I have been a cricket fan since my childhood days, like most other boys in India. And even though I follow a little bit of other sports as well (mostly Tennis and Football), Cricket is and would always remain the top priority.
I don't know what it is about the game that has the whole nation hooked to it - may be it was the world cup victory in 1983. A nation tied down by bureaucracy, and the perennial underdogs came out as the World Champions. May be it was that one moment - mind you, it was at the venue of our previous Lords, that transformed the sports landscape of the nation. Hockey was relegated to background, and cricket became a national obsession.
Another interesting thing about the game was it is an individualistic team game - you have teams, but most of the time its individual brilliance that wins you the match. You don't need passes like in Football or Hockey, and if you are good, you will play well. Add to it the plentitude of numbers - there are just too many statistics - runs, wickets, fours, sixes, 50s, 100s, etc. This game is a statistician delight, and can easily employ half of graduates from Indian School of Statistics every year (with so many IPL teams coming).
Coming to the present, the World Cup is about to begin in a few days, and I'm really excited. Its been a long time since we had a all-nations tournament, and given the form of teams, this one promises to be really interesting. Of course I would be supporting India, but am mindful of the challenges as well. SA and England are dangerous as well, though they haven't really played in India recently (which is a different 'ball' game altogether.