Some Random Match: India was on the verge of getting knocked out of the world T20 by a resurgent Bangladeshi side, the streets were empty and millions of eye balls stocked to the TV screens, stress and anxiety could be seen on our faces, considering that we as a country literally couldn’t even agree for a date to celebrate holi, having this much in common was a great deal.

We even managed to crash a live score site not that long ago. Why? because Sachin was on 198.This is the sheer passion we have for OUR beloved sport

.But, then the obvious question is Why Cricket? To be very frank neither are we a sports enthusiastic country nor physically very strong or fit. Still, what is it that we end up loving cricket?

The “craze” began from the post Kapil Dev era and the rise of colour TV after 1982. As luck would have it, India won the World Cup in 1983, led by a Captain whose profile was the exact opposite of the traditional cricketer: rural, rustic, Hindi speaking, poor, no access to any club, but a player with a huge heart and a never say die spirit. In 2 years, India won the Kerry Packer/Channel Nine produced World Championships in 1985, which was televised “live”. The public watched in amazement at cricketers wearing colored clothing, playing at night under floodlights! It was the beginning of cricket as entertainment. And yes, the country losing at every sport, were World Champs in a globally recognized and televised sport, proving their 1983 win wasn’t a fluke.

The magnitude of Indians’ love for cricket is as incomprehensible as its feverish intensity. Yet cricket’s take-off in India is a highly improbable development. The game demands to play properly, requires space, a good turf pitch and expensive equipment—which only a relative handful of Indian cricketers have access to. Most will never strap on pads or bowl with a leather ball. So why do they so love the game?

Contrary to what many believe, India’s success at cricket does not explain it. Between 1928 and 1956 India’s hockey team won six consecutive Olympic gold medals, a domination Indian cricketers have never threatened to rival. Despite having more cricketers than the rest of the world put together, India has only fairly recently become consistently competitive at cricket. Cricket should never have succeeded in India considering that the nation’s socio-economic odds and history are stacked steeply against it, while they are hugely in favor of Soccer (Football). YET, it is the no. 1 sport in India, with players now coming from the poorest of the poor, “gulley” cricketers, tribal areas, rural areas and so on.

We have never been a sports loving country we are just a cricket loving country and a pretty good one at that. I am not going to talk and compare other sports with cricket and their situation in India but still if you analyze the gulf between the two take this as the case,while Cricket sells for a billion dollars in our country, the next most popular sport would be lucky to even find a bidder.

And the most appropriate reason for this is quite simple in fact it’s so basic that you might be frustrated not to think about it this way ,subconsciously to every single child playing cricket in the by-lanes/gulleys or a slum or a public ground (known as “maidan”). A country where kids are denied an opportunity at almost every level, where kids beg for a “chance” at anything, cricket was the ONLY group sport where EVERY kid got a chance to bat and show the other kids what he is capable of. Irrespective of the team composition, whether 3 or 5 or 11 or even 20 players a team, every kid got his turn to bat until they got out. In football, not every kid got his chance to “score a goal”. Sometimes they don’t get a chance to even kick the ball. The weak players were put in defense or asked to “guard the goal area”. Tell that to your 10 year old kid! But in cricket, everyone got a chance to hit that glorious “4” or massive “6”. And everyone has hit that one glorious shot in a neighborhood game which is etched forever in their memory, and it probably plays on their mind every time they watch their favorite cricketer hit a boundary.

I’d not be dramatic and end by urging everyone to promote other sports, I’d just say love cricket because if not anything else it’s the one thing that unites the country and somewhere down the line we all love that feeling.