Five Reasons why cricket is so popular in India
“Cricket, like India, had long intrigued me from afar. It seemed so mysterious: a game with strange rules, and stranger vocabulary, one that can last for days, captivating billions but meriting only an inch or two in the papers at home.”
That was how American journalist Wright Thompson described his fascination for Indian cricket in his famous essay 'In Tendulkar Country' written during his trip to India for the 2011 World Cup.
The game continues to enjoy an outsized following in the country and many believe it will remain India's most popular sport for many years to come. However, the questions remain as to how this aristocratic English game become such a popular sport in India. Here are 5 plausible reasons.
#5 Royal patronage
At the time when the British ruled India, the kings in most parts of the country had good reason to be wary of the rulers and one of the best ways to ingratiate themselves with the establishment was not only by paying taxes but also by adopting their customs.
Cricket became one of the favourite pastimes of Indian royalty like how Eton and Oxford became the places to go as far as education was concerned. Due to royal patronage, the game soon spread among the populace and it is not really a wonder that even before India actually had a cricket team, the game had a base to work from since it had been made commonplace by the many royal families.
Otherwise, there was absolutely no reason for the game to flourish in India.