By Google search volume, cricket is the second most popular sport on Earth. According to their surveys, only 19% of their study’s participants expressed interest in cricket as a physical and spectator pastime. Football for comparison showed an interest level of 46%, and basketball had one of 36%.
The History of Cricket in India
The history of Cricket in India gets connected with the British Raj. That is on account of the English bringing it to the country in the early 1700s, during their rule. But the first club founded by Indians did not appear until more than a century later, in 1848. However, the sport started to go super mainstream in the early 1900s, when India began playing England in Test matches, something that became a common occurrence as the century went by. The advent of One Day International cricket happened in 1971, and following India’s first World Cup win in 1983, nothing was ever the same again.
Cricket & Indian Patriotism
Despite it being an English invention, Indians see cricket as their own. A 2021 survey conducted showed that the third most popular answer to the question – what one must do to get considered “truly Indian” was support the Indian national cricket team. 56% of responders listed this as the thing that is an obligation of every citizen. The survey’s results displayed that cricket nationalism is more prevalent in the country’s eastern and northern regions, with on Muslim religious minorities being less receptive to this ideal.
The myth that cricket, popularity wise, trails only behind football is likely not accurate. The reason for its massive search volume is that 90% of its one billion fans come from India. At least, that is what the largest ever market research conducted by the International Cricket Council claims. It listed that over one billion Indians are cricket crazy, making this sport the most popular activity on Indian streets and TV screens.