World Cup 2011 April 3, 2011

Dasher Dhoni's masterpiece delivers victory pizza

Yesterday night was a bad time to go far a quiet seaside stroll along Marine Drive, Mumbai
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Yesterday night was a bad time to go far a quiet seaside stroll along Marine Drive, Mumbai. I had been told this was one of the more peaceful and relaxing things to do in this ludicrously massive city. Thousands and thousands of people had obviously been given the same advice. Only there was not much strolling, and it was not very quiet.

In scenes reminiscent of the bedlam on the streets of Essex after local hero Peter Such received his first call-up to the England team in 1993 (perhaps even a little more exuberant), India celebrated as long and hard as MS Dhoni had hit the final ball of the World Cup. A tournament which began with jubilation and pride in Bangladesh at the mere fact of hosting the World Cup ended with similar scenes and emotions after India won it. Perhaps there would have been equally boisterous revelry had the home team lost, in celebration of the fact that cricket exists. Perhaps not.

I spent most of India’s innings sitting in the Wankhede stands amidst a crowd that was initially expectant and adulatory as Sachin Tendulkar began as if about to fulfil his unalterable destiny of scoring his 100th international hundred in front of his home-town worshippers to win a World Cup final. Some dextrously finessed twos through the infield, then two boundaries of eye-watering perfection, and the Mumbai Master was on the road to his crowning personal glory. Sadly for the crowd, traffic cop Lasith Malinga pulled him over and confiscated his licence. He pushed, edged, and walked. The crowd was left not merely agog, but severalgogs. A stunned hush clamped the Wankhede, as if the crowd at one of Jesus’ miracles had just seen their hero turn a sickly child into a mahogany bookcase, and mumble “Oops”, before scuttling off saying, “Same time next week?”

Admittedly, the stunned hush was declamped after approximately 0.75 seconds by the inevitable honk of gratingly, wilfully incongruous pop music. But the crowd visibly gulped as someone sang something about someone or something else not even tangentially related to the situation at hand. Not only had the Greatest Story Ever Told (Cricket edition) had its final chapter ripped out by a sub-editor and sent for a rewrite, but the billion-strong dream of an Indian trophy was seemingly about to be interrupted by an aggressively bleepy Sri Lankan alarm clock.

The rebuilding operation began. Gautam Gambhir, a calculating craftsman with a bat made of scalpels, and Virat Kohli, finding substance to whizz together with his style to make a critical-runs cocktail, slowly hauled the Indian ship back onto an even keel. When Kohli’s drink was unexpectedly glugged down by a thirsty Tillakaratne Dilshan caught-and-bowled, MS Dhoni grabbed the game by the throat and barked sternly into its face: “You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you.”

When India’s captain chose to promote himself above man-of-the-tournament-elect Yuvraj Singh, he made a ballsy decision. He backed it up with granite cojones. Dhoni proceeded to play one of the greatest captain’s innings in modern cricket. A World Cup final was in the balance, the world’s second most populous nation was holding its breath like a miserly boa-constrictor holds on to its wallet; failure could have uncorked a Jeroboam of Chateau Criticism. He survived an early swish at and a testing return catch to Dilshan. Thereafter, he played with powerful precision and glacial self-possession. A careful beginning and rocket-propelled running between the wickets laid the foundations for resounding thumps to the boundary whenever Sri Lanka strayed, then a complete domineering of a flagging and riskily-selected bowling attack in the later stages.

The Wankhede resounded to his name, a 33,000-strong roar saluting a man who had taken it upon himself to ensure the Victory pizza they had ordered arrived at their table, on time, with extra toppings. He finished his masterpiece by obliterating a six into the Mumbai skies, an explosive cherry on an iron-fisted cake. India may well have won anyway without Dhoni’s innings. But their iconic captain ensured the victory, and power-drilled his name even further into the annals of the game.

