One way you can describe a cricket fanatic is summed up by this quote from George Bernard Shaw – the Irish playwright and critic (who was also a cricket fanatic!) “Cricket is game played by 11 fools and watched by 11,000 fools.” This is 100% accurate for the Indian Sub-continent to the point that companies have declared public holidays on important games (*cough* India vs. Pakistan)!
In India, cricketers are revered by the general public – there are temples created after famous cricketers and during losses, protests held outside the houses of the same cricketers! When someone says ‘Cricket is another religion in India’ it is not a hyperbole, it actually stands true! Check out this temple created in the name of Sachin Tendulkar….yup its real!
Many great books have highlighted the prevalence and power of this gentlemanly, no, godly game in Asia. What is interesting though is that Cricket was not founded in India! The origin of cricket is unknown however, Wikipedia tells me that there is a consensus of expert opinion that it was probably created during Saxon or Norman times by children living in the Weald, an area of dense woodlands and clearings in south-east England that lies across Kent and Sussex. So yeah the British brought Cricket with them when they came to rule the sub-continent. There is this really really really good movie called Lagaan (IMDB 8.2 so HAS to be good!). Anyway, it is set in 1930s (before India’s independence) and chronicles this semi-factious story of how a group of villagers challenged the British rulers in their village to a game of cricket with the wager being, if the villagers won, there would be no taxation (i.e. Lagaan) and the British would leave the village. But if they lost, the British would create double taxation. So spoiler alert…the villagers WON! And the British had to leave the village and this sets the non-violent movement towards independence….now let me stop you before you go on telling everyone that Gandhi played game of cricket to win India’s independence! It’s a fictitious story but like everything Bollywood, is super interesting!
Anyway, back to Cricket & India, if you are in Mumbai, you HAVE to play a game of cricket on Wankhede stadium - this is where the greats from across India & the Cricket world have played – some have won while some have lost. Either way, it is a great place to capture the true essence of Cricket and understand the cultural nuances associated with it. We will do you one better! If you are in India, you NEED to check out this experience where you get to play Cricket with a Pro-Batsman (#Mumbai: Play Cricket With A Pro Batsman)! Its like playing football (soccer!) with Messi before he became MESSI 😉!
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