Moving on from football, to India’s passion, my joy and the game of eleven fools (as George Bernard Shaw described it) cricket. I think a very few people in India do not know what cricket is, and the rest constitute the millions of fools who are ardent followers of the Men in Blue (the BCCI Indian Cricket team marketed to the core). Cricket for many Indians (including me) is larger than life and the basis of life itself. Cricket is to India what football is to Brazil. Ask a true Indian cricket fan what he/she longs, lives for and cherishes the most and he/she will say “To watch India win the match!” (accompanied with a big smile). Best toss prediction
One of the happiest moments of my life was to watch India make it to the World Cup finals in 2003. Unfortunately the 23rd March 2003 also turned out to be one of the saddest, apparently Ricky Ponting (Punter) had other plans, and as his nickname suggests better placed bets. A few mistakes by the Indian cricket team captained very ably by Sourav Ganguly (Dada,Prince of Calcutta, God of the off-side) saw me, and many Indians, on that fateful day reduced to tears, in our “Men In Blue” Tri-Colour painted T-Shirts and faces. Heartbroken we wiped the tears off and hoped we would get to see that moment of glory which the generation before us had witnessed at Lords in 1983. That moment where the underdogs, Kapil Dev’s Indian cricket team won us the world cup against the then invincible West Indian Cricket team.
Cricket my love, my passion and a truly beautiful game. I say that because, there are a few things in life, more beautiful for an Indian cricket fan than that lovely Sachin Tendulkar straight drive (down the ground), or that immaculate Rahul Dravid square cut and not to forget the perfectly timed drives on the off-side by the God of the off-side Sourav Ganguly. Makes cricket seem a touch romantic (Yuvraj makes cricket literally romantic, to his female fans, he is also great at fielding and very good at batting, sorry ladies).
It is often said Indians get too emotional about cricket (I am accused of the same), well the accusations are correct. I mean people do get emotional in life at some point of time. Life without cricket is unimaginable, sometimes I wonder why? Then I remember that cricket flows through my veins and I inherited the passion (like many Indians). I remember my life in two phases, one before the 1992 World Cup and the other after it,courtesy Dad (though he does not admit it, he loves cricket as much, maybe more). Cricket might not be played in the Gentleman’s outfit anymore but has lost little of its captivating magic.