Saturday, March 24, 2007

Howzat?!

So India are pretty much out of this world Cup. Well deserved kick on their backside, I must say.

Given the madness that’s gone on back home though, I’m wondering what kind of protection the team and especially Greg Chappell are taking now? I also wonder if this will make the BCCI and the team concentrate on cricket as opposed to sponsors and ads. I seriously doubt it. And Sachin – please retire. Really. It’s painful to watch you go on like this. And you would think some fifteen years after Jonty Rhodes burst on to the cricket scene and brought fielding to the forefront, the Indian team would have learnt something. Obviously not.

Oh well. I’ve been pretty indifferent to this World Cup. Back in the day however, I used to be a rabid cricket fan. Ummm….only that I supported South Africa and was pretty much indifferent to India (except in the case of the Indo – Pak matches, which are always awesome fun). Well, so yes, rabid fan and by that I mean woke up at five am when SA were playing in Australia and cried for two whole days after that god awful 1999 WC semi-final. This of course led to a lot of insinuations about how I was a traitor to the country and other random nonsense, but I was totally unfazed.

Over time the team disintegrated. The whole Cronje fiasco. The 2003 World Cup pretty much marked the team’s nadir. A whole bunch of players from the side retired. Then of course, a certain Zinedine Yazid Zidane totally converted me into a calcio lover. (Insert obligatory hot Zizou picture here. Le foot just aint the same without him). Anyway back to the point, I pretty much lost touch with cricket after that, though I still follow it on and off sometimes. And I still have a soft spot for the Proteas. So I’m happy they are doing well and hope they kick some Aussie ass tonight.

Also, just how bizarre has this World Cup been?? It’s even beaten the off pitch madness that goes on in Italian football. And that is not a good thing. I feel really, really sad about Bob Woolmer. RIP.

17 comments:

cubano said...

As a passionate Pakistani cricket fan, I must say that the Indian loss brought some consolation in a strange way. I guess if we didn't make it, it kinda feels good that they didn't either. ;) Similarly if Pakistan went to the super eights then it would have been nice to see India win as well. Nothing beats a Pakistani/Indian match. A semifinal between the two teams would have been brilliant. I would hate to see Australia win again. That is certainly getting a bit tiring.

TS said...

Hello, my name is TS and I'm from Bangladesh!

(I'm not, but after this last week I'm damned if I'm going to call myself Indian when talking to anyone who follows the cricket.)

You can't even begin to imagine the disappontment... and anger.

Szerelem said...

cubano: hmm...well, I was looking forward to the India Pak match. Thats what happens when you take for stuff for ganted it guess.
And so Australia won yesterday (bleh!!). Can someone please kidnap that team or something? I am so sick of them.

TS: You are from Gurgaon!!
Well, I can understand why everyones so pissed off. But it's getting a bit extreme now no?

Salil said...

I shall stick to my resolve of not watching a single WC match this time round. Reading about the dismal, below par performances in the papers is depressing enough. What's even more painful is the kind of attention that the game draws from this country especially after the fact, that they have not had a consistent good run for sometime now and choke up collectively on the big days..!! This should be a wakeup call for all involved; any one who wants to justify Sehwag’s inclusion can look me up!!

I can't really say that I am bothered to be frank, I sold my soul to fútbol when I was young and my heart was pure ..!! ;) I have been a besotted fan since WC 1994.

P.S.: I remember your thing for Proteas from school, and I am talking Rhodes in particular here. You were a rabid fan ;)
I almost met the SA/Zim/Indian team on a trip to SA, well almost..!! Its de only team that I am remotely in support for, Aussies are boring me these days.

P.P.S: Zidane, again…? He has his own label, Chrissake..!!

P.P.P.S.: He is a great player. Respect..!!

MockTurtle said...

You were about due for a Zidane pic, so there we go. Too bad about the Proteas.

General Pervez Musharraf said...

I quite agree with your point on India's exit being a timely kick in the bollocks.

Of course, it's not likely to change much. As you've most rightly pointed out, just about every other self-respecting cricket team tends to put some amount of effort into their fielding, but us, we lack surgical aplomb in just about every department. A bunch of overpaid, overfed models, that's our cricket team. The English football team of cricket, you could call us.

I must confess, however, that I'm quite amused by your support for the Proteas, great side though they were in the 90s. My experiences have taught me that it seems fashionable among Indian people to appear unpatriotic in such frivolous matters. To that effect, I recall a case of a fellow called Roger in my 4th Grade class who supported the West Indies, even going to the extent of ending every other sentence with "maaaan."

If I didn't know better, I'd take the effort of calling you a traitorous sandal lizard, but I'm reserving that for the world's largest producer of Made In Bangladesh products.

I do however, appreciate your obvious heartbreak at South Africa's exit from the 1999 World Cup. No, I didn't cry, because I was a big boy, but I did pick up the television set and keep it outside the house the moment the result had sunk in.

