Cricket in India is more than just a sport. Its a religion. Its a way of life. When there is a cricket match, life slows down. You find people stopping outside television showrooms, shops with television sets, and even near a guy holding a radio! I know you might have read this beginning in many many places. Articles, blogs, newspapers, everywhere! But thats how it is in India.
Cricket has a special place in people’s hearts since a long time. I am not sure when it started to be such a status, as since I was a kid, I have seen people even bunk office to watch a cricket match. I think it would have gained momentum with India’s World Cup win in 1983. It brought so much of enthusiasm and passion that is still alive today.
Even during the phase when Mohammad Azharuddin was captain of India, we did not win as many matches as we are doing today. But still the passion was there. Although India would just win a few matches, we would not leave a chance to celebrate the win.
Then came the era when Saurav Ganguly became the captain. A guy with a lot of aggression and attitude. It took Indian cricket to new heights. And the fan following increased by leaps and bounds. The best thing about the fans are when India wins, they will remember the win for ever (like Sachin’s twin-centuries at Sharjah, Yuvraj/Kaif’s herculian effort at Natwest Trophy finals, or Anil Kumble’s 10 wicket haul in Feroz Shah Kotla). And forget losses very easily.
Well… the Indian cricket team may not be the numero uno of the sport, but the fans certainly are!!!