Diwali and cricket, over the years, have been two things that have gone hand in hand. Who can forget MS Dhoni hitting a majestic 183 against Sri Lanka back in 2005 or Amit Mishra putting the New Zealand batsman in a spin in 2016? India, it is fair to say, have played some great cricket during Diwali.
Not Anymore Though
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and broadcasters Star believe that there now isn’t enough interest in the game when the Festival of Lights is taking place. A study was done which supposedly revealed the people of India preferred to spend time with their loved ones during this period. Furthermore, Star checked the viewing numbers for matches that had been played during Diwali against some that were played when Diwali wasn’t happening and found that the numbers dropped quite significantly during this holy period. but if you still want to watch and bet on cricket during Diwali, you can just take a look at https://www.cricket-betting-sites.in/ and its list of betting sites.
The Players Can Take a Short Break During Diwali
When you look at India’s home schedule this year, you will see that none of the 5 test matches, the 9 ODI games, or the 12 T20Is are scheduled during Diwali.
The BBCI believe that this has turned out to be a very good call as it gives the Indian players a bit of a break during the Diwali season. They can turn themselves off, go home, enjoy Diwali with their families, and then return to the India squad with their batteries recharged.
For example, this season, India’s last ICC World Test Championship match against South Africa is on the 23rd October. After this, they had a nice eleven-day break before they all met up again ahead of the first T20I against Bangladesh on the 3rd November. Diwali this year was on the 27th October.
A Blast from the Past
Since there will be no more great cricketing moments taking place during Diwali, we thought we might as take a look back at some other great cricket moments that happened during this religious festival.
India Complete 5-0 Win Over England: In 2011, on the eve of Diwali, Indian cricket fans were given something else to celebrate. India already led 4-0 in the series but were content on getting the whitewash. India, thanks to a great 75* from MS Dhoni, scored 271 runs from their 50 overs. The spin twins Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin then combined to spin England out for 176, meaning Indian won by 95 runs.
India Destroy Australia on Diwali Day: At the 1987 World Cup, India played Australia on Diwali day. India batted first in the match and went on to score 289 runs thanks to half-centuries by Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Navjot Signh Sidhu. Australia, in their reply, struggled against Maninder Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin and were bowled out for 233, meaning India won the match by 56 runs. A win against the mighty Australia on Diwali day, what more could any Indian fan ask for?
Sunil Gavaskar Equaled the Great Donald Bradman’s Record: No true Indian cricket fan will ever forget this match that was played at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in Delhi. India were playing the West Indies and Gavaskar battled his way to his 29th test century to equal the record set by the legendary Don Bradman. What made this knock even more special was the fact that he was facing a formidable West Indies attack. The match ended in a draw, but not Indian players cared as an Indian now held a record that had stood for 35 years.
A match Against Zimbabwe on Diwali Day in 1992: Now, you might be sitting there wondering what can be so exciting about a match against Zimbabwe, but you need to remember that back then international cricket wasn’t played as much as it is nowadays. Therefore, Indian fans loved watching any India match that was on. Furthermore, those who are old enough will know that Zimbabwe had a strong team and could compete with the best, especially when playing at home. On a slow wicket, Zimbabwe managed to restrict the visitors to 239. However, India’s bowlers were too good for Zimbabwe on the day and bowled them out for 209.