We’ve heard it over and over again that cricket is a religion in India. It is the one thing that unites people from all walks of life, people of different castes and creeds. It basically unites the entire nation. But is cricket limited to only that? I think the time has now come to say that cricket is ‘blood’ for many of us, something without which we cannot live. Some said that after the World Cup, we Indians would be saturated and have no interest in the IPL. Yes, the ratings have shown a dip, but we lovers of the game had the same passion and intensity as in IPL 1,2 and 3. It just shows that we can never have too much of cricket.
What is it that makes the game so much of an addiction for us? Well there is no definite reason, but we do enjoy being a part of the emotional rollercoaster that is associated with every cricket game. Not many of us sit back in a lounge chair and watch a game of cricket and say, “Oh! That was relaxing.” We probably are more emotionally drained than the players themselves. The players atleast have some control over the match and to an extent hold their destiny in their own hands. We fans are helpless and cannot make a contribution, but there are some of us who like to believe that we can. Yes it is foolhardy but that is the sort of involvement we like to show, we like to believe that by sitting in a particular position for 6 hours will win India the game. We like to believe that by giving up rice for 6 months India will win the World Cup. We have lucky t-shirts for match days, compulsory phone calls to make and so on. Thanks to all these little superstitions we believe that we have made a contribution to our team and are able to share the same feelings as the team. A loss will hurt us deeply and if by chance we have not followed one of our routines that day, we will take a long time to forgive ourselves and take blame for the defeat. A victory will delight us and will make us believe that we have made a contribution and encourage us to follow more such superstitions in the future. Yes, you can call these fans crazy and I am proud to be a ‘crazy fan’.
This World Cup win has only raised the passion for the game. April 2nd, 2011 will be remembered as one of the best days of our lives. The image of Kapil Dev holding aloft the World Cup on the Lords Balcony in 1983 made us proud but also, especially for those of us who weren’t born then, created an urge, a desire and the hope to win another World Cup. The nation waited for 28 long years to experience the same euphoria again. The moment that ball left Dhoni’s bat we were elated. It was beyond joy and the scenes that followed are what make us so happy to be “crazy fans”. It felt like we, 1 billion of us played the World Cup and it would be hard to say that we were any less happy than the players themselves.
The other day, a TV channel was telecasting India’s road to the World Cup victory and it brought tears to my eyes. We will never get tired of seeing Dhoni hit that ball over long on for six and then embracing Yuvraj Singh. That was the moment when an entire nation went crazy and some of us went beyond….