Sunday, April 3, 2011

And finally we have seen India win the World Cup

The bell rang. It was the pizza guy from Dominos. I got up to remove money find my wallet.  Suddenly on the TV screen, the ball was up in the air and out into the stands. Dhoni had hit a six and India had won the 2011 World Cup.

Hurray! Yipee! We did it! I hugged my friends and we were on top of the world just as we had cracked something big all by ourselves.

The firework had started around 5-6 overs and now it had reached deafening proportions with one house competing with the other to celebrate more. If we as fans could feel so much, it was not surprising to see some of the Indian players burst into tears on the ground.

What is with this passion that we Indians have for cricket? Why are we so attached to this sport? I can’t speak for the whole country, but I guess there will be many who will have the same story as me and my friends.

Classy Jayawardene takes SL to 274. I wouldn't blame the Indian bowlers too much, Jayawardene was too good. Tough chase for India. Will they make it? Come on India. Didn't know what cricket was in 1983. Win it guys for me and many others like me!

This was my status message on Facebook after the Sri Lankan innings. Ever since I started following cricket in 1992 (India’s tour to South Africa), India’s World cup win in 1983 was often discussed as The Moment for Indian cricket.

I was barely 1.5 years old when this happened and don’t know what happened. Yeah I have heard about the Balwinder Singh Sandhu’s ball to bowl Greenidge and  about Kapil Dev’s catch to dismiss Viv Richards a million times on TV . But then I never experienced it firsthand.

Like many others of my age, I went berserk celebrating India’s victory over Pakistan in the World Cup quarterfinals in 1996. But then many of us also cried a couple of days later when India lost at Kolkata in the semi-finals. That perhaps was the saddest day that we had watching cricket.

1999 wasn’t any better. India’s loss to Zimbabwe messed it up for us and we weren’t good enough to go to the semis.

The 2003 World Cup was great for us till we ran into Ricky Ponting’s men in the finals. We still aren’t good enough we thought.  2007 ended with the first match defeat to Bangladesh and then Sri Lanka crushed whatever little hopes we had. ‘When are we going to be the World Cup champions? ‘, we all wondered.

‘Sachin is God and Cricket is a religion in India’.

For all of us born in the eighties Sachin Tendulkar is not just The God but a human force who symbolizes our hope and aspirations. A World Cup win was eluding him time and again although he usually is at his best in the World Cups.

Life can’t be so unfair. Not at least to The God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and his billion Indian devotees.

To call cricket a religion would be an understatement in this modern era. Cricket for people like us is a way of life.

We take inspiration in our studies and our daily jobs watching the cricket matches. We have archetypes of cricketers in our minds and understand a lot of things in our daily lives and careers based on these self-constructed archetypes.

India winning a series or a cup is usually an inspiration for us to turn a corner in our lives. India’s win over Australia in the 2001 series especially that stand between Dravid and Laxman is what we look up to when we are down in the dumps in our careers.

India’s loss of Zimbabwe in the 1999 World Cup is what flashes across our mind and reminds us how important it is not to slip in an easy assignment. 

We all know that it is essential to have different qualities while doing different kinds of tasks. Sometimes you need to things fast at a scorching pace like a Virender Sehwag often does while at times it is essential to buckle down and set the house in proper shape like a Rahul Dravid. When we mess up things and have nowhere to hide, we still hope we get lucky like Joginder Sharma did in the 2007 World T20 final.

So the innings that Dhoni played yesterday, promoting himself up the order to counter the off spinners is going to inspire us for the rest of our lives. That six that he hit to win us the cup will remain etched in our memory.

Yesterday when I reached home at 12:30 am, I got a call from one of my crazy cricket friends.

‘Buddy, we have won! We are the World Cup champions. I don’t care how we perform going ahead. This is a victory for our generation, those born in the eighties. We now have a story to tell our children’.

Oh yeah! I couldn’t agree more. And what an awesome story.

1 comment: