nagpur University Ground, Lucknow
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai  


People work out their social events, leaves from office and travel plans tallying with the Indian cricket team's schedule. There are several instances of Indian cricket fans arranging elaborate pujahs or going on a ceremonial fast on the eve of a final game of a significant international tournament.

The flip side of this does exist. Streets, offices, schools and hospitals run empty on a day when the Indian side locks horn with Pakistan in a sensitive match anywhere in the world. Incidents of heart attacks during a nail-biting finish or even suicide at the loss of Indian side have also been known to occur.

But the huge cricket mania in India has undeniably turned the sport into a large industry in the country. A lot of money spins around the sport and multiplies its effect in the national economy to the benefit of everybody. The Stock Exchange Index rises and falls and elections are won or lost centering round the sentiment of cricket. Top rung corporate organizations eye the Indian market to launch a product or sponsor a game.

So, cricket mania in India has a stronghold upon its populace, which is hard to ignore. Whoever can tap its potential, reaps the benefits. Come, visit India during the coming ICC Champions Trophy and find out how the cricketing sentiment runs through billions of Indian hearts.