Harsh Raj is a second year BA Student at St Aloysius College, Mangalore
The stage is set for action the teams are equipped with their gear and the moment of truth has come. Yes, the world cup is back and this time with the attention of the entire global community.
The simple game of bat and ball is now costing millions of dollars to the world economy; however this hard-fact is compensated by the amount of entertainment it gives for the people living around the world. The teams from 16 countries with a hand picked players comprising of 11 members rigorously trained and ready for action to participate in the world cup rally are…
- Holland ( Netherlands)
- New Zealand
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- West Indies
Among them team "India" is always considered as the "Wounded Tiger" which never fails to deliver a surprise entertainment and bring about a turning point in the match to its much awaiting audience who have their greatest aspirations and hopes with the team. It is quite fascinating to see that how we Indians entirely forget everything when it comes to cricket especially the World cup, often projected by the western media as a poor and impoverished country with problems like illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, anti-social elements, religious sensitiveness. But still much of our emotional bonding is attached with the cricket no matter where we are or whichever part of the world, if he is an Indian the result of the cricket match affects in one or the other way.
Even though the national game of India is hockey, the people are more fascinated with cricket. I am quite not sure about the root reason of the Indian interest in cricket or why this game is liked so much by the Indians?, perhaps I can assume that the passion for cricket may some how be traced to the times of post-independent rule in India when she was passing through a period of utter misery and confusion when there was a rising poverty, starvations deaths, overflowing of refugees from neighboring countries, communal riots, the period government policies nearly failed, over population etc. With so many problem and little scope of solution and nothing seeming to be working out, amidst all these factors when India achieved its first Test victory against England (at Madras in 1952, which was among the noted global powers of those days, who had also dominated India for almost over 200 years) it was a major sigh of relief for the entire nation, even though it made no difference in the condition of India during those days, it was something that no one expected, it was not only a victory in the game but in fact it was a historic milestone and following in the year India also won their first Test series against Pakistan which then had recently had partitioned with India. Even though the media and communication were poorly developed and even many people didn?t know much about cricket in those days, this victory grabbed the attention of the country towards this game. It was a one among the sweet victories which India had after a long time.
Today it is one of the most famous "GULLY GAMES" of India. This game has spread its passion and audience almost everywhere in India. Played in almost every nooks and every corner of the Indian streets, Cricket is a game which has no barrier, young or old, men or women everyone plays and enjoys the game. This is also one of those common element which breaks all the differences among the Indians and brings the entire country together. Here every child at some point of time in his/her life has aspired to play for the Indian team.. In this Indian sub continent cricket season is often known as "Cricket fever." Here every win is a celebrated with a great vigor and every defeat is followed by "GREAT DEPRESSION" among the people.
For instance the defeat of the Indian cricket team with the cricket team of Bangladesh in the 2007 world cup was almost intolerable by the fans. Fans were totally restless since it was a first match of India in the world cup 2007 and it was the first defeat. Cricket is given much exaggeration by the media; they start their publicity of the world cup along with their brand almost 1 or 2 months before the world cup is supposed to begin which adds fuel to the Indian cricket fantasy. People badly criticized the players for focusing more on commercials and brand endorsements rather than the game. The Indian all rounder Mahendra Singh Dhoni?s house which was under construction was nearly damaged by the fans for his poor performance, the team captain Rahul Dravid?s home was provided with additional security with the concern of their safety. But when India won the second match against Bermuda with 413 runs breaking its own world record of 373 runs against Srilanka during the 1999 world cup, it was a day to remember in India. Fans celebrated, burst crackers on the streets and even made decorated cakes and brought it to the streets.
Indian cricket council is one of the richest cricket boards all over the world. As of today even the Sports channels expect nearly 80% of their investment returns from the Indian cricket craze. In India, the cricket players are some of the most famous men in the country most of them even serving as the brand ambassadors of many national and international company, also known as described as "MEN IN BLUES".
Cricket match is not only a source of entertainment but also a reason to celebrate. Many times, even now the fans perform pooja for the victory of the Indian team, erect statues of their favorite players, paint their faces with the colour code of national flag, transform their hairstyle and tattoo their body with the names of their favorite player etc. For an outsider it is just a game and this may seem crazy, but for the fans its much more than a game. Today even the people entertainment sectors have contributed from their part in order to boost the morale of the Indian cricket team by encouraging them with songs, music video, movies etc.
The black day in the history of Indian cricket which dashed the hopes of millions of cricket fans all over the world was when some of the big players including the former captain Mohammed Azaruddin and Ajay Jadeja of Indian cricket team were caught banned for life from the cricket for involving themselves in the match fixing scandal in 1997. This day is one which every one wants to forget as a worst night mare.
Since Indian cricket team is an International player, it has played match with all the major teams of the world. But the match between India and Pakistan is a much awaited one and it has captured the attention of the entire world. And the result of this match can never be anticipated. However during the previous World cup match when India defeated Pakistan in a decisive way, it was celebration in India. There was no stopping the cricket fans from celebrating the Indian victory the whole night the Indians celebrated. The following newspaper quoted….
"Fans across India partied until dawn on Sunday to celebrate their teams decisive over Pakistan that was splashed across newspaper front pages. Revellers draped the Indian tricolour over their shoulders and did victory jigs in the streets, shouting themselves hoarse. In Kolkata, fans massed outside Indian captain Saurav Ganguly’s house roaring, "Long live India". But in Pakistan, the streets were silent amid disappointment over the country’s crushing defeat and details of the loss were pushed to newspapers’ back sports pages." ? Reuters
But this world cup season the fight between India and Pakistan is lost because of the disastrous defeat of the Pakistan in the preliminary rounds of the world cup 2007 and hence it got disqualified from the series in the initial rounds itself.
Today Indian cricket team is know mostly for their surprising performance. No constant victory or defeat. As of today cricket is the major highlight in India with almost a millions of fan followers and some of the major international sponsors. A booming time for all the advertisements and promotions, contests and free trips to the World cup etc.
Looking back at the game today one can just wonder can it be called a "GAME"…
– By Sandhya D’Souza, Mangalore
– By Clarence Fernandes, Mangalore
– By Harsh Raj, Mangalore
– – By Harsh Raj, Mangalore
– By Sandhya D’Souza
Author: Harsh Raj- Mangalore