Is India Really a Cricket Crazy Nation?

As I walked past Forum mall in B'lore one afternoon I couldn't help but notice a man wearing a Mumbai Indians T-Shirt that had a picture of Sachin Tendulkar with the caption 'God is with us'. Well of course Sachin is God, for this is India after all Cricket is a religion here.

Everybody seems to know everything about Cricket, be it the latest stats, gossip and even the technicalities of how the Duckworth-Louis system works. Many a time I've seen people discussing how a bowler bowled a full toss and lost the match, or a batsman got "LBW'ed" in such an amateaurish way etc etc.

Once a friend of mine took a Cricket ball out of his bag (he was in the college cricket team) and some of the responses were:

Random Chap 1: Aren't cricket balls white in colour?
Random Chap 2: (Picking it up) Shit man, this is hard. It can break the bones in your body
Random Chap 3: Dai, be careful. Don't abdomen guards spread AIDS (o.O)

And these are the folks that comment about every ball that is bowled, every wicket every taken and every decision made by a captain. But the truth of the matter is that they have no clue what they are talking about. Out of the 100% of cricket fans in the country, only about 3-5 % would have ever played with a cricket ball EVER! And that makes the game into something completely different(Trust me, I played cricket with a CRICKET BALL for 6 years) than when played in the gully with a measly Rs.20/- tennis ball. When a batsmens wear the pads, gloves and helmet his entire body physics changes. Bowling with the Cricket ball is as different as bowling with a tennis ball as a stock market is different form your vegetable market.

India isn't a Cricket crazy nation, it only THINKS it is.