Almost every country has its national sport. The UK has football and rugby, Canada has hockey, and India, well India has cricket.
Cricket may not be as popular of a sport on the global level, but Indians enjoy immensely both playing and just watching it.
Cricket was brought to India in the early 18th century by the British, and it quickly gained in popularity.
After a while, Indian cricket clubs started to compete with European, finding quite a bit of success in the process. Several of the top-performing Indian players also went on to join the English national team in the early 20th century.
Cricket Is Simple But Exciting Game
One of the main reasons cricket was so well received in India is that this is a fairly simple and undemanding sport in terms of logistics. You can even compare this to poker, where you do not need much to sit down and play a couple of poker hands, but cricket takes it even further.
When played for entertainment, cricket doesn’t require a lot of space, and it can be played by as few as two players with batons and a ball.
Of course, these days, you’ll find at least one large cricket stadium in almost every major city in India, but this wasn’t always the case.
Cricket isn’t too demanding in terms of finances, either. Buying the gear required to play doesn’t require too much money, making the sport accessible to pretty much everyone.
That’s why you’ll likely see cricket being played all over India.
Just like kids in Europe love to take advantage of any open space to play football, Indian children will take it to the streets to set up cricket matches among themselves, especially during big competitions and tournaments when the interest for the game increases even more.
Successful Cricket Players Are Celebrities in India
Big-name cricketers enjoy a special status in India. They’re admired and looked up to by the masses with many young, up-and-coming players hoping to achieve the same level of success.
Names such as Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble definitely get the imagination going.
Sachin Tendulkar earned the nickname “The God of Cricket” during his playing years, and he was (and still is) an inspiration for many young players and fans alike.
Top players and their stats are almost common knowledge in India and a frequent topic of casual discussions.
While this could be true for the best poker players in some countries, India is all-in for cricket.
This only goes to show just how popular the sport is in the country. When there is a big competition happening, India's life slows down as everyone is busy watching the games and cheering on their heroes.
Those who do manage to make a name for themselves in cricket also tend to live good lives as successful players are paid very well.
This is another motive for young players to train hard and get good. Becoming a famous cricket player is pretty much the way to solve all your financial troubles and create a nice and comfortable life.
India has had quite a bit of success on the international cricket scene. They took home the World Cup twice, in 1983 and 2011, and finished second in 2003. Four more times since 1975, the Indian national team has made it into semifinals.
When all these things are added together, it’s not hard to understand why the sport has grown to be so popular.
Indians don’t just love cricket – they’re pretty good at it, and it’s a matter of national pride as well.
Betting on Cricket in India
Betting and sports go hand in hand all over the world. Sports fans enjoy placing some bets on their favorite sports to make things a bit more exciting and show their support for the team.
Some, of course, take things to a different level and take betting sports very seriously.
With cricket being so popular in India, it comes as a little surprise that it’s also one of the country's favorite betting choices.
This is especially true during any major competitions when the number of bets tends to increase quite significantly.
For those wanting to bet smart and improve their chances of winning, there are numerous betting guide sites out there, offering all sorts of tips and stats’ breakdowns for upcoming matches. This kind of information can definitely help with placing the right bets and improving your odds.
But even without any of that, Indians simply enjoy betting on cricket.
It adds to the excitement of watching matches and cheering on their favorite players. Of all the countless people who place cricket bets in the country, very few could be considered “professional” bettors. They do it primarily for excitement and entertainment.
Isn’t it Illegal?
Technically speaking, gambling is illegal in most of India. However, nothing prevents punters from placing their wagers with offshore betting sites as long as they’re willing to accept their bets.
And with the cricket betting being so popular in the country with well over a billion people, many bookies are more than happy to do so.
Quite a few big betting sites offer various bets on The Indian Premier League, the country’s biggest cricket competition.
Punters can bet not just on match outcomes but on individual players’ performances, game totals, and much more.
International bookies are taking advantage of the fact that Indian gambling law doesn’t regulate the online domain.
While land-based bookmakers aren’t allowed in the country, internet gambling sites simply aren’t defined by the law. And even if they wanted to, it would be extremely difficult for the authorities to impose a ban on gambling sites with servers located outside of the country.
Given just how popular the sport and everything surrounding it are, it’s unlikely the government will be looking to introduce any stricter measures in the near future. A decision like that would not go over well with countless millions of people all over the country who simply love cricket and all that comes with it – including betting on their favorite teams and players.