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The story of the Indian game, from its beginnings as the sport of the English colonisers to the riches and razzmatazz of today's Indian Premier League.

The programme shows a country where cricket is the undisputed national sport, with deep connections to India's emergence as a nation through years of Empire, partition and then independence. Today, a brash new confidence on the cricket pitch reflects India's arrival as a superpower in the world.

It was the Parsi community that first copied the game from the English - and Indians initially played the game inter-communally, with separate gymkhanas for different ethnic groups. Over the years, different cricketing cultures have emerged to satisfy different parts of the Indian psyche. One is test cricket with Indian traditions of patient batting and probing spin bowling. The other involves shorter forms of the game, one-day cricket, where cricket becomes a spectacle with the excitement and drama that Indians call tamasha.

And now a country of more than one billion fans has a revolutionary form of cricket in 20/20, which under Indian control has the money, the ambition and the best players in the world. India is now in a position to lead the wider Empire of Cricket.

Includes interviews with cricketers Kapil Dev, Bishan Bedi, Farokh Engineer, Sachin Tendulkar, Madan Lal, Michael Holding and Shane Warne.

Also includes interviews with cricket writers and broadcasters Mihir Bose, Harsha Bhogle, Rahul Bhattacharya and Mukul Kesavan.

1 hour

Last on

Tue 28 Jul 2009 01:05
BBC One Northern Ireland


Role Contributor
PresenterColin Salmon
ProducerRobert Murphy
ProducerAlastair Laurence