Once cricketers were ranked as gods and cricket as religion “Cricket is our religion – Sachin is our god”. But now a village court (panchayat) has banned Cricket in 25+ villages of Haryna District.
It may have the status of a religion across India, but a small village has banned cricket in response to the country’s dismal performance at the cricket World Cup this year.
The decision by the Uchana council in Jind district, some 120 miles north west of New Delhi, is also supported by 27 surrounding villages that are considering imposing their own embargoes.
Village elders, infuriated with India’s failure to make even the last eight in the tournament in the West Indies and frustrated by the media coverage of the country’s failing cricketers, announced yesterday that anyone opposing the ban would face being ostracised socially.
“We believe cricket is as bad for society as a disc jockey. A wise man once said that cricket is not our sport. We should race and play football and volleyball,” the council’s secretary, Jogi Ram, said.
In the conservative Haryana state, DJs are associated with western licentiousness and frowned upon by elders in rural areas.
Other council members declared that the restriction would be no great loss as cricket was not India’s national game.
Locals privately concede that their principal reason for the ban was the poor overall performance of the star India batsman Virender Sehwag, who comes from their part of India and had enjoyed iconic status before the World Cup debacle.
Upon returning from the West Indies last week along with the rest of the Indian team, Sehwag and his colleagues were given a police escort home for protection against angry and disappointed fans.
The homes of all the cricket team have been given armed guards by the respective state governments after scores of incensed fans destroyed the home of wicket keeper Mohinder Dhoni in eastern India following India’s surprise loss to Bangladesh in its first match on March 18.
Another Report by ibnlive
Jeend (Haryana): India’s performance in the World Cup has left many disappointed. But a village in Haryana has gone a step further and imposed a blanket ban on cricket.
The children in Jeend may just be playing their last game of cricket. Call it a fallout of India’s World Cup debacle or disillusionment with the sport. The Uchana village Panchayat in Haryana’s Jeend district has decided to ban the game.
The Panchayat’s decision to boycott cricket also has the support of 27 other villages. The village elders say it’s no great loss as it’s not even the country’s national game.
“We all have taken this decision and those who go against it will have to face social boycott. We have enshrined this in the Panchayat records of 28 villages,” Tewa Singh, the head of Dadan Panchayat says.
“We believe cricket is as bad for society as a DJ (disc jockey) is. A wise man once said that cricket is not our sport. We should race and play football and volleyball,” says secretary Jogi Ram.
The Indian team’s performance at the World Cup may have been the last straw, but most of these villagers want other games lost in the shadow of cricket to be given their due. And the decision to ban cricket doesn’t seem to have upset the children either.
“If our elders don’t play we also wont play,” Sanjay, a resident of the village, says.
“We will stop playing it. We will play kabaddi, football, volleyball and wrestle instead,” Pankaj, another resident, adds.
And even though a reshuffle is on the cards for the Indian team, in this part of the country it’s not just a few players who are facing public anger but the game itself seems to have fallen from favour.