March 17, 2007

From One World Cup to Another

ESPNcricinfo staff
The World Cup, coming as it does every four years, offers an occasion for stock taking
58

The World Cup, coming as it does every four years, offers an occasion for stock taking. I reference my life with each World Cup, reflect on how things were with me when the last one was played and reassess how they are now. Do you do that? If you are a true fan, I think you would. It’s just one of those intersections between sport and life that is so much part of being a fan.

I missed watching the most pivotal moments of the 1983 World Cup final: I was waiting for a takeaway in a Kolkata restaurant, and remember how, as the radio relayed that Richards was out, I ran around the deserted restaurant, along with the waiters, head steady, arms outstretched, body tilting from side to side. I was 13.

In 1987, I was for the final, at the Eden Gardens as Border held aloft the trophy. In 1992… well, never mind.

What I associate most with the World Cup final of 2003 is this: lying with my daughter on my chest, trying to get her to sleep after India got slaughtered by Ponting and Co. I remember the clink of ice in the glass of vodka by my side. I remember some fireworks going off; they sounded a little desultory, a little jaded. People had bought them just in case India won. They were letting them off anyway. No shame in losing to the best side in the world, I recall thinking. I remember thinking about the book I was then writing… about India and cricket and being a fan.

This time around, my girl is five years old. She recognizes the Indian players. She can tell a Steely Dan song from its opening riff. And so boundless is her energy that it’s impossible to get her to sleep before very late. We live in Mumbai these days. My book has been published. (You can’t call yourself a writer because you’ve written a book. You have to have a of work to be able to do that. A writer is all I’ve ever wanted to be. Now I can at least say I have written a book. A start.)

But the thing I most notice this time is the creeping up of middle age. This is the first World Cup that we in India will be able to watch only if we stay up all night for days on end. I find that I can’t do that any longer. (Coming up soon: Tips on how to stay up – or try to stay up and fall asleep on the sofa.) My eyes burn if I haven’t slept well. My legs feel heavy. The day job, all nine or ten hours of it, takes too much out of me. And the cricket, so central to life once (the rest of life was what happened between overs), is having to be accommodated into the rhythms of the soon-to-be-middle-aged, salaried, hardworking parent’s life.

It’s quite a realization. Have you had that recently? And how has your life changed over the World Cups, since World Cup since everything in Indian cricket changed for ever, in 1983? I look forward to hearing that. Keep the comments coming in.

Soumya Bhattacharya is the editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He is the author of two volumes of cricketing memoirs - You Must Like Cricket? and All That You Can't Leave Behind - and a novel, If I Could Tell You

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • V S Manian on April 7, 2007, 4:23 GMT

    During 1983 finals, I could not watch the retreival attempt of Marshall & Dujon, as I became tense after sensing a hope of victory. Only after hearing that Dujon was out, did we (me and my friends) switched on the TV. Well, during 1987 I watched many of the matches, whenever possible, since they were played as day matches too and I supported Australia in the final. 1992 is forgettable, except the fact that due to the faulty system, Pakistan was able to squeeze ahead despite dismal performance at the initial stage, including getting all out for a mere 74 or something in a preliminary game. 1996 was enjoyable, despite the loss of India in the semis. Lance Klussner made 1999 enjoyale. Sachin, the ever great, made 2003 as remarkable. 2007 - though India went out early, I still watch the matches, remaining awake till the early morning of the next.

    Having said that, I wish to state clearly that my life had its own dramas, nothing related to Cricket. I love cricket and in fact, I could be considered as a mad of Cricket. I love great players like Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Ganguly and I will remain a faithfull fan of Sachin, despite many people trying to belittle his achievements right now.

    Cricket and life are two different lines I enjoy. I dont take a loss by India too deep into my mind. Thats why I am able to enjoy the matches played by others, including the fighting Ireland matches.

    If you remain sane and intelligent, all such nonsense talk of call for the heads of Sachin & co would never arise.

    I wish to narrate an interest statistic here. After winning the World Cup in 1983, India's world cup journey is as follows :

    1987 - Semi-finalist 1992 - Early elimination 1996 - Semi-finalist 1999 - Early elimination 2003 - Finalist 2007 - Earliest elimination

    If the above trend continues to hold good, we should be able to prepare ourself to enjoy great cricket from India in the next World Cup. Provided, people like Chappel doesnt destroy the morale and unity of our team any more.

  • Michael Arnold on April 7, 2007, 0:03 GMT

    Subtlety, finesse and a respect for other cultures are not exactly the best known characteristics of the Australian male. This was amply demonstrated by Russell Hair a few months back.

    I would suggest these factors played a prominent part in Chappell's downfall.

  • Guj on April 6, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    kick the seniors who dont have discipline out...they are a parasite to the whole nation... does the BCCI have the guts...think PCK will be much better ..

  • Rohitashwa Jain on April 6, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Does our selection committee, politicians and managers of BCCI have the guts to expel non-performing seniors and provide chances to the younger generation.

    How many of us are even aware of that we have a greater players not given a chance...

  • Saleque Sufi on March 30, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    The fall of Indian cricket from the position of favourites to early exit pedestrian from world cup underlined the wrong strategy Indian cricket is persuing for a while.Where is their vision 2007? Did not they put in lots of efforts for that. it is not the loss of matches to Srilanka and Bangladesh , it is rather the manner they lost those . India were not atall in their elements. The great iIndian batting could not stand up. There is no denial that Bangladesh played a great game but Indians did not have any answer to their strategy. Why so many great Indian superstars flopped. Some of them including maestro little master is over the hill and should call it a day. They do so much other than playing cricket that they loose the focus. One wonders why Irfan Pathan was not tried despite of seaming conditions. It may not have made lot of difference but he desrved a try.Without elaborating much we can only say gfor acountry where Cricketers are admired and adored so much is a shock and nightmare not to be featured in the business session of a major cricket show.

  • Mahesh Inna Kedage on March 28, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    First to start with all the articles by Soumya Bhattacharya I read was stupendous, it was like Tendulkar's straight drive Ganguly's offside drive sehwag's stand and deliver dravid's classical cover drive yuvraj's hook shot. I strongly believe that the life is just like cricket, right from my childhood I play life as cricket sometimes ODI or sometimes Test. On each world cup ever since I came to know about cricket, Indian Players struggled to compete in the international arena. I remember the 1987 world cup when India failed to reach the final. then I was a 7 years old studying in 2nd standard, was keen to return from school early to watch cricket in neighbour';s house. very keen follower of azhar flick's and fielding.

    In the next world cup 1992 Australia I was wondering will India reach the semifinals this time around after badly beaten by come back south africans, Then I was in seven standard i would cut short my basketball training and look into friend's TV sets for early morning matches as our own TV was repair. Need to get up early at 4:00 AM to watch the match.

    I still remember how i had a last laugh looking into javed miandad's ill-famous jump in the crease. after this world cup i felt India had bad luck due to rain stoppages.

    Next came 1996 world cup when i was in 11th standard which was my lovely part of the life. Glued to the TV sets at home, and saw India tumbling down to srilanka in eden gardens with vinod kambli's eyes was down pouring.

    In the next world cup 1999, I had joined enggineering probably the worst way i saw the world cup matches, hiding behind my friends in order to avoid ragging by the seniors at mid night. But again India failed to deliver going down to zimbabwe, thanks for that our seniors were no mood to rag me. i saw a disappointing faces walking across me.

    Then came the next world cup where India fought hard, going down to best team in the world cricket. probably this was the worst period of my life, but result was same.

    after four years i am placed in a good position, working for a top 5 company, brought a new TV set to watch matches but deadly end brought my dreams to shattered, I wonder I failed to accept the truth that our players never been the best players. the people are fooled by media hype and non functioning BCCI, otherwise on country would change the selection commitee which was working for a good team towards the world cup. The most wondering aspect is the same people fought for the back of ganguly, and the same people burnt his effigy's. The players should be aware that playing at any condition is very easy if you are good at watching cricket ball. just see the ball and then play, if you do not watch the ball u can never hit the ball.

    If do not fool the batsmen you can never take wickets. whichever ball you use the chemistry is simple, control while batting and bowling. your body should do what your mind and brain says.

    probably I wish I could see a better team the next time when world cup will played in the subcontinent. I also wish Tendulkar Ganguly sehwag kumble should retire ODI and play only in test match. And bring back Kaif (for last chance) suresh raina, under 19 boys. expose them to international cricket now in next four years they will be strong contenders. Please avoid playing with minnows and start playing with newzealand southafrica australia westindies pakistan srilanka england in neutral venues than home ground.

  • Harry on March 28, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Well this is the fifth world cup since the time i started following cricket. I still remember strangely for some reason, i started liking cricket when i was in the 8th std. Though so late to get to know about a sport that had created millions of followers in India after 1983, and was gaining the stature of a religion with Tendulkar a God by den, i was fast enough to grab everything about cricket within no time as the case would have been for many.

    So, there goes back my memory to 1992 world cup. The only match worth remebering n still in my memory is that India Vs Pakistan n the special run out of Imran Khan still stand out in my memory if i'm not wrong. I used to wake up at 4:00 am to watch the matches India played though oderwise i would never get up. Such was the proportion my craze had acquired with cricket.

    But luck favoured the determined and the brave as it did for Pakistan who went onto win that. I did watch the final, and it was a well deserved victory for Pakistan.

    Come here 1996, and within no time, India was hoisting it the second time. I had full confidence that the Indian team of then was one of the strong contenders n favourites since they had done so well under Azhar at home winnig almost each n evry cup n series (Hero Cup a stand out for the sheer performance India gave against South Africa in semi final n against West Indies in final). I was in the XI then. My exams were going on but i would skip studies to watch the match. We had another hidden team in this world cup which was SriLanka. None except few had given chances to this team as till then they has the stature of minnows. And before anyone could take notice, the team had beaten India in one of the league matches. Such was the arrogance and elegance of Jayasurya's batting that he tore apart every Indian bowler chasing some big score 270 or so. Again India beat Pakistan in the World Cup. Tht will stand out as the best ever match of cricket across World Cups n across series. How can i forget the bludgeoning of Waqar by Jadeja, and you call it coincidence due to my exam the next day, i did not see the Indian innings with full involvement till i joined in the 47th over. And I feel lucky to have witnessed those balls being dispatched for 4s and 6s in those 3 overs.

    But after that standout came the drubbing of India in Semis. I witnessed that match to my utter disappointment, yet another world cup win hope for India getting lost. Though, SriLanka seemed the best team to beat Australia, and win the World Cup. They deserved it.

    1999 was ordinary for India in World Cup. They had luck to beat England in the final rain interrupted league match to enter the super 6's but they got drubbed against better teams (except Pakistan) to say the World Cup good bye. This time again i was in college and i still remember an exam the following day of the India-England match.

    2003 was one of the best World Cups in many ways. India was lead by one of the most successful captain in Sourav Ganguly. India had done well abroad under him. Given this reason, and the bonding within the team, if any Indian team could have come close to winning the cup it was this team. But they too disappointed us in the final against a far better team in Australia. It was pressure that did India in as always. I watched all the matches that India played except the final's first half and i was happy i had missed it as it was a complete murdering of the Indian bowling attack that Australia had inflicted upon. And as always sachin failing in the big match, a jinx that he could never overcome, and bad luck for Ganguly not able to win India the most wanted cup. India had drawn against SriLanka in the mini world cup the year before, and India had lost one to New Zealand when ganguly took over captaincy. And the jinx continued into World Cup. One thing that stood out in 2003 was India's all round display in crucial situations, the Kaif's run out of a player from England, the superb bowling of Ashish Nehra in that match, the superb bowling of Srinath his peak at right time across the matches, and India's batting, evrything gelled so well than ever before. The infamous Indian Huddle that made them the favourites. There was a bonding that could be seen in that team, and the agression and captaincy of Ganguly took India to greater heights.

    As the saying goes after a big leap there is a fall, the 2007 has turned out to be the Worst World Cup campaign for India. Luckily this time i did not have to wake up entire night to watch the matches as i am in the same time zone as West Indies.

    People were angry with the Indian loss, and many were burning effigies without realizing the fact that these are the same people who made the Indian Team members as heroes. Everybody will agree that this team lacked conviction, temperament, and more importantly the commitment, and attitude to win a match which better teams possess. The bonding was clearly seen missing. Somehow, i always felt tht this current indian team under Dravid was a bunch of 11 players than a Team, and that showed up in none other than the biggest cricketing extravaganza. And after the Indian debacle in this world cup i realized one thing. Unless, the system is changed, unless players are paid based on performance, unless players are restricted from endorsements in the first 3-4 years of their gaining entry to Indian team untill they fully establish themselves, (This would mean the players will be well established for every world cup and we will have lot may players to choose) unless we have a system where there is relative pay to the players based on the number of matches won by India and within that counting the performance of the player (say if india wins all matches in a year and a player A contibutes consistently well in all these matches while if India loses however well he may have performed, his quota should be less) Unless cricket board removes the current grading system, and brings in a sole performance based pay as said above,

    India will be found wanting to Win the World Cup and evry World Cup will throw some disappointment or the other for the cricket crazy fans of the country.

    Burning effigies and being angry is neither practical nor a rationale thinking, because as said better late than never, this World Cup has thrown Team India into a reality check as to what they were capable of.

