Opium of South Asia
Cricket is more than just a sport for South Asia. It is a symbol of national pride and fierce competition.
The recent routing of England by Pakistan in the Test Series played in the UAE, has created new excitement because for most South Asians, cricket is not only a sport; it is a part of life. South Asian countries, mainly Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India have been playing cricket both on the domestic and international level for a long time. Bangladesh as an independent country became a Test- playing nation much later. The unique sport had made its way into the subcontinent when the British familiarized the locals with its rules and regulations.
With all four South Asian nations as its major proponents, cricket has become a popular sport in the region with people enjoying it in its original format, which is Test cricket. The first limited overs OneDay International ( ODI) match was played in Melbourne in 1971, and the quadrennial cricket World Cup began in 1975. Many of the “packaging” innovations, such as colored clothing, were as a result of World Series Cricket, set up outside the cricketing establishment by Australian entrepreneur, Kerry Packer. One can still remember the thrill of ODIS when cricket uniforms were white and stadiums echoed the excitement from the crowd. The same thrill is felt in modern day cricket with new rules and regulations making their way into the sport. Powerplay and the Umpire Decision Review System have grown in popularity amongst players. Such rules have brought evolution in the game along with the Twenty20 format, which has made cricket even more challenging. Twenty20 is a curtailed form of oneday cricket comprising 20 overs per side and was first played in England in 2003.
It is argued that frequent evolution has hindered the very es-