Is Cricket a "True" International Sport

As the other sports forums seem to have taken old to some respect, well here is a cricket forum. NOTE: This forum will be heavily moderated and can be revoked at any time is discussions go out of hand.

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Cricket is a world sport.

Poll runs till Mon Jul 11, 2039 5:28 am

Completly Agree
4
24%
Agree
0
No votes
Close Call
3
18%
Disagree
7
41%
Completly Disagree
1
6%
DONT CARE: stupid argument & thanks vkd for creating a sepereate thread i can ignore
2
12%
 
Total votes: 17

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jayakris
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Is Cricket a "True" International Sport

Postby jayakris » Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:00 am

Yuck .. Take a look at the headline of this Times of India article.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 633749.cms

"Sehwag arrives in Merc"

Do they have some real low-life groupies covering cricketers or what. Nobody in India has a seen a mercedes, one would think. Man, shameful.

Jay

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Postby BSharma » Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:24 am

Jay,

If you think that The Times of India has gone overboard in covering Virendra Sehwag's marriage you should have seen the TV news. I was watching either Zee News or TV Asia news tonite via Dish Network and it spent about 5 minutes showing the Mercedes being decorated, Virendra boarding it, his wife going to a hair dresser and the marriage ceremony, and to make it even worse it looked as if the cameraman was hiding behind some chair or something low because of the camera angle and the shots of people.

That was the Sports news - nothing about hockey in Australia or tennis in Delhi.

Don't ask me to get rid of the Indian TV news on satellite TV because my wife loves the Indian soap operas and I get to sit next to her and check out Sports-India on my laptop. :D

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Postby jayakris » Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:31 am

There are two things that make India such a laughing stock in the world.

1) Our unnecessary obsession with the bug country while we keep asking the whole world to not equate the two together. We are the only ones who do that; nobody else looks at us and Pakistan as anywhere near equal in anything.

2) How the country always seems totally drunk on cricket; not even a true international sport that any country with any athletic/sports tradition considers its top sport, enjoyable as it is.

Everything else about India I like and I will explain/justify vehemently to anybody ... These two things are just pathetic.

Jay

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Is Cricket a "True" International Sport

Postby joyray » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:03 am

In the first place, I disagree with Jayakris in his basic assertion that India is ‘such a laughing stock in the world’, but this being a sports forum, I won’t go into a debate on that point. However, even if it is assumed to be true, I don't think, citing cricket craze as a primary reason behind it is rational. Leaving aside the NRIs, just how many people in the outside world are even aware that Indians are passionate about cricket?

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Postby jayakris » Fri Apr 23, 2004 7:33 am

OK, correct that India is not a "laughing stock" or anything. Wrong line by me. What I meant was that "the two things that people laugh about are" ...

If you have seen my writings over time, you would see that I am the last one who likes anybody laughing about India. I also don't have any inferiority complex that makes me think that we are a "laughing stock country", like many Indians do .. But I truly do find many non Indians here in the US who laugh about these two things (or at least not able to understand why India/Indians behave strangely on these two counts) ..

The world is quite aware of Indians and this thing called cricket and how Indians are mad about that.

My first point was a stronger one though. I don't consider it a big deal even if non-Indians find our cricket-craze curious. If we were doing well in other sports (any one of them), I would hardly care to comment on the cricket craze either. But India has really lost out a lot in this world over the years because of our obsession with Pakistan (the fact that the Pakistanis are even more obsessed about India, notwithstanding!)

Jay

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Postby BSharma » Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:36 pm

Jay
Our unnecessary obsession with the bug country


Bug country - I know what country you are refering to but what does bug country mean?

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Postby jayakris » Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:30 pm

They are like a little pest that bugs us all the time. I should have called them a pest country but instead have been saying "bug country" -- probably not the best word, but I guess I have been saying it for long now..

Jay

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Postby PKBasu » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:26 am

These are two issues on which I differ with Jay.
The persistent assertion that cricket is not a "true international sport that any serious sports country considers its top sport", etc. is simply wrong. Are we all supposed to bow down to the American way -- and call baseball an international sport because it ends with something called a World Series, or American Football or Ice Hockey? Australia is a serious sports country, and so is South Africa. Cricket is certainly Australia's top sport -- just check their newspapers. And cricket and rugby are South Africa's two top sports -- although football (soccer) is probably most popular in the townships.
Cricket is still the top summer sport in Britain, and was (along with soccer) its top sport for at least 150 years -- until the mid-1970s, when the English team (which has always included Welshmen, and the occasional Scot such as Mike Denness) ceased to be truly world-class.
Cricket remains a top sport in Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua, South Africa, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Namibia, Great Britain, Kenya, the UAE. That makes it pretty international -- as those countries together have about a third of the world's people and about the same proportion of its land surface. And there are lots of other places where the sport is played: the US has 500 cricket clubs (I can assure you there won't be 500 baseball clubs in all cricket-playing nations combined), Canada, Holland, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Uganda, Nigeria, Bermuda, etc. can all put up serious teams that are willing to travel half way across the world to try and qualify for the world cup. So this is a serious international sport -- with a huge audience world wide. Just because Americans don't understand it, Jay (who clearly loves the sport and follows it avidly) shouldn't be defensive about his interest in the sport -- and nor are most forum members.

