Cricket: The sport religion of India
In the context of today, it can be said that Cricket has become synonymous with the identity of being an Indian sports enthusiast. Such is the charisma of the game in the nation and so badly are the people influenced with the aura of Cricket-stars that their glory and fan following can easily put some Bollywood stars to shame.
Initial days of Cricket in India
It is said that initially Cricket found its origin in South East England, and further moved to British Colonies the world over. As India also was one of the British colonies, the game found its roots over here through the British Officers who brought it along to India as a favorite pastime.
Although the national game of India is Hockey and the country has been a strong power in the game at world level for a long period, still over the period of time Hockey took the back seat and Cricket came to the forefront as far as popularity among the masses is concerned. The main reason behind this might be Indiaís strong presence in the arena of Cricket, and its gradually diminishing strength in world Hockey.
The early maestros
Right since the early days of Cricket in India, the country has produced a range of talented and accomplished Cricket players. These include Ranjit Singh Ji, Vijay Hazare, C.K.Nayadu, Polly Umrigar, Sunil Gavaskar etc. Of all these, probably Sunil Gavaskar was the first Cricket player who managed to accomplish the superstar status among the Cricket fans of the nation.
The Kapil charisma
After this, the Kapil Dev led squad of Indian Cricket accomplished a remarkable feat by winning the World Cup 1983, making the people of the country go literally crazy about the game. The new format viz. the Limited Over One Day Cricket became the newest passion for the young generation of the nation which didnít like to wait the 5-day long Test Matches. The increased speed, excitement and thrill of the game worked wonders in terms of making more and more people addicted to the game, and Indiaís strong position in the game which consequently led it to more and more victories at the international level translated in firm growth of the game in the nation as a popular sport.
Post Kapil era
Even after this India continued to produce accomplished Cricket players like Mohd. Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar who constantly led India to more and more victories and trophies, but no team could repeat the charisma created by the Kapil Dev boys, as India still waits for its second World Cup Trophy.
The Dhoni Effect
Then a young boy from the state of Jharkhand with rock star-like looks and college boys-like attitude entered the scenario. The boy named Mahendra Singh Dhoni, popularly known as Mahi among the young crowd soon became the icon of Indian Cricket. Under the leadership of this talented batsman and captain, Indian Cricket team managed to win the first Twenty20 Cricket World Cup, which gave the already game a yet another boost among the sports freaks of the nation.
The M.S. Dhoni led team has been said to be one of the most successful teams Indian Cricket had ever got, and has time and again proved its strength by winning many major international championships and trophies.
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