The Cricket culture was seeded in India during the British Raj. In 1864, a Madras vs Calcutta(now Kolkata) match was arguably the start of first-class cricket in India. The British played the Indians to build relationships with the Indians. Few fixtures of first-class domestic cricket were played. The first international tour of Indians was by Parsees Cricket team which toured England twice in the 1880s. The most important fixture in the 19th century was the Bombay Presidency Match which evolved, first, into the Bombay Triangular and then into the Bombay Quadrangular. When India got freedom cricket remained one of the games which were played by Indians but mostly in urban areas.
Other sports were also played in India like badminton, tennis, boxing, wrestling and many more. Hockey and kabaddi being one of the favorite game in India, during India’s independence. Kabaddi which is not only rooted in India but also India being the most dominated and undisputed king in this game, this was a very popular sport mostly in rural areas. India has won gold medals in all the Asian Games to date, and they have won all World Cup events so far. Indian hockey team won their first gold at the Games in 1928, but the first hockey gold after independence came in 1948 Olympics. India also won the Hockey world cup in 1975. India’s first individual Olympic medal came at Helsinki 1952 Games. KD Jadhav won a bronze in wrestling. Individuals of India has won many medals in Olympics since then. The 1950s and 1960s were the golden years for the Indian Football team and is ranked among the top 20 teams of the world. Indian football team won gold in Asian games in 1962. But all of these sport couldn’t stop the upcoming cyclone of cricket which blew all of these sport.
A storm of cricket was struck in India when in 1983 India won the cricket world cup and it boosted the popularity of cricket in every nooks and corner of India, the rural areas which were untouched by this game and, where Hockey and kabaddi were two major sport now changed to Cricket which gave them immense joy and pride. Soon after that ODI Cricket was introduced which inflamed this sport even more and every person just went gaga about Cricket. It went on from a sport to become a culture in India where every Cricket match of India was like a celebration. People attached their sentiments into this game and Cricket grew the king of all the sport in India. Every child’s dream was to become a cricketer.
T20 Cricket world cup was introduced for the first time in 2007 which India won and then in 2008 came a new festival in India, IPL(Indian Premier League) which is a Cricket league but celebrated as a festival in India. It gave opportunities to domestic players to play with the international players around the world.
Entertainment industry of India has always been interested in Cricket and promoting this sports made people watch Cricket even more. Cricketers link-ups with the actresses made everyone talk about this sport. People who were not into Cricket so much they had a gossip topic to talk. Indian media had also played a major role in making this sport so huge, following each and every bit of Cricket and sharing it with the people on the daily basis. Money is also one of the factors which attract people towards this sport. Cricketers are paid much more than any other sport in India and even domestic level Cricketers get a huge salary in comparison with other domestic level sports player in India. Indian advertisements also make Cricketer advertise and promote their products.
Actually, from the start of the day, till night people get news about Cricket, other sports were India can grow and has a lot of potentials is overshadowed by Cricket. But now other sports have revolted back and ISL(Indian Super League), Pro Kabaddi League, Hockey India League, Super Boxing League and lots of other sports have come into action. These leagues have showered the money these sports people deserved. Although it’s still less than the Cricket league it will soon change when other sports person will receive as much amount as Cricketers do get and you never know it could be even more. In 2017 FIFA U-17 Football World Cup was organized in India which was a huge thing for a Cricket dominated country, it boosted up a new football generation in India and now football craze has hiked up even more in India. Other sports league has also made an impact and is being liked by a lot of people. Hopefully, the paralysis of other sports will now be recovered.