    Another interesting thing to note is that the performance of the Indian team has been alternate

    1979 -> Very Bad / Worst (First Round and also lost to Srilanka a minnow then) 1983 -> Excellent 1987 -> Good (Semi Final) 1992 -> So So (First round exit) 1996 -> Good (Semi Final) 1999 -> So So (Second Round) 2003 -> Very Good (Finals) 2007 -> Worst (First Round and a loss to minnow Bangladesh) 2011 -> Hopefully a new look Indian Cricket System and Indian Team which will perform well on cricket field than outside of it and people more understanding n realistic

    With that I sign off, and hopefully when the World Cup returns to the sub continent next time, things would have changed within the Indian Crikcet System

  • Amandeep on March 27, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    My 1st world cup memories go back to 1992 when as a 6 year old I vividly remember Imran lifting the Crystal trophy.My final exams were finished & I could watch & play cricket without a care in the world for anything else. 1996 World Cup in between my final exams for 5th standard & I remember hearing the whoops of joy from my neighbours as Jadeja carted Waqar all over Chinnaswamy stadium(I was playing cricket with my pals).I also remember the disappointment I felt on the eve of my English exam when I saw Kambli weeping at the Eden as India collapsed after a brilliant 66 from GOD which ended with a freak stumping/run out. The best innings of the tournament for me was GOD's brilliant counterattacking 90 against the Aussies at Wankhede where He hit Warne & Mcgrath to all corners of the ground after India had reduced to 7/2 at the end of 6 overs. 1999 World Cup came in between my summer holidays in 9th standard which were spent in either playing cricket or watching it although I had to take some time out for finishing my holiday homework.India's defeat to Zim & the demise of GOD's father left me numb.Ganguly & Dravid partnership at Taunton was a source of a lot of joy & so was Venky's 5 wicket haul at Old Trafford againt Pakistan.But India's defeat to Zim came to haunt them & cost the a berth in the semis.I still regret THAT Donald Klusener run out because I believe SA deserved to win that world cup & moreover the Aussie win at the 1999 world cup brought a new world order in Cricket & Now we have to tolerate the sight of racist & arrogant Aussies winning every trophy. I also remember that some of our neighbours burst firecrackers just because Pakistan lost the World Cup final.. How very wrong they were... 2003 World Cup came in between my 12th standard CBSE board exams & at a time when I was also busy in my JEE preparations.. I remember the way GOD single handedly inspired India to WC final after a disastrous start. THAT innings agains Pakistan at Centurion will be the most fondly remembered although it ruined my Physics exam.. The final was a day before my last board exam & I was hoping desperately for rain in the Indian innings so that the match would resume afresh the next day.I also remember cheering SL very loyally in their semi so that India didnt have to play Australia in the finals.. Alas both didnt happen..

    Come 2007 this is my 1st WC when I m not a school kid. I m into my 3rd year of engg after managing to clear JEE.But this WC has caused me alot of pain.. A golden generation of Indian cricketers Dravid,Kumble,Sourav & Of course GOD whom I grew up watching have surely played their last world cups(Although I m still keeping my fingers crossed for a GOD century at His home ground Wankhede in 2011 WC final) and they have gone out in such a tragic fashion.I m also bitterly disappointed that a batsman & an artiste of the calibre of VVS Laxman has been given such a rough dela & has nopt managed to play a single WC.He would definitely made a lot of difference on these pitches but He has alwayz been treated harshly by selectors as well as both Ganguly & Dravid.

    Thanks for such a nice post which made me go down the memory lane & filled me with nastalgia..

  • Ranganathan on March 27, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    In world series, twice, we can say we were champs. In '83 it was optimism. The captain had the 'never say die attitude' He wanted to prove. When we were about to fail the captain performed and inspired others to follow.

    A few years later it was a clinically precise pessimism / realism. The then captain knew what we could and would score in tight situations. He allowed only one side to score beyond 200. Tight fielding and precison bowling not great bowiling or acrobatic fielding.

    We have been learning since we started playing. To win, we have to select a team that will work together. To select that, in every game at every level team effort should be emphasised not individual brilliance. At grass root level you pick players; not stars. You are bound to win.

  • Vivek on March 27, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Nice blog, Soumya. I've read your book and I definitely remember which year your daughter was born in!

    1983 would have been my first World Cup but I have no memories of it. My cousins tell me they were all over at my place, cheering India to victory. I must have slept through it all.

    1987, trying to squeeze in cricket with all the homework and exams...some of the things that come to mind are India's one run loss to Australia; Martin Crowe running backwards to catch Houghton - and waiting for the classic catches package everyday to see that catch one more time; Gavaskar going ballistic against New Zealand; and switching to the 'second' channel on DD every now and again to keep up with what was happening in Group B. I remember being not too disappointed by India's loss to England. I quite fancied Australia those days - maybe I was too young to be patriotic for India then.

    In 1992 while at school we used to try catching glimpses of the action through the windows of houses behind the school building. On the day of the final, I remember running out when school ended to catch the last hour and a half of the final. England in trouble, Lamb and Fairbrother fighting back - and then THOSE two balls. Richie Benaud, in his faraway voice, "Wasim Akraaam is on a hat trick..."

    I went for the Australia-New Zealand quarterfinal in 1996. It was my first time at a day night game. When I stepped back into the stadium after the dinner break I remember being completely awestruck by the floodlights. India's exit later that week was disappointing but I fully enjoyed Sri Lanka going on to triumph.

    Come 1999, and I was preparing to leave my hometown for my post graduate studies the day after the final. After the nail biting semi final I fully expected the final to be a let down - so I went out for some last minute shopping just as Pakistan were beginning their innings. Managed to catch some bits of the match at the store, and returned home in time to see Lehmann hit the winning runs.

    And in 2003, I had just started my working life - colleagues in the office had made big plans to watch the final at a pub and celebrate afterwards. We made it to the pub as planned, watched Ponting tear apart our bowling, and trooped out at the break with our tails firmly between our legs. I returned home and took in the rest of the beating in solitude.

    This time I will not be staying up late. I guess cricket has become secondary again - work, health, relationships...too many things on one's mind as one gets older. But perhaps in 2011, I'll be lining up for tickets once again.

  • V S Manian on April 7, 2007, 4:23 GMT

    During 1983 finals, I could not watch the retreival attempt of Marshall & Dujon, as I became tense after sensing a hope of victory. Only after hearing that Dujon was out, did we (me and my friends) switched on the TV. Well, during 1987 I watched many of the matches, whenever possible, since they were played as day matches too and I supported Australia in the final. 1992 is forgettable, except the fact that due to the faulty system, Pakistan was able to squeeze ahead despite dismal performance at the initial stage, including getting all out for a mere 74 or something in a preliminary game. 1996 was enjoyable, despite the loss of India in the semis. Lance Klussner made 1999 enjoyale. Sachin, the ever great, made 2003 as remarkable. 2007 - though India went out early, I still watch the matches, remaining awake till the early morning of the next.

    Having said that, I wish to state clearly that my life had its own dramas, nothing related to Cricket. I love cricket and in fact, I could be considered as a mad of Cricket. I love great players like Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Ganguly and I will remain a faithfull fan of Sachin, despite many people trying to belittle his achievements right now.

    Cricket and life are two different lines I enjoy. I dont take a loss by India too deep into my mind. Thats why I am able to enjoy the matches played by others, including the fighting Ireland matches.

    If you remain sane and intelligent, all such nonsense talk of call for the heads of Sachin & co would never arise.

    I wish to narrate an interest statistic here. After winning the World Cup in 1983, India's world cup journey is as follows :

    1987 - Semi-finalist 1992 - Early elimination 1996 - Semi-finalist 1999 - Early elimination 2003 - Finalist 2007 - Earliest elimination

    If the above trend continues to hold good, we should be able to prepare ourself to enjoy great cricket from India in the next World Cup. Provided, people like Chappel doesnt destroy the morale and unity of our team any more.

  • Michael Arnold on April 7, 2007, 0:03 GMT

    Subtlety, finesse and a respect for other cultures are not exactly the best known characteristics of the Australian male. This was amply demonstrated by Russell Hair a few months back.

    I would suggest these factors played a prominent part in Chappell's downfall.

  • Guj on April 6, 2007, 17:34 GMT

    kick the seniors who dont have discipline out...they are a parasite to the whole nation... does the BCCI have the guts...think PCK will be much better ..

  • Rohitashwa Jain on April 6, 2007, 5:40 GMT

    Does our selection committee, politicians and managers of BCCI have the guts to expel non-performing seniors and provide chances to the younger generation.

    How many of us are even aware of that we have a greater players not given a chance...

  • Saleque Sufi on March 30, 2007, 2:34 GMT

    The fall of Indian cricket from the position of favourites to early exit pedestrian from world cup underlined the wrong strategy Indian cricket is persuing for a while.Where is their vision 2007? Did not they put in lots of efforts for that. it is not the loss of matches to Srilanka and Bangladesh , it is rather the manner they lost those . India were not atall in their elements. The great iIndian batting could not stand up. There is no denial that Bangladesh played a great game but Indians did not have any answer to their strategy. Why so many great Indian superstars flopped. Some of them including maestro little master is over the hill and should call it a day. They do so much other than playing cricket that they loose the focus. One wonders why Irfan Pathan was not tried despite of seaming conditions. It may not have made lot of difference but he desrved a try.Without elaborating much we can only say gfor acountry where Cricketers are admired and adored so much is a shock and nightmare not to be featured in the business session of a major cricket show.

  • Mahesh Inna Kedage on March 28, 2007, 12:24 GMT

    First to start with all the articles by Soumya Bhattacharya I read was stupendous, it was like Tendulkar's straight drive Ganguly's offside drive sehwag's stand and deliver dravid's classical cover drive yuvraj's hook shot. I strongly believe that the life is just like cricket, right from my childhood I play life as cricket sometimes ODI or sometimes Test. On each world cup ever since I came to know about cricket, Indian Players struggled to compete in the international arena. I remember the 1987 world cup when India failed to reach the final. then I was a 7 years old studying in 2nd standard, was keen to return from school early to watch cricket in neighbour';s house. very keen follower of azhar flick's and fielding.

    In the next world cup 1992 Australia I was wondering will India reach the semifinals this time around after badly beaten by come back south africans, Then I was in seven standard i would cut short my basketball training and look into friend's TV sets for early morning matches as our own TV was repair. Need to get up early at 4:00 AM to watch the match.

    I still remember how i had a last laugh looking into javed miandad's ill-famous jump in the crease. after this world cup i felt India had bad luck due to rain stoppages.

    Next came 1996 world cup when i was in 11th standard which was my lovely part of the life. Glued to the TV sets at home, and saw India tumbling down to srilanka in eden gardens with vinod kambli's eyes was down pouring.

    In the next world cup 1999, I had joined enggineering probably the worst way i saw the world cup matches, hiding behind my friends in order to avoid ragging by the seniors at mid night. But again India failed to deliver going down to zimbabwe, thanks for that our seniors were no mood to rag me. i saw a disappointing faces walking across me.

    Then came the next world cup where India fought hard, going down to best team in the world cricket. probably this was the worst period of my life, but result was same.

    after four years i am placed in a good position, working for a top 5 company, brought a new TV set to watch matches but deadly end brought my dreams to shattered, I wonder I failed to accept the truth that our players never been the best players. the people are fooled by media hype and non functioning BCCI, otherwise on country would change the selection commitee which was working for a good team towards the world cup. The most wondering aspect is the same people fought for the back of ganguly, and the same people burnt his effigy's. The players should be aware that playing at any condition is very easy if you are good at watching cricket ball. just see the ball and then play, if you do not watch the ball u can never hit the ball.

    If do not fool the batsmen you can never take wickets. whichever ball you use the chemistry is simple, control while batting and bowling. your body should do what your mind and brain says.

    probably I wish I could see a better team the next time when world cup will played in the subcontinent. I also wish Tendulkar Ganguly sehwag kumble should retire ODI and play only in test match. And bring back Kaif (for last chance) suresh raina, under 19 boys. expose them to international cricket now in next four years they will be strong contenders. Please avoid playing with minnows and start playing with newzealand southafrica australia westindies pakistan srilanka england in neutral venues than home ground.

  • Harry on March 28, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    Well this is the fifth world cup since the time i started following cricket. I still remember strangely for some reason, i started liking cricket when i was in the 8th std. Though so late to get to know about a sport that had created millions of followers in India after 1983, and was gaining the stature of a religion with Tendulkar a God by den, i was fast enough to grab everything about cricket within no time as the case would have been for many.

    So, there goes back my memory to 1992 world cup. The only match worth remebering n still in my memory is that India Vs Pakistan n the special run out of Imran Khan still stand out in my memory if i'm not wrong. I used to wake up at 4:00 am to watch the matches India played though oderwise i would never get up. Such was the proportion my craze had acquired with cricket.

    But luck favoured the determined and the brave as it did for Pakistan who went onto win that. I did watch the final, and it was a well deserved victory for Pakistan.

    Come here 1996, and within no time, India was hoisting it the second time. I had full confidence that the Indian team of then was one of the strong contenders n favourites since they had done so well under Azhar at home winnig almost each n evry cup n series (Hero Cup a stand out for the sheer performance India gave against South Africa in semi final n against West Indies in final). I was in the XI then. My exams were going on but i would skip studies to watch the match. We had another hidden team in this world cup which was SriLanka. None except few had given chances to this team as till then they has the stature of minnows. And before anyone could take notice, the team had beaten India in one of the league matches. Such was the arrogance and elegance of Jayasurya's batting that he tore apart every Indian bowler chasing some big score 270 or so. Again India beat Pakistan in the World Cup. Tht will stand out as the best ever match of cricket across World Cups n across series. How can i forget the bludgeoning of Waqar by Jadeja, and you call it coincidence due to my exam the next day, i did not see the Indian innings with full involvement till i joined in the 47th over. And I feel lucky to have witnessed those balls being dispatched for 4s and 6s in those 3 overs.

