Cricket is the most popular sport in India, despite hockey’s being its official game. It is managed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, which is the wealthiest cricket board in the world. The national team, nicknamed the “Men in Blue”, participate in various major tournaments all over the world. These include the Cricket World Cup™, ICC World Twenty20™ and ICC Champion’s Trophy™. In addition, they play the Under-19 Cricket World Cup™ and the Women's Cricket World Cup™, although these are not as widely broadcast.

The national team first played in 1721. Cricket originated in England in the 16th Century of our Common Era (CE). Always considered to be a “gentleman’s sport”, it fast became this country’s most popular game. In the 1700’s, it was declared the national sport of England. British colonialists began to colonise much of India as they recognised the lucrative nature of the spice trade, as well as of various other products (such as tea, etc...). Some colonialists also came to this untouched land with the intention of converting the locals, who were mainly Buddhists, Sikhs or Islamists, to Christianity. As the number of English settlers made this their home, they introduced many of their ideals, customs and cultures to the Indian
Image of large victorian gothic style building in the centre of Mumbai, India. Cricket match being played in the park in front.
Large victorian gothic style building in the centre of Mumbai, India.
Cricket match being played in the park in front.
people. Cricket was one of these “imports”.

As the country develops politically, culturally and economically, so cricket gains increased acclaim on a global scale. In general, India plays more one-day matches than the much longer test matches. These are faster and are typically more exciting. There are various domestic competitions, which the cricket spectators of the world seldom hear of. The Ranji Trophy™ is a major local competition and was first played in the 1934-35 season. This tournament is played by teams that represent the Indian states, although there is not a team for every state and some states have more than one team. The Irani Trophy™ came about during the 1959-60 season and is used to celebrate the start of a new Indian cricket season. The Deodhar Trophy™ is a one-day tournament that features major players representing their zones (North, South, East, West and Central). For this reason, it has been dubbed the “All-star Series”. This is exciting, well played cricket. The Inter-State T20 Championship™ is fast cricket and was instituted after India became a member of the ICC Twenty20™.

Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players each. There are various types of matches that can be played, including test games (which last for five days), limited overs (which dictate that play will only continue for a certain number of overs), Twenty20 (where only 20 overs are played per side) etc... The basic aim is for one team to try and score as many runs during its batting as possible, while the other bowls and fields, attempting to get their opponents “out”. Once the team that is batting has had all of its batsmen “out”, or the available overs are complete, the teams then swop roles and the new batting team tries to outdo their opponents. Games can be won, drawn or lost. A wooden bat is used to strike a hard leather-seamed ball. This ball is fairly small, slightly larger than a tennis ball.

Unlike rugby, play is discontinued in the case of rain, as this affects visibility and efficiency. The ball does not bounce properly on wet grass. In addition, bad lighting may cause the game to be paused or abandoned.

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