And then I stopped supporting South Africa.

Revealed said...

Nuf said *purses her lips in resolute silence*

One more for Rhodes though :D. Magic man he was.

I'm predicting an Ireland vs Bangladesh final btw :)

the wannabe indian punkster said...

I don't know if I'll be roasted for this, by I agree with you one hundred percent.

I definitely think that this was a well deserved kick in the ass for the Indian cricket team. Hopefully they'll get off their high horses and float down to earth now.

I seriously doubt it though.

Swathi said...

I think the people here have to be blamed for having such high expectations and then the whole tamasha of attacking the houses of cricketers - utter madness..

Szerelem said...

Salil: You’re heart was once pure?! Pray, when was this?
Ah, yes Rhodes….:D Didn’t you notice how I snuck his picture in? And I met him you know!! (The whole SA team actually)….I still have his autograph.
And respect for Zidane is right!! :P

MT: Exactly! :D The whole post was just an excuse to put up that picture :P
And for a while I thought SA might just have pulled off a win…then Kallis came in and started blocking everything. Sigh.

General sa’ab: The Indian team was pretty good under Wright. The sub continental teams have so much talent, but they lack discipline. I don’t really know about the ‘unpatriotic’ generalization, almost everyone I know is extremely patriotic when it comes to cricket. I liked SA because I liked the way they played…they were very aggressive on the field. And their pace attack was really good as well.
I have (still!) never seen a repeat of that semi final. It’s just too painful. And SA really truly crumbled after the 2003 WC. It was sad.

Revealed: I know!! He was pure magic. And Ireland – Bangladesh? A bit optimistic aren’t we?

Punkster: Ah, I doubt it too. They’ll go back to advertising and modeling for whatever it is they promote soon enough. (Come to think of it I doubt there is anything they don’t promote).

Swathi: Hehe…I know…its ridiculous. But wrong time to build a house dontcha think?

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Cricket, they say, is like a religion in India. Pity, I say, that 99.9 per cent of us understand neither cricket nor religion.

I'm totally with Swathi on this one.

Revealed said...

It's not about the promos or adverts. It's about us sucking. There's no high horse etc. Really. Just no talent. We Indians are amazing at ignoring lack of talent. We'd rather pretend it's cos everyone in the team is making too much money, or acting in too many ads, or too conceited than jst realise that we don't have what it takes.

Re: Bang vs Ireland. It's not optimism. I think it's called realism :P ;)

Think how fun twud b :).

General Pervez Musharraf said...

It is true, what revealed has said.

Everyone knows that the real World Cup final was going to be the India-Pakistan match on the 15th of April. But of course, that has been replaced with Ireland-Bangladesh.

Regarding the lack of talent, I think that's nonsense. Does anyone actually think we have less talent than Bangladesh or Sri Lanka? With all due respect, our team, when compared man-for-man is far better than most, even the South Africans (I'd have to say Australia are the exception)

I think I've mentioned this before, it's all about our lack of surgical aplomb. We simply don't have it and that's always been the case. You simply can't do well, without a positive mentality. It's time players started pulling their weight, but that's been the case for yonks, so I'm not convinced the shock of the early exit is going to change things.

Tabula Rasa said...

what's "surgical aplomb"?

- Curious in Outpatients

Szerelem said...

Ghost: Hmm....well that 99.9% statistic might be true for the rest of the world. I don't know how well it holds up in India.

Revealed: Really, you think we dont have talent? Hmmm....I would disagree. I think our batsem are probably on talent better than any other teams. But they are just so inconsistent.

And Bangladesh - Ireland as the final would be fun. Imagine the sleepless nights the ICC would have just thinking about that possibility.

General: Echo TR. what's "surgical aplomb"?

Revealed said...

If you're considering Tend, Drav and Gang, they're soon gonna be out (and they work only in patches). Kumble gone. What are we left with, really? Yuvi?? Someone said Yuvi for captain. Tis a sad sad day in indian cricket :P.

But, no I was being generalisingly flippant. It's a mixture of not having the commitment, motivation and the fact that the team hasn't gotten it's act together. And a few really good players can't pull the team through every time.

General Pervez Musharraf said...

I hate quoting dictionaries, but here goes:

Merriam Webster defines 'Surgical' as follows:

Main Entry: sur·gi·cal
Pronunciation: 's&r-ji-k&l
Function: adjective
Etymology: surgeon + -ical

characteristic of or resembling surgery or a surgeon especially in control or incisiveness.

And 'aplomb' as follows:

Main Entry: aplomb
Pronunciation: &-'pläm, -'pl&m
Function: noun
Etymology: French, literally, perpendicularity, from Middle French, from a plomb, literally, according to the plummet
: complete and confident composure or self-assurance

Thus, 'surgical aplomb' can be said to be that perfect balance of precision and poise, the essential combination of the technical and the personal.

Exactly what's lacking among members of the Indian cricket team.