Monday, April 11, 2011

World in our Cup

Today morning Sai calls me and asks, "has the World Cup victory sunk in yet?" I replied..."no, it hasn't and I don't want it to."

The brand of cricket India played during the knock-out stages of this World Cup was special. We beat Australia (WC '99,'03 & '07), Sri Lanka (WC '96) and Pakistan (WC '92) in three consecutive games. In a muted sense, it had 'retribution' written all over it and I loved it. Maybe....just maybe, Gautam Gambhir should have grafted for a bit and got to his hundred before giving his wicket away. Maybe...just maybe, Tendulkar should have got to his 100th 100. I personally think, Tendulkar wanted the cup more than his 100. So, its all good. What a journey its been for him - from a ball boy in 1987 to part of the World Cup winning team in 2011. That is just so much distance one can cover in 24 years - all his batting exploits seemed sidelined by the joy that he experienced on the night of April 2. Its highly unlikely one can experience the range of emotions that is felt by people in sports. Maybe those in music/creative fields come close...but I can't think of any other.

Flip side of this victory, we all know for sure Tendulkar will not be playing in 2015 Cricket World Cup. The day he retires, I wonder what cricket will mean to me and million others in my generation who grew up watching him play. There will be prolific run scores, match winners, team players etc....but there never will be another SRT - because he is India's favourite son by some distance. Consider this, in a country with a population of 1.2 billion, being a favourite son can be a double edged sword.

Bravo, little master! for giving us joy and enjoying your success responsibly.