“Ma’am I am feeling extremely low today. I wish I could travel back in time. I was so excited about the match yesterday,” said Amit, my colleague.
Amits’ enthusiasm for cricket is crazy. On his only day off, he travels all the way from Navi Mumbai to Malad to play cricket all day. The next day, he was always arrives at work on time without any sign of tiredness.
Today, he is disheartened and tried. He is disheartened by India’s defeat. It is such a different look for this normally fervent man.
Amit represents the teaming of fans that live for cricket. They not only know the sport not only by the rules but by the cricketers’ history and their family background. To them cricket is a religion – they eat cricket, they play cricket, they pray cricket, they talk cricket and they even walk cricket.
I noticed this love for cricket developing amongst boys during childhood. My chotu brother had just reached the 4th standard, when he started walking and talking cricket. He made me laugh as he constantly bowled or batted as we walked. It was odd but I realized that most boys his aged acted that way as their love for the game of cricket grew.
The craze for cricket not only affects the young. It also keeps India young. During matches, a common and fun sight was my 75 year old my grandfather advocating cricket. My friend’s home was even more entertaining. My friend’s enthusiast mother used to prepare menu based on the cricket match. The menu ranged from South Africa-India bhindi masala to Pakistan-New Zealand cricket tadka dal. The family is so cricket obsessed that even their maid is given a day off from work to join them watch the cricket match on TV.
Let not forget, cricket and work. Most offices with television sets are set to watch the live telecast. We sneak away from work to watch the match. We get so involved in the match that it often seems as if we are playing the game and not those two teams. It makes the victory or defeat personal.
An emotional connection exists between game and all fans which is far far beyond the religion we follow or language we speak.
We bleed blue, we breath blue, we support blue because we believe in blue.
We might have lost in the semi finals this time but this is not the end of the world. Team India performed well and we are proud of them. The regrettable remarks made by some disappointed fans, about the personal lives of cricketers, do not truly show the true spirit of the hard core cricket lovers. It does not show the right spirit towards the game. Cricket is a game and we have to enjoy the spirit of it.
May the best team win and I am sure next time it will be India!