For a country where cricket is viewed as a business, not a sport, and the Indian cricketers as a brand, not a team, it could all end in a painful hangover when the brand does not deliver. Market analysts would have us believe that should India fail to reach the Super 8 stage of the World Cup, it would put Rs 3.5 billion worth of ad money and roughly Rs 13.25 billion in sponsorship money at risk.Not just the sheer commerce of it, just look at the picture how much pressure some of the supporters are putting on the cricketers driven by the hype of the commercial endeavors to establish the brand.
While it is now well acknowledged that India is the epicentre of world cricket, boasting of the largest market and widest social base, this mass hysteria does seem out of place when one sport becomes to dominate so much of Indian life.
"The passionate fans are also assuming the right to invade the privacy of a players’ home just because the national team lost a cricket game" tells Mohan at i3j3 Cricket with a detailed analysis of the fan frenzy.
Another instance is from a Pakistani supporter. Unaiza Nasim is sarcastic in Chowrangi Blog about Pakistan's defeat to Ireland and getting out of the World Cup. She thinks that the Pakistan team should commit suicide following Bob Woolmer's death and not come back to Pakistan. He was the coach and the players should follow him.
I am simply stunned by these types of reactions. I hope cricket gets it status back as an exciting sports rather than passion of some fanatics.
Update: Don't forget to read Neha's roundup of the Cricket buzz in South Asia in Global Voices.