To many Americans, cricket is an insect.
To billions of people around the world, it is a favorite sport.
On April 2nd, the South Asian community in Chicago burst onto Devon Ave. to celebrate cricket and India‘s Cricket World Cup Victory, with cheers, parading cars, flags, and singing.
Local blogger, cricket lover, and videographer Shahruhk Hasan of Urdu Onair agreed to share his video of the victory celebration and to answer some questions about cricket.
At the end of the video, the crowd is singing the India National Anthem. Now on the subcontinent, Indians and Pakistani relations are often strained, but in Chicago, they are often neighbors and distance can unite them over shared cultural moments like a Cricket World Cup Victory. Hasan, who is Pakistani, says that “most people are happy that world cup trophy stayed in South Asia,” and that only a few hardcore Pakistanis are upset with the India victory.
While we in the U.S. are used to team with animal names and strange mascots, the winning team is simply called the India Cricket Team because it is the national team of India.
In South Asia, the majority of school children play cricket. Hasan notes that “kids- young-old everyone loves cricket and they are very passionate about it. Many schools/college have tournaments. even some people have street teams which play in local cricket grounds or sometime on streets.”
Though the national team that won the World Cup is all male, “no one is safe from cricket fever,” according to Hasan. Wikipedia has a page about the Pakistani National Women’s Cricket Team.
Asked whether there were any cricket leagues in Chicago, Shahruhk pointed us to the Midwest Cricket organization’s Facebook page.
- India: Billions Celebrate Cricket World Cup Victory (globalvoicesonline.org)
- An obsession called Cricket and the World Cup (radiances.wordpress.com)
- Why you should care about cricket (kottke.org)