Monday, April 04, 2011

And the World Cup comes home

I have never been a cricket fan. But being the younger sister to a cricket fanatic and the wife of a sports freak, it was inevitable!  

I wanted India to win the coveted World Cup badly. I was ready to do anything. I would evaluate my every action, whether sitting on a particular chair helped or sleeping helped, if watching each ball made a difference to India or standing in the balcony was more auspicious! Initially, I thought, not watching the match will be more favourable for our side, so during Semi-finals, both I and my dad would watch all the crap on TV or read or sleep, do whatever, but avoid watching the match. We would invariably, catch the scores on some news channel or internet. My husband could not understand the logic.

During the final match, I had already given the first innings a miss, while trying to engage myself reading a book, which by the way, was unbearably boring. So, I dozed off a couple of times until my husband returned from office, and asked me if I was crazy not watching the World Cup final, and if I was in correct state of mind, not supporting the team. (As if he had doubts!). I was crazy, not watching the fabulous game. Because of my stupidity, I have no memorable moment from India-Pakistan Semifinals.

But before it was too late, good sense prevailed. It is always a joy to watch India bat; after all, we have a fabulous batting line up. Even after losing wickets of Sehwag and Tendulkar, Indians had not lost hope. And wasn’t I lucky! After all, my generation is going to recount this victory to the coming generations for years!

I have always had a soft corner for Dhoni. He is just our age, and look at the man’s credentials already. Under his captaincy, India has won:
  • World T20 - 2007
  • India No.1 team in Test Cricket - 2009
  • ODI World Cup – 2011

What’s more, his Chennai Super Kings have even won the IPL 2010. Since I am not a true follower of cricket, I would not even know his other achievements on the field.

For me, the most special thing is that he is the man who brought Jharkhand, even Ranchi, on the national map. Earlier, if you said you were from Jharkhand, many people were not able to tell Chhattisgarh from Uttaranchal or Jharkhand. Then you would prompt with “Bihar”! To which, you would get one raised eyebrows and remarks like “Oh Lalu!” in the most derogatory tone of voice. Now, when you say ‘Jharkhand’, you know people are going to recognize the state and even approve with a smile “oh Dhoni!” and confirm proudly, “yeah, the same place”.

What I like best about Dhoni, is the way he conducts himself. Coming from a humble beginning, this man has adapted beautifully to the changing circumstances of his life and taken everything on his stride. I have never found him overawed or too impressed by the glitz and glamour associated with cricket, and never overwhelmed by the kind of money he is making now. Perhaps his best trait is his ability to keep his cool in all circumstances, on the field or off it. And he speaks quite well too. 

Yes, Dhoni was the reason why I wanted us to win the cup badly, but Sachin was a bigger reason. For a man, so humble and inspirational for an entire generation, he deserved to see all his dreams coming true. Dhoni could still have chance in the next World Cup, but it seems unlikely that Sachin would play in the 2015 World Cup. And winning it in his home ground, takes the icing on the cake. If India had won in any other country, the victory would have been as sweet but the celebrations would not have been as magnificent! Few will be able to forget the fluttering of their heartbeats, on watching the Indian cricket team go around the Wankhede stadium holding Sachin aloft.

The way every single individual from the team dedicated this win to Sachin, is remarkable. Always a sucker for emotional moments, the Indian team’s moment of glory even made my eyes well up. Needless to say, cricket will now be a bigger religion in India, if that is possible. But I am sure nobody’s complaining. The victory on Saturday showed us all what a unifier it is. Indians can disagree on every single thing but when in comes to cricket, everyone’s on the same side.

What a way to start IPL now!

(Image courtesy:


  1. You I always said one thing to my frenz here, it is the Dhoni factor which will make it work for us. Media & experts might criticise his decisions but the fact is that the decisions pay bak! It is his confidence & cool demenaour which makes him what he is!!!

    So Hail Dhoni! & Hail India :D

    We did it!!!

  2. So we did, and on home grounds!