Cricket is indeed a religion in our country and there is no better moment to affirm the sentiments of the countrymen than a semi-final clash between India and Pakistan. Three days to the big day, the anxiety had already set in. I went about my daily chores but with a difference, with my heart fixated on India’s victory!
I have been following cricket since my early days, thanks to my dad and brother for instilling the spirit of cricket. Even today I can recall the 4 off last ball needed for India against Australia in the 1992 world cup; I was about 10 years old then. Over the years, I have seen moments of sheer ecstasy, hurting losses, gallant fights and faint-hearted surrenders. In all these moments, I saw India surge, lifting their standards of the game steadily and progressively. A phase in the Indian cricket that I have personally relished is under the reins of Sourav, in my heart he holds a special place. It remains inexplicable, what makes Cricket tick above other sports in India, whatever the reasons may be the cricket frenzy would never die for an ordinary Indian.
Along with the transformation of Indian cricket, I have grown too as Indian cricket fan, from being fool hardy to sensible. I cried my heart out when India lost the first test match to Pakistan in 1999 at Chepauk. It wasn’t easy to accept defeats especially when victory slips out of your own hands. Being an Indian fan, I have been through many such moments, the class of the greatest ever cricketer Sachin Tendulkar would be shadowed by abysmal performances from the team, hard to take for a country with players who produce the best cricketing shots on field! I have had my share of cursing the players for their follies on field; it’s quite instinctive when you give your matches away. As Indian fans, our expectations are always set to one way and that’s victory, we can’t take a good performance as a substitute. Our nerves take over the way we extend support and their nerves take over them on field – inevitable reactions to Cricket in India!
With the cast of match fixing falling over Cricket, I almost gave up watching cricket, almost but a good game of cricket is like a magnet that pulls you back and I am stuck to it like never before. My memories would always trace down to the Trios of Indian cricket Sachin, Rahul and Sourav, it is impossible to be doing something when they are stroking the balls being a lover of the game. The men in blue through their resurgence era have had the mightiest opponents in Australia and comparative cricket played over in the world. Experience has taught us to hold our nerves and to get under the skin of our opponents and today we are bringing that experience out to the fore.
The world cup is one of the most revered tournaments in the world of cricket. Today, India has its best chance to live their dreams of lifting the world cup once again after 1983. India has come long way in redefining their cricket, it is rightly so the stage is set for the revived Indian team of the new cricketing era to make most of their golden opportunity by matching it up with their acumen cricketing skills and for the world’s best cricketer of the current era Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar to bask in the glory of the achievement leaving no stone unturned in his era of cricket!
As an ardent cricket fan, I am backing the team with all I can give asking for nothing in turn. We have asked you enough, we have set you high expectations all the way, we have criticized you unreasonably, and we have done everything an ordinary cricket fan can but not anymore. You would be cheered for every run scored, not just for your four’s and six’s; for every good ball bowled, not just for your wicket taking balls; for every run saved, not just for the run-outs! You will be backed for every decision you take and for every fumble you make. We believe you will give your best! A good game of cricket is what we expect from you; victory or defeat is only a consequence. We are with you; Go lift the world cup with all your might!