Undue charm working against us.
|Cricket is overrated in India
I was abruptly shaken out of my afternoon nap by the hullabaloo going on outside. Through the window, I saw a bunch of neighborhood boys playing cricket in the vacant site opposite.
Two batsmen were against the other eleven who were trying to get them out. The small crowd around was waiting in anticipation. When the bowler got him out or when the batsman hit a six or four the onlookers roared in jubilation.
Ninety five percent of Indians love cricket. It reaches a fever pitch if there is an ongoing match series with anyone of the cricket-playing nations.
Despite exams, and other less time-consuming games like football or hockey, boys and girls spend long hours playing cricket out on the field, under a scorching sun. They discuss or argue for or against reputed players like Sachin Tendulkar or Steve Waugh with zeal and passion. To the young adults of India, cricket players are equal to demigods. They breathe and dream of cricket.
The way Cricket is being played in India, in every village and city, in streets and empty sites, during day and night, I could say it is no longer just a sport, but has become a kind of obsession with people at large.
What is regrettable however, is that cricket now-a-days is shadowed by unhealthy competition, match fixing scandals, and corruption in the high places. The media, especially the TV channels, newspapers and advertising, feed on this “frenzy.”
With the introduction of IPL or Indian Premier League, cricketers are being bid for skyrocketing sums of money by millionaires, businessmen and cine stars who launch teams of their own to play against others. It has opened doors to easy money, and instantaneous fame for the players and their sponsors. Hence, young people feel that they should play only cricket to make money. Doubtless, cricket is overrated in India.
Due to the incredible revenue it fetches, the government prefers to look the other way doing little to control the mania attached to cricket. Sadly, cricket commentary is allowed to replace scheduled national news during cricket season.
A large part of our meager sports budget is spent on cricket to the neglect of other equally healthy sports in India.
It was tragic to see some of my countrymen wearing “India tricolors,” and leaving all their work behind only to be disappointed by an overrated team during the recent India-Australia, ODI match.
How far does it improve the sports culture of India to devote a majority of its resources to cricket? What good will that do for a nation the population of which comprises fifty percent of youth? I feel time has come to check unwarranted preference to cricket.
ODI- One Day International
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