“Cricket Craze” is a game played almost everywhere across the world but the love for cricket in the Asian community in Britain is growing enormously since the previous few years. By having a close look at the cricket craze scenario in UK, one can clearly notice that the participation of cricketers from the South Asian community is almost nil in the professional cricket. The question arises that why the situation is so and what are the circumstances because of which the south Asian community is away from the British cricket.
South Asian community comprises of Pakistanis, Indians and Bengali residing in UK since long due to certain reasons. According to a survey conducted by England and Wales Cricket Board in the previous year showed that 30% of the south Asians that were taking part in UK professional cricket previously is increasingly dropping down to 6.2%. The latest mission of ECB is found to be adopting strategies to identify and engage 10,000 Asian cricketers by 2017.
Different Forms of Cricket:
Before discussing the problems related with South Asian community to involve in UK professional cricket and generating strategies to resolve the problems, let us discuss the different forms of cricket being played in UK professional crickets.
First Class Cricket:
This is a major form of cricket craze where high standard teams compete and this is an international form of cricket. Here at first class crickets different teams from countries which are holding ICC membership compete to gain the rank of top ranked international team. World-wide matches are conducted at different intervals of time.
Twenty 20 Crickets:
It is a different kind of limited overs cricket started back in 2003. The teams participating in this form of crickets are made at domestic level and matches are conducted internationally as well as domestic championships are also conducted.
This is the widest form of crickets played worldwide, this is another form of amateur cricket where teams are organized into leagues. The players participating in this form of cricket are not only national but other who are immigrants from other nations can also play by becoming a part of the league.
Sports and South Asian Community:
The low level presentation of South Asian community in professional cricket craze in UK is due to certain barriers and constraints that these South Asian face in United Kingdom. These barriers are so strong that they restrict the participation of South Asian in UK professional cricket.
Some of the barriers are mentioned as under,
Religion differences are almost there while talking about the cricket opportunities available for South Asian community. It has been noticed that most of the club or county matches are conducted on Friday which is considered as a holy day for Muslims.
Besides religion, opportunities, education, family commitments are termed as another barrier in the way of South Asian cricketers. Parents are found to have lack of interest in preparing their kids as a cricketer. Youngsters are never aware of the potential opportunities that they can avail after joining any club or team
Though this factor is highly denied by the cricket professionals but it is a bitter truth that while living in the White British community, it is really difficult to survive and maintain a high position in the professional cricket team. It is a common comment that, “Yorhshire racist, don’t like Asians”, it is a hard reality to accept that a Muslim with a long beard is never appreciated as a professional cricketer however talented he may be..
In short, all the above mentioned issues should be resolved instantly if the participation of south Asians is required in professional cricket.