Cricket has become more popular than the national sports in the sub-continental countries. What do you think are the reasons behind this? Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
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Band 8 IELTS essay sample
Cricket, traditionally an English sport, is becoming increasingly popular in other parts of the world like Australia, South Africa, West Indies and the Indian subcontinent. The level of interest in Cricket in these countries has increased to such an extent that it has surpassed the popularity of national sports. In my opinion, there are mainly two reasons for this popularity. To start with, all countries where cricket is now popular were once colonies of Britain. Another reason is the popularity of mass media. There are sports channels exclusively for cricket.
Until the dawn of the 20th century, many countries were under the British rule and hence their influence on everything including food, clothes and even sports was substantial. Before the British invaded these countries, there were several other sports that were played in these regions such as Hockey, Kabaddi etc. But under their rule, these sports saw a tremendous decline in popularity as these games were highly discouraged by them. Hence in order to keep up with the British, many people started adopting the games that Englishmen played; hence cricket found its roots in these countries almost 200 years ago. In a recent study conducted by the Ministry of Sports in India, cricket is watched by over 80% of the people across the country and merely 20% watch other games. They concluded that hockey, which is the national sport of India has comparatively fewer followers than cricket.
Apart from the political, commercial and colonial reasons there are multiple other factors which have led to the popularity of cricket. Mass media has played an important role here. There are numerous channels in these regions which focus entirely on cricket rather than any other sports. They broadcast Cricket all day long and that too in various languages so that their target audience is not reduced. Media has played another important part in making the players of the game celebrities. In a recent study conducted by Forbes magazine India, it was revealed that the players of national sports such as hockey barely make Rs 20,000 a month whereas a cricket player makes as high as 8 lakhs a month. Since the variation in pay is huge, it is obvious that people will focus more on cricket rather on any other sport.
To conclude, one can say that the colonial hangover is the major factor that has made Cricket the most popular sport in the Indian sub-continent. Although after independence, we have made new laws, popularized new games, we even declared hockey as our national sports, citizens of our country still have a greater inclination toward cricket than any other sports.
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