t will be no wrong to say that in the land of many religions, India, there is one religion followed by every Indian- Cricket. It runs in the nerves of every Indian- be it an illiterate villager or a top brass.

However, Hockey is the national game of India, Cricket surpasses the popularity of any and every game. Most popular among kids of all ages, it is quite easy to see them playing cricket in Galis (small streets) of any town or in the fields of any
village. It is not necessary for the kids to have a full team of eleven members to start the game or to have all the necessary things such as pads,
keeping gloves, leg and arm guards, helmets, wickets etc. What minimally required are a bat, a ball (not necessarily a leather ball), and two persons. Isn't it amazing!

Mostly every Gali and colony has its own team, called Gali or Mohalla team. Every Sunday or holiday offers a great opportunity for these Mohalla teams to bet a match with other teams. At the

Children playing Cricket on a Ghat of holy river Ganges, Varanasi

end of the match the winning party celebrate the Win by enjoying  snacks and cold drinks together.

Cricket is so popular among the kids that almost every kid wants to be Sachin Tendulkar- the Master Blaster. Names of all the cricket heroes and schedule of the cricket matches remain always on the tip their tongues, no matter how good they are in their studies.

Cricket match is the time when every Indian wants to sit in front of their TV sets, especially when the match is between India and its arch rival Pakistan. During the match timings, you can see most of the roads without traffic and shops without customers. For many it is the time for prayers to the God so that the divine powers favour the heroes of the Indian Cricket team in winning the match.
Jubilating Indian Cricket Team The madness for the cricket reached to its peak during the World Cup 2003, when residents of a small village Samda (15 km from Lucknow) worked very hard and gave generous donations to ensure they could see the World Cup cricket tournament, as the village was not having cable television.

Villagers chipped in to raise 30,000 rupees and pulled in a 6.5-
kilometre cable wire to ensure telecast of the mega event from South Africa. It took 15 days to manage the show. Before the match the villagers offered special prayers to ensure India defeated its arch rival Pakistan. In common places tractors were used as television stands and generators and car batteries put on stand-by in case of power failure during the high-profile match.

Watching cricket is important for the villagers - even if some did not know the names of prominent Indian players who enjoy nearly godlike status in more developed parts of the country.

In India, cricket is not just a game - it's a serious sport. Many cricket clubs organize rigorous practice sessions and tournaments round the year to select top class cricketers on district and state
level. These selected cricketers take part in the national tournament like Ranji Trophy, to be further selected by a team of judges for the national team.

Though cricket has a worldwide base of fans, Indian fans are fanatic. They make any International cricket-match involving India a spectacular event. A carnival like atmosphere could be seen in

Indian Cricket Fans

stadiums with trumpet, caps, snacks, hooting…all going on simultaneously.

It is not only Indians who do this. Most of the enthusiastic cricket lovers from all over the world travel with the teams of their country to the different cities of India to boost the morale of their team as well as to keep track of the series.


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