#Factcheck: Was it the ‘British syndrome’; ‘flexibility of rules and low cost factor’; ‘need for an idol’; ‘making a mark on the global map’…or the combination of all these factors which led to the religion-like status, the sport of cricket enjoys in India today?
When introduced by the British the game was played only by the elite. However post independence, it started gaining popularity and slowly filtered down to the masses. Cricket was pretty straightforward and at the time had fewer rules (remember Lagaan!). To start a game of cricket, all that you need are a few broken sticks, a rubber ball and some open space. Pitch conditions never really mattered.
Cricket also became one of the sources through which India could make a global footprint and a post-independence identity for itself. With the introduction of televisions in the Indian households, cricket watching became a festive, community event. The 1983 World Cup win and emergence of 16yr old Sachin Tendulkar added a magical twist to the Indian cricket history capturing the imagination of every Indian …and the rest they say is history!
So how did you catch the cricket bug?