The Prime Ministers and Indian Cricket
Growing up in India in the 90's was beautiful. Life revolved around 3 things - Bollywood, Cricket and Politics. Every average Indian seemed knowledgeable about all of them. If studied in conjunction, they could very well be a mirror of the national sentiment.
The performance of Indian cricket has gone through ups and downs and if studied in conjunction with the political scenario of India could well throw some interesting insights.
India winning the world cup on the 23rd of Jun, 1983 was a defining moment in Indian cricket. From being the yes-we-also-learnt-the-sport-from-our-colonial-oppressors , India went on to being the yeah-we-won-the-world cup-before-those-who-taught-us. [Well our teachers never won it ever. And we have done it twice. Karma !] That was the moment which gave whole generations of Indians a pastime for their idle afternoons. And that which boosted tennis ball sales.
As a nation, we more often than not hold the Prime minister and his government accountable for anything happening in the country. So why not cricket. I wanted to see the story of cricket keeping the PM at the centre and see how they compare in the cricketing field.
Whom did we play?
First of all, going by the number of matches played, it seemed Mr. Gujaral, being the diplomat that he was, kept the team the busiest. And mostly with the neighbours - Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Our neighbours Sri-Lanka has been our most frequent cricketing partner followed by the cricketing legends from down under. But during Rajiv Gandhi's reign, India played the least proportion of test matches with Sri Lanka. Is it a mere coincidence or is it something more? I don't know.
It seems that we had a very friendly neighbourhood cricket matches during the Congrss governments while BJP had an uncanny preference for Australia.
Also, While Vajpayee promoted the cricketing ties with our estranged neighbour Pakistan, his successor from the same party seems to abhor it. The passionate India Pakistan ties seem to be a thing of the past.
How did we perform?
if you don't know, between 05. P V Narasimha Rao and 07. H D Devegowda, there was a 13 day governments of BJP with A B Vajpayee. I have ignored it as has history. So anyone who had a run for about a year at the helm has been considered.
Chandra Sekhar although had challenges being an astute leader, he definitely was a lucky charm for Indian cricket. V P Singh on the other hand with all the struggles with Mandal Commission et all also seemed not to have inspired the men in blue as well.
While the Indian economy went into an upwards sky-rocket after the liberalisation, but the Indian cricketing fortunes were in doldrums.
Is there a connection between the cricket results and the Sensex?
Dalal street reflects the mood of the nation. The real mood from the core of the wallet. Now all the PMs inherited the Sensex at one point and then they left it for their successor with all their impact.
Most significant growth in terms of sensex growth %age was achieved by VP Singh [although to be taken with a pinch of salt given the base] while the cricketing teams were faring the worst. If we try to correlate the growth in Sensex and the cricketing results, there seems to be negative link.
Does that mean that when the cricketers play well, the fate of the stocks at the bourses take a hit?
Whatever it is, despite all the follies and negativity around the country in the recent times, our cricket team seems to have picked up a momentum where the chances of winning are higher than getting a heads in a coin toss. Godspeed to the team.
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