India is a multi-sporting nation where a variety of games are played on a daily basis. Football, hockey, badminton, tennis are the mainly followed and played. Out of these cricket holds the majority share, both in terms of man following and playing numbers.
Why is it so? Ever wondered ?
Here are 10 such reasons why cricket is the most popular and famous sport in India compared to any other sport.
1. Keep it simple silly
To play the game of cricket, you just need a bat and a ball and a minimum of two players can easily play the game. It can be played even in the smallest of smallest dimensions, like a road, a street ally or even in a room!
Reality check, in India the sport is so horribly popular amongst kids that they frequently play ‘gully cricket’ even in most congested streets!
2. Better infrastructure
Compared to other sports, cricket has more number of coaching centres in the entire country. This factor is hugely responsible in drawing more and more young children, who aspire to be future cricketers.
Similarly, almost in each and every state there is at least one world class cricket stadium present whereas if we take a peek into football and hockey, there are only a few FIFA accredited stadiums and genuine astroturfs respectively, present in India.
This important factor also contributes to the increased participation and popularity of the sport.
3. A force to reckon with
India till now has won two ICC Cricket World Cups, two Champions Trophies, one T20 World Cup. Moreover, with years India’s performance in the cricketing arena has improved remarkably which undoubtedly makes India a reckoning force in today’s cricketing fraternity.
On the other hand, India used to excel in the game of hockey once but the country’s performance in the sport has dwindled gradually. If we talk about football, India could never really make any mark in the world of football. The current FIFA ranking of India is 156 out of the 208 FIFA accredited nations which is more than enough to signify the the poor state of Indian soccer.
India’s cricketing brand value is a huge reason of attracting a huge number of fans.
4. Physical quotient
A major reason why Indians are unable to compete with other countries in sports like football, hockey, athletics or tennis is that we are not gifted with significant physical strength, good height and substantial match fitness. The obvious reason behind this is the genetics which ultimately makes a big difference in these sports which are physically gruelling.
Thankfully, our cricketers have more than enough strength and fitness in them body which enables them to play cricket at its highest level.
5. World class cricketers
India over the years have produced a bunch of world class cricketing legends who at some point or the other have taken the cricketing world by storm. Batsmen, bowlers, all-rounders, captains consisting the likes of Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh to name a few. Their pictures and posters are pasted over walls and are idolized by numerous boys and girls.
Each of them are alone enough to inspire millions to join the game.
6. A strong governing body
Cricket in India is governed by BCCI, which is an efficient, rich, well-organized and systematic council. The BCCI, over the years have taken several constructive steps to protect and prosper the cricketing interests of India. It has been highly successful in establishing itself as a dominant body in world cricket.
On the other hand, the governing bodies like AIFF, HI, IHF, etc are highly disorganized and unmethodical when comes to functioning, and are often busy dealing with internal hassles. Their financial structures are also petty weak if compared to the BCCI.
A strong backing helped cricket to emerge as the most popular sport in the country.
7. Money matters
Money and cricket have almost become synonymous. Cricketers in India have always been the richer breed of sportsmen compared to their peers. Be it the salary, prize money or government initiatives. The cricketers have always been ahead in the money race. With the advent of IPL, it was just another opportunity for them to get even richer.
By virtue of being rich, the cricketers can afford to have a better lifestyle , rather a lavish and posh one. This unfortunately has not been the case with the players, involved with other sports in India.
Money is the most important requirement in any individual’s life. So whenever a career choice in sports is in question, it climbs autometically towards cricket!
8. Sponsors and advertisements
Cricket is that sport in India which always has attracted a wide range of sponsors and advertisements as its the mostly viewed game. Even cricketers have made fortunes for themselves by endorsing several products and appearing in numerous commercials. Ever wondered why this happens in cricket and not in any other sport?
A subtle thing it is, the few seconds break which is obtained repeatedly in between the starting and ending of overs or when a wicket falls, our television screens are flooded with heaps of advertisements. This period of discontinuity is not available in football or hockey or any other sport as they are continuative in nature.
Thus companies run after cricket and cricketers so that they can use those few seconds for publicity and ready to pay any amount of money for that !
9. IPL factor
In 2008, when Lalit Modi first introduced this T20 extravaganza, it instantly became a huge sensation. Since then IPL has proved to be a game changer as well as a great money-spinner in the sporting history of the country. All the best cricket players from the world assembled in India to play this elite competition. Moreover it gave the platform to the relatively unknown players to become a hero. And the amount of money and glamour involved in the competition, would draw any budding cricketer towards itself. The IPL has amplified the popularity of cricket to a gigantic level amongst the Indians as for now every budding cricketer wants to be a part of the greatest cricket show on earth.
Although now we have several parallel leagues like ISL, Hero Indian Hockey League, Indian Badminton League and so on, but they are nowhere near the fame or popularity of IPL.
10. Sachin Tendulkar
‘If cricket is my religion, Sachin is my god’
If you have the ‘god’ of cricket in our own very country, its quite natural that Indian people will remain hooked to the game.Whether he is playing or not, his presence can always be felt when cricket is being played, seen or heard.