There was a time when cricket was considered a mere English sport and a fancy sported by gentlemen. But times have changed. Just like football or soccer, people across the world are crazy over cricket.
Everytime Sachin Tendulkar lifts his bat to hit a ball; a roar of expectation reverberates throughout the entire stadium. Whenever Bret Lee swings his arm, the entire crowd waits with bated breath for the outcome.
So many cricketers have come and gone but the crazy adulation for the sportsmen have never stopped. I remember a phase when I was a crazy fan of Rahul Dravid and whether or not I understood cricket, it was irrelevant. I was glued to the T.V. whenever India played.
Fans all over the world show their adoration in their own ways. Some sport either their own country’s T-shirts, or make a tattoo, or put up wall-to-wall posters in their rooms, or even chant prayers for their players in temples. Some can even burns effigies of coaches if anyone dares to say a word or act against their favorite player.
You can take the example of Sourav Ganguly, the former captain of India, who was very much the center of attention last year, though for the wrong reasons. When he was ousted from his team, his fellow countrymen went wild with anger. They made street protests and showed their staunch support towards their favorite player. Now that he has made a comeback, the fans are gloating with pride. They are treating his victory as their own victory, such is their fan craze!
Legendary icons such as Don Bradman, Kapil Dev, Ian Chappel, Sunil Gavaskar, Imran Khan, Vivian Richards, and many more still reign among the hearts of people like shining stars. Cricket is a sport when one day you are made a hero and put on a pedestal and the next day you can be treated as a forsaken and forgotten man. It is such a sport that it makes you want to laugh or cry for your country.
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by Piyali Sen