    But after that standout came the drubbing of India in Semis. I witnessed that match to my utter disappointment, yet another world cup win hope for India getting lost. Though, SriLanka seemed the best team to beat Australia, and win the World Cup. They deserved it.

    1999 was ordinary for India in World Cup. They had luck to beat England in the final rain interrupted league match to enter the super 6's but they got drubbed against better teams (except Pakistan) to say the World Cup good bye. This time again i was in college and i still remember an exam the following day of the India-England match.

    2003 was one of the best World Cups in many ways. India was lead by one of the most successful captain in Sourav Ganguly. India had done well abroad under him. Given this reason, and the bonding within the team, if any Indian team could have come close to winning the cup it was this team. But they too disappointed us in the final against a far better team in Australia. It was pressure that did India in as always. I watched all the matches that India played except the final's first half and i was happy i had missed it as it was a complete murdering of the Indian bowling attack that Australia had inflicted upon. And as always sachin failing in the big match, a jinx that he could never overcome, and bad luck for Ganguly not able to win India the most wanted cup. India had drawn against SriLanka in the mini world cup the year before, and India had lost one to New Zealand when ganguly took over captaincy. And the jinx continued into World Cup. One thing that stood out in 2003 was India's all round display in crucial situations, the Kaif's run out of a player from England, the superb bowling of Ashish Nehra in that match, the superb bowling of Srinath his peak at right time across the matches, and India's batting, evrything gelled so well than ever before. The infamous Indian Huddle that made them the favourites. There was a bonding that could be seen in that team, and the agression and captaincy of Ganguly took India to greater heights.

    As the saying goes after a big leap there is a fall, the 2007 has turned out to be the Worst World Cup campaign for India. Luckily this time i did not have to wake up entire night to watch the matches as i am in the same time zone as West Indies.

    People were angry with the Indian loss, and many were burning effigies without realizing the fact that these are the same people who made the Indian Team members as heroes. Everybody will agree that this team lacked conviction, temperament, and more importantly the commitment, and attitude to win a match which better teams possess. The bonding was clearly seen missing. Somehow, i always felt tht this current indian team under Dravid was a bunch of 11 players than a Team, and that showed up in none other than the biggest cricketing extravaganza. And after the Indian debacle in this world cup i realized one thing. Unless, the system is changed, unless players are paid based on performance, unless players are restricted from endorsements in the first 3-4 years of their gaining entry to Indian team untill they fully establish themselves, (This would mean the players will be well established for every world cup and we will have lot may players to choose) unless we have a system where there is relative pay to the players based on the number of matches won by India and within that counting the performance of the player (say if india wins all matches in a year and a player A contibutes consistently well in all these matches while if India loses however well he may have performed, his quota should be less) Unless cricket board removes the current grading system, and brings in a sole performance based pay as said above,

    India will be found wanting to Win the World Cup and evry World Cup will throw some disappointment or the other for the cricket crazy fans of the country.

    Burning effigies and being angry is neither practical nor a rationale thinking, because as said better late than never, this World Cup has thrown Team India into a reality check as to what they were capable of.

    Another interesting thing to note is that the performance of the Indian team has been alternate

    1979 -> Very Bad / Worst (First Round and also lost to Srilanka a minnow then) 1983 -> Excellent 1987 -> Good (Semi Final) 1992 -> So So (First round exit) 1996 -> Good (Semi Final) 1999 -> So So (Second Round) 2003 -> Very Good (Finals) 2007 -> Worst (First Round and a loss to minnow Bangladesh) 2011 -> Hopefully a new look Indian Cricket System and Indian Team which will perform well on cricket field than outside of it and people more understanding n realistic

    With that I sign off, and hopefully when the World Cup returns to the sub continent next time, things would have changed within the Indian Crikcet System

  • Amandeep on March 27, 2007, 21:01 GMT

    My 1st world cup memories go back to 1992 when as a 6 year old I vividly remember Imran lifting the Crystal trophy.My final exams were finished & I could watch & play cricket without a care in the world for anything else. 1996 World Cup in between my final exams for 5th standard & I remember hearing the whoops of joy from my neighbours as Jadeja carted Waqar all over Chinnaswamy stadium(I was playing cricket with my pals).I also remember the disappointment I felt on the eve of my English exam when I saw Kambli weeping at the Eden as India collapsed after a brilliant 66 from GOD which ended with a freak stumping/run out. The best innings of the tournament for me was GOD's brilliant counterattacking 90 against the Aussies at Wankhede where He hit Warne & Mcgrath to all corners of the ground after India had reduced to 7/2 at the end of 6 overs. 1999 World Cup came in between my summer holidays in 9th standard which were spent in either playing cricket or watching it although I had to take some time out for finishing my holiday homework.India's defeat to Zim & the demise of GOD's father left me numb.Ganguly & Dravid partnership at Taunton was a source of a lot of joy & so was Venky's 5 wicket haul at Old Trafford againt Pakistan.But India's defeat to Zim came to haunt them & cost the a berth in the semis.I still regret THAT Donald Klusener run out because I believe SA deserved to win that world cup & moreover the Aussie win at the 1999 world cup brought a new world order in Cricket & Now we have to tolerate the sight of racist & arrogant Aussies winning every trophy. I also remember that some of our neighbours burst firecrackers just because Pakistan lost the World Cup final.. How very wrong they were... 2003 World Cup came in between my 12th standard CBSE board exams & at a time when I was also busy in my JEE preparations.. I remember the way GOD single handedly inspired India to WC final after a disastrous start. THAT innings agains Pakistan at Centurion will be the most fondly remembered although it ruined my Physics exam.. The final was a day before my last board exam & I was hoping desperately for rain in the Indian innings so that the match would resume afresh the next day.I also remember cheering SL very loyally in their semi so that India didnt have to play Australia in the finals.. Alas both didnt happen..

    Come 2007 this is my 1st WC when I m not a school kid. I m into my 3rd year of engg after managing to clear JEE.But this WC has caused me alot of pain.. A golden generation of Indian cricketers Dravid,Kumble,Sourav & Of course GOD whom I grew up watching have surely played their last world cups(Although I m still keeping my fingers crossed for a GOD century at His home ground Wankhede in 2011 WC final) and they have gone out in such a tragic fashion.I m also bitterly disappointed that a batsman & an artiste of the calibre of VVS Laxman has been given such a rough dela & has nopt managed to play a single WC.He would definitely made a lot of difference on these pitches but He has alwayz been treated harshly by selectors as well as both Ganguly & Dravid.

    Thanks for such a nice post which made me go down the memory lane & filled me with nastalgia..

  • Ranganathan on March 27, 2007, 12:04 GMT

    In world series, twice, we can say we were champs. In '83 it was optimism. The captain had the 'never say die attitude' He wanted to prove. When we were about to fail the captain performed and inspired others to follow.

    A few years later it was a clinically precise pessimism / realism. The then captain knew what we could and would score in tight situations. He allowed only one side to score beyond 200. Tight fielding and precison bowling not great bowiling or acrobatic fielding.

    We have been learning since we started playing. To win, we have to select a team that will work together. To select that, in every game at every level team effort should be emphasised not individual brilliance. At grass root level you pick players; not stars. You are bound to win.

  • Vivek on March 27, 2007, 11:53 GMT

    Nice blog, Soumya. I've read your book and I definitely remember which year your daughter was born in!

    1983 would have been my first World Cup but I have no memories of it. My cousins tell me they were all over at my place, cheering India to victory. I must have slept through it all.

    1987, trying to squeeze in cricket with all the homework and exams...some of the things that come to mind are India's one run loss to Australia; Martin Crowe running backwards to catch Houghton - and waiting for the classic catches package everyday to see that catch one more time; Gavaskar going ballistic against New Zealand; and switching to the 'second' channel on DD every now and again to keep up with what was happening in Group B. I remember being not too disappointed by India's loss to England. I quite fancied Australia those days - maybe I was too young to be patriotic for India then.

    In 1992 while at school we used to try catching glimpses of the action through the windows of houses behind the school building. On the day of the final, I remember running out when school ended to catch the last hour and a half of the final. England in trouble, Lamb and Fairbrother fighting back - and then THOSE two balls. Richie Benaud, in his faraway voice, "Wasim Akraaam is on a hat trick..."

    I went for the Australia-New Zealand quarterfinal in 1996. It was my first time at a day night game. When I stepped back into the stadium after the dinner break I remember being completely awestruck by the floodlights. India's exit later that week was disappointing but I fully enjoyed Sri Lanka going on to triumph.

    Come 1999, and I was preparing to leave my hometown for my post graduate studies the day after the final. After the nail biting semi final I fully expected the final to be a let down - so I went out for some last minute shopping just as Pakistan were beginning their innings. Managed to catch some bits of the match at the store, and returned home in time to see Lehmann hit the winning runs.

    And in 2003, I had just started my working life - colleagues in the office had made big plans to watch the final at a pub and celebrate afterwards. We made it to the pub as planned, watched Ponting tear apart our bowling, and trooped out at the break with our tails firmly between our legs. I returned home and took in the rest of the beating in solitude.

    This time I will not be staying up late. I guess cricket has become secondary again - work, health, relationships...too many things on one's mind as one gets older. But perhaps in 2011, I'll be lining up for tickets once again.

  • tito jose on March 23, 2007, 13:08 GMT

    yes,soumya keep up the good work,tears came from my eyes,when i read ur coloumn which is like a xerox copy to mine.yes i am a die hard fan,who got married in 2003,the same day india got beaten in the finals..well they say every dog has its own day.thanks for the wonderfull post mr soumya..enough respect

  • S.N. IYER on March 23, 2007, 12:47 GMT

    Being 72 years old, I followed all world cups - but watching one was only possible when TV came in a big way in our country.We were rewarded by being able to see Kapil and his devils defeat the Great Windies in a low scoring match. Of course the turning point for India was Kapil's match saving innings against Zimbabwe which wwas not telecast. In 1987 a lot of action was expected and we had our own TV network.There was the usual hiccups when the TV staff went on strike and foreign technicians were employed. They were all day matches and one had to bunk office to see the matches. The 1992 World Cup was not telecast in full as satellite TV had not come to India. Radio commentary was the favored media then. In 1996,we had the games on the sub continent and fine telecast facilities. I enjoyed seeing all the matches except when we lost the semi final at Eden Gardens. The 1999 aworld Cup lost it's interest when India came in the Super sixes with difficulty and held no promise of coming to the finals. The 2003 World Cup was the most thrilling of them all and watching those matches was a real feast To sum up, I enjoyed my beer during every World Cup and often went to work to and managed to catch up on my sleep as I was the Boss Man.

  • nithakran on March 23, 2007, 11:00 GMT

    hey guys .... it is quite simple to be awake and it is the way it will be. what? well the sri lankans going to bat first and post a huge total and then the indians gonna chase and loose their wicket at a regular interval like they did to bangalis. withing may be a one hour or so every thing will be over. so u dont have to stay awake for a long. simple as that and if you wanna sleep soon just lets start pray from now onwards..... lol.

  • Soundar on March 23, 2007, 6:56 GMT

    Vital Stats: 41 y.o. P.I.O. Living in Melbourne.

    A dinner guest at my house mentioned 'It's like "What were you doing when Kennedy was shot" or "Bambi's mother was killed" '.

    As these references are exclusively American, a comparable frame of reference for us Cricket Tragics would be where were we during the signal moments of the world cups!

    Here are mine.

    1979. In a small town in Karnataka. Followed the BBC radio broadcast on our Philips radio(with a dusty cobwebbed aerial strung along the roof).

    Remember the group photo of the teams in the Illustrated Weekly of India with the debonair S.Venkataraghavan at the head of the Indians, his admired cowlick of hair across his forehead.

    1983. No TV yet in our small town. Followed the finals on the self same Philips. Srikkanth was my hero and I was way over the moon at his 38 runs and the enduring memory is the photo later in 'Sportstar' of him coverdriving, back knee on the ground.

    1987. In the TV era. Watched opener Tim Robinson of England get out in the finals before you could say 'Jack Robinson'.

    1992. A giddy youth in Melbourne. We'd made sure that a friend who had migrated a few days before the games started brought a large India flag. He bought the largest flag he could find from the Khadi Gramodyog in Bangalore. We took this flag to all the games India played. We had primed all friends in relatives in India to watch for the largest flag in the stadium, as we'd be under that. Still have this flag!!

    1996. Vinod Kambli with all the bells and whistles hanging off his headpiece in Kolkata and the disgraceful behaviour of the mob there. Also, the hiding the Aussies copped at the hands of the Sri Lankans and the wild celebrations.

    1999. Sadagopan Ramesh silkily easing a few through point and the blast he sheepishly copped from Alan Mulally after this. And of course the Dravid-Ganguly assault.

    I also attended the ticker tape parade for the Aussie heroes down Melbourne's Swanston Street.

