India is a country second in population only to China. For a long time, Indian citizens were in colonial dependence and adopted some English habits. Cricket was actively practiced by British officials, who presented the game as an activity for the social elite. The sport was inaccessible to Indians, but they tried their best to take their place alongside the colonists.
The ability to play cricket in India meant prosperity in life and a commitment to advanced attitudes. The sport spread to most of the countries that were colonial dependent on England, but only in the Indian subcontinent did it become iconic.
Cricket in Indian Culture
The love of the game among a large percentage of India’s population is on par with a religious cult. There has been a surge in popularity since 1983 when the national team won the World Cup. The Indian team was able to repeat the success in 2011. This team is considered to be one of the strongest on the planet.
In India, almost every man plays cricket, regardless of caste and varna. There are stadiums for training in all cities and even small villages. Many arenas meet modern standards and can host international competitions. The sport is actively promoted on television. In particular, since 1979, Bollywood films about cricket have been released.
Modern cricket betting websites confirm the priority of this sport. Bettors are actively betting and often earn big winnings.
One popular film is Jannata, released in 2008. Most films show the elitism of the athletes’ lifestyles, but this one touches on deeper themes. “Jannata” shows the dark side of easy cricket money, the consequences of illegal gambling, and participation in match-fixing.
Other reasons for the popularity of the species in India:
- several state-of-the-art cricket centers are erected each year in the country;
- cricket training is in demand among both children and adults;
- India has a strong coaching school.
There is little entertainment available to all sections of the population in India. Cricket is an exception to the rule. Social boundaries are blurred on the field, and all attention is on the bat and ball.
The Accessibility of Cricket in India
The dream of almost every Indian boy is to join the national team. It selects only the most successful representatives of the clubs of local Premier League. The goal is achieved by a few, but the game is played by hundreds of millions of people.
Cricket is a sport with simple rules. To understand the intricacies of the gameplay, participants do not need to study thick volumes of detail and nuance. All you need is a special bat and ball, a minimum of 2 participants. To play cricket is not necessary to be in the stadium: the sport’s enthusiastic young people can be seen in every alley and alleyway.
The centers of cricket are considered to be the major cities. Each province has one or more major stadiums that host Premier League matches. There are dozens of times more small training centers and cricket grounds in India than fields for any other sport.
Cricket Players are Icons to Follow
India has produced hundreds of world-renowned cricketers who have built careers at home or in foreign leagues. The stars serve as a source of inspiration for newcomers aspiring to become just as successful and sought-after. The path to the top of the cricket hierarchy is difficult, but millions of players try to climb the career ladder every year. The most famous players in India are Sunil Gavaskar, Yuvraj Singh, Kapil Deva, and Sachin Tendulkar.
In the twenty-first century, playing cricket in a professional team has become synonymous with money. For decades, the discipline has far outstripped any other sport in terms of income. Cricketers’ salaries are several times the size of the contracts of players from the same city.
The players lead a luxurious lifestyle and make no secret of it. The people of India, for the most part, are poor but enterprising. To many, cricket seems like an easy way to make a huge amount of money quickly. When a child just chooses a sport in which he or she wants to develop, the first thing parents look at is the potential income. Cricket promises big salaries, which is why there are 5 cricketers for every player in India.
Betting on Cricket
Gambling in casinos and betting clubs is another national pastime of the Indian population. Ordinary people who have not built a career in cricket try to make money from their knowledge of the sport and bet on the sport en masse. The involvement of the people of India in betting is huge and about 90% of the betting in the country is on cricket.
Bookmakers are skillfully taking advantage of the situation by attracting national stars as ambassadors. Indians are a gullible nation. If a betting fan sees an idol’s photo on a billboard, he will go to the office that posted the advertisement.
Over the next few decades, cricket will have no competition in India. The sport is far ahead of all other team disciplines in terms of popularity.
Cricket Players are TV Stars
It is not only the betting clubs that use the multimillion-dollar audience of cricket fans for their purposes. Sponsors line up for star players and popular teams.
Cricketers regularly appear in television commercials, promoting products from wide-screen televisions to laundry detergent. There is nothing wrong with this: world-class athletes (soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, for example) are also not shy about making money in advertising.
Players appearing in commercials further increase the popularity of the species. The constant pumping of information to the Indian population about the beauty and elitism of cricket makes the discipline a cult one.
Indian Premier League
In 2007 the national championship switched to the Twenty20 format and was renamed the Premier League. The championship immediately became the most covered sports tournament in the country. Every year the Premier League brings investors more than 1 billion dollars in revenue, and the total brand value exceeded the bar of 5 billion dollars a few years ago.
It’s not just the strongest players from India who play in the national league. Leading cricketers from other countries are drawn here as well. The symbiosis of local players and internationals makes the championship even stronger.
The reputation of the tournament and the salaries are enough to convince any star to take part in it. Cricket was popular even before 2007, but with the advent of the Premier League, the popularity of the species has soared to unprecedented levels. Indians call their championship “the greatest show on earth” and the contract with one of the teams dream to sign almost every player in the world.
The national leagues for soccer, field hockey, and badminton are popular in India, but none of these sports can even come close to competing with cricket. That’s not going to change in the next few years.
A Matter of Genetics
People in India are, on average, inferior to Europeans in height, weight, and build. It is believed that this country cannot produce world-class stars for physically demanding sports like soccer, tennis, athletics, or basketball. Cricket has become an outlet – physical fitness is important here, but secondary to skill.
There is no official confirmation that Indians are genetically engineered to play cricket. The sport has become a national and cultural treasure, leaving no room for other disciplines. Indians believe that if they excel in cricket, there is no need to develop other team competitions.
The popularity of professional cricketers in India is at the level of Bollywood actors. The strongest performers are coming to the country, and the national league is flourishing and becoming increasingly lucrative for investors. The stadiums for the game are real temples for the local population, worshipped as much as each of the Hindu deities.
The main reasons for the popularity of cricket by in India are:
- the high salaries of the players;
- the opportunity to touch the luxurious lifestyle;
- accessibility of training to all walks of life;
- a strong national league;
- strong promotion of the game on television;
- a wide range of betting options in bookmakers’ offices.
Cricket in India is out of competition among other sports. The popularity of the discipline is growing in other countries around the world. Cricket is second only to soccer in terms of the number of fans on the planet.