sand's view on everything sane insane in india

hello this blog will be at most times offer a critical view on mad mad things that every indian sees

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Why Indians Love Cricket !!

A lot of people have tried to analyze why cricket is so popular in India. Cricket in India began taking roots when the British introduced it and later on given patronage by the local Maharajas. So cricket became an expression of national sentiment for Indians it’s as if when we win we escape from worries of day to day and lose we vent our frustration on members of national cricket team.
Before they said Indians were not world class in anything else but cricket this includes all sections of society not just sports. I don’t think it’s true because organizations like ISRO were after all dealing in rocket science! Now slowly but surely our IT/BT industries are attaining that standard our automobile auxiliary industry like Bharath forge are reaching that level as well.
Now since we our into 2005-06 15 years after we have began open up our economy and getting to exposed to all kinds of entertainment Cricket continues to rule the roost .Lack of heroes in other sports cannot be excuse with people like Rathore,Paes ,Bhupathi and Sania Mirza along with Arjun Atwal,Anju George and Narian karthikayen and of course the peerless Vishy Anand have made their mark in truly global sports (lets accept it that cricket is not a global sport in the real sense )However cricket will continue to dominate the Indian psyche because even before we had a world class hockey team which was sweeping every one before them. We had great touch artistry on display when the Krishnan’s Ramanathan and Ramesh played and if story of Vijay Amritraj who from being sick child to top tennis Pro is not inspiring enough then nothing else is…. so lack of heroes can’t be the reason.

Poor marketing well…BCCI is not the organization known for marketing skills are they?
They schedule matches in Chennai in midst of north east monsoon and hope it’s a drought year! They schedule D/N matches in November December and make ODI’s a lottery. They can’t decide the television deals well in advance leaving two companies in court fighting it out .Contrast this with EPL which starts matches in mid afternoon GMT on weekends so that large parts of south East Asia like Malaysia Singapore are able to watch the games and newer markets are open and lots more revenue comes in. Yet Indians love cricket. Cricket inherently has certain distinct disadvantages like length of playing time, complex playing conditions difficult to comprehend etc.
So the single most important reason why Indians love cricket is STATISTICS. Yes this angle has not been explored by people when they analyze Indians love for the game .of cricket; How Cricket has entered into the sub consciousness of the Indian mind.
We love discussing statistics why sehwag has not scored fifty since X matches why agarkar has high economy rate, how many runs will Tendulkar end up scoring in his career. Now lets compare cricket with some other sports swimming and athletics only winning time/jump/throw with Olympic or world records are the only stats perhaps time taken to begin the race/swim measured in micro seconds and maybe wind aided/unaided timing etc then football the no of corners, no of fouls .shots on goal, % ball possession of each team, but all this we come to know only during half-time or full time only after data has been keyed into a computer and results shown so anybody just cant calculate all this, same holds true with tennis unforced errors ,winners ,first serve %,points won on first serve etc, Only after a set/match is over all data that is keyed into computer is processed we get to know the stats .
Contrast this with cricket each individual player records like matches played, runs, centuries wickets are all tracked by supporters with all help from willing media. Each player’s home average away average is calibrated .Then of course during course of the matches itself current run rate, Required run rate is on everybody’s lips .Lots of afternoons are spent by Indians over tea and snacks discussing which player X orY is better based on stats by which time is night!!!
We are happy on numerous occasions even when the Indian team lost because some Indian player would have broken some record by scoring century/crossed milestone etc so irrespective of team’s performance there will be Individual statistics that game provides which can discussed and debated over the dinner table, office canteen, bus stops etc
Maybe this because Brahmins, bania’s ,marwari’s are traditionally good at maths/arthimetic .Counting and number crouching comes easily to Indians that’s the reason we love stats and since cricket cricket offers the most stats we have embraced cricket totally
Its quite strange situation but that’s what it is Indians are perhaps the biggest consumers of international sport without being participants themselves .The reasons why Yankees don’t like cricket like its a complex sport too much stats might be exactly the reasons why Indians love cricket .

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