A country obsessed with cricket, so much so that people themselves complain other sports being neglected. Yet, cricket retains it ground. A country, where cricket is nothing less than a religion, makes the country stand united with every proud moment, yet it is the same religion which writes off every defeat in the worst possible manner. We make them our heroes and when they lose a game, we treat them as villains. A country so obsessed that we actually forget, that it’s a game and winning or losing is an integral part of it. This obsession is so contagious that at the post match presentation, after winning the historic 2nd Test Match at Adelaide during 2003-04 tour to Australia, captain Sourav Ganguly commented on Rahul Dravid’s heroic performance, “Rahul played like God.”
And at times, when the team lost, probably all of us actually behaved as if the players have betrayed us. But then, should we forget some proud moments, the team has given us over the years? The World Cup victory in 1983, or the history defying VVS Laxman & Rahul Dravid partnership during the 2nd Test Match at Kolkata in 2001 against Australia or the T20 World Cup victory in 2007 are just 3 defining moments of Indian cricket. The team actually is known for its famous comebacks, some of them probably affected by the huge fan following it have. How can we forgot, how some violent crowd mobbed into Md. Kaif’s home and painted the walls black, after a group match defeat during 2003 World Cup in South Africa and eventually the team ended the cup as Runners Up! Or can we forget how Zaheer Khan inspired a famous win at the Trent Bridge, during 2007 tour to England after a famous ‘Jelly Bean’ spilling incident on Indian players?
But with time, some bad performances, some vices such as match fixing and betting, it is obvious that people actually are losing interest in cricket, but it remains a game we still love. Like it or not, it’s World Cup time again. Now that another world cup is fast approaching, the country is again at its euphoric high, the whole country will be glued to cricket, let’s chant for Team India with true spirit, off course we want our team to win always. But let’s not forget that it’s a game, let’s not forget that the players are not actually God but are humans just like us, and they may falter when it’s not their day. Let’s not forget their commitment towards the game. Do we fans actually know that, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid were put into ‘saline’ during their 376 Runs partnership against Australia, Dravid was actually hospitalized but the next morning they came to bat again? So, let’s wish luck to our 15 fellow countrymen who embark on a journey tomorrow to win the coveted trophy, cheer them to make history once again, let’s chant ‘India India’!