How many times have we heard the saying: cricket isn’t just a sport as it’s a way of life? Well, it’s something that pretty much everyone in India can agree with. After all, the country has over 1.5 billion fans based on a report released by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

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However, what is it about this sport that has enthralled a whole country? This article explores cricket’s rich history, cultural significance, and the everlasting devotion of its loyal followers as it explores the reasons behind the sport’s extraordinary popularity in India.

Cricket’s Origin and Evolution in India

Indian cricket’s history begins in the 18th century when British colonists introduced the game to the country. Originally, this sport was limited to upper-class and native elite participants. But as time went on, more and more people started to love it, from all walks of life.

The Parsi community in Bombay (now Mumbai) was the one to establish the first Indian cricket club in 1848. They laid the foundation for a cricket legacy that would be passed down to different generations.

In 1926, the country joined the International Cricket Council (ICC) and played its first Test match against England. This was the beginning of a new cricket era. 

The 1970s and 1980s then saw the emergence of cricket legends like Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, and Dilip Vengsarkar. 

However, it’s also undeniable that it was India’s triumph in the 1983 World Cup, where they defeated the formidable West Indies, that truly cemented cricket’s status as a national obsession. 

Cricket as a Religion: The Sachin Tendulkar Era

Thanks to his unparalleled skill, perseverance, and passion for the game, Sachin Tendulkar, also known as the “Master Blaster,” is one of the greatest cricket players of all time. 

His journey began at the age of 11, and by 14, he set a world-record partnership of 664 runs. When he turned 16, he became India’s youngest Test debutant against Pakistan in 1989.

He holds the record for the highest run-scorer in international cricket with over 34,357 runs across formats. He’s the only player to score 18,000+ ODI runs and 15,000+ Test runs.

Tendulkar led India’s ascension to become the World Cup’s top run scorer after being elected captain in 1996. Even though India narrowly lost to Australia in the 2003 final, his leadership qualities were evident.

One of his many achievements also includes beating Gavaskar’s record of 35 Test hundreds in 2005 and being the first player to reach 10,000 ODI runs. 

Overall, Tendulkar’s influence went beyond his cricket-playing skills and statistics. It’s also his passion for cricket, modesty, and dedication that inspired many generations.

Biggest Cricket Tournaments

It should come as no surprise that India hosts some of the most well-known cricket events nowadays given their love for it.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) which has been around since 2008 is easily the biggest annual cricket event in the country.

Since the IPL, organized by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), is a platform for both domestic and foreign players to showcase their skills, it has gained popularity among cricket fans abroad.

Another international cricket competition that many people wouldn’t dare miss is the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. It returns this year with England as the defending winners. It happens every four years, and it’s scheduled to begin on June 1st, 2024. 

You can visit 10CRIC India’s official website to check the latest World Cup betting odds.

Indian supporters will be glued to their TVs, supporting their national team with unyielding devotion as the top teams in the world compete for the coveted championship. India last won in 2011, therefore it goes without saying that the national squad and supporters are hankering after the title.

Another prominent competition run by the BCCI that has been held annually since 1934 is the Ranji Trophy. This is sort of a breeding ground for cricket players with great potential. Since matches here last multiple days, many consider it to be a great test of a player’s skill and stamina.  

Victories in the Ranji Trophy are often seen as stepping stones to national glory.


Cricket’s hold on India’s collective consciousness is undeniable. While other sports like football and kabaddi are gaining popularity in the country, cricket’s reign as the nation’s ultimate obsession is unlikely challenged.

We can only assume that India will carry on producing legendary cricket players and major events. Nevertheless, the passion for this game will only deepen, particularly because younger generations are now eager to witness the biggest competitions.

Published by HOLR Magazine.

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