Hello hello dear cricket lovers, fans and crazies….. It was a perfect World Cup opening ceremony filled with sheer enthusiasm and passion with which Bangladesh put this together even though it is a small cricketing nation but growing strong in cricket by the years, well done Bangladesh!! Now, are you ready for the 6 weeks vibrant battle of champions at its most loyal constituency? Yes, co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, the game’s biggest, noisiest, yet wealthiest neighborhood…
Before I write further, to be fair to those who might be new to cricket… The Game of Cricket gives a quick understanding and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket explains it in depth. World Cup is played every 4 years with 14 countries competing this time for a US$ 3 million prize. The first round of the tournament will be a round-robin in which the 14 teams are divided into 2 groups of 7 teams each. The 7 teams play each other once with the top 4 from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals.
I hardly knew cricket when India won the 1983 World Cup championship. I had no idea of Kapil’s knock of 175 and how it transformed our team then. I had no idea who West Indies were and how fiery and deadly they were but yet beaten by India…I just wasn’t there to cherish those glorious moments but I am excited we have a great chance this time around.
India has begun several World Cups wearing the favorites tag, but never has that label been more authentic than now. Over the last few years, India has steadily grown stronger and #2 rank in ODI format speaks for itself. Hey, we are no dominant like West Indies or Aussies like they were; such is the competition between teams now rather than one-sided boring games, which is good for cricket. India has more on-field rivals than any other country…Pakistan, Australia and now South Africa!! No wonder why India has fans all over the world. We have top ICC ranking players in Kohli, Dhoni & Gambhir. We have demolishing players in Sehwag, Sachin, Yusuf, Dhoni & Yuvi that other teams fear. We have never say die players, especially our lower order contributions of late. We have aggressive players in Gambhir, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sreesanth & Yuvi, yes I mean those who dare to make eye contacts with opposition players (hats off to Ganguly “Dada” for seeding this in our team!!). We have highly regarded Mr. Cool captain. And to top it all, India is playing in home grounds with the vociferous support of home crowd. This is why Team India has the best ever chance to lay hands on the coveted cup once again. So, there is no doubt even cricket pundits are tipping India as No.1 favorite.
There is no chance for India to go into the contest with an iota of complacency just because we are No. 1 favorite because it is a tough path to glory whether we are playing against minnows (not to forget Bangladesh crushed our dreams in 2007 edition!!!) or a strong team. World Cup is a different stage and brings in a pressure of tremendous weight of expectations. Never before in the history of World Cup so many teams have been favorites to win. 5 favorite countries which are almost half of 14 participating countries, WOW!! So this means we are up for close contests with nail-biting and heart breaking finishes, which is why this game is becoming more and more exciting as it grows.
I certainly miss enjoying the games gluing to the TV with room full of friends and family back in India. Miss those high pitch noises even from neighbors for every wicket, a 4 or a 6!! Wish I had taken my India vacation now rather than couple of months back…
Team INDIA… we love you, we believe in you, we support you every moment and we wish you the best to make our dreams come true. Team India, you deserve the cup, whole India deserves the cup and last but not the least we need it when Master Blaster Sachin is still playing, an ultimate gift to a great cricketer...
Let’s Go For Glory!!
Baar baar haan, bolo yaar haan
Apni jeet ho, unki haar haan
Koi humse jeet na paave Chale chalo, chale chalo….