As the new IPL season kicks in let us talk about how it all began!
Cricket is India’s most popular sport and over the years has become an integral part of its culture. The Indian national cricket team won its first world cup in the year 1983 and then in 2007 and 2011.
The game of Cricket, as most of us know originated in England and was brought to India by the British in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match played in 1721. The first cricket club established in India was by the Parsi community in Bombay called the Oriental Cricket Club, in 1877 Britishers invited the members of the club to play along with them. In early 1900s some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team and in 1911 an Indian team went on their first official tour of the British Isles. All this was just the beginning to the long and beautiful journey Cricket was going to have in India and the fame it was going to gain.
In 1932 India made its debut as test playing nation in England, later won its first test match in 1952 against England. Over the next decade the Indian Cricket Teams fame grew exponentially. When the One Day International (ODI) cricket matches began India was not considered a strong team at that point, they had a defensive approach to batting but during 1980s they developed a more attack minded batting strategies. And eventually in 1983 India won its first ICC World cup against the two-time champions, West Indies. In 1984 the team won the Asian Cup and in 1985 the World Championship of Cricket in Australia. During all this the National team has an unstable leadership with Kapil Dev and Gavaskar exchanging the captaincy several time.
In 2008, the BCCI took the concept of the recently introduced Twenty20 format by creating India’s vey own Cricket Premier league, The Indian Premier League (IPL) which happens annually ever since. It has eight teams representing the states. The players are selected through auction process and it includes international players as well. The Indian women’s team is also being recognised in the recent years even though they started playing in the year 1976. The first captain for the Indian Women’s team was Santha Rangaswamy and the current captain is Mithali Raj.
Throughout all this the country gave birth too many talented and loved player such as Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil dev (the highest wicket-taker in test cricket), Anil Kumble, Sunil Gavaskar, M.S Dhoni, etc. The countrys love for the sport can also be seen in the movies that have come over the years like Lagaan, Dil bole Hadippa, Iqbal etc. So, I guess it is safe to say that Cricket has a special place in an Indian’s heart.