Cricket is the main thing that unites our country together more than the separate Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations. The sweet taste of winning is a euphoria experienced cannot be compared with anything and fills us up with a deep sense of patriotism and contentment. And what better way than to support our heroes and usher them with all our love and blessings? Here are the 10 things that show Indians treat cricket like a religion.

1. Unites Everyone

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Our country is plagued by many problems and hatred and anger among many unsolved issues cause tension among us. But all of these go for a toss when India treats cricket and we all cheer together.

2. A battleground of our Heroes

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Who doesn’t want to see their heroes, some like Sachin Tendulkar or MS Dhoni, people we draw inspiration from win countless matches for India? It gives us sheer joy and makes us want to idolize our heroes a million times over and over.

3. The unofficial Leave

Kashmiris celebrate the dismissal of Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag as they watch a telecast of the Cricket World Cup semi-final match between India and Pakistan on a street in Srinagar on March 30, 2011. Not everyone in India is hoping for a semi-final victory over Pakistan in the cricket World Cup: in Indian Kashmir, allegiance to the rival team reflects bitter feelings in the turbulent region. The match comes at a time when India and Pakistan are again engaging in peace talks with a view to permanently resolving a range of issues that bedevil their relations, including Kashmir. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA/AFP/Getty Images)

The shop shutters are down and the roads are deserted as soon as the match starts. We remained glued to our television sets and our boss can certainly understand while I suddenly didn’t turn up and called in ‘sick’, a common fold excuse just to watch the match.

4. A full house- anywhere and everywhere

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Whether its Dharmasala or Jaipur, or Chennai or Guwahati thousands of fans flock to the stadiums al decked up in blue to cheer on our heroes. A sea of blue is enough to intimidate the visiting team!

5. A game which is not stereotyped

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The best thing about the game is that there is no discrimination among gender, and even girls, wives and aunties are ready to relinquish their daily dose of Soap Opera and cheer on their national team, quite incredible isn’t it?

6. When India Wins

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We get an excuse to take out rallies on our roads whenever we win a major tournament or beat our perennial rivals Pakistan. No one is complaining and everyone soaks in the victory with a pinch of madness. Remember country-wide celebrations after the 2011 World Cup win right?

7. A complete disregard to time and schedule

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Irrespective of whether India is playing against New Zealand in the Pacific region and we have to get up at 5am or playing the West Indies in the Caribbean we adjust our schedules and biological clocks accordingly and watch our heroes in action.

8. Faith in our players

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We may criticize the team players in the heat of the moment If they miss a catch or bowl badly, but we seldom let anyone raise a finger against them. If anybody found guilty of doing so, god help them!

9. Just need to know the score

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When India is playing and we are outside for work, we are mentally present in front of our home television sets only and would go to any length in knowing the outcome of the match, If that means even getting updates from complete strangers. So often do we hear the phrase ‘Bhaiya Score Kitna Huya?’ and so often do we ask them, we just need to know it!

10. Weird Superstitions

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Superstitions are commonplace in every Indian household and we go across great lengths to apply them on things we care. So much so that if our team is playing well we don’t change our seating positions or surf through the channels during commercial breaks in the fear of the fact that one single twitch from our end could affect result thousands of kilometers away!