We are the World Champions.

This is kinda awkward that after writing a post “10 reasons why I love Football, FIFA than Cricket” that raised quite a few eyebrows, I am compelled to write about Cricket.

Yes, because like every Indian lad, I was also born with Cricket, watching Sachin Tendulkar. I love FIFA but I do not follow club matches. I am not mad about IPL either. I love anything when it comes to patriotism, & conforms to national pride.

This, my friends, was an overwhelming moment in the history of Cricket for every single person of this Nation, apart from few women who never understand Cricket & also won’t understand why men love Cricket so much.

India becomes World Champion in Cricket, bagging the ICC World Cup 2011 home, and right at home.

It’s not just about being World Champions in ODI, but we are ranked #1 in Test Cricket which is the then genuine form of Cricket, when introduced as a sport.

Without any further introduction, let me talk about the moments that led to the historic victory. Again, this was the 1st Cricket WC being played in the life-driven Social Networking era, where people aren’t just watching the match on TV or elsewhere but simultaneously playing it right through their statuses on Facebook & Twitter.

Right when the Indian veteran openers crumbled early to the Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga, as usual people on FB/Twitter started flooding letters of Pessimism & lost hopes on the Cup. But I had my faith intact; for I knew this time the trophy was ours. Few words of Optimism that I shared among my friends on Social Networks:

What I wrote on FB,

Let me make this clear guys, we r not a team that was during Mohd. Azharuddin, where once Tendlya went out, d next hope were Azhar, then Jadeja!

We’ve a much better team who av gotten us into finals by beating the 3 time WC Champs – AUSTRALIA! All pessimists, please book ur tickets to Lanka….MAIN AAG LAGANE WALA HOON unko! Jai Bajrangbali! Jai Hind!

The entire thread is here.

3 nervous hours pass by; Dhoni registers the winning moment by hitting the 2nd six, & making me feel like Paul, The Octopus! Jubilant to the core, I get on the bike with my camera packed and get out on the streets to capture frenzied faces of overwhelmingly ecstatic fans of Bangalore. Below are the few shots I took of the electrifying crowd celebrating with inexplicable joy with what we call a “Once in a Blue Moon” feeling.

The scene at the petrol bunk.

 

The daddy cool with his cute daughter

The overjoyed lovely lassies

The people who thought I was a press reporter, and that I should click them. I said Yes, I work for Indian Express. They kept posing until I tried to escape.

 

Right then, what I felt as I kept clicking, is that there were 3 kinds of people in these events who get us all the happiness, sacrificing their’s.

  • Police
  • Reporter
  • Photographer

You see everyone dancing, cheering; you too wish to be a part of it but your real happiness is in ‘not-disturbing’ & ‘preserving’ these precious moments forever!

Back home, I switched on the TV to catch up with the trophy lifting ceremony I missed. The pictures of the tears of joy in the eyes of Sachin was quite an emotional moment, for almost the entire nation, young and old, which has seen him playing since 1989. I was 12 years old, yet the memories of his 1996 World Cup’s contribution to India is still so vivid. He was just a one man team then. But today the Boys in Blue have aptly paid him the “Guru-Dakshina”, the much longed tribute for all the time he has served the nation. It was as if all his pain for 21 years had been healed. And having seen 6 World Cups, this one’s special where he has felt that fullness of life, and it’s so worth it.

With Dhoni speaking his straight talk as usual, must have surely silenced his critics. I always had my deep faith rested on him. He’s the coolest captain of Indian Cricket Team could have ever had. I wasn’t born in 1983, so I can’t comment on Kapil Dev.

It was definitely a moment of pride that was felt after 28 long years, a moment that will linger on Indian hearts and soul for the next 4 years for sure. For we can now flaunt to the entire world that we’re the proud citizens of a nation of billions, i.e. India who’s #1 at the T-20s (right when the format was introduced, 2007), #1 in Test Cricket and #1 in ODIs.

We are the leaders in Cricket. We are WORLD CHAMPIONS! Vande Mataram.

Pic Courtesy: Yahoo India

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10 reasons why I love Football, FIFA vs Cricket

 

FIFA – Football Is Freakin’ Awesome!

So, we’re in FIFA season now. A time I await for 4 long years. For most Indians, it’s cricket that takes priority, better say – the most popular sport in the country. But a large mass has been following FIFA too as evident from their posts and updates on Social Networks.

As far as Social Media universe is concerned, Copa Mundial 2010 will be the 1st to be played out in the Facebook/Twitter era!

So, here are top 10 reasons why I am fond of Football than Cricket.

