Cricket: The heartbeat of IndiaApr 7th, 2011 • Category: perspectives
by Aradhana Roberts
“It’s a six!!!!” The Indian Cricket team ended the suspense by hitting a six (six points to the total score) and winning the World Cup last Saturday, April 2. Cricket is the most commonly discussed topic and sport played in every corner of India. Cricket was introduced to the country through the British Raj; the game was initially seen played by English sailors of the East India Company in 1721. The first match played by the Indian Cricket team was in 1932; from then onward every Indian boy has had a dream to become a player in the Indian Cricket Team.
What the Cricket World Cup is to Indians, the Super Bowl is to Americans. This 2011 World Cup was the fourth largest and fourth most viewed sporting event in the world. After the first World Cup in 1975 hosted by England, this event has been occurring every four years at different locations around the world. The world cup is organized by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and is a globally renowned champion’s competition of men’s cricket. The 2011 World Cup host nations were Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India. After the 14 participating nations played a total of 49 matches the final match was played between Sri Lanka and India in the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India.
India won their first World Cup in 1983 against West Indies. After 28 years India received the gold trophy again and drove the nation wild with joy. It was like Diwali (Hindu festival of lights) again because immediately after the game many Indians were out on the streets of every city, village and town celebrating by setting off fireworks, singing and dancing.
The auspicious event of World Cup Cricket is one of the many times when the very diverse nation of India comes together as a single body, to cheer and embrace their patriotism. The joy of cricket is shared by every Indian, but being away from the immediate action one realizes the power of a place called home. This is a moment when each individual sets aside differences and invites everyone to enjoy the season of festivity and celebration. Celebration calls many to paint their face with the Tiranga (Orange, White and Green, the three colors of the Indian Flag), wear the Cricket jersey, dance and sing. This invitation is extended to all in the community and commonly consists of cooking and eating traditional foods and sweets.