Cricket is officially considered the Indian national game (a field hockey), but I did not see boys chasing a ball with a stick in the Indian streets. However, I’ve seen people playing different versions of street cricket more than once. And when I turned on the TV…
Cricket is such an old English game with a bat and a ball, the origin of which is lost in the darkness of the middle ages. The first written mention dates back to the end of the XVI century. At the beginning of the XVIII century, the first professional teams appeared.
Cricket is widely distributed in England and its colonies, including then-British India. It was the antiquity of cricket and the British commitment to tradition that led to the fact that cricket has preserved completely archaic forms of organization of the sports live process.
At least there is the fact that a classic cricket match is delayed for 3-4 days, with breaks for sleep and lunch. You understand that such archaism is simply incompatible with modern professional sports, which have long become an integral part of the TV industry.
Cricket bosses understand this and try to do something. In the 60s, a one-day format was invented, when the match was played during daylight hours, and at the beginning of the XXI century, the T20 format was created, which allowed matches to be held for 2-3 hours – and this is already suitable for TV viewers and sponsors. It is not surprising that the T20 format is rapidly gaining popularity, despite the grumbling of conservatives.
About the game
Well, those who are familiar with baseball will quickly understand. The cricket field is grass, large and oval. There is a path in the center of it, at the ends of which you can see two wickets. Teams consist of 11 players:
- the first one takes
- and the other fights back,
- then vice versa.
Unlike baseball, an innings in cricket is called the innings of one team. There are 2 players with bats from the batting side on the field – one per wicket. There are two from the defender on the track -the pitcher (bowler) and the keeper, their role is similar to a baseball pitcher and catcher, the other 9 players are on the field.
Cricket in modern India
Yes, this is an Indian national sport, I would say more – it is even Indian national insanity. You can’t compare it with hockey in Canada, maybe with soccer in Brazil? I was lucky enough to be in India at the height of this madness – first, there was the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 cricket play-offs, then the World T20 championship in the West Indies.
In fact, the game is very interesting and entertaining. I understand its fascination. Although, IMHO, baseball (real from MLB) is still more dynamic and attractive.
You can see posters of one of the main Bollywood movie idols Shahrukh Khan in sports news in Hindi. He even advertised popcorn in the uniform of his IPL team, “Kolkata Knight Riders”, and with a bat in his hand.
However, they didn’t stop watching cricket. When I was at the Delhi airport, I saw Indians, who gamely watched the broadcast of the world Cup Final Australia-England. Yes, they do like cricket. Even if India would lose again.