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|Cricket The ‘Indian Phenomenon’|
|Pitched By Cricket360 Editor|
|Tuesday, 07 April 2009|
The game of cricket which was for long known as a relic of colonial days, a leftover of the Raj has now assumed a distinctly Indian flavour. Not only is it that the IPL which has become the richest and most famous of tournaments in international cricket, that was born in India, cricket has become tremendously Indianised since the days when it was a colonial sport and the BCCI has become the most powerful cricket board in the world.
According to recent cricket news, when the single T20 match was being played between Australia and South Africa earlier in the ongoing Aussie tour of South Africa, there banners welcoming the IPL to South Africa were to be seen around the stadium. This is an indication of what power the Indian cricket spectator and the Indian cricket player wield in the world of international cricket. It wasn’t just the fact that there is a large Indian Diaspora in South Africa that was looking forward to seeing the IPL being played in the country, it was also the fact that pictures of the match were being beamed live back to India that saw the presence of so many banners.
If Bollywood is one passion of Indians that transcends geographical borders and defies physical location, the same is at least as true for cricket. Then again international cricket is the only sport where India and Indian players have such a significant presence, so much clout and influence which is what inspires such a passionate following.
There are historical reasons why South Africa has a close association with the BCCI. If the international cricket community had boycotted the South African cricket team for decades due to their policy of apartheid, then it was also the Indian cricket board that welcomed the team back to the international cricket fold. It was against the Indian cricket team that the South Africans played their first international cricket match in decades when the government finally gave up their hateful policy of apartheid.
The IPL’s shift to South Africa is now being seen as a continuation of the same association which had also come to the fore during the Mike Denness cricket controversy when the South Africans supported the Indians against the ICC itself. The upcoming IPL will see a furthering of the hitherto cordial relations between CSA (Cricket South Africa) and the BCCI.
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