EXTRAS

● Before Tendulkar was dismissed, India’s other batting genius, Virender Sehwag, had already departed, trapped leaden-footed-leg-before-wicket second ball. In yesterday’s blog, I predicted an Indian win, with Sehwag playing a crucial innings. I was right. On both counts. Sehwag’s two-ball zilcher was crucial on two counts. 1: It wore the new ball out. A little. His pads are coated with a radioactive isotope that makes shiny leather biodegrade. That is a fact. And 2: It gave Gambhir and Dhoni ample time to build and pace their innings to perfection. Had Sehwag scored a 100-ball duck, or a 50-ball 100, the thought processes of his team-mates would have been scrambled. Inevitably. Another prediction triumph, then, for the On The Road With Zaltzman column.

● Sri Lanka paid for selecting three new bowlers for the final. They paid heavily. In fact, they blew everything they had earned through Mahela Jayawardene’s sublime century; they maxed out their credit card and were ushered out of the restaurant. Their selection was a high-stakes gambit. Nuwan Kulasekara had not played since the group stage, Thisara Perera had bowled 15 expensive overs since Sri Lanka’s opener against Canada, none of them in the last three weeks, and Suraj Randiv had not played an ODI since November. He had to step up from playing for Bloomfield against Saracens in Colombo last week to playing against the World’s top-ranked Test and second-ranked one-day side in a World Cup final yesterday. With all due respect to Saracens, against whom Randiv took 12 wickets, India have proven themselves to be the superior batting team. Ajantha Mendis, outstanding recently but with a dicey recent record against India, and Rangana Herath joined the injured Angelo Mathews on the sidelines. The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths.

● The wild communal jubilation on the streets around the Wankhede was mostly in exuberant good nature. One man scooting past in a crowded car, however, leaned out of the window and shouted at me: “Go home, white man, go home.”

I do not like to jump to negative conclusions about people, and am unwilling to suggest that his comment was more than 60 years late, so I am prepared to accept that he was an employee of the airline company I am flying back to Britain with today, who had hunted me down on the packed streets of Mumbai to give me a verbal flight reminder. For which I am eternally grateful.

Andy Zaltzman is a stand-up comedian, a regular on the BBC Radio 4, and a writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • CPM on June 14, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    If ever there is a World Cup in writing articles, where the winner would be adjudged based on satire, flow, humor an uncanny knack of summing up the topic as well as self-deprecating wit, Mr. Zaltzman would win, not one but at least a hat-trick of such World Cups. Kudos, Andy.

  • Roger R on May 31, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    Humour aside, your writing skills are incredible and you have truly mastered it. I would love to able to write as 1/2 as good as you do. Keep the good work up!!

  • jayap on May 31, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Stir the melting chocolate smooth with a cricket bat! Crazy to the end! Guess it has to be laugh a minute when a standup-comedian picks up the pen to write about cricket... It all happens only because of India... mind it :-). I'd say there won't/can't be another like the 2011 WC... but you and others like you are always welcome in this glorious land.

    the 3 sreesanths and the biodegrading of the leather by the paint on Sehwag's pads were most funny... hoooo haaaah....

  • Parag on May 11, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Tremendous article, Andy.

    And sincere apologies on behalf of that idiot. But for every one like that, you will find 10 others who will welcome you with open arms.

    And the way you have added humor to that unpleasant incident is just awesome . Keep up the good work.

  • Deborah J on April 25, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Mr Zaltsman,

    You write so well! It's always a pleasure to read a well written article. But you can definitely avoid making light of a remarkable leader - Jesus and ensure that your humour does not stray into an area that's precious to a section of the society. Turning a sickly child into a mahogany bookcase!! Surely you of all people should know this can hurt the sentiments of those who esteem Jesus highly, like myself.Thankyou.

  • chris_anil on April 17, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    India is truly an unknown quantity.You need to be here more often Zaltzy.The more you come here the better you know what India is about whether its cricket or the people.

  • Saffi on April 10, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    hahaha....."Go home, white man, go home."

    Zaltz you crazy man........can't wait for your next article!

  • kishore on April 9, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Beleive me, Mr. Zalzman we are as sweet as any other country when it comes to hosting foreigners - black, brown or white not necessarily in any order. You got a great sense of humor. And we get too much carried away with few small things in life even though i might risk getting lynched back here if I say india winning world cup is small thing in life, this side of the world!

