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Sunday, September 23, 2007

It Doesn't Get Bigger than This

India versus Pakistan. World Cup Finals. What more can you ask for? Well, India to win in that encounter.

Prior to the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup at South Africa, I (and also millions of others like me) hadn't watched a single T20 matche. And when they did, I would say they were hooked. The longer versions of the game might have more grace, but this format of the sport isn't about gracefulness, it's just full throttle ahead. And everyone seems to enjoying the exhilarating pace.

Two teams who ingloriously exited in the very first round of the ODI World Cup early this year meeting in the finals of the World Championship of the new format of the game is good for the game. Because it is the Subcontinent which helps sustain interest in the game in all its formats and it is here where the money flows from. And the manner Yuvraj Singh is hitting the ball, the revenues have the potential of going higher than his sixers.

It was the success of the first World Cup (the Prudential Cup) in 1975 which brought One-Day cricket into the limelight and following South Africa T20 is here to stay. Just hope that in the future they don't narrow it down to the five-overs-a-side matches that we played in our locality.

And it feels good to see the Aussies humbled. This also is good for the game.


San said...

This is the final i've been waiting for :D

Reeta Skeeter said...

Good to see the Aussies humbled!!! Definitely! Deadly duel it will be... much awaited!

Ram N said...

a cynical friend of mine said b4 the said India will come to finals to make the format successful .... looks correct ... makes me wonder !!!

Soumyadip said...

San And it was worth it.

Reeta The Subcontinent is now the home of cricket and it is very appropriate that two teams from this part of the world made it to the finals. The Aussie domination was getting irritating.

Ram Now your cynical fan will say, "I told you so."

tasneem said...

I wonder why everyone in both the countries gets so worked up when the two play opposite each other. Is it because they are the best teams and therefore the game would be exciting or is it because both are arch enemies and beating an enemy is a cause for celeberation. If its the latter why do we consider each other as enemies. If we start picking enemies based on historical happenings then perhaps we should consider England as are enemy #1 who have done much more damage to us than Pakistan can ever do. I love India and its people. On the one hand we give thumpimg support to Sa Re Ga Ma Pa's Pakistani contestant and on the other we consider no thrill better than beating Pakistan in cricket. I dont think we hate each other. Then why? Could anyone answer this question please.

Soumyadip said...

The relations between the two neighbours has been tense since the birth of Pakistan and with three full fledged wars (plus Kargil) fought between the two what less can one expect. But beneath this outward resentment for one another there is also a feeling of togetherness because of the shared history and culture over the centuries and six decades is too short a period to sever that bond. Hence the appreciation of Pakistani artistes in India and the popularity of Indian movies across the border.

But when it comes to cricket, the national passion (rather the obsession), there are no concessions made. And the natural rivalry on the sporting arena gets accentuated by the history and politics since 1947. To have such intense competition in sport is welcome, because it brings out the best in the players. We still remember Javed Miandad's last ball six at Sharjah and Misbah-ul-Haq had almost managed to keep away the World Twenty20 title from India. Why are these instances so memorable? Because of Indo-Pak rivalry.

And as long as it is healthy, it is enjoyable and you also get to witness a jumping-jack version of the same Javed Miandad [Photo] [Video]. In sports, participation is not everything, winning is. And when there is competition, there are rivals and some more than the others. Though right-wing parties might get pleasure out of digging cricket pitches, many cricket loving Indians will have Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in their list of favourite cricketers.

And for rivalries you needn't have fought battles against one another. England and Australia are bitter rivals and the Aussies are India's rival #2 on the cricket field. This makes the sport more enjoyable for the spectators. Riots in parts of India following the match and Shoaib Malik making juvenile comments at the presentation ceremony do spoil the fun a bit.

Even if the Subcontinent in the future emerges as an EU-like entity and both countries are at peace with Musharraf spending his retirement in Mussorie, this rivalry will remain. And should. It's good.