Spare a thought for the others
BLEED BLUE, ITS THE NEW WORLD ORDER
Sinned be those who dare missed a momentous occasion, an occasion where the great took the ultimate leap of greatness. Wankhede witnessed the baptism of immortality and 100 billion witnessed probably the best moments of their life. By now the netizens would have gone berserk in the same way as the whole of India went rabid on every street possible on 2nd of April, the blue letter day. I am not going to pour out all my emotions because I have heard that feelings especially overwhelming are very hard to express, now I know it is even harder to pen them down as well. So enjoy the moment, though I would like to take this opportunity to spare a thought for other as well, other teams and players who formed an integral part of this World Cup.
It was a war, mother of all battles, all roads leading to Mohall and what not. India-Pakistan up against each other in the crucial semi final match, it just couldn’t have got better. In the past one week I was surrounded by or rather engulfed by these extraordinary phrases. Like a myriad of missiles, India Pakistan clash was being escalated to the heights of immortality, equated to a war, with Mohali being the battlefield, Dhoni and Afridi being the head honchos. Now its Sri Lanka and even this is also a war, a righteous war (Ram against Ravana). And my reaction to all this; when is it all going to end !!!
Coming back to the semi final, it was just a game. But no one was willing to take it as a game; for them it was not cricket, it was a desire, a kind of hallucination, fired up by our own media.
Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space; it was an observation by a famous journalist Rebecca West and just think of it, how true is it now. In the name of a cricket match and cricket coverage we are being dished out crap and we are taking it. And it is just not this game; the entire atmosphere of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 has been this.
India taking on Bangladesh, everyone wants a bloody revenge of 2007.
India taking on England, everyone wants the former dictators to be quashed.
India taking on the Irish, everyone wants the minnows to get annihilated.
India taking on South Africa everyone wants the proteas to be taught a lesson.
India taking on West Indies everyone wants the historic repeat of 1983.
India taking on Australia; oh my God that was a “Mini final” in itself.
And then, India Pakistan, it was a bitter battle, everyone wanted bloodshed.
But for me all this is disturbing, this is animosity being fuelled up for no reason at all, the spirit of the game is being ignored, is being hampered. The World Cup is not only about India. This edition of the quadrennial event has by far been a huge success, no doubt about that. But have the so called cricket crazy people of India appreciated the World Cup in the right way? I doubt it.
I always had a feeling that this “cricket crazy nation” is actually quite ignorant about the sport. It’s not a cricket crazy nation. It is more of an Indian cricket crazy nation. But fair enough, your team is doing well, you are always behind your team, supporting them throughout, the patriotism comes in, all of this is understandable. But what about the spirit, it is just not there.
Enough of this blabbering about India, India, India; as per my header, let’s just spare a thought for others as well. This edition had 12 teams participating, but for the people it was India and others participating. Well anyway whatever it may be.
Sparing a thought, first up Sri Lanka. Into the finals, in the most no nonsensical of all fashion, they have earned a place in the Grand Finale. I was reading one article right after India knocked out Australia, its heading had a mention of India being the next superpower in terms of cricket, and I was forced to think about Sri Lanka. This is their second straight World cup final. Indian team is at the wrong side of 30 as per age and the Islanders are already out of the transition phase of the Jayasuryas and the Muralidharans. An amazing bunch of young talented brigade Sri Lanka for me is most definitely the team which would replace Australia at the top of the tree in the coming years.
Pakistan came into the tournament in total disarray, and just look at the way they have performed. Unpredictable has long become a cliché with them, but it’s the character shown by them, which stands out. No one gave them the chance without their first choice pacers and look at the way the second string bowling of Wahab Riaz and Abdur Razzak have performed under the seniors Umar Gul and Shahid Afridi.
KIWI JOINING IN THE PARTY
New Zealand, the other semifinalists, who eventually were outclassed by the Lankans, have had a fairytale tournament. Tim Southee, finished as the third best wicket taking bowler of the tournament. This is a team were you just cannot pick a star, but collectively they are a force to reckon with. 5 semi-final appearances in 10 World Cups clearly portrays the class and temperament the cricketers from New Zealand always possessed.
AN IRISH DELIGHT
Ireland have had humongous success as they carried forward their good form, from last World Cup to make an impact here. Their performance was clearly a shot in the arm of the ICC setup who have decided to drop the minnows from next year’s World Cup.
ODI: A PANDORA’S BOX
So clearly, this World Cup has definitely been a Pandora’s box, for all the right reasons that is. More importantly this World Cup has proved that ODI Crcicket would sustain itself as opposed to various suggestions for phasing out this format. This edition especially in the subcontinent was looked at as the last nail in the coffin of ODIs. It was hailed as the deathbed for the ever diminishing art of spin. But just look at the way Shahid Afridi has lead the pack of spinners. Imran Tahir, Robin Peterson were a revelation proving to be the trump card for the proteas. Gramme Swann lived up to the expectations of being the No.1 spinner in this format and clearly was the best bowler for England in the tournament. It was said batting would reach new heights and bowlers would be there to stack up numbers only. Everything was proven wrong, the bowlers proved to be the difference in the end.