    2003. Tendlya tearing strips off Akhtar.

    Also watching a few of the early league games at the Crown Casino where a large screen rear Projection TV was set up. Indian and Pakistani students on opposite sides of the viewing area with huge amounts of security to prevent any mishaps.

    The unnerving fly pasts of the South African Airways planes over the ground.

    I also remember telling someone that Ponting's bat seemed to be miles ahead of anyone elses. Much later he was banned from using the graphite backed bat which decimated India so.

    2007.

    The empty grounds and the likelihood of many TV exec heads rolling when India make their early exit. (Please, please prove me wrong!!)

  • Damith Kethaka on March 23, 2007, 5:33 GMT

    aha this is very creative idea..Thanks Soumya Bhattacharya, well i am a Sri Lankan,

    1983- was 1 year old..so far so good..was watching some weird men trying to run between a couple of fences on my dad`s lap.gee..these men really hated the ball.they hit it very hard..poor old ball 1987- "TAP" trying to mimic Arjuna Ranatunge with a plastic bat and a ball while dad and friends were talking about some strange places on earth like " silly-mid-off"..gee i`ve never visited these places.finally A man in yellow lifted what looked like a trainer commode i used when i was an infant.all that haa-ho comes down to this?? 1992- England only had so much to win but uncle Imran was still holding out..being a grade 4 student and proudly possesing a knowledge on cricketers that exceeded my academic knowledge (so to speak)..i enjoyed parroting how Arjuna and his boys overran a towering 312 by Zimbabwe..300+ scores in oneday cricket were surely believed as impossible without divine intervention those days.(we saw almost 10 instances so far in this high-scoring world cup..even 300 is falling out of high-security zone)..so it was almost another national day here.Uncle Imran admired the curry-bowl and we were happy with our share.i supported England and was alienated by a united grade 4 movement to support Pakistan.perhaps a bad choice but i still stand for it.only Imran stood between England and the cup. 1996- AW RIGHT..the race for the curry-Bowl has finally reached home.it`s now or never.with kneeling before the class on missed out home-work becoming a routine schedule for the grade-Eight me,i never enjoyed cricket as so much as then..Sanath Jayasuriya And Romesh Kaluwitarana avalanching down on stunned indians, throwing poor manoj prabhakar out of the game for good,54 runs for no loss in 3 overs,Sanath taking England for lunch,Shower of water bottles which followed a waterloo for india in the semis and finally the Nemesis against the Kangaroos (ironically for them as their captain out-rightly rejected our chances before the cup)and finally man in blue bringing home the curry-bowl inseperably attached me to cricket and it goes on till this very day. 1999- "..and thust shall the Empire fall to dust"..after invading all continents and being invinsible for over 3 years...thrashing the planet`s biggest stick score of 952/7 vrs India..100s after 100s from Aravinda-the-dreaded..Jayasuriya giving Lara goose-bumps with 340 vrs India..Dominating all forms of game..grabbing every cup stampeded(suitable word for competed)..the Empire was slowly sliding down..forget the GCE Advanced Level Exam drawing up close,it is time to rise to the call of the hour.England..here we come..we came..we saw..we got thwarted (india piled up 371)..and we left.so much for the small fortune we spent trying to back our team in the field..but it wasn`t all that bad after-all.nice experience.Curry-bowl went to the Kangaroos and we carried less home than what we took to the war.. 2003- well,well,well...look who`s back in the game..Lion`s nails are re-sharpened.Bsc Accounting and Finance didn`t mean more than the curry-bowl to me.KAVA BANGA.let slip the dog of war!!..kiwis bitten..Canadians thwarted..Windies robbed..YEE HAAH!!..oops Kenyans created a puddle..but the machine moves on..South Africans over the lack of calculators self-demolished..leaving us and indians to try and pummel the kangaroos..but kangaroos had the shot against us and india fell face down trying to kick the kangas a couple of days later..curry bowl was reclaimed by kanagaroos (gee..they are over-doing it!!) 2007- only Four letters!!...G.O.K.W (GOD ONLY KNOWS WHO )the curry-bowl is there smiling at us racers and supporters..kangaroos are limping, proteas are dreaming,Indians..well again G.O.K.W (GOD ONLY KNOW WHAT this time),Kiwis sharpening,windies hopping and hoping,English..yeah whatever,and us back again in the wild caribbean goose chase for the curry-bowl.being a Financial analyst and the staggering professional responsibilities (errm...ehemm..ehemm)never dare to stop me..the fan hardened over the years from sun and rain..from dedicating myself to the lion-banner..edge of the storm is hitting us tonight..here we go..never dare to blink your eye lids..do not give in to thy tempt of sleep..cos tonight is the mother of all nights..the whole nation is bracing for a big moment..rahul,sachin bring it on..WE ARE READY......

  • Ahmed Karim on March 23, 2007, 3:28 GMT

    Just a bit of background. I was born in India and moved to Pakistan in 1980 when I was ten.

    1983: Remember with absolute delight the joy of winning the cup. My father cried tears of joy. It was a pity we could not share our happiness with others since we were in Karachi, Pakistan. We had a special feast to celebrate. As a momento, my father still has the transistor radio that we used to listen to the commentary. He still has tears in his eyes when he talks about the 1983 win.

    Moved to Canada in 2000 and was again reunited with my Indian friends and relatives and the joy of enjoying cricket with like minded folks.

    2003: Had saved up all my vacations and had the good fortune of watching every ball of every Indian match. The next day, after every indian win, we would distribute doughuts to the whole office in the office kitchen. The office kitchen also had a Indian team blue poster. Cried like a baby at the final, but still at the end was very satisfied at the fabulous run that the team enjoyed in 1983. Before the match against Pakistan, newspapers in Canada carried a huge picture with a heading, "The Mother of all battles". Watched the game in a cinema in Toronto on the large screen and danced for joy for 2 hours in the mall parking lot celebrating the win. By far one of the most memorable cricket wins in my lifetime and equating to the Adelaide test win.

    2007: I am a die hard fan and am going to watch every ball of the Sri Lanka match. My team needs my support and i will not let them down. Once we are in the second round, there will be no stopping us. Even if we do not win ..... will keep faith and follow indian cricket passionately.

    Cheers.

  • bandu on March 23, 2007, 0:32 GMT

    1974 - Age 9. With my dad went to see the tour match of visiting West Indies ( with Lloyd, Richards, Fedricks Bachus etc.. ) at my home town Matara, SL. 1975 - Listing to first World cup. Hearing Lilliee and Thompson intentially injured Duleep Mendis and Sunil Wettimuny when SL poised to win against Australia. Those two spent days in hospital. Not only today, even that time Aussies played dirty, it is in their genes. 1979 - SL beating India in WC. 1983 -1989 - Watching Sanath growing up becoming a great cricketer. The icon of my home town. 1996 - WC glory. 1999 - India bt SL in WC for the first time. SL captaincy was given to Sanath. The biggest change in SL cricket history. Captaincy gone to out-station commoner from Colombo-Elites. 2007 - Waiting to sees how Sanath performs in his last WC.

  • Utsav Banerjee on March 21, 2007, 9:33 GMT

    The first cricket match that I remember to have watched is the India-Pakistan quarter final match in 1996. Prior to that I never watched cricket. No one in our family of four, except my mother, watched it. That was my first encounter with cricket, and I hardly understood the game at that time. It's not that I was too young. I was in grade 7 then. But then onwards, I have never looked back.

    I have survived three world cups since then, this one's the fourth one for me. My life has changed greatly since then. My perception of things, and of cricket, have changed. I considered the India-Pakistan face-off as a clash of egos. I desperately wanted to see pakistan lose that match, more than I wanted to see India win. But now I feel really sorry that Pakistan has already been ousted. The degree of disappointment I felt at their ouster was perhaps greater than what I felt when India lost to Bangladesh. I feel sorry that I would never be able to see Inzy in action again after today. I remember that when I had started watching cricket, I verbally abused evry oponent player that bowled out Sachin or Saurav or who made our bowlers look mere playthings. but now I have learnt to appreciate such things. In a nutshell, I was an Indian at the beginning....Now I am a cricket-lover. And being a cricket-lover, I hate watching Australia win matches over and over again in the same mechanical way that has become characteristic of them. They have taken away the most essential element from the game...it's human element.

    Though I will be hurt if India does not make it to the later stages of the current World Cup, I would be still happy if any other team, but Australia, lifts the trophy.

    I really wish it happens...

  • person with perspective on March 21, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    Don't you think you guys should get some perspective ? This is just a game. Someone has lost a life, and still people are playing although as if nothing much happened. And it's not like Bangladesh is a very bad team either, the Indian team was a little complacent and they paid for it. Associating one's life with cricket! Bah! Ridiculous. Get on with life, guys.

  • chanaka on March 21, 2007, 2:41 GMT

    how true Soumya Bhattacharya, you have hit the nail on the head in regards to how cricket is central to life

  • Vince on March 21, 2007, 2:18 GMT

    Reading your comments evoke many memories. 83 is hazy....all I remember is Marshall coming in to bowl...shirt collar flapping in the air as he ran. I was 7 and this was on a B & W Tv. 87 was oh so different. We won the mini World Cup and the pic of Shastri on that Audi still brings fond memories. I had high hopes and when India trounced New Zealand, I was over the moon tilll Gooch swept us away. But somehow as a passionate boy who loved cricket specially the 5 day kind, I hoped 4 years would bring a different story.

    I remember 92 clearly, I was walking through a street in Chembur watching the India Australia match on the TV's in a Tv store. And the sight of Javagal and Raju trying their darned best still makes me sigh. I think 96 was when I realized that somethings are just not meant to be, drowning my sorrows in a beer as Eden Gardens was lit up in protests. 2003 I thought we were played well and lost to a better team or the best team. Lets see what 2007 brings. It's funny how your life passes you by and sometimes all you can remember is what you were doing when Shastri was Champion of Champions. Or when Miandad was launching Chetan Sharma into the air. I was so nervous, I couldn't see the last ball and walked away. Good thing in hindsight. If anything or for anyone...i'd like for Tendlya, Dravid and Ganguly to win this one. To hold a Cup that means so much to so many.

  • MCR on March 20, 2007, 20:42 GMT

    Soumya, what a poignant view on life and cricket – makes you realise that regardless of culture, country, religion, job, number of kids, team supported – we all share a very common bond. Which is an irrepressible urge to support our selected team regardless of how good or terrible they may be at any given point. I think the one thing that marks a real cricket supporter is those of us who cannot turn to another channel even when our teams are playing terribly. It’s such a horrid feeling but you cannot turn over – miracles may just happen – and sometimes do – even in cricket. I particularly understand the difficulty of staying awake when the World Cup is played in a distant time zone. No wonder productivity drops all over the world when the World Cup is on. However, we all have four years after the Cup is over to catch up on sleep, missed meals and repair some of the relationships that typically suffer when cricket takes over our lives. Actually I would not change it for the world. Best of luck to all of you hardened supporters out there – unfortunately, statistically the vast majority of us are going to be disappointed again. But at least we will have another four years to start dreaming about victory again.

  • bimalke on March 20, 2007, 18:50 GMT

    1987 - Remember watching it but was 7 and can't remember anything significant 1992 - I was really into cricket by this time - watched the whole tournament! Being Sri Lankan was happy to see us beat SA in a close game. although the rest of the tournament was forgetful for SL, its still my favourite world cup tournament. The atmosphere in the grounds were awesome and was so colourful!

    1996 - what can I say? My dad insisted we'd win the world cup before the tournament started - like any 16 year old I thought "whats does he know?". He was right in the end and one of the few times I've been glad he was! If I was watching as a neutral apart from a couple of games not a great spectacle

    1999- again apart from a coupe of games (i.e Aus-SA semi) the most boring world cup ever for the simple fact I don't have any lasting memories!

    2003 - tournament ruined by the fact that Kenya and Sri Lanka (yes i'm sayin it!) got to the semi finals. We lost most of our super six games and only got through because we carried full points from the group stage thanks to Shaun pollock! Although we should have won that semi after restricting the aussies to 207, the best 2 teams got to the final.

    2007 - Its already the most eventful world cup ever! I hope it stays that way.

  • Adeel Sheikh on March 20, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    1983- incidentally, the year i was born 1987- hazy memories of playing with toys while elders of the family are shouting. They now inform me that it was fateful semifinal clash against the Aussies. 1992- cricket crazy in grade 4 school. remember faking an upset stomach and calling my car to school to watch the pak srilanka match. remember waking up at 4 am to watch the match whilst my mom thought i was an abnormal 8 yr old. remember inziz and miandads innings and moins 2 sixes in the semifinal. remember every balll of the 92 world cup. remember replaying wasim's two beauties in the final over n over for a long time. 1996- remember mostve it as a class 8 student. the qf left me in a state of shock and grief that was only redeemed by India's semifinal debacle. 1999- O-level finals and still watched the matches( though i shocked my family with straight As) i remember feeling sick after the final, though the feeling wasnt as bad as it is now( with the heavens crashing down on pakistan cricket) 2003- was studying in england so just managed to watch the pak-india match with indian n paki friends in an indian friends dorm common room since we didnt get sky sports. it was one of the more enjoyable days even though we lost. One room, equallly divided with indian n paki students jostling and shouting at each other during the match, yet evrything remained lighthearted. 2007- debating whether to watch cricket anymore. the golden generation of pakistani crickets are gone. the age of aussie domination is killing the game.