  • Vijaynarain on April 8, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Almost a week since "that" moment, and since this article came out, and I refresh this page everyday with the hope that you would've posted something new. Thank you Andy Zaltzman for making this cup all the more memorable and funnier! As for the not-so-great farewell, I sincerely apologize on that person's behalf, and on behalf of every true Indian. Hats off to you for taking it in such a light spirit. Hope you enjoyed your trip to our country and here's hoping we are treated to more of your wonderful posts!

  • simha on April 7, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    I am not completely satisfied with this. Justifying that you are correct in predicting sehwag plays a crucial innings is really bad part and secondly saying India will win without Dhoni's innings is the worst part. You never know yuvi and raina may also be dismissed at low scores like sehwag and sachin which is witnessed already.

  • CPM on June 14, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    If ever there is a World Cup in writing articles, where the winner would be adjudged based on satire, flow, humor an uncanny knack of summing up the topic as well as self-deprecating wit, Mr. Zaltzman would win, not one but at least a hat-trick of such World Cups. Kudos, Andy.

  • Roger R on May 31, 2011, 20:01 GMT

    Humour aside, your writing skills are incredible and you have truly mastered it. I would love to able to write as 1/2 as good as you do. Keep the good work up!!

  • jayap on May 31, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Stir the melting chocolate smooth with a cricket bat! Crazy to the end! Guess it has to be laugh a minute when a standup-comedian picks up the pen to write about cricket... It all happens only because of India... mind it :-). I'd say there won't/can't be another like the 2011 WC... but you and others like you are always welcome in this glorious land.

    the 3 sreesanths and the biodegrading of the leather by the paint on Sehwag's pads were most funny... hoooo haaaah....

  • Parag on May 11, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Tremendous article, Andy.

    And sincere apologies on behalf of that idiot. But for every one like that, you will find 10 others who will welcome you with open arms.

    And the way you have added humor to that unpleasant incident is just awesome . Keep up the good work.

  • Deborah J on April 25, 2011, 11:38 GMT

    Mr Zaltsman,

    You write so well! It's always a pleasure to read a well written article. But you can definitely avoid making light of a remarkable leader - Jesus and ensure that your humour does not stray into an area that's precious to a section of the society. Turning a sickly child into a mahogany bookcase!! Surely you of all people should know this can hurt the sentiments of those who esteem Jesus highly, like myself.Thankyou.

  • chris_anil on April 17, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    India is truly an unknown quantity.You need to be here more often Zaltzy.The more you come here the better you know what India is about whether its cricket or the people.

  • Saffi on April 10, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    hahaha....."Go home, white man, go home."

    Zaltz you crazy man........can't wait for your next article!

  • kishore on April 9, 2011, 6:08 GMT

    Beleive me, Mr. Zalzman we are as sweet as any other country when it comes to hosting foreigners - black, brown or white not necessarily in any order. You got a great sense of humor. And we get too much carried away with few small things in life even though i might risk getting lynched back here if I say india winning world cup is small thing in life, this side of the world!

  • Vijaynarain on April 8, 2011, 11:19 GMT

    Almost a week since "that" moment, and since this article came out, and I refresh this page everyday with the hope that you would've posted something new. Thank you Andy Zaltzman for making this cup all the more memorable and funnier! As for the not-so-great farewell, I sincerely apologize on that person's behalf, and on behalf of every true Indian. Hats off to you for taking it in such a light spirit. Hope you enjoyed your trip to our country and here's hoping we are treated to more of your wonderful posts!

  • simha on April 7, 2011, 4:21 GMT

    I am not completely satisfied with this. Justifying that you are correct in predicting sehwag plays a crucial innings is really bad part and secondly saying India will win without Dhoni's innings is the worst part. You never know yuvi and raina may also be dismissed at low scores like sehwag and sachin which is witnessed already.

  • Weldon on April 7, 2011, 3:22 GMT

    Very good article, as always. Except Dhoni seems so placid and pleasant, I can't imagine him grabbing anything by the throat, or speaking so intensely!