  • Game Duration: Each football game lasts for 90 mins (max to 4 mins extra on certain cases) as against 4 hours of a 20/20  or 8 hours of an ODI Cricket match. Even in a single 20/20 match duration, 2.5 FIFA matches would have been over!
  • NO Adverts/Commercials: The best thing about this game is you get seamless viewership and unlike cricket where the feeling is like seeing the Match within the Ads & not the other way round. You see them to the extent that lest you missed a wicket fall, you have to catch the replay- only after the ad!! Worse, you may even miss the 1st ball of bowler’s forthcoming over. But in case of football, even during the breaks, you get to hear from John Dykes & see Mayanti Langer & not the fashion-faux-pas hit Mandira Bedi!!
  • Players don’t laze around: Now, this is a game where not a single player, out of 11, gets bored like the fielders at the boundaries/gullies and at times the ball never reaches them even after a couple of overs. Every single player, right from the Defender, Mid-fielder, Striker keep running from pillar to post. Even the goalie keeps jumping as to make sure he doesn’t fall asleep. (Like Portugal’s goalie in FIFA World Cup 2010 where #POR pumped 7:0 vs #PRK)
  • Referee/Umpire: Have you ever seen a big-bellied referee in a football match who’s emotionally challenged due to his obesity? Forget referee, even the linesman needs fitness more than the players.
  • Commentators: Just one commentator. And simply gives you an adrenaline rush. Unlike cricket where you have multiple commentators (now Field Umpires/Players too :O) who at times go to chat about their housewives or the cricketer’s latest crush (let’s keep Harsha Bhogle out of this)
  • Crowd/Fans: If you have seen a FIFA or any football match per se, it would be needless to explain the 300+ million fan following across the entire globe. And my my, the fanciful face-paintings, the craze, the beauty, the mass singing/dancing/jumping/tub-thumping, roars (be it the deafening Vuvuzela =====<() )…even after so much to be offered from the game, we still stick to the game! Not to mention the footballers who don’t leave themselves behind when it comes to fashion with all the fanciful tattoos and hairdo.
  • Conduct: Cricket is relatively a game with gentlemanly conduct until we see more of Sreesanth(s), on & off the field. But football does have frequent spats, verbal hurls, faking fouls against the opponents et al. Not to forget the perfect Zidane head-butt and the recent Kaka Red card vs Ivory Coast.
  • Nations Count: Out of 400 football playing nations, around 208 nations are FIFA national soccer teams. Out of these, only 32 make it to the World Cup! Whereas, you have only 10 major cricket playing nations (alongside Holland/Afghanistan/Kenya) out of which 4 are already playing FIFA WC 2010!
  • Ease of game: I can even make my mum understand it without much worrying about explaining her the intricate Duck-worth Lewis methods & other cricketing jargons from the bowler’s/fielder’s/batsman’s and umpire’s end! However, the irony is she says, she understands cricket but fails to understand football. So, all I told her that two teams run with the ball to put in the opponent’s post! That’s it. Done. 🙂
  • Match seldom stops: The tenth and one of my best reason is that a football match never stops even if it rains! Nobody runs with a huge thick polymer sheet to cover the turf! Rather the soccer players look all the more wildly sexy with their wet look and muscles flexed visible through the drenched jerseys (No, thanks I am straight). The match still goes on and on until the ball floats.

I do not like FIFA World Cup. I simply love it. 🙂

N.B. My personal opinion, agreements (from Soccer fans) n disagreements (from hard-core Cricket fans) are most welcome! 😀

When Cricket catches Capitalism.

History repeats itself. Perhaps we love to repeat history (2007 ICC Cricket World Cup) quite early. I am talking about a very popular Indian sports,  I am talking about the Indian Cricket at an International level – a game that’s almost present in every Indian blood by birth. But unfortunately this blood has gotten spurious and needs transfusion.

So, when was the last time you as an entire nation burst crackers, waved Indian tri-color flag, came out on the roads late in the night with that can of KF beer and danced away your happiness, unplugged? The last I remember was when the Men in Blue bagged the ICC World Cup T20 trophy back in 2007! When IPL never existed.

When India loses, the entire nation bleeds. When CSK/MI/RCB etc. lost, how many bled? It means a lot to the whole cricketing and non-cricketing nations to some extent, when a team is the World Champion. I repeat, WORLD Champs! How much did it matter to Australia/NZ/South Africa/England when CSK won the IPL championship?

It does carry immense weight when The President of a nation congratulates a National Team on their triumph and the heroes among them are awarded Bharat Ratna/ Padma Vibhusan/ Arjuna/Padma Bhusan awards. How many you think will win a National Award for giving their blood and sweat for the exhaustive IPL matches!! Still, they barely give a hoot. At the end of the day, it’s the buck that matters!