  • jaan baaz on March 20, 2007, 17:40 GMT

    No one wants to talk about my Bermuda. They still have a chance if they beat Bangladesh on last day. Assuming Srilanka win all of their matches against Bangladesh and INdia. This will result in three team with 2 points. Three way tie for second place. Run rate come into play. If Bermuda net run rate is higher after the completion of three games they are in. Ofcourse this also means Bangladesh can lose all of their games, they still have a chance and India can lose to Srilanka and they still have a chance.

  • ARR on March 20, 2007, 15:53 GMT

    I still remember 2003 finals clearly. The first over from Zaheer that was ominous of the things to come, his staring at the Australian openers, perhaps our guys got too pumped up.

    After Sachin got out, I called my friend and we went out and got drunk (not too much for my wife to get upset about though :)).

    Well, I went through similar hell on the night of 17th. Fortunately next day was a holiday and hence could watch as late as I could. When the scoreline said less than 50 to win with plenty of wickets in hand, I slept off, having smoked too many cigarettes already and ofcourse feeling miserable. I sincerely hope some day, our demi-gods and the entire cricketing system of this country does justice to the vast community of fans like us.

  • murtaza hussain on March 20, 2007, 14:15 GMT

    1975.. WASNT EVEN BORN 1979.. ONE YR OLD. 1983.. HEARD ABT INDIA WINNING WHEN I WAS IN INDIA IN 1990 DURING THE GULF CRISES. EVACUATED FROM KUWAIT. 1987.. GOT TO KNOW THAT PAKIS WERE AT THIER BEST .. BUT COULDNT WIN. 1992....WEL WEL.....U KNOW WHAT .. IT WAS ONLY WHEN I STARTED SUPPORTING PAKISTAN....WEL A DIE HARD FAN EVEN NOW...THEY WERE THE CHAMPS! WASIMS TWO IN TWO BALLS IN THE FINALS , INZI'S SEMI FINAL INNINGS .. CAN NEVER BE FORGET.....AS THEY SAY THAT 99% PRAYERS AND FAITH .. AND 1% MEDICINE WORKS IN SUCH TIMES. IMRAN'S CORNERED TIGERS... 1996. WAS DISAPPOINTED . PAKIS LOST TO INDIA. 1999. PAKIS AT THEIR BEST. SPECIALLY THE GRP MATCH BETWEEN PAKIS AND AUSSIES....WASIM AKRAM SPELL. ....BUT AS THEY SAY .. WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND. LOST THE FINALS TO AUSSIES .. IN THE MOST DISSAPPOINTING MANNER. 2003 & NOW 2007.. OH I M WONDERING AS TO WHY THEY PLAYED THE WORLD CUP.. THEY NEVER DESERVED TO BE IN IT.. AND AGAIN THE SAD AND UNTIMELY DEMISE OF BOB WOOLMER..:(

    HE GAVE HIS LIFE FOR CRICKET....MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE. AAMIN!

  • Abhishek on March 20, 2007, 14:07 GMT

    This is one of the most interesting threads that I have come across recently...forced me to wear my thinking cap and go back in time. 1983(Aged 7@India)...Kapil's catch and Marshall's frame sprawled on the grass at Lords, sobbing inconsolably were the only lasting memories. 1987(India)...Tie with Australia,Azhar's 3 wickets as a bowler,Gavaskar's last hurrah(as Srikanth watched,bemused),Chetan Sharma'r hattrick all died an inglorious death on the "sweep-match" contest with England...while Gooch and Gatting succeded,Kapil failed.Pointless to say,who I was rooting for at Eden Gardens. 1992(Board Exams)...A nightmare for me extended to the Indian Team down under(on second thoughts,maybe I fared marginally better)...waking up at 4am in the morning and tip-toeing to switch the TV on with the mute button on(for obvious reasons)and carrying transistors to the examination center are the only endearing memories from that one. 1996...Clash of the batting titans! Sachin,Sanath and Mark Waugh and their exploits with the bat(..and sometimes the ball,for the last two,how can a I forget that?),Jadeja moment of glory and the will of steel of De Silva and Arjunga as they dismantled the Aussies at Lahore are the ones's I'd like to remember but what I do instead is,the memory of rushing off to Eden Garden with flags and banners,cheering Arvinda initially to post a "decent" score for India to chase and watch Sachin post another century....oh!What a nightmare it turned out to be. 1999...a drab one for me except for the customary Pakistan match and Rahul and Sourav's heroics at Taunton where the ball just kept flying out of the park! 2003...adventurous for me as well as the team.New job,new assigment but not at the right place to start with..Norway, in February for a bengali is as familiar as rosogolla is to a Viking but I hung on...the flirtations with cricinfo started and it was my guiding light till I took the flight home just in time to watch the finals, the only LIVE match that I got to watch on WC,03...maybe I should have stayed back in Norway for a few days more! 2007...Let's watch it and wait for this thread to continue...

    Adious.

  • Rajesh Singh on March 20, 2007, 11:50 GMT

    Nostalgic memories with each WC. You guys forced me think phases of my life in terms of 4 years . 1983: I was too young to understand what was happeing and we had no TV. But I watched final match at neighbours ,not becos i understood the importance of that win ,but because all my friends and uncles refused to leave the TV. I could not exactly fathom,what was going on but I relaised everybody was happy ,so i was happy. 1987: I was in 8th standard,I had started understanding cricket and the madness associated with WC and watched all matches till Gooch swept India and my excitment aside. 1992: I was playing cricket at school level myself ,so I had started understanding the game from a players perspective ,but except the India-Pak match ,there was mostly sadness at each match 1996: Final college year, exams just over, had a college sweetheart and was playing college cricket also. Had to balance them all and then watch the match till Jayasuriya and DeSilva broke my cup of joy.Ironically my gf & I broke up soon after. Sometimes wonder if SL had anything to do with it.LOL

    1999 : Working in IT company as programmer ,madly in love with a new girlfriend,and as luck would have it,she was sent to UK on an assignment form my company.She got to watch the India-Zimbabwe match there ,while I watched on TV ,trying to loacte her anf my other office colleagues in the crowd.

    2003: Married her a month before the WC started. Anf with me still in honeymoon mood,we watched Ganguly and co,India cross hurdle after hurdle to the final. I still remember Mark Nicholas asking Mandira Bedi how she had partied after the Indo-Pak match and she replied "This is a family channel". And moment she said that I looked at my wife and we both had a grin cos we had knew exactly what Mandira was talking about.

    2007: Shifted to Canada and was busy the day India lost to bangladesh at work but was seeing cricinfo commentary all time. Wonder if this WC will be the best one for me in terms of India victory.

  • Surfer on March 20, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    hi pal... its good to know ur view .. i am sure u aint gonna go wrong ma8.. so sup and be positive... we will make it this time.. we have big guns and firepower youth to go with the billions and millions of supporters world wide pal ma8.. so cheerup lad and cheer for india

  • prashanth on March 20, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    Hi Guys i was six when india won the worldcup (1983) and dint have a cue what it was.It gives me goose bumps when i see kapil lift the cup.

    1987 became ardent fan at 10 and gooch sweep and sweep our hopes.

    1992 -at 15 watched one of the worst world cups except for india-pakistan match .

    1996 was memorable till srilanka got us out for 120 still remeber theose in my engg where we used to watch the match in the dorms with all my friends .If it wouldnt have been for the toss things would have been better.

    1999 - out of college and at 20 i still dream if india can win the cup and the same story continues and we are out in super six.

    2003 -at 24 i start working india does well to progress till the punter pulls out all his aces and goes the dream of the indian team and mine.

    2007 at 30 iam expecting my first kid and still dream india can win until bangladesh romp us and still dream that we can beat srilanka witha better margin .

    My question is will india lift the cup during my lifetime

    Prashanth ardent fan

  • Nataraj on March 20, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    1975 and 1979 - I wasn't born 1983- Wasa 3.5.Didn't watch only heard my brother telling about it.

    1987- Was in school,Started watching. Chetan Sharma's Hattrick, Gavaskar's first ODI century, losing to ENG in Semis.... 1992- Was in High School waking up early to watch Indian matches Win over Pak, Zim playing well against India, Losing to AUS by 1 Run, SA loss due to D/L methid Brian Mcmillan in tears..

    1996- During my XIth Exams Sachin's 1st WC century, Kenya's win over WI, QF agaonst PAK, Jadeja hitting Waqar, Harris's hitting, Jayasuriya and Kalu blasting, Aravinda Desilva's awesome batting, ball turning square ,finals on the previos day of my XIth Chemistry exam.....

    1999- During my engineering India losing to ZIM, Shoaib's heroics Klusener's demolition batting,Ganguly's hitting India's loss to Aussies in the Super Six(thanks to Glen Mcgrath Hershelle Gibbs dropping Waugh Lance Klusener's tracer bullet shots thro covers in the SF last over...

    2003- Working catching all the news and action on the Net, enhancing my knowledge India's dismal performance in the 1st 2 matches coming back to win all the matches enroute to final.Sachins batting against arguably best the attack in recent times(Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib)Bond's demolition act, Bevan and Bichels' comebacks, Davison heroics,Ashish Nehra spell, Kenya surprise Zaheer Khan's eternal over Ponting thrashing the Indians.......

    2007- Glued to Cricinfo and other sites 2 months prior trying to catch all the updates taken permission to come to office very late...

  • Ambuj Kumar on March 19, 2007, 11:15 GMT

    Great posts. Can't stop myself from writing down my memories.

    1983 - I was barely 1 year old. Don't remember anything :-) 1987, 1992 - I didn't understand cricket much.

    1996 - This was the time when I actually started taking interest in cricket - courtesy the monsters called Sanath Jayasurya, Arvinda de silva and Arjuna Ranatunga. I remember Jadeja's thrashing to Waqar Younis.

    1999 - With a plaster cast on my right leg, and in my 12th standard, preparing hard for all engineering entrance exams - I had watched all - the shameful loss to South Africa, that thrilling 3 run loss against Zimbabwe, the 140 notout innings by Tendulkar coming back after his father's funeral, another gem of an innings by Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly against Sri Lanka - I remember that was the match from which I really started to admire Rahul Dravid. Just like most of the people, i too used to hate Dravid for his slow batting, but for that match. The super-6 was horrible - nothing worth mentioning.

    2003 - This was the time when my passion was on a all time high. I was an engineering student staying at hostel which accomodated about 400 students - 3rd year - my room had a big poster containing the entire world cup schedule. I religiously followed all matches alongwith my hostel-mates, and used to keep score of all matches.

    I have some funny memories of those days - I alongwith my room-mate used to steal chairs from the TV room of hostel the night before every match. When the match would start, we would step-in with our prized possessions - the chairs, and would sit in the front row like kings. The TV room used to be full to the capacity - guys standing on the window frames too to get a glimpse of the match. You couldn't figure out the difference between the actual stadium and our TV room. We had watched each and every match - the Feb-Mar 2003 was one of the most unforgettable times, despite the fact that our mid-semester exams were going on. We used to watch full match till late night, then start studying at 3 am or so, go for exam at 10 am. Then, after returning from exam, we would all sleep after lunch, to get charged up for the evening - not to forget stealing of chairs :-)

    Guys used to come with Indian flags in their hands. I can still hear the echo "Jeetegaa bhai jeetegaa India jeetegaa" roaring thru my ears whenever India is about to win any match - the deafening roar whenever any Indian player would hit a 4 or 6 or take a wicket. the shower of all chosen hindi abuses whenever any Pakistani player would hit a 4 or 6, and lots and lots more.

    The final was a heartbreak. Many guys in our hostel had not taken dinner that day when India lost. We kept on sitting in the Tv room till the 10th Indian wicket fell. Many guys had come to the TV room with their faces painted in tricolor to watch the final. Their colors were all dried up - and their was dead silence in the jam-packed tv room for the first time ever in my entire college life.

    2007 - I live alone, work from 9am to 7pm - return home, and watch the half of first innings cooking food for myself. Whenever I see India win (not referring to this world cup), I feel like roaring again just the way we used to do in 2003, but the voice just gets stuck in my throat. Also, now I can't afford to watch the match till late night as I have to go for work the next day. Life has changed a lot.

  • Harinderpal Singh on March 19, 2007, 11:04 GMT

    I was born in India and studied till grafe 9 in India and been here in Canada since then.

    My dad owns a business in Punjab, and i remember when ever India played a game, no work would ever get done. Basically u will see 10 - 15 workers around the TV and that was pretty much the entire day.

    I remember back in grade 6 (1999) my teacher told the class monitors to make a Poster and saying "Bring back the World cup - India".

    I played cricket at home all the time, just like every Indian does at home, in galli's and with friends. All we look for is little bit space to mark some sorta wickets, and a fake boundary, it being a wall right infront of u, a building, or just a tall khamba (pole).

    Hope India does Rebound and atleast manage to go to next round.

    Good luck everyone and hope India wins this cup and prove that History does repeat itself.

    If not in 2007, then there is always 2011.

    !!!Go InDiA gO!!!

  • Saurabh on March 19, 2007, 9:40 GMT

    Briliant post on an otherwise tragic day. You have so charmingly and lucidly put to word the experiences of most cricket fans.

    1987 - I was five years old and do not remember much except my curiosity at my father's and elder sister's jubilation on a win against New Zealand (only later did I learn about the hat trick and the century).