  • srinivas dharmana on April 6, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    i just could not help laughing after a miserable day at work! it was awesome. ingnore the last idiots comments. we indians love you andy!!

  • Dev Jyoti Das on April 6, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    People's Choice Award goes to ANDY ;-)

  • AVITTAM on April 6, 2011, 20:23 GMT

    Excellent article. I personally feel sorry for that fan's uncivilized reaction. I am sure you would have also noticed hospitable nature of Indian people so please ignore that idiot;s dirty comment

  • ash on April 6, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    An absolute blinder mate,specially dhoni's word and the prediction of sehwag..stunning,simply stunning..keep it up...

  • me on April 6, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    sincere apologies on behalf of that stupid man

  • Aarif on April 6, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Absolutely magnificent article! Almost equal to watching Sachin play the straight. Your response to the racial insult shows your grace.

  • Kartikey on April 6, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    Andy, that was awesome, particularly the closing para!!

  • shan on April 6, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths,,,,,,,,,,,, i'm from kerala i like the way you presented it. ha aha aha aha aha aha aha ha hahahahahahahahaahahah

  • Harxal on April 6, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    GO HOME WHITE MAN GO HOME! Amazingly simple comment, without being abusive. Just read again, he has not used any abusive word. Andy is white and the man didn't know Andy's name so he called him white man. The advise to go home could be out of concern for Andy's safety who was roaming the street after midnight. It is amazing that even drunk people in Mumbai do not get abusive. Instead of crediting an airline, you should give the credit to the increasingly arrogant and 'brave in a mob' citizenry of India.

  • Srik on April 6, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    How about a couple of more lines on Sreesanth's inclusion ?

  • Hamid shahul on April 6, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    Dear Andy, A Face Book reference to read your article brought me on your scene. Amazing control on your pen you have. Subtle is the word. Your description of individuals and the play is just too good. I am grateful to Manohar who suggested reading your article on the Face Book. Andy Cricket has lost its charm as a game. I am not too sure whether it is betting or individual Hero WORSHIP that has landed this game at this gateway to its critical destiny. Could you ever imagine if we would have lost. Our past performance suggest tearing of players kit or throwing stones at their houses, like it happened with Tendulakar in his own stadium, and that of Dhoni's in Ranchi. We need to steer away from this madness, watch and enjoy the game as it should be, Yes Sangarka has already put in his papers. What ever one does is subject to scrutiny but with the hind sight view. Regarding the remark about White Man going home is just another expression of joy out of ignorance. Please dont mind. HMS.

  • bhavin on April 6, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    nice article wonderful way to interpret that stupid comment, hope you had a good flight :)

  • sesibhushan on April 6, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    am i reading a cricket review or fiction full of metaphors ? . i forgot i was reading cricket article

  • Satish on April 6, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    Andy,

    "MS Dhoni grabbed the game by the throat and barked sternly into its face: “You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you.”"

    Very well described. It was certainly a very commanding business-like innings from Captain Dhoni. Watching him execute his intent was the highlight of the game for me! Fantastic Dhoni! Fantastic India!

  • Rav on April 6, 2011, 2:05 GMT

    Hi Andy, i apologize on behalf of 1.2 billion -1 (the douchebag who yelled at you) It was really great having you here, hope you dont come to a conclusion that we are racists. we do admire you and your love of cricket regardless. and all the comments on this article backs me up as almost all of them are from indians.

    Looking forward to hear more from you, and i really enjoyed your pitch reports :D, you stay classy!

  • Anonymous on April 6, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    Hi Andy, i apologize on behalf of 1.2 billion -1 (the douchebag who yelled at you) It was really great having you here, hope you dont come to a conclusion that we are racists. we do admire you and your love of cricket regardless. and all the comments on this article backs me up as almost all of them are from indians.

    Looking forward to hear more from you, and i really enjoyed your pitch reports :D, you stay classy!

