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India is a cricket-obsessed country and cricket is in the blood of most Indians. Seeing kids playing cricket in parks and alleys with rubber balls and makeshift wickets is an extremely common sight. Until 2008, Indian cricket was all about the national team playing against other countries in one-day matches or epic five-day Test marathons, but the advent of the '''Indian Premier League''' (IPL) [http://www.iplt20.com/] has, for better or worse, brought fast-paced, commercialized "Twenty20" cricket to the fore, complete with cheerleaders and massive salaries.
In international matches, while [[Australia]] and [[
About half-a dozen Indian stadiums have a capacity of over 45,000 and watching a cricket match can be quite an experience. Eden Gardens cricket stadium at Kolkata is Asia's highest capacity stadium with over 100,000 seating capacity. While the facilities in the stadiums may not be too spectator friendly (old benches instead of proper seats with backrests, monochrome scoreboards and lots of litter), the atmosphere of most matches is electrifying. ''Nearly all'' international matches have sellout crowds, and it is quite normal for fans to bribe officials and make their way in. Starting ticket prices are quite cheap; they can be as low as Rs 250 to 300 (US$6-8). India and Pakistan are all-time arch rivals, and cricket matches between the two nations attract up to a billion TV viewers.