    Before 1992 world cup, my love for cricket took a dramatic turn as I read in "Indian Cricket", much to my incredulity, that India had actually won the world cup in 1983. I had also started bunking school and very soon my immune system had adjusted itself to Indian cricket team's schedule. The fact that Aquib Javed took a hat trick the first time I bunked school for 'stomach problems' did nothing to deter the periodic break down of my health. I still remember eating curd rice for break fast while Mark Greatbatch went after Indian bowlers.

    I had great memories of watching Sachin, Warne and De Silva's exploits in 1996 World Cup along with hundreds of boys in hostel. It was closest to watching in a stadium and there was this poor boy who turned up in the recreation hall with a Pakistani flag during the Bangalore match and was soundly thrashed by others. For once, seniority was laid to rest though I wonder whether that attack had more to do with revenge for ragging than with any form of extreme chauvinism.

    Watched the 1999 World Cup at home during the summer vacation and got my parents agitated and concerned about my routine use of four and eight letter words which I had picked up by then. But I think they were more distraught at the shocking collapse against Olonga and then later against Glenn Mcgrath. But that pain was assuaged if not erased by Taunton and Old Trafford. But for me , the most striking memory was my elder sister being reduced to tears after the Australia- South Africa tie. I was the only one supporting Australia at home and incidentally, my sister stopped sending me rakhi since then. Being a good brother I do not want to say much......

    I was back to a hostel (college this time) in 2003 World Cup and February-March 2003(in spite of the disappointment in Final and US invasion of Iraq) have been the most enjoyable and unforgettable two months of my life. Wearing the same shirt for nine matches in a row, listening to the same songs (admittedly, it all came unstuck at Wanderers).....but those there the days...

    I have been watching this tournament all alone at home and it is just not the same. Just itching to get back to college. Still longing for the spring of 2003. I just hope our team, unlike me, comes out of the past.

  • Debashish Ghosh on March 19, 2007, 7:13 GMT

    I remember the 83 WC final like it was y'day. I remember distinctly the transmission had gone off for some reason at the start off the WI innings but as soon as it came back BW Sandhu came up with that once-in-a-life-time ball to dismiss Greenidge. And when Richards was going berseck we had thought of turning the television off, but then the rest, as they say is history. Do u remember the victory procession the went thru all the localities that day. Our life literally changed that day. 1987 is kind of a blur because of board exams and all but still managed to sneak in Gavaskar's maiden one-day century and Chetan Sharma's thrown hattrick. Also remember Graham Gooch sweeping Maninder Singh and India out of the competition. 1992 - I was at BIT Mesra for my studies and I think it was the most enjoyable WC I have had since the 83 wc. We had lot of fun and still remember the famous last ball swipe that Srinath took, which Steve Waugh dropped at the boundary and for some inexplicable reason Srinath was caught ball watching and he was run out and India lost by one run. Also could never forget the changes NZ and Martin Crowe brought to one-day cricket with pinch hitters (Greatbatch) and opening the bowling with Dipak Patel. And finally the murderous assault of Inzi which silenced the Kiwis and the reverse swinging yorkers at express speed that Akram bowled. 1996 I was back in Kolkata and working. Will never forget the India Pakistan game. We were watching the game at a friend's place and there were about 20 of us. Pakistan had done very well to restrict India but Jadeja just took the game away from them with some clinical hitting. And then who can forget the Sohail-Prasad saga. And unfortunately I was there in the stands during the India Sri Lanka semi final game which must be marked as a black spot in Kolkata's rich sporting tradition. It seemed that the rowdy crowds from the EB/MB soccer games had descended in droves at Eden Gardens and had totally destroyed the cricketing traditions of the hallowed ground. I have not been to a cricket game since. 1999 and 2003 were viewed in the USA, more about them in my next comment

  • Sreedhar on March 19, 2007, 4:32 GMT

    Well, back in India, I couldn't handle an Indian defeat, especially in WC games '87 and '92. There always used to be several instances of guys breaking their new TV sets but what's worse was having to bear the pain in your heart and not able to vent it out to a point that it becomes suffocating, all the while asking why, why, why did he get out or .... Anyways, I still feel the pain when India looses especially in 2003 finals and asked the same question, if only Sehwag didn't collide and got run out, if only it didnt rain ..., but thankfully it (India's loss) doesn't suffocate me anymore. I dont know how much I hated Pakistan back in '92 when they won WC, but now it is one of my favorite teams. I guess all this change in attitude is a combination of change of priorities in life when you are 36 vs when you are 21, and may be some wisdom that came along with the age. The other fact which I find very nostalgic is that all (well most) players in any team are about my age when I was back in India 15 years ago, and it only feels like yesterday. My, how time flies.

  • kUMARAN on March 19, 2007, 2:22 GMT

    It was in 1999 world cup, I started to gain more knowledge about cricket, at that time i was 12 years old and living in Srilanka, I was an ardent supporter of India, thaugh India did not play well in that tournament, most enjoyable match was that of India Vs Srilanka as Ganguly scored one of the best of his career. For the 2003 world cup i shifted myself to Canada, and have been living here since then.

  • shukla on March 19, 2007, 1:42 GMT

    This is actually a really good point... I'm fairly younger than the writer himself, but I do tend to assess my life every time a WC comes around... I was 3 in 1992, and was told that Pakistan is our neighbor, and we're pretty much the same. Hence, I was among the few Indians that celebrated Pak winning that cup. Apparently, I was also a huge Imran Khan fan, which honestly, I dont even remember. 1996 was the turning point as far as my cricket watching is concerned. I remember the game against Pak in Bangalore really well, and also the thrashing at the hands of Lanka in the semis. By the '99 world cup, I was a die hard fan and remember coming back from a restaurant and switching on the TV to see the last part of the India-Zimbabwe game which we lost due to a ridiculous number of extras. I also remember the final, where some friends and I set up a Brian Lara Cricket game next to the TV to play an Aus-Pak game while watching the real one. 2003 was the best though, and I remember India's collapse against Australia in the group game, and also watching all of the India-Pak game (YES!!!), and missing the 1st half of the final since I was travelling that day, and coming back home and looking at Australia's score, thinking it was 260 instead of 360 at first... This time around I'm in the US and can watch games during the day.. so that makes a big difference!

  • nick on March 19, 2007, 1:40 GMT

    Hi all,

    nice blog...i must say. surely my life has changed but my passion for cricket has been just going up over the yrs. I feel proud to say that from a mere fan of Indian cricket team, now i have become a fan of the sport itself. these days i try to see all good matches (hard isn't it? ... for a indian expat working in US). Passion has grown so much lately that i want to do so much to spread cricket in USA (specifically) and around the world but don't know how to help. anyways, going back to the world cup memories...

    '92 was the first WC i watched. colour clothing (best cricket outfit overall), AUS-NZL grounds, the crowd, nail-biting finishes, new zealand's unstoppable rocket launching, spectacular catches, south africa's mighty (but very unfortunate in the end) WC entry and the whole tempo was just amazing and hard to describe. Biggest disappointment was the rain rule that won pakistan the WC from the shared 1 pt that got from England...so ridiculous. SA were the true champs.

    96': don't have much memory except that India beat Pak in quarter-final fixture. didn't like the tournament format that much though. knock-out stages should be best-of-3 matches to find true champion.

    99': fortunately again in western world. is it just me or western nations make things look so grand. Hate it when WC takes place in subcontinents. .... it was sad that ENG didn't make it super-6 (good concept) and zim made it (if i am not mistaken). Glad that India and AUS beat Pak. i agree 2 best team at the time met in the final.

    '03: 2 best team, AUS and IND, met in final one more time and AUS showed why they are way more skilled and up from rest of the world....Sad that SA were worst @ home.

    '07: it is here. sad that could not pursue my plans hard enough to go to WI and settled with buying WC package for $250 (US dollars) which as i fan i may say not many people buy it single-handedly. i wake up at @6am after barely 4 hr overnight sleep; watch 1st inning for 2 hrs; go to work and try very hard not to check out websites and hear from friends on what happened on a given day; come back and watch the recorded full matches in the evening ( which is live for me :)) Hurray!!!! Ireland knocked pakistan out. Like the format very much. more armature nations but at the same time teams not taking them seriously may get kicked out of WC and hence even pre super8 stage has its value. IRISH FANS ARE JUST AWESOME.........it is so great that they make we wait for ireland match. rest of the matches seem out of excitement. like the party atmosphere along side the game that gives you (rather your family) something else besides 8 hr long cricket match (we all know that not very many matches get close). i hope this time NZ, SA or ENG win. it will be good for cricket if ENG wins and spread cricket in europe and USA.

    i hope you will enjoy rest of it as much as i will.

    long live Cricket.

  • Gulzeb Niazi on March 19, 2007, 0:39 GMT

    I remember the 1992 world cup just a little bit. Things I remember very well from that world cup are the two Wasim Akram wickets in the final, the celebrations after world cup and the whole country going cricket crazy during and after that world cup. My brothers and me also switched from playing football in the park on the weekends to playing cricket instead. Hokcey, which had been interesting till then also suddenly became boring. Instead of going to Hockey matches at the National Stadium, Lahore we were going to the neighboring Qaddafi stadium. By the time the 1996 worldcup came around, cricket was the biggest sport around everywhere I saw. Me also being 12 years old then, I remember it much better. Jayasuria's fantastic opening innings cannot be forgotten by anyone who saw that world cup. Pakistan though could not have suffered a worse fate than they did. I remember the match going ok until the last four overs where Waqar and Aqib gave up more than 60 or so runs with Jadeja killing almost every ball. Then the Aamir Sohail fingerwag, bowled next ball and inability of middle order to accelerate the innings. That was the first time I remember seeing the dark side of Pakistan's love for cricket. It seemed like everyone was out to get the very people who had tried to take the country to glory once again. World Cup 1999, Pakistan had gotten ahold of some good allrounders in Razzaq, Azhar and Afridi and after Javed Miandad being appointed as coach, the focus was back on the slog overs rather than the overs with fielding restrictions. The approach bore fruit for Pakistan as they played well throughout the tournament. I remember the group match against Australia to particularly fantastic. Yet, when the final came around, there was disappointment yet again. Pakistan crashed ot a very low total and during the innings break, we left the house to play cricket ourselves and we saw a whole lot of other people do the same. It was pretty weird because during all the other matches, there was not a soul to be seen out on the streets or in the parks. I ended up watching only a couple of overs from the second innings. That was the day I lost genuine interest in cricket and in sports in general. 2003 came and passed and I did not even know about what became of the tournament until the 2007 edition came around. I had started following cricket again during 2005 home series with England. And Pakistan flattered to deceive yet again as everything fell apart after the notorious Oval test. Defeat at the hands of Ireland and subsequent death of Woolmer are things I shall remember forever.

  • BHASKAR MUKHERJEE on March 18, 2007, 23:30 GMT

    Thanks Soumya My life seems to be a bit similar to yours. Recently I was discussing the same topic of what we did in varoius World Cup football finals and then the topic as usual went back to cricket. I have 2 sons and the cup finals have always been revolving around them. My youngest was just born and I was hoping DADA would do it but we all know why it did not happen!!! 1983 SEEMS A LONG TIME BACK. THIS WORLD CUP would be similar to the ones where India took part just as minnows eg 1975 and 1979. Sitting in my Lounge in the beginning of an ENGLISH spring it seems that the cup would spoil the coming of summer .

  • Avinash on March 18, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    Well I was born for a start :D......was 1 in 1987 etc..i remember 1996...and sachin hitting 136* and losing to srilanka....i remember prasad saying somethig to sohail....and asking dad what he said :D...my dad candidly (now I realised) told me he was told to go "for water"...it actually rhimed with what he said..the lips atleast..try it :D... and calcutta and the crowd...well atleast the pieces of concrete coming outta the seats...now we know why the BCCI never bothers to put new seats in the building ;)......1999..I remember sachin's telling the presenters this is for you dad....and ravi on commentry echoing his comments...touching moment if there was any of a man committed to his nation....he didnt need to come....when adam gilchrist was told it was ok to miss the world cup beginning for the birth of his kid...i was wondering whether we even thought of giving this allowance to sachin......barbaric and uncouth expecting a person to play after cremating his father!!.....but hey we are india who gives anything about others we want india to win....hope we dont go the gollum way(LOTR).....unless we already have........2003 i was disenchanted and shocked by the way we were massacared by Australia..i took solace in the fact that well.... atleast they were the only ones doing that to us...and needless to say my 12th boards suffered immensely due to our success.... 2007....well looks like anyone can do that to us now... will dravid and co please put us out of our misery... let atleast the 12th board students study in peace.....well...i had to look at positives aint I :D

  • Santhosh Thadigiri on March 18, 2007, 22:32 GMT

    Thanks for your thoughts Soumya. I was 12 when we won the World Cup in 1983. Similar to your experience, I recall hanging out with a bunch of older 'cool' kids in the neighborhood. I remember the power outage during the time that Viv Richards was out from a brilliant catch by Kapil Dev. I remember the power coming back on (we were in Chennai at that time) and realizing that the game had turned a corner. I was looking at some photos last night and stumbled upon the photo of Viv Richards making the shot that ended in a catch. World Cup every year is certainly nostalgic and is a trip down memory lane.

    I recall during the same WC, that I was trying to catch the commentary on a small radio. During the game with Zimbabwe, we were down 17 for 5. The radio reception was bad (and I don't think this game was broadcast on TV). I went to bed sad that we would lose, only to wake up in the middle of the night hoping against hope that a miracle had played out in the interim. I fondly remember the thrill and excitement when through the really bad radio reception I gleaned that Kapil Dev was still batting with his score in the 160s.

