I have been an ardent fan of cricket since I remember. Being born in India in 70s and getting introduced to cricket at a very young age during the hey days of a world cup win in 1983, the only sport that I knew and played was cricket for a long time. While Diego Maradona inspired us to play football a bit we used to sneak out of class rooms either to watch or play cricket. It doesn’t matter at what level, all we needed was a ball and a flat piece of wood. I still remember days when I used to practice my defense, cover drives and the loft over mid-on for six.
I am watching the world cup final between India and Sri Lanka while writing this. India is in dire straights and will probably lose, while I hope it doesn’t. The thing that inspired me to write is frustration, Ironically. For a country of 1.2 billion people, we have been struggling for a while to win the big one. While I can go on and on and write tomes about all the reasons for not being able to produce a winning team, the one prime reason I think undid all the previous teams is the infighting and all the politics to get into the team and then, once in to stay in the team. While playing for the country is the pride for everyone getting in, money is the reason, in my opinion, thing that will push them to stay in despite being well aware that there is better talent waiting on the wings that can give them better chances.
While Australia has been dominant for the past decade, though there were occasional challengers, India has become the team to beat, off late. I think the reason behind that is the new attitude of the captain being a leader during the periods of stress as well as being fair to the players by giving opportunities for the ones who he thinks will give him a better chance to win. While there are still politics influencing who gets those opportunities, the attitude of the team has changed for good and I am hopeful it stays that way for the years to come. Even if india loses this one, I am sure they will go on and dominate for a while.
Just like any other fan, I am hoping that they will win this one. While I complete and post this entry, a couple of young guns are playing sensibly and keeping India in the chase. Go India.