Hi friends you must be really amazed to see the headline of this article. Guess what? We have got a new religion flourishing among this great Indian diversity. The religion is none other than the game of ‘cricket’. Cricket, we can say has been the core of Indian sports lately. Though field hockey is the national sport of India but among the billion Indians, cricket is proving the world to be the mother sport in this Indian subcontinent. Cricket has taken the world by storm in the last two decades in the way that it is spreading across borders and continents and India being the powerhouse of cricket. This is proved by the fact that India have been recently crowned the world champions in one day form of cricket, they are the reigning world number one team in test cricket, they have also won the inaugural world twenty-twenty championship in 2007.India is the only team in the world to have achieved the unique feat of winning the world cup each in 60, 20 and 50 over cricket respectively. Cricketing wise we can presently say that India is the powerhouse in world cricket but the most interesting fact is that they are also financially the global superpower. The cricket body which runs the game in India, known as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the richest cricket body in the world.
Cricket has a long term origin in India which dates back to India’s rule under British supremacy. The English started the game over here and the Indians started learning with great zeal and vigor. Slowly and steadily people began to play the game professionally rather than only for excitement. The game started to expand with the establishment of the Cricket Club of India which is presently known as the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The Cricket Club of India started organizing domestic first class tournaments like Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy to groom players of playing talent and prepare them for the international level. India started playing cricket on foreign soil and gradually established a strong seat in the cricketing fraternity ruled by the International Cricket Council. Indian cricketing greats like Ranjit Singh Ji, Duleep Singh Ji, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi, had their presence felt among cricketing minds with immense amount of respect. But only after the amazing victory at the 1983 cricket world cup India firmly placed itself to be one of the cricketing powers.
India in 1983 entered the world cup with the tag of underdogs and no one expected them to last any longer then the league stages of the cup because they were up against heavyweights like West Indies and Australia and more so ever in the last two world cups of 1975 and 1979 India didn’t manage to cross the first hurdle of league phase. Even after entering the final at Lords after springing up a few surprises India were considered the team which would lose the game because they were playing against the mighty West Indies who were the winners of the previous two world cups and under the captainship of Clive Lyod they were looking stronger than ever before. But under the leadership of Kapil Dev India managed to pull off an amazing win which every Indian will always dream of. This victory signaled to the rest of the cricketing world in which direction India were going. Children in India at a very young age started playing cricket with the ambition of playing for India in the future.
One such young blood to play for India was none other than the great Sachin Tendulkar. This man has been an influencing icon not only for cricketing world but for the whole sports loving humanity. He has been the face of Indian cricket to the rest of the world. He is a great ambassador for the game of cricket. Today if cricket is the new religion in India, the Indians consider Sachin Tendulkar as their God.
Sachin Tendulkar at the age of 16 years became the youngest player to play for India. His debut match was against Pakistan in the year 1989. Playing against the fiery pace of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis turned out to be quite difficult for the sixteen year old as he took a few blows in his back but since then he has never looked back. This proved to be an inspiration for other cricketers. Sachin scored his maiden century as a 17 year old against England in England which made him the youngest one to score a test match century in the world. With this one being his first century at the international level at such a tender age he signaled the cricketing world that he is a once in a generation player to watch out for in the near future. Presently Sachin Tendulkar holds almost all the records in the history of batting in cricket. He has the highest number of runs in both test match and one day cricket with the total amounting to more than 30,000 runs. He has the highest number of centuries in test match and one day cricket to his name. He has 51 test centuries and 48 one day centuries. He also has 100 wickets in one day internationals to his name. He also holds the record for most man of the match awards in international level. He is the only man in the planet to score 200 runs in a one day match. He also has the record of playing the world cup the most number of times with the 2011 world cup being his sixth. He has scored the highest number of runs in cricket world cup history and the more centuries than any other player. He is considered arguably the greatest batsman of the modern era and the greatest after Sir Donald Bradman. Tendulkar thus had almost all the records in his bag.
But one important thing which was missing from that bag was the one day world cup trophy. With India winning this one day world cup of 2011, this dream of Sachin Tendulkar was also fulfilled. Being part of a world cup winning team was what he always dreamed for but unlucky for him for the past five world cups he couldn’t bring the trophy home. But this world cup of 2011 proved to be the one that Tendulkar has always been longing for. Under the cool and calm leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni India lifted the world cup. India thus became the first team to win the world cup on home turf. Sachin Tendulkar was the second highest run getter with an aggregate of 482 runs and two centuries at an average of 53.55.
The popularity of the 2011 cricket world cup increased amazingly than ever before with its’ broadcasting done in more than 170 countries across the globe.
One of the main reasons behind such vast development and popularity of cricket in India has been the Indian cricket board (BCCI). It has developed world class infrastructure across the country for proper progress and has conducted world class cricket league like the Indian Premier League. The Indian Premier League franchisees have invested a lot of money in attracting all the top class foreign cricketers from across the globe and have tried to promote cricket on the global scenario. The authorities have also invested on young talents to help nurture them for the future of the game. The advent of IPL has lead to incoming of the Champions League of Cricket where top domestic twenty-twenty teams from the major cricketing nations compete against one another. Thus we can say that ‘cricket’ being of a religion kind nature in India has lead to its’ promotion among countries where people haven’t heard of cricket much and it will be able to compete in popularity against popular sports like soccer, tennis etc in the years to come.