    That was about 24 years ago; times have changed and my life has changed. We are expecting our first child and I am looking forward to the time that I can teach her and talk to her about this wonderful game of cricket. In the meanwhile, I have been teaching and talking about it to my friends and colleagues in the US who admire our passion for the game and wonder what it is that makes us so gung ho about a game (especially one that takes such a long time to play).

    Well thanks for the opportunity to share! And do keep the posts coming...

    Santhosh

  • Ramayya on March 18, 2007, 22:22 GMT

    It is not just about the ability to stay up late and the price one needs to pay for watching the sport. It is that missing element of surprise and awe that also has a part to play in ones receding passion for the game.

    I was born in India and grew up loving the sport just as everyone else; saw the Indians get lucky in 1983, followed by a turn in the standard of cricket in India. The way the Indians performed in Australia to win the Australasia cup and Ravi Shastri showing off his Audi is still vividly etched in my memory. I moved to Australia in 1992 and then saw the Indians getting humiliated by the Aussies in late nineties with my own naked eyes. I felt so bad for the little genius Tendulkar (then captain) and legend of Indian cricket Kapil Dev (then coach). The Aussies didn't just beat them with bat and ball on the field, but went after them with the media, the umpiring and what not. I beleive that tour has a lot to do with the stumping of the genius of Tendulkar. The Aussies did win the series overwhelmingly, but did loose a few fans, including some potentially new ones.

    However, off-late, I have developed a sense of respect for the Aussie cricket. They have not only proven time and again that they are the best in the world, they have also challenged the fanaticism and beleifs of a cricket fan. Almost every fan in the Indian sub-continent, be it an Indian, or Sri Lankan or Pakistani, has come to accept the difference in standards of cricket played by their national team and that of Australia. It is this amputation of the spirit of the cricket fan which makes it difficult for one to stay up late in the night and watch the game with as much passion and enthusiasm as one did in the past.

  • Aleem on March 18, 2007, 19:06 GMT

    During the world cup of 1992 I was 9 and still remember the excitement of winning the final, and enjoying the win for ummm.... atleast till the 1996 banglore quarter-final loss :P..... but this time around, though I am not a "soon to be middle aged" man , I still have to wake up at 7:00 in the morning and rush to my 9 hour job (add the 3.5 hours of commute to that) which makes it really hard to wait for the end of the match. I still inquire about the scores from my mobile service provider first thing after I gain conscious.

    PS: I live and work in karachi

  • Parameshwaran G on March 18, 2007, 19:00 GMT

    Nice one Soumya. I do not remember much of 1983, being just 4 years old. There are moments of 1987 which are vivid in my memory. As we all know those were the days of Doordarshan and during that period Television was just coming into everyone's homes. I distinctly remember the last over bowled by Steve Waugh to Maninder Singh in that famous 1 run victory at Chepauk. Another thing I remember is my dad describing Dave Houghton's magnificent innings against New Zealand as well as Martin Crowe's superb catch that many still feel is one of the best. 1987 was in many ways the competition that really made cricket the premier game in India.

    My Vision of 1992 is a blurred one;one thing I do remember is the Kiran More & Javed Miandad incident.

    About 1996, I was in the 12th standard and at that point of time completely cricket crazy. Before the start of 2007 WC, just opened my scrap book where I had compiled the profiles of all players of all teams competing in the WC of 1996 as well as "My" match reports for all the matches with more pages and words written on the Quarters, Semis and the Finals.

    1999 World Cup came and went with not really getting into one's nerves.

    The last world cup was one of the best conducted ones and of course our team did exceedingly well. I remember watching the Semi-Finals with Kenya on big screen in a auditorium and it was a great experience and the finals, at least the first few overs we were dancing and chanting.

    Circa 2007, more mature and as Soumya mentioned...really not able to sit through to the wee hours of morning to see the matches. Atleast not yet :-)

    As a final note, its fascinating how the WC has evolved. Come 2011 with the sub-continent hosting it again, I am sure it would be a grand show and fabulous atmosphere.

  • Owais on March 18, 2007, 18:25 GMT

    1983 - In Nigeria, no clue about cricket or teams or players, 11 years old. No coverage either. 1987 - In Pakistan, no clue about strategy, knew players and quite upset. 1992 - In Nigeria again. Heard about victory on BBC world service on SW. No clue about players or teams. Yelled horray in the house but only a quiet whisper of echo of walls replied. Again, no coverage. 1996 - Never mind. 2003 - Followed every game. But what an Ouch. 2007 - Followed the team very very intently for 4 years during teh rebuilding. Thank God I didnt buy that 40" plasma to watch Pakistan. My new Fav team is now Bangladesh. Go Tigers!!

  • Ram on March 18, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    My first world cup was the 1992 WC. I was in th second grade and India played England in their first match. As we did not have cable tv (my bro's studies, you see) we all saw the match in my uncles place. I rember that WC for being kicked out of my house to school by mom (matches wer in the morning), Greatbatch, Lara and a six by Subrotto Bannerje.

    Like most Indians, I got a ringside view of the 1996 edition. Somehow, I have no vivid memories of that WC. That could be because I was an adolscent and there were other things that were on my mind.

    The 1999 was a special one. It was around the same time that my cousin was getting married. Almost 20 of us saw the Ind-SL match at Taunton. I will never forget that match. `On the off-side, next to God there is Ganguly'. Though India did not do a great job, this was one of the best W.C. I would call this the Family Edition.

    I was in the IIT during th 2003 one. I will remember this WC for the fun I had commenting on Mandira Bedi and the fun I had seeing India win with a lot of other guys.

    And a common vein through all these WC is my father. Though, I am a million miles away in the US, we still talk everyday about cricket.

  • Suresh on March 18, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    Getting old sure isn't fun :-) I remember growing up in Chennai, and playing barefoot in 40 deg summers all day with a tennis ball, and then playing night cricket tournaments under floodlights. I play in a league in Texas now, and wimp out if the forecast says 80 deg. One thing that hasn't gone away though is the eagerness to watch live cricket, no matter when or how. I was in Chennai last month for a week, and spent a precious day watching the Indian women's cricket team vs England on TV! THe joy of getting older though is - I really treasure playing a good shot or taking a catch, knowing that I'm fighting Time, not just the other team... I know these moments are going to come fewer and far between in the future, but I'm going down fighting, regardless. Articles with perspective like yours make a refreshing change from the churn of match reports and tales of poor behavior from our idols. Much appreciated!!

  • Sharatchandra Bhargav on March 18, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Wonderful thoughts Soumya. You have put it so elegantly - "cricket, so central to life once (the rest of life was what happened between overs),....". I was also in that stage once upon a time, but the repeated instances of the Indians "flattering to deceive" and "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory", combined with some shocking selectoral gaffes have numbed me over the years, with the result that in this World Cup, I just don't seem to possess the passion that I had even as recently as 2003.

    I don't remember much of 1983 and Kapil's Devils, because I was all of 6. All I remember is my family telling me how all of them including my grandmother were up in the night watching India win, and the fireworks that went off subsequently.

    The first real tournament of note that I remember is the 84-85 Benson and Hedges triumph in Australia where I felt a little saddened after the finals that Azhar did not get to ride on Shastry's Audi and was left out. :(

    I went to the India-NZ match in Bangalore in the 87 World Cup and thoroughly enjoyed Chetan Sharma's antics with the ball and the bat. Of course in 87, I was still a carefree school going lad, and remember being torn by India's capitulation to England and Foster in the semis. I also have a vivid image of Allan Border being hoisted up by his teammates on the Eden grounds after the victory.

    In 92, I was 15 and close to graduating from high school, and the most vivid image I have is of Srinath expressing his delight after clean bowling Miandad. One of the few images that has stuck on in an otherwise forgettable campaign. And in 96, I was in engineering, life was still carefree - and I remember Kambli's tears at the Eden, as well as rooting for Lanka in the finals.

    In 99, I had just graduated and started working, and had also lost my beloved grandmother. Hence that took away a lot of the enjoyment and memories of the England World cup. I frankly remember very little, apart from India's capitulation to Olonga which would ultimately prove to be crucial. But somewhere along the way, I think that is when cricket started playing second fiddle and life took over.

    In 2003, I was doing my masters in the US, and I remember waking up all night with a bunch of rowdy friends watching Tendulkar decimate the Pakistanis. That innings will forever be imprinted in my mind, and for one night, all the other concerns and worries about getting assistantships, internships, jobs after graduation in an economy that had hit rock bottom completely vanished, and in that night, all of us in that apartment were taken right back down memory lane to our carefree school days by Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who once again showed us the only way cricket should be played and enjoyed - with the heart and soul of a little boy without any cares or worries in the world.

    This world cup, I am working and married, and getting close to 30, and have found much to my consternation and discomfort that my enthusiasm levels have considerably diminished. And considering India's lackadaisical showing in the opening match, I doubt if it can be rekindled. Unless of course, the "Wall" decides to hold firm for one last time, or the God Tendulkar again decides to manifest himself.

    Wonderful piece, wonderful thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Sammy on March 18, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    Some memories (Full disclosure: Lankan born, living in Canada):

    1983 - I could not believe that Indians pulled this off. This is the only clear fluke of all the finals. WI were my favourite side and Viv Richards was my hero. When he got out, WI crumbled. I sulked for days on end.

    1992 - Being from a Tamil family, everyone supported India (apart from SL). However, I supported the Pakistani team and came under fire from my family for doing so. Oh what a sweet feeling when Imran lifted the trophy! I went to a Muslim restaurant and celebrated with them.

    1996 - Ah, how sweet this was. I was now living in Canada and had only a few friends who were passionate about cricket as I. Only Richard Hadlee picked the Lankans to win it all. Even the most ardent Lankan fan didn't dare dream of such a thing. However, Arjuna Ranatunge made it happen. My friends and I drive over to the Wellesley/Parliament area only to find it deserted. It was kind of a let-down.

    2003 - Canada's John davison! Oh-My-God! Did he ever smash up the West Indians and New Zealanders or what?!!! I was also happy that an acquaintance (Sanjayan Thuraisingham) got Sanath Jayasuriya's wicket). Allegiances change: I'm a Canadian now. Nevermind Canada was bundled out for 36. Davison and Sanjayan made me happy.

  • Sugetha on March 18, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    i thought i should put my 2 cents in cos not many gurls are into cricket. We moved to australia wen i was 7 or 8 and having 4 brothers, what kept us going in a new country was cricket. I didnt know what cricket was before we moved here. Anyways my first world cup i really watched was the '96 one.

    I was so proud to be a sri lankan and i stayed uo all nite watching the final. It was great to see Shane Warne getting smashed and the ball that the captain hit and went straight through his hands and went for 4 is still in my mind :) I tried to sleep for a 1 hour before i got ready for school and i couldnt cos i was excited that Sri lanka won. I can easily say that was the best day of school and i still remember how proud i was. Kalu and every1 in that team were my heros.

    And the 2 world cups after that were too disappointing for me that i have tried to forget it. But this time around, im 24 and i really hope and feel that Sri Lanka have a great chance of getting close to winning it. Whatever the case, i hope australia dont win it (i just cant handle their arrogance for another 4 more years :P). It would be great to see the current lankan or Bangladesh team(they r playing so well and gotta back the minnows) win it.

    Anyways being a tamil and sri lankan cant get any betta than when the world cup is on :)

  • nathan williams on March 18, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    as a youngster growing up in australia, with family that watched cricket i was always going anyone who is brought up watching the game most of the time will love the game, i was 6 years old when the 92 world cup came around i dont remember much except it was in australia and it was the first time south africa was included in the world cup since they were banned from world cricket.... i remember where they played australia and beat them i remember the colour uniforms and when i think back to how life was i remember my first years of school and how life was all about playtime haha,

    the 96 world cup i was 10 years old and i can remember when australia had to play new zealand in the semi final or was it the quater final anyways new zealand posted about 293 and australia fought hard to reach the target and won the match thanks to a classy century to mark waugh later to be beaten by the sri lankens it was something i will remember because of the friends that i went to school with i had to sri lankan friends that were good supporters they taught me alot about how its not just about australia and how to apreciate other teams,

    the 99 world cup in england i was 13 years old and it was an interesting contest i remember going to school and staying up till the early hours of the morning watching australia play pakistan and how they beat us in the early rounds and how we thrashed them in the final its funny how i didn't care about school i had watch the game and thats what made me happy at the time,

    2003 was the year i remember sotuh africa the host nations didn't even make it out of the first round bangladesh beat pakistan in a stunning upset.. and australia's thrashing against india 2003 i finished school and now 2007 life has made its most dramatic change now at 20 years old going to be 20 i have my own family i work for a living and cricket has such a demand for money i have no reason to stay up late because its not on free to air tv untill the super 8 series lets hope for my sake that australia makes the super 8's lol well who am i kidding i have to spend countless hours readin up on stats and results because the games i wanna see on tv arent on because i dont have the money to pay for it goodness me how life has changed... lets hope for mysake that i prepare myself for the 2011 world cup that i can watch as many games as i want because i have the money i need

  • Ganesh Subramaniam on March 18, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I was ruminating more or less along the same lines a couple of days back. I guess one thing that you will have to do for you to continue the matches long into the Indian night and still harbour dreams of reporting at your desk at a reasonable time, is to stop clinking the tall Vodka glass. Switch to beer if you can. This is coming from a avowed Vodka drinker who has managed a fairly successful transition to beer. All the best in your endeavors

  • Chirag on March 17, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    Tips on staying awake:

    Did this when I was in the US last time, now plan to do it again now that I am in India.

