Tanay’s Blog

January 3, 2009

Cricket – India’s National Game?

The shaky performances of India's Hocley Team have made people skeptical about Hockey's national game status

The shaky performances of India's Hockey Team have made people skeptical about Hockey's national game status

India’s former test captain, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, or Nawab Pataudi, as we better know him, has once again given fire to the debate – ‘Should cricket be made the national game of India, taking the status away from hockey?’ In a recent comment, he suggested his opinion which was immediately ridiculed by many former hockey Olympians.

There is no doubting Indian cricket team’s current success in the field. They not only established their supremacy in the new Twenty-20 version of the game by winning the world cup but by defeating the Australians and then the English team at home in the original form of the game, they proved their mettle in tests as well. The current team is anointed with legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, consistent openers like Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, a match winner in Yuvraj Singh, a wonderful strike bowling pair of Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, a classic off-spinner in Harbhajan Singh and above all, an able and efficient wicket keeper-batsman-leader in Mahendra Singh Dhoni. When combined as a unit, they make arguably one of the best teams India has ever had in the game of cricket.

The present Indian cricket team is arguably the best ever

The present Indian cricket team is arguably the best ever

Let me now analyse what the national game of a country means. National game of a country is the game which is considered the intrinsic part of the culture of that country. We all know, cricket in India is not merely a sport, it is a religion. We all remember what we were doing when Sreesanth took that catch of Misbah-ul-Haq to win the Twenty-20 world cup for India just like we remember what we were doing when we got the shocking news of the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. Cricket unites us all. It’s a common scene on the streets seeing people asking from scores from otherwise unknown shopkeepers who enjoy the ‘luxury’ watching the live match even at their workplace! Every cricket lover in India is a cricket ‘expert’ having his/her views on every match, every ball and every decision taken either by the captain, or the team management or even the BCCI.

Major Dhyanchand's birthday is celebrated as National Sports Day every year

Major Dhyanchand's birthday on August 29 is celebrated as National Sports Day every year

But does all this make cricket eligible to be the national game of India and take this status from hockey? My opinion is no. Most of us (at least me!) were not even born at the time when Indian hockey team was nothing short of invincible and the entire country remained glued to their radio sets listening to the detail of every pass, every move being made on the field by the incomparable commentators like Jasdev Singh and Anupam Gulati. The superhuman abilities of Major Dhyanchand with the hockey stick forced Hitler to offer him a commission in the German army, which he gracefully rejected. No other Indian sportsman has ever made such an impact. If there was electronic and web media coverage at that time as it is today, the former hockey Olympians, who won eight gold medals for India at the Olympics would have enjoyed the same superstar status as our current cricketers and not lead the kind of lives that many of them are leading now. The Indian government and sports authorities have not done enough to recognise their contribution to Indian sports.

Their most prized possession is their gold medals and the respect which all the Indian sports fans have for them. Taking away the status of national game from hockey, the sport to which they have devoted their lives, would be the most unfair thing to do to them as well to the numerous sports fans of the country. There may be a time after, say 20 years, when Indian football team, or maybe Indian tennis stars come out as world beaters. We all would love such a thing to happen but would it mean that we again change our national game to football or tennis? Surely, no! So why do it to cricket today?

To be frank and true, the being the national game, or for that matter the national animal, national flower, etc., etc., serves only one purpose – securing one mark to the primary standard students in their General Knowledge examination. So why hurt the feelings of those many legends of hockey for just that one mark?



  1. very very good

    Comment by prinsul — September 18, 2009 @ 2:53 pm

  2. cricket is game who touch the hearts of indian people

    Comment by ajeet baghel — October 7, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  3. cricket is the game which made place in the hearts of indian

    Comment by navneet — December 11, 2009 @ 4:54 pm

  4. no man it is not only hockey .it is our national game . play it feel it

    Comment by vimal — February 8, 2010 @ 11:51 pm

  5. i love indian

    Comment by sukha singh — March 3, 2010 @ 9:44 pm

  6. indian cricket team is mission impossible.

    Comment by selva kumar — March 22, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  7. Good one…well presented!

    Comment by Jeevan Krishnakumar — May 2, 2010 @ 9:37 pm

  8. awesome views on this issue.,.very correct n well said…….

    Comment by manisha — July 6, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  9. mind blowing because i also love cricket

    Comment by rahul — September 3, 2010 @ 6:46 am

  10. As we feel proud to say Indians as our Nationality, we must feel same proud to say Hockey as our National game. It’s is not fair to change our color with the time. We must not forget our past pride and glory what Hockey is given. Even more hockey is played in every part of the world, whereas cricket is limited to some specific regions. So it’s better, instead of going into unnecessary debate, we should focus on to bring back the same past glory with mining the hidden talents.

    Comment by Asian London escorts — November 27, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  11. After 1960 India’s hockey standards have steadily deteriorated. There are many reasons for this that include ASTR-TURF. Europeans and Australia have found ASTR-TURF more suitable for their fast style of playing. Another reason is chnage in rules. Perhaps the most important of the reasons is the attitude of players and officials and plitics. In his days Dhyan Chand was an icon. But our modern cricket greats – Gavaskar, Kapil and Tendulkar are equally, if not more, great. The fact that there is overwhelming support for the award of Bharata Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar speaks volumes. After 1970 cricket has been the number one sport in India – in terms of popularity and achievements. Hockey is nowhere in picture.

    Comment by raghu — April 18, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  12. Solid passage….

    Comment by Nithin — July 11, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  13. Bullshit tanay. cricket should be made the national game of india. cn u pls tell me how many of us know names of hockey playes. cricket is a relegion here & its high time it should be made our national game.

    Comment by bishal — November 13, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  14. it,s truth and i,m going to follow it

    Comment by komal — November 19, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

  15. indian team rockzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……………………zz

    Comment by theerdha — November 23, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

  16. very well written…..but i think it’s high time we make cricket our national sport!!!
    cricket resides in d heart of every indian….n u ur self hav given such important pionts for making it a national game!!!:)

    Comment by Ankita — December 20, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  17. yup…. iI agree cricket should become our nationl game.. in our country few people know about hockey they dnt knw,not only the name of playrs but also most of us dnt knw how many players in hockey…… so nationl game should be change……………..

    Comment by neha — February 10, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  18. i like the article
    i totally agree on this

    Comment by rinky — February 18, 2012 @ 4:18 pm


    Comment by DAWOOD AHMAD KHAN 'BHURKUNDA' — October 13, 2012 @ 4:06 pm


    Comment by KARAN — August 18, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

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