Cricket is more than any other game for most of the people in this sub continent, which includes me as well. I started playing cricket from childhood, I even remember my first cricket bat and ball made of plastic, ivory colored bat and red/white striped ball. There is un written rule exists all the child will get bat and ball as gifts for their birthday.
My sort of play started in our house which located very near to NH45 road, we had a pavement in front of our house and it's used as the pitch for the match. We used rubber ball for our match most of the time it will cross the road and we are banned to cross the road since accident happens very often at that place. We played very carefully having lot of constraints not to hit hard and not cross the compound walls. When we shifted to new house which was on the other side of the road, and no near to the road. I was overjoyed because we had plenty of green space to play cricket, and already there were some teams playing cricket. In our family most of the members play cricket so it was not a issue for us to continue playing cricket with those team. In school also we play cricket often, it had many forms. In play ground we play with bat and ball, if its break period then with the paper balls and pads (which we used for writing exams), if its class then also cricket - book cricket , even another form also exists with erasers. There are some stationary shops in front of our schools which sold perfumed erasers in the shape of cricket bat and ball, we used them to play inside the class room. Funny thing is we used to have even tournaments for those matches. Most of our pocket money were invested in buying balls (rubber, tennis, cork). some time we wont find enough money to buy ball, so we'll make our own with tightly bundled paper along with cycle tube. cycle tube are sliced as band and wrapped over the tightly bundled paper ball which will give nice bounce to the ball, but the issue withit is the band will start loosening and will come off one by one later during the innings. My dad never encouraged us playing cricket, he dint like the concept of cricket at all . He likes soccer rather than cricket. but we will console in anyway to buy us bat and ball. One time he made us a bat in teak wood, which is costlier than the normal bats sold in market. I still have that bat with me. Most of the time I play cricket with my brother in our street. We have several rules for the game If the ball goes directly to any house and its considered as a out and dustbin in the street will serve as wickets for the match. I always play like Australians ( I wont move from the crease even If I'm declared out) which will bring lot of quarrel between me and my brother and it will get resolved very soon and we will get ready for another encounter. Most of the time my brother will win th matches, and we will talk about the matches throughout the day.