    1. Give up whatever job you have so that waking up in the morning is not a problem (Ideal solution for students like me) 2. Watch the games in a group. Sleeping first in a group is a stigma that no one wants. Makes you watch Ponting´s thrashings with a smile as well.

    Hope this helps..

  • Aditya on March 17, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    In '92 I was a five-year old clapping hard when someone hit a six because I hardly understood the game, but I remember Miandad's frog jump clearly because it was so funny and childish that I keep imitating him to this day. In '96, at 9, I was more into cricket and able to appreciate it, but there are 2 things I remember from that world cup: the match against Pakistan which we won and where Prasad had an altercation with Amir Sohail, and the devastating semifinal at the Eden gardens. '99, I was 12 and living in the Gulf where my dad was working, and I remember switching on the television during the India-Sri Lanka game at Taunton and watching Ganguly launch Murali into the stands twice...it was amazing. The game against Pakistan was memorable, but the game against Australia was devastating...that was the game where I felt that India would be a better team if they played 11 Robin Singhs. 2003 was the best world cup for us and I remember that clearly. At 16, I was a die-hard cricket fan and had just been witness to the "New India" of 2001 and 2002. Just amazing. Unfortunately, the final was again so bad that I had to turn off the TV and start studying for my final exam the next day...with my mind focussed on the game. Perhaps that explains what went wrong. But the game against Pakistan was memorable. And now I am a college student in the United States, and as diehard a cricket fan as I ever was. So yes, my life has changed, but my love for this game never has.

  • A Raj on March 17, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Thanks Soumya.You have put words to my thoughts. Except that 1992,fresh out of my college, was one of the fascinating world cups celebrating the triumph of the can do spirit thru great innovations of Martin Crowe and Imran Khan emerging as a true leader or men.Hopefully, my daughter who is six starts her wonderful journey with this world cup.She may not get to see the likes of Brian lara,Shaun pollock,Inzy and our own three musketeers.

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  • A Raj on March 17, 2007, 13:02 GMT

    Thanks Soumya.You have put words to my thoughts. Except that 1992,fresh out of my college, was one of the fascinating world cups celebrating the triumph of the can do spirit thru great innovations of Martin Crowe and Imran Khan emerging as a true leader or men.Hopefully, my daughter who is six starts her wonderful journey with this world cup.She may not get to see the likes of Brian lara,Shaun pollock,Inzy and our own three musketeers.

  • Aditya on March 17, 2007, 13:12 GMT

    In '92 I was a five-year old clapping hard when someone hit a six because I hardly understood the game, but I remember Miandad's frog jump clearly because it was so funny and childish that I keep imitating him to this day. In '96, at 9, I was more into cricket and able to appreciate it, but there are 2 things I remember from that world cup: the match against Pakistan which we won and where Prasad had an altercation with Amir Sohail, and the devastating semifinal at the Eden gardens. '99, I was 12 and living in the Gulf where my dad was working, and I remember switching on the television during the India-Sri Lanka game at Taunton and watching Ganguly launch Murali into the stands twice...it was amazing. The game against Pakistan was memorable, but the game against Australia was devastating...that was the game where I felt that India would be a better team if they played 11 Robin Singhs. 2003 was the best world cup for us and I remember that clearly. At 16, I was a die-hard cricket fan and had just been witness to the "New India" of 2001 and 2002. Just amazing. Unfortunately, the final was again so bad that I had to turn off the TV and start studying for my final exam the next day...with my mind focussed on the game. Perhaps that explains what went wrong. But the game against Pakistan was memorable. And now I am a college student in the United States, and as diehard a cricket fan as I ever was. So yes, my life has changed, but my love for this game never has.

  • Chirag on March 17, 2007, 13:43 GMT

    Tips on staying awake:

    Did this when I was in the US last time, now plan to do it again now that I am in India.

    1. Give up whatever job you have so that waking up in the morning is not a problem (Ideal solution for students like me) 2. Watch the games in a group. Sleeping first in a group is a stigma that no one wants. Makes you watch Ponting´s thrashings with a smile as well.

    Hope this helps..

  • Ganesh Subramaniam on March 18, 2007, 7:02 GMT

    I was ruminating more or less along the same lines a couple of days back. I guess one thing that you will have to do for you to continue the matches long into the Indian night and still harbour dreams of reporting at your desk at a reasonable time, is to stop clinking the tall Vodka glass. Switch to beer if you can. This is coming from a avowed Vodka drinker who has managed a fairly successful transition to beer. All the best in your endeavors

  • nathan williams on March 18, 2007, 9:37 GMT

    as a youngster growing up in australia, with family that watched cricket i was always going anyone who is brought up watching the game most of the time will love the game, i was 6 years old when the 92 world cup came around i dont remember much except it was in australia and it was the first time south africa was included in the world cup since they were banned from world cricket.... i remember where they played australia and beat them i remember the colour uniforms and when i think back to how life was i remember my first years of school and how life was all about playtime haha,

    the 96 world cup i was 10 years old and i can remember when australia had to play new zealand in the semi final or was it the quater final anyways new zealand posted about 293 and australia fought hard to reach the target and won the match thanks to a classy century to mark waugh later to be beaten by the sri lankens it was something i will remember because of the friends that i went to school with i had to sri lankan friends that were good supporters they taught me alot about how its not just about australia and how to apreciate other teams,

    the 99 world cup in england i was 13 years old and it was an interesting contest i remember going to school and staying up till the early hours of the morning watching australia play pakistan and how they beat us in the early rounds and how we thrashed them in the final its funny how i didn't care about school i had watch the game and thats what made me happy at the time,

    2003 was the year i remember sotuh africa the host nations didn't even make it out of the first round bangladesh beat pakistan in a stunning upset.. and australia's thrashing against india 2003 i finished school and now 2007 life has made its most dramatic change now at 20 years old going to be 20 i have my own family i work for a living and cricket has such a demand for money i have no reason to stay up late because its not on free to air tv untill the super 8 series lets hope for my sake that australia makes the super 8's lol well who am i kidding i have to spend countless hours readin up on stats and results because the games i wanna see on tv arent on because i dont have the money to pay for it goodness me how life has changed... lets hope for mysake that i prepare myself for the 2011 world cup that i can watch as many games as i want because i have the money i need

  • Sugetha on March 18, 2007, 10:11 GMT

    i thought i should put my 2 cents in cos not many gurls are into cricket. We moved to australia wen i was 7 or 8 and having 4 brothers, what kept us going in a new country was cricket. I didnt know what cricket was before we moved here. Anyways my first world cup i really watched was the '96 one.

    I was so proud to be a sri lankan and i stayed uo all nite watching the final. It was great to see Shane Warne getting smashed and the ball that the captain hit and went straight through his hands and went for 4 is still in my mind :) I tried to sleep for a 1 hour before i got ready for school and i couldnt cos i was excited that Sri lanka won. I can easily say that was the best day of school and i still remember how proud i was. Kalu and every1 in that team were my heros.

    And the 2 world cups after that were too disappointing for me that i have tried to forget it. But this time around, im 24 and i really hope and feel that Sri Lanka have a great chance of getting close to winning it. Whatever the case, i hope australia dont win it (i just cant handle their arrogance for another 4 more years :P). It would be great to see the current lankan or Bangladesh team(they r playing so well and gotta back the minnows) win it.

    Anyways being a tamil and sri lankan cant get any betta than when the world cup is on :)

  • Sammy on March 18, 2007, 15:57 GMT

    Some memories (Full disclosure: Lankan born, living in Canada):

    1983 - I could not believe that Indians pulled this off. This is the only clear fluke of all the finals. WI were my favourite side and Viv Richards was my hero. When he got out, WI crumbled. I sulked for days on end.

    1992 - Being from a Tamil family, everyone supported India (apart from SL). However, I supported the Pakistani team and came under fire from my family for doing so. Oh what a sweet feeling when Imran lifted the trophy! I went to a Muslim restaurant and celebrated with them.

    1996 - Ah, how sweet this was. I was now living in Canada and had only a few friends who were passionate about cricket as I. Only Richard Hadlee picked the Lankans to win it all. Even the most ardent Lankan fan didn't dare dream of such a thing. However, Arjuna Ranatunge made it happen. My friends and I drive over to the Wellesley/Parliament area only to find it deserted. It was kind of a let-down.

    2003 - Canada's John davison! Oh-My-God! Did he ever smash up the West Indians and New Zealanders or what?!!! I was also happy that an acquaintance (Sanjayan Thuraisingham) got Sanath Jayasuriya's wicket). Allegiances change: I'm a Canadian now. Nevermind Canada was bundled out for 36. Davison and Sanjayan made me happy.

  • Sharatchandra Bhargav on March 18, 2007, 17:36 GMT

    Wonderful thoughts Soumya. You have put it so elegantly - "cricket, so central to life once (the rest of life was what happened between overs),....". I was also in that stage once upon a time, but the repeated instances of the Indians "flattering to deceive" and "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory", combined with some shocking selectoral gaffes have numbed me over the years, with the result that in this World Cup, I just don't seem to possess the passion that I had even as recently as 2003.

    I don't remember much of 1983 and Kapil's Devils, because I was all of 6. All I remember is my family telling me how all of them including my grandmother were up in the night watching India win, and the fireworks that went off subsequently.

    The first real tournament of note that I remember is the 84-85 Benson and Hedges triumph in Australia where I felt a little saddened after the finals that Azhar did not get to ride on Shastry's Audi and was left out. :(

    I went to the India-NZ match in Bangalore in the 87 World Cup and thoroughly enjoyed Chetan Sharma's antics with the ball and the bat. Of course in 87, I was still a carefree school going lad, and remember being torn by India's capitulation to England and Foster in the semis. I also have a vivid image of Allan Border being hoisted up by his teammates on the Eden grounds after the victory.

    In 92, I was 15 and close to graduating from high school, and the most vivid image I have is of Srinath expressing his delight after clean bowling Miandad. One of the few images that has stuck on in an otherwise forgettable campaign. And in 96, I was in engineering, life was still carefree - and I remember Kambli's tears at the Eden, as well as rooting for Lanka in the finals.

    In 99, I had just graduated and started working, and had also lost my beloved grandmother. Hence that took away a lot of the enjoyment and memories of the England World cup. I frankly remember very little, apart from India's capitulation to Olonga which would ultimately prove to be crucial. But somewhere along the way, I think that is when cricket started playing second fiddle and life took over.

    In 2003, I was doing my masters in the US, and I remember waking up all night with a bunch of rowdy friends watching Tendulkar decimate the Pakistanis. That innings will forever be imprinted in my mind, and for one night, all the other concerns and worries about getting assistantships, internships, jobs after graduation in an economy that had hit rock bottom completely vanished, and in that night, all of us in that apartment were taken right back down memory lane to our carefree school days by Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who once again showed us the only way cricket should be played and enjoyed - with the heart and soul of a little boy without any cares or worries in the world.

    This world cup, I am working and married, and getting close to 30, and have found much to my consternation and discomfort that my enthusiasm levels have considerably diminished. And considering India's lackadaisical showing in the opening match, I doubt if it can be rekindled. Unless of course, the "Wall" decides to hold firm for one last time, or the God Tendulkar again decides to manifest himself.

    Wonderful piece, wonderful thoughts. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • Suresh on March 18, 2007, 17:39 GMT

    Getting old sure isn't fun :-) I remember growing up in Chennai, and playing barefoot in 40 deg summers all day with a tennis ball, and then playing night cricket tournaments under floodlights. I play in a league in Texas now, and wimp out if the forecast says 80 deg. One thing that hasn't gone away though is the eagerness to watch live cricket, no matter when or how. I was in Chennai last month for a week, and spent a precious day watching the Indian women's cricket team vs England on TV! THe joy of getting older though is - I really treasure playing a good shot or taking a catch, knowing that I'm fighting Time, not just the other team... I know these moments are going to come fewer and far between in the future, but I'm going down fighting, regardless. Articles with perspective like yours make a refreshing change from the churn of match reports and tales of poor behavior from our idols. Much appreciated!!

  • Ram on March 18, 2007, 18:04 GMT

    My first world cup was the 1992 WC. I was in th second grade and India played England in their first match. As we did not have cable tv (my bro's studies, you see) we all saw the match in my uncles place. I rember that WC for being kicked out of my house to school by mom (matches wer in the morning), Greatbatch, Lara and a six by Subrotto Bannerje.

    Like most Indians, I got a ringside view of the 1996 edition. Somehow, I have no vivid memories of that WC. That could be because I was an adolscent and there were other things that were on my mind.

    The 1999 was a special one. It was around the same time that my cousin was getting married. Almost 20 of us saw the Ind-SL match at Taunton. I will never forget that match. `On the off-side, next to God there is Ganguly'. Though India did not do a great job, this was one of the best W.C. I would call this the Family Edition.

    I was in the IIT during th 2003 one. I will remember this WC for the fun I had commenting on Mandira Bedi and the fun I had seeing India win with a lot of other guys.

    And a common vein through all these WC is my father. Though, I am a million miles away in the US, we still talk everyday about cricket.