Television coverage changed cricket. It expanded the audience for the game by beaming cricket into small towns and villages. It also broadened cricket’s social base. Children who had never previously had the chance to watch international cricket because they lived outside the big cities, could now watch and learn by imitating their heroes.
The technology of satellite television and the world-wide reach of multi-national television companies created a global market for cricket. Matches in Sydney could now be watched live in Surat. Since India had the largest viewership for the game amongst the cricket-playing nations and the largest market in the cricketing world, the game’s centre of gravity shifted to South Asia. This shift was symbolised by the shifting of the ICC headquarters from London to tax-free Dubai.
One hundred and fifty years ago the first Indian cricketers, the Parsis, had to struggle to find an open space to play in. Today, the global marketplace has made Indian players the best-paid, most famous cricketers in the game, men for whom the world is a stage. This transformation was made up of many smaller changes: the replacement of the gentlemanly amateur by the paid professional, the triumph of the one-day game as it overshadowed Test cricket in terms of popularity, and the remarkable changes in global commerce and technology.
Guha explains that cricket became more famous after the advent of technology. Even if the game had not adapted technology in manufacturing the equipment, it has definitely helped as a tool of propagation. Initially, when a was fixed and played in some part of the Nation, the score would be broadcasted via radio. Every small town or village used to have one transistor or radio set in one particular locality, such as a tea shop or a sport's club. People gathered at one place and listened to the score and who was on the winning side. But with the advent of television, people cherished the idea of watching the match that was happening in a distant land, from the comfort of their own home. This broadened the fan base for cricket. Young children got really impressed and the game shaped them from a very young age, as they got to see their favourite idols and imitate them. Many dreamed of becoming cricketers someday.
Watching cricket on a television
The technological advancements in satellite television increased the global market of cricket. People from all over the world started watching and following the game. Matches were telecasted live, which gave them the feel of watching it from the stadium. A match in Sydney could be viewed from a small village in Surat. India has the second highest population and also had the highest viewership of cricket and the largest market in the cricketing world. This made the game's focus shift to South Asia, even larger than the home ground of cricket, England. The ICC headquarters was moved from London to Dubai as it is a tax free Nation. Guha recalls how one hundred and fifty years ago, the Parsis had to struggle to get a proper gymkhana for training and had to wait so long for their first victory due to white prejudices. Today, Indian cricket has been raised to a higher pedestal and has gained a great reputation in the eyes of fans across the globe. Cricketers like Virat Kohli, M.S Dhoni have world wide recognition and a good rapport with all international cricketers. The IPL is conducted every year in India, which brings in the best of international players and is followed by fans all over the world. Guha attributes this success to smaller changes such as replacing a very sluggish casual way of playing sports to making it paid and professional. The one-day matches have dominated the Test matches and became more popular as days went by, and the technological advancements also contributed to it.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Social base||People who follow an event/person|
|Global market||The market in which the goods or services of a country is traded worldwide|
|Symbolised||Be a symbol of|
|Advent||With the arrival of|
|Propagation||Spreading or promoting an idea|
National Council of Educational Research and Training (2007). Honeycomb. The Cricket Story- Ramachandra Guha (pp. 139-151). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.