Cricket as the most popular sport in India

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are crazy about cricket. And most of them are indifferent to other sports. They have made cricket the world's second most popular sport after football, and have confidently surpassed all other team games, from baseball to hockey, in terms of the number of devoted fans.
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And while cricket is almost unknown outside the former British Empire, it is a religion in countries with a combined population of around 2 billion people. Messi has been heard of and may have an idea of who Pele is, but Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting are forever in their hearts and Virat Kohli and Joe Root are in the Instagram feed.

Indian national team captain Kohli confidently propels Bollywood stars to the top of the popularity charts and earns $25 million a year as Liverpool's top scorer Mo Salah.

Do they really play all day?

Only if it's a short match. A normal one - the so-called scoring, test - lasts five days: six hours a day with a 40-minute lunch break and two teas of 20 minutes each.

The classic series of five test matches, in which two separate teams regularly find out each other, takes up to a month and a half.

There are advantages to this. At least at amateur level, a game of cricket goes well with an all-day picnic in the park. And spectators of a professional match are always guaranteed entertainment from morning till night. Also, bitcoin sportsbooks have now become incredibly popular . Many people are interested in sports, but the big plus is that you can bet on sports thanks to cryptocurrency!

But there are disadvantages. Firstly, not every fan will find so much free time and understanding in the family. Secondly, not every television channel will risk such volumes of airtime.

What is the point of the game?

The basic rules are very simple. The nuances and exceptions are another matter. It is difficult to make sense of it all, even after a month and a half of almost daily World Cup matches. But this only makes the game more interesting - almost every encounter is fiercely debated.

In the mid-19th century, the British even considered banning cricket for reasons of public safety. Rarely did a game then go without carnage and injury - and even murder.

Players routinely refer to umpires, although most disputes are settled through the use of video replays and virtual simulation systems.

Without getting into the finer points, in general terms it looks like this. Two teams of 11, just like in football. But they take turns attacking and defending.

In the first part of the game, one full team takes to the pitch and attacks the opponent's goal with the ball (a wicket of three posts with two cylinders on top). The other takes turns releasing their players with the bat. One by one they defend the wicket, batting and scoring. When all 10 defenders are knocked out or the allotted number of shots is exhausted, the teams switch places. The winner is the one with the most points.

The highest class batsman is to hit the balls so that none of the 11 opposing players can catch them. While the batted ball rolls across the field, the player with the bat runs between the two wickets in the middle of the field. One point is awarded for each run. If the ball leaves the field, no runs can be made - rolling out will give four points and taking off will give six points.
If cricket is so popular, why don't I even know what it looks like?
Either you don't like films or you're not watching carefully.

Cricket has been portrayed in thrillers ("The Beach" with Leonardo DiCaprio, "Syriana" with George Clooney and Matt Damon), political dramas ("Frost v. Nixon"), romantic comedies ("A Good Year" by Ridley Scott with Russell Crowe) and even fairy tales ("The Chronicles of Narnia").

And of course, no film about contemporary India or Pakistan is without a cricket scene in a dusty wasteland, which is so characteristic of those places. British filmmakers (Slumdog Millionaire, Hotel Marigold) and Hollywood (Darjeeling Train, Vertical Limit) love this cliché.

The Gentleman's Game appears frequently in English literature, from Dickens to Conan Doyle.

Sir Arthur not only invented a past cricket player for Dr Watson, but was himself a master of the game of bat - now housed in the museum of the planet's premier cricket arena, London's Lords Stadium.