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Cricket in India

India is a cricket crazy country. I call it crazy because cricket is another religion in India. Indians of every age have a tendency to play cricket. Street cricket played by children is a sight to watch. A small bat and a rubber ball is the starter for almost every Indian child. Then it goes on to playing cricket on holidays, mostly Sundays on a ground. Such matches are either friendly or there is some award or money on it. I remember, when I was in standard 7, I was the player of my village team. We used to have matches against a near by village, and you won’t believe, the winning team would carry Rs. 11/-. And this Rs. 11/- consisted of Rs. 1/- collected from every player of the team. Sometimes, who couldn’t afford (yeah!) Rs. 1/- couldn’t play cricket, no matter how good he is!

I myself have played cricket a lot. When I migrated to Rajkot, a near by city for my higher education, I was staying in a hostel. Every Sunday, we used to go to near by ground of D.H. College on Yagnik Road and play cricket. In hostel, we had over 50 students. So we could make our own teams and play with each other. It was fun. I used to be an opener, known for hitting strokes. Later as study started grabbing me, I had to slow down my hobby. But still I play cricket whenever I get chance. It’s just real fun.

In the video below, you will get to see people of Rajkot playing cricket on a fine Sunday at Race Course ground. The funny thing about this ground is that, almost over 10 to 15 teams play cricket on the same ground.

It looks so messy, but still it is played. Every cricket team has 11 players, so almost over 100 players are playing at the same time. The cricket pitches are kept a few meters away from each other.

Fielders have to constantly keep an eye on their pitch, otherwise they will get confused whether their batsman played the shot or a batsman from another pitch.

I remember my Dad and Uncle saying, that when India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983 under captaincy of Kapil Dev, there was no facility of television in the village. All they could hear was Radio. And the commentators were their Gods. And the cheer they used to have on every boundary was just astonishing. These days, we have the medium of television available to watch live cricket. We also have many websites too who provide live cricket scores on internet. Sometimes what happen is that, I’m at office and India is playing a match with some other country. At that time, such websites are so useful. My favorite one is Cricbuzz.com, which provides ball to ball update.

India being the country having over 100 crores of population, each one of them wants to be a cricketer and play for their country through the National Cricket Team. And it’s so hard now to get selected for the national team. I sometimes wonder about the happiness of parents of Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan. Two brothers playing together in national team. A great remarkable achievement in life, mostly in India.

These days, Indian cricket team under captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is performing very well. They recently won series against England cricket team and Sri Lanka Cricket team. Also they beat Australian Cricket team in test matches in Australia. This has provoked a great flair for cricket in India. And now IPL is approaching the doors, a very hot game for the cricket fans. Twenty20 format has really changed Cricket into a profession and not just a game. All that excitement, cheerleaders, big prices, players of different countries playing together and short duration match has made it so popular.

In India, you do not need to know How to Play Cricket. It is taught in the streets itself. You do not need a cricket coach teaching you cricket formulas.

I remember, when India went to Holland couple of years before, a commentator went on streets having a bat and a ball in his hands and a price. He was approaching people, showing bat and ball and asking “what game is played with this?”.

To my wonder, only one could answer it out of some 10 to 20 people he asked. In India, the scenario would be different, totally.

India has history of giving world class cricketers to the game of cricket. To name a few, Sachin Tendulkar comes very first in my mind. He has scored maximum number of centuries in both test and one day cricket as well as scored maximum total runs. And he is still going. Then comes, Kapil Dev, who brought the only cricket world cup to India. Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohinder Amarnath, Mohammad Azharuddin, Virendra Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and the list goes on.


Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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