India is called a Cricket crazy nation for a reason, as Cricket is the most followed sport in the country and it can be rightfully said that Indians are obsessed with this game. It is hard to imagine that the national sport of India is something other than Cricket. As a kid, we always wondered the same.
No other sport in India has ever reached the stage that Cricket has. There are millions of kids in the entire country who have a dream to make it big one day in the sport. The passion for Cricket is nothing new to India, the game has its history. The critics often said that it is overrated and other games do not get their fair due which holds, but if you ask the fans of the game, they can probably never have enough of it.
Cricket never had its roots in India, it was pioneered by the Britishers. They introduced the game to all their colonies. It is still called a gentleman’s game for this reason. It was not before the 18th century that Indians were introduced to the sport. In 1932, India played its first-ever test match. The Indian team was 6th to gain international test status, nevertheless, it was no looking back from there.
India remains a Cricket crazy nation and will be the same in future as well. The country has an ever-increasing appetite for the sport. It took India 20 years to register the first win. The home conditions seem to favour Indians and they had found their comfort zone and they started playing on flat tracks and turning pitches. Spin bowling was something the Indian players mastered and used against the other teams.
Who can forget the 1983 World Cup win for India? India stunned favorites West Indies that had claimed two consecutive world cups coming into their third. West Indies were going strong and had reached the finals. A head to head battle started as one-sided as no one could expect an underrated team India to give the aggressive West Indies any competition. Team India did wonders to win the World cup under the captaincy of Kapil Dev. The team had stalwarts in Kapil Dev, Mohinder Amarnath, Sunil Gavaskar and many more. This win also played as a motivating factor inspiring generations of kids to take up Cricket as their passion.
‘If Cricket is Religion, Sachin is God’, considered the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar is a name praised and respected in the entire Cricket fraternity around the world. A master batsman and an occasional spinner, Sachin could give his bowlers a nightmare, (Shane Warne admitted to having nightmares literally when he was hit overall at Sharjah Cup in 1998). He was the kingpin of the Indian batting line up and no team could rest until the Master was still at the crease. Sachin Tendulkar made the game reach the current heights and made Cricket famous for the Millenials. Sachin has aced the game across all formats and his unbeatable records speak volumes for himself.
Team India was a fighting side and had produced world-class players by the turn of the century. They had a side to envy and gave tough competition to all major international teams including Australia who ruled the decade with their wins. India went on to win many games on away grounds and competed well in all international tournaments.
BCCI or the Board of Control for Cricket in India is the richest national body amongst all countries. In 2007, they formulated a franchise base tournament much to the likes of the English Premier League. The IPL started in 2008 and is a blockbuster hot ever since. It has grown to become the most successful franchise based Cricket tournament in the entire world and many countries have now started their leagues taking a cue from us.
In recent years, the Men in Blue have been hugely successful. They are considered as the favourites in any competition throughout the world. Be it the World Cup or Champions trophy India is considered as the ideal contender for any tournament. The team has outperformed established Cricketing giants like Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa even on their home turf. With the IPL and other national level cricket taking place throughout the year, there is no dearth of quality youngsters being prepared to take on the onus of the team. India’s bench strength is truly capable of beating many sides and giving big teams a run for their money.