If one were to look at the statistics, one would notice that cricket, today, while popular around the world, is most popular in India. Since the 19th century, the sport has been hugely enjoyed and played in the country, and today, some of the greatest players in the world are of Indian origin.
The Indian national team is ranked number one in T20 Cricket, and is in the top 5 in the ODI and Test Cricket, according to the International Cricket Council. Indian children of all stripes and castes start following the sport from an early age, and even begin practicing it, as early as 5-years-old. And of course, the Indian Premier League is one of the most popular cricket leagues in the world, gaining tens if not hundreds of millions of views annually. If one were to look at other notable leagues, such as the Abu Dhabi T10 league, and the T10 live scores, or the Australian Big Bash, one would see that, while yes, these leagues are successful in their own right, the numbers are nowhere near those of the Indian Premier League.
So, in this article, we are going to take a look at how the sport developed in India, and discuss the country’s current standing in the cricket world.
Cricket in India: The Early Years
As some might know, cricket’s origins can be traced to England. In the 18th century, the age of exploration was just coming to an end, with most of the known world having been discovered. This led to what we now call the Age of Colonialism, when English merchants, sailors, soldiers, statesmen and craftsmen began moving to various English colonies, including, India. With them, the Englishmen brought their culture, and of course, their love of sports.
Cricket was first played in India in the 1800s, and quickly spread in popularity all throughout the region. Over the course of the 1800s and 1900s, cricket in India grew more and more prominent, with numerous local, regional, and national cricket competitions forming in the provinces of the country. However, certainly the peak of the sport came in the 21st century, when the Indian National Team rose to prominence, as one of the greatest cricket teams in the world.
Cricket in India Today
Today, as we said, cricket in India is the top, most beloved sport, watched by hundreds of millions of people from all over the country. The Indian national team has seen massive success on the international scene. According to official International Cricket Council Rankings, the Indian National Team is ranked number one in T20 Cricket, superseding the Australian, English and Pakistani team. They are also ranked second in the Test cricket rankings, topped only by the Australian team. In ODI Cricket, India is ranked fourth, below New Zealand, England and Australia, but still ahead of some other fantastic teams, like the South African, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, and Sri Lankan teams.
Apart from their international success, India today is home to one of the greatest cricket leagues in the world. The Indian Premier League’s first edition was played in 2008, and includes 10 of India’s best cricket teams competing for the title of national champion. Of the 10, the most successful are the Mumbai Indians, with 5 titles. However, in recent years, the Chennai Super Kings have been closing in on the title, having won the most recent title, leaving them with four under their belt.
Some of the greatest players in the international scene today, also come from India. Virat Kohli, one of the most popular, and most highly acclaimed players in the world today, is of Indian descent. Other notable players from India are Rohit Sharma, a fabulous, international player, who currently captains the national team.