I think it was George Bernard Shaw who once alleged, ‘Cricket is game played by 11 fools and watched by 11000 fools’. Well, that 11,000 has grown to hundreds of millions. Simply put if its soccer which makes one half of the world go crazy, then the other half is full of cricket fanatics.
I have matured enough to acknowledge it now, it’s sad but as a kid growing up in 90’s India, mediocrity was synonymous with Indian cricket team. Team as a whole was feeble, but individuals were sound. Tendulkar, Dravid, Ganguly and brilliance of many others, on a given day, would often be undone by a serious lack of support from rest of team India. India’s home record was decent but away record was a pity. In case of Test matches we would pray for the game to be drawn. Nonetheless Cricket gave us all something to look forward to.
In the land of multiple religions & cultures and hundreds of languages & dialects, if there’s anything that rises above the differences, it’s Cricket. It’s a bit funny but the best foreign policy tool to gauge India-Pakistan relationship is cricket - if they play together, all is well; if they don’t, there’s obviously a crisis!
For most of us, one of the fondest memories of growing up in India is being part of the India – Pakistan cricket frenzy. It had always been such a huge event. Who can possibly forget being together with the entire family and neighbors, frightening the sh!# out of the street dogs and cows, with the loudest screams at the fall of every Pakistani wicket.
Times have changed and so has cricket. The advent of IPL has placed India on the world’s professional sports map. Tremendous amount of wealth has been unlocked because of the IPL. Cricket has finally become a game that is played, just for entertainment!!