How did cricket become India’s favourite sport?
If you asked an Indian what they love most, the answer is more likely to be cricket than curry. Nothing comes close to the experience of watching a cricket match in this country, especially an Indian Premier League game. It’s also a sport that Indians love to place bets on.
It was in the 1700s that cricket was first played in India. The sport that the nation would grow to adore was bought to India by the British via the East India Company. The first recorded match took place in 1721. That featured the Kolis of Gujarat who were sea pirates the East India company were trying to control. Playing them at cricket seemed much better than having their ships looted.
Cricket soon became popular in India with teams being formed in Calcutta and Seringapatam. It’s believed a match between Madras, and Calcutta was the initial first-class match in the country. If it wasn’t Indian teams facing each other, then they took on British teams.
1893 saw Lord Hawke captain an English team that played ‘All India.’ The sport continued to grow in popularity among players from different religions. The Bombay Quadrangular tournament was held between Europeans, Parsees, Hindus, and Muslims.
1932 saw India play their first test series, going to England, losing 1-0. Two years later, the first national championship – the Ranji Trophy – was held. This grew in importance due to the Partition of India that took place after becoming an independent country. The Quadrangular tournament ended in the 1945-46 season due to it having teams based on ethnic origins.
It wasn’t until the 1952-53 season that India won their first test series. That was a 2-1 home win over Pakistan. The rivalry between these two countries is one of the fiercest in the world. Their first series win over England came in 1961-62. The first three tests were drawn but India won the last two with Salim Durani taking 18 wickets.
Indian cricket has flourished since then and is currently second in the world test rankings. Players such as Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, (who scored a record 51 test centuries), Virat Kohli, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Bishen Bedi have thrilled fans all over the world.
Cricket in India reached another level with the arrival of one-day cricket. They have won the World Cup on two occasions (1983 and 2011) and hosted the 2023 tournament. India is currently top of the world rankings.
If you want to bet on Indian cricket, it is important to find out about the sites you register with. Reading a site such as betting-sites.in is very helpful.
It’s the T20 version of the game that is so popular in India. The Indian Premier League (IPL) first took place in 2008 with the Rajasthan Royals, led by the late Shane Warne being the first champions. The IPL has gone from strength to strength ever since. Top players from all over the world play in front of extremely enthusiastic fans who can’t get enough of the 20 overs a side competition.