The much hyped Indo-Pak cricket match was held last week in Adelaide. My social media feed was blown up with people excited for the religious sporting event. Every channel of communication that I encountered that day, was used to give live updates about the score. In the midst of the chaotic frenzy, that cricket is, all I could think was “There is a FA cup match between arsenal and Middlesbrough tonight”
I was woken up at 9 AM by the glaring sound of my television set fitted in my living room. With the slightest enthusiasm that I could muster, I walked out, sat in front of the television set and asked, if I missed anything. After every over, I tried to change the channel just for a second and I got the most intimidating looks that threatened to disown me. Eventually, I gave up and began to “Enjoy” the spectacle. As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them!”
There was a slight elevation in my mood as I received a call. The excitement lulled because it was an invite to a cricket viewing session! Why? Because apparently everybody should love cricket!
I don’t describe myself as a person who is against Cricket but rather a person who supports football. The fact that ISL didn’t receive as much exposure as it should have highlights India’s firm loyalty towards cricket. As I was preparing for my ‘Promote football’ campaign in my head, I was brought back to reality by a collective roar of cheers.
After 4 hours of all things cricket, there was a surprising turn of events. As the second half began i.e. as the other side began to bat (Sorry for the football reference), I found myself genuinely cheering the bowling side. Every ball being hit was followed by a curse. Every ball being caught was followed by a thunderous applause. The room was filled with fist bumps, claps, cheers and “India, India” chants. That’s when I had my moment of revelation. Cricket, is that product, which caters to the mass public. It brings people of all age, caste, creed, sex, social status, etc. together in a united front. It was a day, when nobody was a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Gujarati. We were Indians, Indians that followed cricket as a unanimous religion. That ambience was something I never came close to experiencing while watching EPL or FIFA World Cup. However, make no mistake, this does not mean I have become an ardent cricket fan in a span of 8 hours. But the next time there is an Indo-Pak match, especially of such grandeur, I am tuning in for sure.
Ps. Arsenal won 2-0