Sunday, April 17

Cricket Mania

Yes, I am Indian.

Of course, I’m loyal to my country.

No, I’m not a crazy cricket lunatic.

And hey, that does not make me any less patriotic than you.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am not mad about what is undoubtedly India’s national game.

(Did you say hockey? I am sorry, but half the Indian youth don’t even know the names of 3 famous hockey players. Awareness should certainly be an important criteria for choosing the national anything. As my dad says, the national bird of India ought to be the crow as it is so famous and commonly observed, and not the peacock. Ditto for the national animal – a cow, or maybe the donkey… why the tiger? The number’s declining anyway. We don’t want an extinct national animal! One that appeals to hunters and souvenir collectors so much that they’d want to kill it!! Naah… Besides, other sportsmen in the nation also acknowledge and accept the fact that no game is greater than cricket in India.)

Anyway, the point is, I don’t go all silly and stressed when the Indian team’s playing a match, nor do I offer prayers for the Indian team to win. I do not worship Tendulkar, and I’m not star-struck by Dhoni, Kohli or Yuvi. I’m glad they won the WC and I’m pleased they made the country proud. Yet, I’m not going all ga-ga about them. Good job, guys. Move on now and don’t lose focus. The number of rewards you’re receiving is well worth all the effort you put in. I mean, really!! Every state and organization is bestowing millions on the players, and they’re being gifted cars and plots in the plush areas of the nation.

However, I WAS sucked into the riotous tornado called the ICC World Cup 2011. I had no option considering that all everyone was discussing and watching the tournament.

Did I say match? WAR is more like it. Especially the ones with Australia, Pak and Sri Lanka.

(My fav WC joke: this one was after India trounced Australia and was about to take on Pakistan… The Indian team hunted 11 kangaroos, so they’re being punished. Now, they have to defeat 11 street dogs. ROFL)

(Another one: I don’t quite remember this one, but it was during the India-Lanka match and there were pictures and smses doing the rounds about Ram defeating Ravana. Also, another one says that the Lankans now drink tea out of saucers coz Indians took the “cup”!)

(Oh, and the baap of the lot: A letter to the Thackerays says “A Delhi boy and Jharkand captain alongwith a Chandigarh chap have brought the World Cup home, and they’ve dedicated it to every Indian, especially in Maharashtra. What say now?!!”… Superlike!!)

I watched the finals with as much gusto as any average Indian. Watching the cricketers sweat and run around in the heat made me feel sorry for the boys. And impressed too. Well done lads! Well done…

It was outstanding. The atmosphere in the entire country was lively, optimistic and contagious. I’m afraid to think what would have been the case had India lost the final or semi-final. The team would’ve been ashamed, the citizens would have been incensed and frustrated. Newspapers would unearth another scam and reporters would go nuts hatching and revealing schemes and frauds.

But why be negative when the outcome of the WC has been so frigging amazing? People like my uncle and me who couldn’t care less about cricket sat down for the final match and watched and cheered as madly as teenage boys. I was a little scared about our fate when Sehwag and Tendulkar shamed us with their poor scores; I half thought we’d lost it. Yet, I know the majority of the nation still was hopeful and not for a minute did they stop vouching for India’s prowess and triumph.

What can I say, Dhoni sealed the match with the last ball… and 1.2 billion Indians within the country applauded lustily! The fire crackers were deafening as were the throngs that hit the city roads and celebrated India’s victory. Cricket is undoubtedly a religion here. And for so many, Sachin is god…

No points for guessing that the DLF IPL doesn’t interest me. I remember I memorized the team names last time and tried to keep up with the scores as tons of people around me were betting and raving about the matches. This time, I couldn’t care less. And honestly, after the World Cup win, the IPL is like an anti-climax. Yet, I’m not saying that the finals won’t garner much attention. Religion is religion after all :-) Be it the tenth or hundredth time, at a local or international level…

That reminds me, I need to download the IPL tune; love the baaja that kicks off their anthem.


Hail cricket!

- Princess


Peachy said...

I think this was a really bad time to start the IPL,
just few weeks ago, we all were cheering for India,now how can we suddenly go all Mumbai/Delhi/Pune/Punjab? :/

Princess said...

Completely agree wid u, Peachyyy.

No wonder its lil subdued as compared to last time...

Thanks for reading and commenting, by tha way, interesting perspective - hadnt thought of that :-)


ankita said...

I disagree with your conclusion that Cricket should be the national game of India or crow or cow should be national bird or animal. Its all about the glory and prestige that a game bestows to the country..and that makes it national game. India has won only 2 world cup in the game (cricket)which is played hardly in 10-12 countries unlike hockey which is played all over the world.. the game (Hockey)where India has excelled with 8 Olympic golds ..I agree it has lost its popularity now a days but isn't it our failure to make it survive and provide an up-to date infrastructure..What we are going to do if this happens to Cricket tomorrow!! change the national game ..change the national bird again!!!
All i want to say is that to change something like a game or animal on the basis of its current popularity or population is easy than to preserve and make something survive!!

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