Human nature. Gluttony. When we ourselves, being in corporate industry slog for money and our tail points to the firm that lures us with a fatter one than the current’s.  And so are our players who haven’t woken up from the fantasy/voluptuous world of Sherlyn Chopra & Co. flaunting their silicones. After all,  Saheb…they are all single! So the attendance at the late night parties are quite inevitable for our bachelor boys, you see! Hence, quite unabashedly, the ones at the helm could direct the alibis to IPL’s late night parties and tortuous travels. They never got tired during IPL matches? There were quite a lot series played prior to IPL as well! Why can’t a single player say a BOLD NO to their team owner to practice for the ‘short pitch’ matches ahead? They can’t , because they are sold!

At the other hand, the selection committee would try to save the IPL baby for it’s quite lucrative for them. After all, we have our bureaucrats and politicians who have their murky deals & investments hidden in the entire Pandora’s box. Now what they could do is, blame the Indian Captain for blaming IPL. This is funny and this is a vicious circle.

But even if you wish to, you still cannot avoid catching the IPL frenzy, rather the most trending event being witnessed by a million Indians. Could you? So, why not join the bandwagon? But how? Pick up an IPL team, start updating statuses supporting the team & bashing the other team on Social Networks, even if cricket means quite less to you.  Welcome aboard,  you are catapulted to IPL mania now. But I always knew the consequence. Too much of cricket, be it post-IPL or pre-IPL, can never hold on to the charm. Needless to say why IPL is ostensibly ‘charming’ !

Could we ever have the 1983/2007 (ODI/T20)  history repeated? We surely could if we could stop cricket getting invaded by capitalists! As mentioned by few remarkable cricketers, if we could have a team dedicated solely for 20/20 for there ain’t a dearth of talent in India. Rather new talents can be discovered and nurtured, it means an opportunity for many Ranji players who never made it in the past and tough to make it in the future. It also means they make a better livelihood and make some bucks for exploiting their talent and that should get duly recognized!

For God’s sake, I do not wish to see the shamefully abysmal performance repeated again in the ICC World Cup 2011. If that happens, we Indians have lost our sense of cricket. We rather love to be swayed away with short-lived yet libidinous pomp and show!

Last but not the least, few old memories…

P.S. This is my personal opinion. Facts may have been wrong. Your opinions/suggestions would be highly appreciated.

The guy with a magic wand: 6 + 4 = TENdulkar!

The + Master Blaster; Little Master; Run Machine; Little Champion; Slashin Sachin; The Bombay Bomber; Legend Of India; God Of Cricket……….

The list goes on. So would I leave the readers of this post to connect the dots….

I can only think of Einstein and his E=MC² when I think of an equivalent here when talking about an immense talent and intelligence and not to mention the fan-following-furore! Nothing could create as much hysteria any given day as would Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’s knocks/records ignite.

As (once upon a time) a hardcore cricket fan, I stopped following cricket once the then most-successful Indian captain Md. Azharuddin came into the news for all wrong reasons. My fanhood for Azhar died down along with cricket. Though you could give me a 1000 reasons that it wasn’t really the end of the game but I was way too hurt with it.

But anyways, watching few people play cricket right from childhood era is kind of euphoria. One such euphoria is watching SRT play even today at a time when I would have had fathered 2 kids had I gone by the Indian Govt.’s norm of boy marriage age OK TESTED @ 21.

As tweeted by one of my friends, “If you answer “Sachin” to any cricketing record question…you have a 80% chance of getting it right”.

I do not think I would be able to speak much on him when there are already a 100 biographies floating in the book-market. And 1,00,00,000 fans with infinite facts and figures. Needless to speak a word on what he is or what he means or what he did or does or will ever do. The name itself is enough!

Few nouns I would like to put in here which always fascinate me of him, for him, by him:

a. Grit

b. 3D – Dedication, Discipline, Determination

c. Stamina (never takes a substitute right from Over 0.0 till 50.0)

d. Focus

e. Confidence

f. Composure

g. Patience/Perseverance

Last but not the least, Congratulating Sach on his DOUBLE Century – ODI highest for being the 1st person walking on earth till date, I would end this short post dedicating a little note from the movie 3 Idiots from my side literally:

“Jahapana, tussi great ho! Taufa kabul karo” 😀

On behalf of Sachin Tendulkar aka Tendlya:

“For Men may come, and Men may go;

But I go on forever………………………….”      — Alfred Lord Tennyson

Click to enlarge