Ever since World Cup 2011 calendar was out, the only thing I waited for with bated breath in last six months was the opening encounter of the Men in Blue against Bangladesh.
Yes Bangladesh- an opposition which is nowhere near our cricketing strength, yet gave the wounds that became pretty tough to heal!
No other team, no other opposition, no other day in recent cricket history comes close to that fateful day of 2007 when Bangladesh embarrassed us on Caribbean soil and knocked our World Cup ambitions. They shattered my dream of watching my champion cricketers- Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid- picking up the coveted trophy and signing off their ODI careers in style.
Those scenes of Bangladeshi bowlers dancing after claiming wickets, screaming after lapping catches, celebrating after scoring boundaries and running all over the ground after winning, even today make my BP shoot out of the mercury tube.
As a sports writer and more importantly as a sports journalist, everyone expects me to be neutral and beyond emotions, but there are some things that you don’t have a control on- and 2007 World Cup’s Bangladesh insult was one of those things!
Before taking up this profession, I like million others, have always been a die-hard Indian cricket fanatic and though Indian cricket went through phases like 1996 Eden shame, match-fixing, board politics, arrogant coaches and excessive cricket- my love for cricket and Indian sentiments attached to it has never taken a dip.
With India taking on Bangladesh in the 2011 tournament opener, the cricket journalist in me knew that the Indian win was important for gaining early momentum but for an Indian fan in me, who was burning in agony since the last clash some four years ago- the match meant nothing short of REVENGE!
Agreed, an eye for an eye makes world go blind but somehow my emotions for this match were over all things that made sense!
I wanted Team India to not only win but to show Bangladesh their place in the cricketing realms, I wanted India to decimate them, a beating they remember for long and a thrashing that could act as ointment to my 4-year old wounds.
And India did just that!
The first ball was dispatched to boundary by Viru and it was that opening slap that that makes a statement worth making. “I remember the insult, I will now show you what my name truly means.”
Soon Indian batting was running over Bangladesh hopes and the dropped shoulders in the field and teary Mirpur fans gave me that sadistic pleasure that was unmatched.
Yes, my thoughts had became evil and like the vampire who just tasted blood, I wanted Bangladesh to suffer some more.
With Virat joining hands with already adrenaline high Viru, I knew that India rightfully dialled ‘V’ for operation VENGEANCE!
As India finished with a score of 370, my agonising wait of the last four years was over. The mammoth score was always out of Bangladesh’s reach and even the most optimistic Bangla supporters knew their fate.
Yeah, those sad faces in the stadium were my fodder for the day and as I went home and drank like fish, those painful scenes of 2007’s defeat were running through my mind as flashback!
Every falling Bangladesh wicket I cheered was an answer to the tears I shed four years ago, every call I made to my friends and screamed on the minnows was an answer to the depression I suffered four years ago, and every time I pumped up my fists watching clueless Bangla batters was an answer to my wait!
FOUR long years, and only now the scores are level!
I don’t know how many of you will agree with my last statement, but then, you probably don’t know how beautiful the feeling of revenge is!