Today, in the final episode of 30 Days, 30 Questions:
Question: Why do we love cricket?
Why do we love cricket so, when it breaks us from within when our team loses – which happens more often than not depending on who we’ve sided with. It drives a dagger in our hearts to discover that those we deified indulged in match-fixing — trashing the emotional investment of millions — and yet we continue queue up religiously at ticket counters.
The sport too has transformed in the last 20 years. Hardsell and marketing strategies have come guised as professionalism. Advertisements and promos interrupt almost every other delivery and the game is run with the ethos of a business conglomerate. The modern cricketer is, after all, overpaid, callous and largely and divested of any social responsibility.
Why then do we continue to follow the fortunes of a bunch of snoot athletes like our lives depended on it? Is it because cricket forms the beginning and end of India’s sporting ambition? Or, is it because we have a history in the sport – a post-colonial legacy we’ve actually managed to build on, as opposed to a home-spun one we’ve connived to squander (hockey, anyone!)?
Whatever the reasons, cricket has a massive following, and in this last episode of 30 Days, 30 Questions, we ask you why you breath the sport? Are Sachin Tendulkar’s on-drive and Virat Kohli’s celebratory antics motives enough, or do you seek and draw more from the game.
Tell us why the sport matters more to you than the latest Bollywood hit and we’ll take the best views to the world.
(Update, April 5): Thank you for your overwhelming responses. Most of you agree that cricket is programmed into the Indian/ Asian psyche. Here are some of the chosen comments on this last installment of 30 Days, 30 Questions.
Bhaskar has it all figured out:
1. We can play cricket anywhere, in the streets or on small grounds, and change the rules accordingly; 2. It’s cheap. With just a bat and ball 22 kids can be kept occupied; 3. It does not demand high physical standards - compare 30 minutes of cricket to 30 minutes of tennis or football; 4. Unpredictability and inconsistency of our players makes it interesting to watch; 5. Sachin Tendulkar.
Here are Mandar’s two – or five - cents:
There are so many physical, historical and psychological reasons for our love of cricket. England ruled over us and made the game popular. Cricket is in our genes. All Indian children get a bat and ball as their first toys. Bollywood, politics and big money are all involved in cricket, making it more interesting to watch. After India won the 1983 World Cup its popularity reached new heights.
Mohamed loves cricket for his heroes:
The master class of Sachin,the perfect placement of Dravid, the impeccable timing of Laxman,the ferocity of Ambrose,the bludgeoning attack of Richards and Sehwag,the ball of the century of Warne and the reverse swing of Akram – these will never fade from the mind of the cricket fan.
Atif Ali Khan minces no words:
We South Asians love cricket because we are always looking for ways to escape work. Compared to us European or Western countries just enjoy the game, they don't get personal nor do they transform it into a battlefield as we Asians do.
Pulkit resorts to philosophising:
You never know why you love someone....it’s the same with cricket. Although it seems that it is in blood of Indians to love cricket.