ICC World Cup 2019: Kiwis of Indian origin divided over which team to support
Cricketing loyalties and feelings of patriotism for a country can be two entirely different things for some fans this World Cup.
As millions of fans in India and New Zealand get ready to cheer for their respective national cricket teams in the first semifinal of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, there also would be a several others who are likely to remain just that tad bit conflicted in whom to support. New Zealanders with Indian heritage appear rather divided whether to wear Blue or Black as Virat Kohli's men take on Kane Williamson's side for the right to get a shot at the title.
New Zealand has a sizeable Indian community with many second and third generation living in the island country as well. Cricket matches between the two countries often throw up a confounding puzzle. In a column published by NZ news website Stuff, Ravinder Hunia of Radio New Zealand explains the predicament. Born to an Indian father and a Maori mother, she writes that while the love for cricket has been quite unwavering in her family, allegiances have changed over time. "Through the years my dad's own allegiances changed slowly from India to the Black Caps (this may have had something to do with the inclusion of Dipak Patel). Similarly, my mum started to prepare subji and roti while my dad would be laying down a hangi," she writes, adding that her father would be rooting for the Kiwis once again.
While Ravinder's father may be backing Kiwis, not everyone of Indian origin in New Zealand has switched cricketing loyalties. First-generations in Indians are mostly expected to pray for Team India while there are also some who are taking the diplomatic route of supporting both so that at least one of the two teams is able to get a title shot.
While India and New Zealand have played bilateral matches and in other tournaments as well, the last World Cup clash between the two was back in 2003 when India managed to script a win. Tuesday brings about an end to this 16-year wait.