The popularity of fantasy cricket: from England to India

People say it is an Indian game accidentally invented by the English.

MUMBAI: Whenever you get caught up in the conversation with an Indian, it somehow gets to the topic of the most popular sports in India and you are most likely to not know the right answer. As surprising as it may seem, Indians are crazy about cricket and play it as their national sport. However, once you get to know the history of the mighty South Asian subcontinent it will not seem that surprising anymore. In this article we will explain the roots of the cricket in India and why does it have to do with the British.

First things first, what kind of a game is cricket. This is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of eleven players. These two teams take it in turns to bat and bowl. In the end, it is all about scoring more than the opposition. And now we are going to find out more about fantasy cricket (the virtual version of this game) in different countries.

From the British Islands to Hindustan: How Did It Come So Far?

The game itself is traced back to as early as the 16th century. By the 18th century, the game has already been shaped in terms of England’s national sport and was played by different clubs. In 1721, this game was recorded to be played in India for the first time owing to the efforts of British sailors of the East India Company. The first official club, though, dates back to 1792. It was called Calcutta Cricket Club with membership restricted to Europeans only.

The rise of the British Empire in the 18th century was key for the establishment of cricket as an international sport. However, such a prominent success of the sport in India was unexpected even for the British. The very first Indian team was vividly discussed in the British press. There are still sarcastic sayings that cricket is “an Indian game accidentally invented by the English”. Even if it is so, the most important thing here is that Indians absolutely enjoy playing it and belong to one of the best teams in the world.

Enough with the history. Let us look at some of the most interesting facts about this kind of sports and learn more about its developments nowadays:

●       This game is played all day, from morning to evening, with breaks for lunch and tea. The real cricket is played for 5 days straight. So if someone claims to be “watching cricket,” you can be sure that they have no time left for work and family;

●       A person who is not familiar with the game can watch it all day long but still have a poor understanding of both the tactics and the rules;

●       Canada is the only country in the British Commonwealth where cricket has not been such a prominent success. The only European country that has a national team (though a very weak one) is the Netherlands;

●       Unlike football and rugby, the United Kingdom is represented at the world cricket arena by one team called England;

●       The Ashes is the most prestigious test match series in cricket. This is the name given to the biannual meetings between England and Australia. As the main prize the winning team is awarded not a cup, but a small urn, symbolizing the long defeat of England, whose ashes have since rested there (on the usurper).

All in all, cricket is the most popular national sport in the Republic of India as well as many other Commonwealth nations. It came to be so due to the expansion of the British Empire back in the 18th century. Nowadays, however, it is the Indians and other countries which make this sport incredibly interesting to watch and cheer for. 

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