Why Cricket is the Most Popular Sport in India?

Why Cricket is the Most Popular Sport in India?

Published on: Jun 02, 2021

Invented by the British and widely accepted by Indians; cricket has been the most popular sport in Modern India. We will list out a few reasons why and how the sport has put a spell on the Indian population for generations

1983 World Cup Victory and a rise in interest towards the game:

India started off as underdogs going into the 1983 cricket world cup. While many Indian cricketers playing in the tournament believed that their team only had an outside chance to make it into the finals, Kapil Dev was determined as a captain to take the cup home for his nation. India beat West Indies in the Finals at Lords and the rest is history.

Until that point of time, Indian fans used to tune into their radio sets to listen to live commentary feed. A few years later, the Indian National Television started covering the International Cricket events and the sport just became bigger in India.

Entry of Sachin, the God of Indian cricket:

Sachin Tendulkar is a household name in India. During the late 90's, the whole Indian batting revolved around the little master. He dominated the bowlers from all around the world. The impact of Sachin's aggressive play was humongous upon the Indian audience. The more fearlessly he played, the more followers he gained.

There was a time when everything else in India waited while Sachin was still at the crease. His Ferocious innings against Australia at Sharjah in 1998 made him a God like figure in India. His presence in Indian cricket brought in several new fans to the sport.

The Indian Premier League:

Indian Premier League was inaugurated in 2008. It brought cricket, glamour and gambling together for the first time. Indian Premier League is watched by millions of Indians in the comfort of their home.

IPL brings foreign cricket stars and Indian cricket heroes together in the same unit. The IPL formula tasted huge success and cricket certainly became the most popular sport in India.

IPL has also drawn tremendous interest for betting among the Indian youth. According to estimates, approximately 80 percent bets placed on sports websites in India are for cricket. So apart from the viewers watching cricket for entertainment, there is a great number of people who watch it for a gamble and you do you can sign up to 22bet and get some great odds there.

IPL Player Auctions

Part of the popularity of the IPL is the ‘Player Auction’ and some big names missed the cut in this year’s auction like Alex Hales, Shaun Marsh, Hanuma Vihari, Aaron Finch, as well as Marnus Labuschagne.

The franchises take no prisoners, and no player is too big a name to be not picked up by a franchise, at the player auction, which is why it is so popular!

The Player Auctions are televised live and IPL fans can tune in to see if their favourite players are bided for by the franchise owners.

Is it best to bid high for top bowlers, top batsmen or the top all -rounders? Spin or pace bowlers? All is revealed live on TV as the auction bid process commences.

Some of the top player bids in 2021 were for players like - Chris Morris 16.25 crore (Rajasthan Royals), Glenn Maxwell 14.25 crore (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Kyle Jamieson 15 crore (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Krishnappa Gowtham 9.25 crore (Chennai Super Kings) - Chennai Super Kings bid large also for Moeen Ali (INR 7 Cr), whilst Mumbai Indians invested in Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 5 cr) and Kolkata Knight Riders went for Shakib Al Hasan (INR 3.20 Cr).

The franchises take no prisoners, and no player is too big a name to be not picked up by a franchise, at the player auction, which is why it is so popular!

Popularity of Indian Cricket Icons:

The popularity of Indian cricket icons certainly adds to the interest in the sport. For years, viewers have revered the Indian cricketers like MS Dhoni, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli. These cricketers are larger than life and they have drawn huge crowds to watch the game. These cricketers have carefully planned out their public life and they carry a huge respect from millions of Indian fans.

Victories at ICC events and subsequent rise in viewership:

India became the most powerful cricket nation by winning the World Cup in 2011. It won the tournament after 28 years and the cheer among the Indians was incredible. Similarly, India has won several trophies in the recent past including the 2007 ICC World T20, 2013 Champions Trophy and are currently on the verge of winning the first ICC World Test Championship.

India's performance in the last decade is directly proportional to the rise in cricket viewership through the country.