Despite being called a team sport, the game of Cricket has not always been a battle of eleven versus eleven. If you look at it closely, what we have in the Indian cricket team is a bunch of below average, mediocre mixed with one or two exceptionally talented players who can turn things around completely on their own. It is because we don’t have options, we are a manpower abundant but talent scarce country and the sport, for its part, does not require us to field all our best talents, just one or two will do just fine.
Nine out of ten times, a good performance by those one or two will be enough for us to change the game on its head. We started treating Cricket as something special. This development simply wiped out all the remaining competition that Cricket had with other sports in the country. Soon, small-time cricketers were invited to inaugurate national level Tennis and Football tournaments, because they earned good money and fame, at least ten times better than their counterparts in those other sports.
Even when the match-fixing scandal broke in 2000, India came out largely unscathed because of the power BCCI was wielding over other Cricket boards and also, over some of the big names in the Indian political framework. Moreover, given the unexpected rise of the team under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, the whole episode was forgotten overnight.
During the 60s-70s, Indians had a craze for Hockey. However, when the Hockey team failed to win against Pakistan, especially in one of the major tournament during the early 80s, people started hating Hockey.
On the other hand, when Kapil Dev’s Indian team won the World Cup 1983, people got diverted from Hockey to Cricket. India has a large number of fan following for Cricket. It’s not only the team that is playing, but virtually every Indian is involved in the game. The craze is unlimited!
These days one such crazy fan hit the headlines as India’s win in the closely contested match played against Bangladesh helped the team qualify for the World Cup semi-finals. Bangladesh lost by 28 runs at Edgbaston amid hoots and cheers from the Indian fans.
More than the game, there were cute captions across social media. An old lady who is a Cricket fan, however, stood out among all others, by sheer virtue of her excitement. She fascinated all the cameras as she enthusiastically blew her colourful trumpet, cheering for Kohli and his men from the stands. She was happy, full of joy, and apart from all these, she was like a young kid while expressing her happiness for her Cricket team. Social media went viral with pictures and gestures. Within no time, Charulata Patel became the showstopper.
Some channel interviewed Charulata and she said that she was there in the stadium when India took its first World Cup, back in 1983, under captain Kapil Dev. It was indeed a very pleasant sight to see some of our team members chatting with Charulata Patel after India’s victory over Bangladesh.
During a chat with the media, she did say that she treats the whole team as her own children and wished them a win at the final. She believes in her prayers and she thinks whenever she prayed for the Indian Cricket team, they won the match.
From the past 40 years, she is been watching Cricket matches, she was a working woman. She used to miss her job to watch Cricket because she loves India. During the conversation with media, Charulata said that she used to write all the main records of Team India in a notebook. This elderly Cricket fan has also said that team India is going to win World Cup 2019. After Virat Kohli, Vice-Captain of Indian Team Rohit Sharma got blessings from the 87-year-old woman.
Charulata Patel was born on May 1, 1932, in Tanzania, East Africa. However, now she is living in England, United Kingdom. Her English accents are so like African English. She is very clear and straight in her expressions. She is an octogenarian fan who stole the attention of all cameras by her enthusiasm and activities during the match.
At the age of 87, her enthusiasm mesmerised the Indian players and the audience. When life has come to the last inning, a Cricket fan has got her reward and the chance to greet her heroes. Not only that, the world is now talking about her. India is a country of 1.33 billion people and Cricket is the most popular game in the country. So, you can imagine how many Cricket fans are there from India only.
The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) generates revenue twice of all other cricket countries that is an official proof that India has a huge number of fans. Predominantly Indian sub-continent is filled with Cricket enthusiasts.
Another thing about Cricket that appeals to us is its simplicity and the related cost factor — to start a game of Cricket with your friends, all that you need are a few broken sticks, a rubber ball, and some open space. Pitch conditions never matter to us. In contrast, basic gear and equipment for most other outdoor games are a tad too expensive, at least in India. Also, given the crowded nature of our playgrounds, Cricket is the best and the only option left to our kids. We have seen 10 to 15 games being simultaneously played on these grounds. You simply can’t do that when you play a game of Football or Hockey or anything of that sort. Maybe this is the reason that Cricket became overnight rich and fascinating game of India and with every match, they have generated a special fan following too.
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