Priya Lal in Pop Matters pontificates about Cricket, religion and politics in India. All in the same article.
bq. Cricket as history. The metaphor actually seems viable to those seeking to decode the meanings of cricket in modern India, where the game has not only lost its exclusive origins but become a virtual national obsession — comparable in scope and intensity to soccer in Latin America. The Latin American comparison is indeed apt, because it is as spectators that Indians are the most active participants in a game that lives in the country’s collective imagination — primarily in the incarnation of the players of its national team.