‘Lagaan’ is the best example for the craze for cricket in India. Cinema houses showing ‘Lagaan’ were full and the picture ran for months together in certain cities. It was, of course for the superb acting of Aamir Khan. But cricket too played a big role in the success of the picture. It gave Bollywood a new turn.

Cricket is no popular a game that you would find it being played in lanes and streets of big and small cities. Boy’s even young boys would come out with their bats and balls and play the game anywhere they find a little of space. On Saturdays and Sundays and during vacations one can find big parks fall of different teams playing cricket match.

Leaving India after ruling the country for more than 200 years Britishers have left certain legacies. We have a craze for foreign goods and studies in foreign countries. The craze for cricket is one of these legacies. You can find it being played in the common wealth countries (the fifty plus countries ruled by the British) only. No other western country including USA has taken any interest in it. It is not a part of the Olympics too. As it is an English game it symbolizes our slavish mentality. Gradu­ally it has become a money picking business too. Cricket players have been seen earning millions of rupees through the game.

This craze for cricket has cost the country a lot in terms of sports and games. No, other games and sports are given importance vis-a-vis cricket. That is why our performance in the Olympics is very poor. A country of one billion does not get even one bronze while small countries having population of one to ten lakhs win gold and silver medals. It is only in Asian Olympics that we win some gold and silver. But we remain far behind China, Japan and Korea.

Another Problem with cricket is that when there is a match in India people stop working in offices. They enjoy the match either on television or radio sets. Thus millions of working hours are lost. Even media gives too much importance to the game. On the day of the match all other programmes on Doordarshan and Aakashvani are cancelled. Even regional news is not broadcast.

The government and the people should think it over. Soccer, hockey
Volleyball, Kabaddi and other games should be made popular so that we may leave the British legacy and adopt international games. Sports should form a part of the curriculum at least up to High school. Yogasans are becoming popular in the world. A day may come when we may learn yogasans from the west. Some sports are very common among tribals. We may inspire them and include them in our teams. Let us with that craze for cricket is replaced by craze for Indian games.