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Mark Moxon's Travel Writing

India: Cricket and India

A game of cricket in the Qutab Shahi Tombs in Golconda
A game of cricket in, of all places, the Qutab Shahi Tombs in Golconda

Everywhere you look in India, someone is playing cricket; look out of bus windows, along dusty streets, in tiny villages and big cities, and you'll see a bunch of youngsters playing the game with rudimentary bats and branches for stumps. It's in the blood in much the same way that football is in South America and ice hockey is in Canada1, and wandering past the locals as they bowl polished stones at baobab-stick stumps, you can't help wondering why cricket is such a deep obsession in India.

1 Ken, a very friendly American whom I met in Mandu, told me about a conversation he'd once had with an Indian boy. The young sports fan was telling him how excellent India and Pakistan were at hockey; they were, in fact, world leaders, he was keen to point out. Ken, however, couldn't get his head around this. 'Where on earth do you find the ice?' he asked, and for the first time in India, said Ken, he witnessed a confused silence.