Champions Trophy 2013: Cricket makes Indian fans in England bleed 'royal' shade of blue
Fans of Indian origin in England may or may not have struck a balance between two cultures but when the Indian cricket team takes to the field, it is the Tricolour that trumps the Union Jack.
Eight-year-old Aurudoy Ghosh has been to India just once - two years ago. The young boy - born in Caridff and settled with his parents in Norwich - has very little memory of that trip and even lesser understanding of his Indian origins. Aurudoy though never fails to pull out his Team India jersey each time MS Dhoni and his team takes to the cricket field.
The Indian team commands an enormous fan following in the UK and while Aurudoy may not be able to speak any of the Indian languages and knows more about the Queen of England than Manmohan Singh, he also knows more about Dhoni than Alastair Cook. Ironical!
Second and third generation Indians settled in the UK are mostly (more) tuned to the customs and traditions of the British. While each family is different in its ability to strike a balance between contrasting cultures, when it comes to cricket, it may well be safe to say there is a certain comforting uniformity. "I love India and I totally like the way Dhoni plays. I think he is the best captain in the world," says Aurudoy, obviously referring to the national team and not necessarily the nation.
It however is not just about Aurudoy or young boys his age. Fans belonging to all age groups come out in staggering numbers each time India plays a cricket match. They may or may not save money for tickets to their favourite football Derby matches but when there is a cricket tournament involving India, tickets usually have the habit of flying off counters.
Little wonder then that tickets to the India vs Pakistan match (June 15) at Edgebaston were sold out within 30 minutes of them being put up for online sale. Prices of a seat ranged from 20 pounds (Rs 1775, approx.) to 60 pounds (Rs 5325, approx.) across three different categories but it was mostly about getting just about any place to catch the action live.
It may be a very generalized (and unsearched) statement then, to say that Britishers of Indian origin find it difficult to adopt the culture of their forefathers. When it comes to cricket though, it may also be an equally safe estimate that most have just one colour in mind -blue. And no, it isn't England's, who are wearing red this season.