As for Pakistan (or the "bug country"), I think Jay has a point: we should not be obsessed by it, and our attempts to get other countries to cease bracketing us with Pakistan sound a tad hollow when we complain as soon as the bug country gets a special ally status from the US, etc. But you have to pay more than normal attention to a country that is actively seeking to dismantle your country. Not just in Kashmir, but as far away as Assam (where ULFA is funded by the ISI, and gets sanctuary in Bangladesh where a large part of the political elite -- represented by the currently-ruling BNP -- considers the whole northeast of India part of greater Bangladesh, and ripe for Islamization as a stepping stone to demographic transformation followed by political take-over). Given that Pakistan is trying so hard to dismantle India, we can be forgiven for paying more than normal attention to that country. I don't think Indians are obsessed with Pakistan -- certainly not anywhere as much as Pakistanis are obsessed with India (and all things Indian -- which is a good thing! :) ).

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Postby PKBasu » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:39 am

Sehwag's wedding was a minor political event too. It was held in the home of Arun Jaitley (the national campaign manager of the BJP) who also happens to be the chief of the DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association). Sehwag has been recruited to campaign for the BJP, so his wedding was newsworthy in more ways than one.
If the Brits can be obsessed with Beckham, the Argentines with Maradona, the Chileans with Marcelo Rios (in his prime), then we have a right to be a bit over-the-top about our cricketers -- especially as they have just beaten Pakistan (who beat #2 South Africa at home and New Zealand in New Zealand just before the test series with India) and world #1 Australia (3-2, in home + away matches). There is a case for making as big a deal of Vishy Anand (who is treated like a superstar in India too, as the world's #2 chess player, but the adulation is tempered by the fact that he now spends most of his time in Spain). But we are not near-dominant in any other mass sport, so our adulation for our cricketers is perfectly understandable. We in this forum don't need to join the long line of curmudgeons who like to bash cricket obsessively.
The attention paid to cricket does obscure some of the other sports, especially hockey. But if we were playing world-beating hockey again, I can assure you India's adulation will quickly be turned toward hockey too. Dhyan Chand, Leslie Claudius, etc. were demigods in their time -- quite rightly too. Dhanraj Pillay, despite the IHF's attempts to keep him down, is at least as well-loved in the country as Ganguly, Dravid, Parthiv, Laxman, Balaji, etc.

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Postby PKBasu » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:41 am

Btw, Jay, "bug country" is rather apt: it works as a pun too.

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Postby Red_Indian » Sat Apr 24, 2004 9:45 am

I hate to say this and I hope you don't think I am picking on you, but cricket is nowhere near a "top sport" in England and NewZeland (especially) - soccer and rugby respectively are the #1 sports in those countries- and by a country mile! And both these countries are struggling to attract youngsters to cricket.

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Postby PKBasu » Sat Apr 24, 2004 2:29 pm

I didn't say it was THE top sport in either country. But it is undeniably A top sport in both.

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Postby trinanjans » Sat Apr 24, 2004 3:18 pm

and Cricket is not a top sport in India too !!!!
a top sport ,besides at international level, MUST be popular also at the domestic level.
a quote from Bhombol Bhoumick " Tell me when did 50 thousand people come to watch a domestic cricket match ?? 50 thousand or more people come to watch even tournaments like Rovers, Shield , although they are not the top tournaments in the country "
can anybody of u deny this fact ??

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Postby Dhruv » Sat Apr 24, 2004 7:32 pm

Umm lets not get carried away now trin. Football is popular in India but not as much as cricket.

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Postby BSharma » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:01 am

I believe Trin is comparing attendance at matches involving domestic football teams and domestic cricket (Ranji Trophy, etc). I do not know the figures now but about 30 years back when I lived in India more people showed up for football matches than for cricket matches (test matches excluded). I think that more Indians follow test cricket or ODI than Indian football, and more Indians can name all the players on the Indian cricket team than the football team. Much has to do with the publicity generated by the Indian press and TV people for cricket.


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