Christian Long

Harsha Bhogle: The Rise of Cricket, The Rise of India

In TED Talks on May 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Reflection by ADITYA M.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Harsha Bhogle:  The Rise of Cricket, The Rise of India

Cricket has been a big part of my life since I was born. Personally I love the game.

One day cricket, (50 over version, one over = 6 balls) was the version I enjoyed watching the most. Surprisingly, I never knew test cricket existed until after a while of watching one day matches. I never enjoyed test cricket. Test cricket was a match that would take 5 days to play, and was a much slower paced game. Sometimes test matches ended as a draw, or with no result.

In my opinion, test matches were usually pointless and boring. Of course, lots had happened before my time and long before I became interested in the sport. When I started watching cricket, 50 over cricket seemed a relatively new format of the the game. A long time back, cricket wasnt as big as it is today. The event that I think sparked cricket becoming so big in India was when India won the World Cup in 1983. That was when India really fell in love the 50 over format of the game, and started playing it a lot. After the World Cup Pepsi started taking cricket all over the world. Also, cricket was starting to be shown on TV, whereas it was not before, creating a much bigger audience.

However, even though one day cricket was much more exciting than test cricket, it still took a long time to play. If you watched one whole
one day cricket match it could take quite a few hours. Then, another huge “accident” happened.

England invented another format of the game, 20 over cricket, and invited the world to play. The Twenty20 (what 20 over cricket matches were called) World Cup was coming up, and India didn’t want to play. However, they were forced to when the vote to play was 8-1.

Then, something crazy happened. India won the tournament!

Suddenly India discovered the power of Twenty20 cricket. And found out that they could be good at this game.

Then, only six weeks after the Twenty20 World Cup, India took the game where it had never been taken in India. They started making their own leagues. Indians had only ever supported their country, and now suddenly they had to support different cities. But these leagues were a big deal. People who owned serious companies, and not just guys that were just forced into sport started promoting the cricket, and put a great deal of money into it. This allowed the teams to not only be restricted to players within India, but opened them up to the opportinity of being able to get any player wanted, from anywhere on the world. You just had to get the best player for the best price. The idea of buying and selling players did create some critizism. Questions were asked such as “are the players grain? Cattle?” But didn’t the people criticizing realize that the same thing was going on in the rest of the world? It happens in the soccer leagues in England and also here in the United States in the NBA and NFL. The only reason it didn’t happen with cricket is because it is an international sport. An example of getting players from around the world was Dwayne Bravo, from the West Indies. The team from Mumbai flew him to play one match for them and flew him back right after it. Never would anyone have thought of flying someone from across the world to play one match and then leave.

Another thing the IPL (Indian Premier League, what the city vs. city league was called) did was combine two of the biggest things in India; cricket and the movies. This was because people in the movies started to own clubs. Now famous Bollywood actors such as Priti Zinta and Sharukh Khan started showing up at the IPL matches, and people could go to see them as well. Cheerleaders even started showing up and song and dance was brought into the cricket, resembling the Indian movies more. The IPL clashed everything big in India. For a long time, India was looked upon as this land of dust, poverty and snake charmers, but now, for once, it looked like a place of opportunity. Players from across the world said they loved to play in
India, and that felt good toward Indians. The only negative effect of the IPL and the big revolution and how cricket changed was that it pushed cricket to be the top sport in India, and demoted other sports as less important.

The IPL will definitely attract people to India in the future. It has created a whole new feel to the sport that has made it much more fun and exciting.

  1. Yes IPL has really taken off and put India on a bigger sporting map

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