Rohit's nukkad

Saturday, April 02, 2011

India - Cricket World Cup champions

My earliest memories of cricket goes back to Reliance World Cup 1987 India vs England semi-finals. We were returning home (Mumbai) by train and following the score through radio commentary. In a world with no cellphones, sms and LIVE internet updates, radio commentary was the best medium to keep tabs of the score when not watching the match LIVE on TV. Though Graham Gooch spoiled our party for a dream World Cup finals with Pakistan (Australia made sure our arch rivals didn't make it too), the love for the game came alive.

This started my religious following of the game. Watching endless games, keeping tabs of scores, stats, reading endless articles from SPORTSTAR (I am not sure if the magazine still in circulation), collecting posters, analyzing each match before and after, not just Indian games but every regular cricket match we played at our building every evening. Discussing with my father old cricket test matches, the survival of test series in 1970s - Englad victory, the Caribbean brutality, the glorious 1983 World Cup. Over the years, the match following has been turned into a number of times team bashing - how can we lose in such a situation, how can we play so ridiculously. One would hear of the short golden period of cricket from 1983 - 1986.

I am sure every one in my "cricket crazy" generation has experienced something similar - a story how the game interest started, how it became an obsession, the team expectations, the team bashing.

Today it all culminated as a dream one-day World Cup Final - in Mumbai. We have the mix right of talent and experience. But will we deliver.

Oh yes !!!! We did it and we did it in style. Hello World, the New World Cup champions - Team India has arrived.

All credit goes to players, support staff and all the crazy fans. A more than billion people bleed blue tonight. I am sure there are number of people who didn't moved from their seats during the game or who were wearing their lucky charms.

Its not many times that a diverse country like India is so united. My best lifetime recollections are more in times of calamities or disaster than in happier times. Major highlights would be the Pokhran Nuclear tests, the Kargil War, Olympic sucess etc. But nothing beats this one. After 28 years we have accomplished what we are expected to win every time the World Cup season starts.