  • bluebleeder on April 6, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    Remember, idiots are everywhere. LOL at "roughly the equivalent of India pickign three Sreesanths" Your sense of humour is next best only to Monty Python's in my book. But if you read "Lord of the Ring" you'd find something totally different, then again its not my book.

  • Spectrum6431 on April 5, 2011, 22:51 GMT

    I too woz there to watch the events unfurl. A British Indian draped in an Indian flag.

    Aah! the "white man" man - would you have any resemblence to a Mr Ponting by any chance? If you did, that might explain the method of his madness.

  • VishalB on April 5, 2011, 20:59 GMT

    Perhaps the White Man wasn't wearing his blue jersey when the airline employee saw him? :)

    A real way with words. Recently discovered the weblog. Wish had earlier. Have a great time in Whiteland and do write similarly on the Light Blue, Blue, Dark Blue teams' tour in a few months time.

  • hari on April 5, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Yeah, the difference was the number of Sreesanths, India had 1, the Lankans, 3 .... & Jayawardena beware, you'l be having him in the Tusker side ...Alas !!

  • Bharatputra on April 5, 2011, 18:58 GMT

    "The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths." I would say one :)

  • nishath on April 5, 2011, 18:41 GMT

    His pads are coated with a radioactive isotope that makes shiny leather biodegrade. That is a fact. - hilarious man! been following ur blog all throughout the world cup!

  • IndiaOn on April 5, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    Andy, Not Good Srilanka Vs. Bad Srilanka this time? Like you said Good Pakistan Vs. Bad Pakistan and not giving its opponent India any credit whatsoever in the semi-final?

  • Shanky on April 5, 2011, 18:11 GMT

    Hey Andy.... "Go home...." Did it really happen? But still I must say every finger is different in shape and size, so please don't mind. It was in the heat of the moment.

  • rafique on April 5, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    As you say:the cherry on the top! now thats what i call cricket writing! Please post me more of your brilliant articles. thanks again

  • Suppu on April 5, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Hi Andy, My previous post had some mistakes, which I have corrected and reposted. Excellent article and Great narration! BTW I live in Sydney and had been to SCG few years ago when India played against Oz as well as while walking down the street, had similar experience like you (whitemen, I should say Teen white man shouting at me) and happened few times, I just ignore them as the percentage of this kind of people are negligible, at the same time I am not trying to justify about that Idiot shouting at you, you being a popular person can write things which reaches people deep down, but there are quite a lot of incidents go unheard and unread, but generally vast majority of people here are wonderful and even better than our fellowmen, however, please ignore such nasty experience and continue your journey. All the best! Sydney Suppu

  • Suppu on April 5, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Hi Andy, Excellent article and Great narration! BTW I live in Sydney and had been to SCG few years ago when India played against Oz as well as while walking down the street, had similar experience like you (whitemen, I should say Teen while man shouting at me) and happened few times, I just ignore them as the percentage of this kind of people are negligible, at the same time I am trying to justify about that Idiot shouting at you, you being a popular person can write things which reaches people deep down, but there are quite a lot of incidents go unheard and unread, but generally vast majority of people here are wonderful and even better than our fellowmen, however, please ignore such nasty experience and continue your journey. All the best! Sydney Suppu

  • karthik on April 5, 2011, 14:46 GMT

    Hi Andy Youve tried to make every line dramatic, just like how indian media hypes every cricket match . I think you need to modify your strokes, you should not try and hit a six every ball

  • Amit on April 5, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    Hey Andy i like the way you put MSD's resolve to win the game. "MS Dhoni grabbed the game by the throat and barked sternly into its face: “You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you.” These are one of the best lines i have read recently and yes sorry about the stupid guy hanging out of the car.

  • srinivas on April 5, 2011, 14:20 GMT

    Dear Mr. Hemant please have your stats right. The 1987 World Cup was played in India, Pakistan & was the last world cup without the colored clothing,white ball & of course the flood-lights. But how can cricket be played in India during summer. The cricketing season in the sub-continent begins in October and ends early April. The 1987 World Cup started on Thursday 08.October.1987 and the final on 08.November.1987 & I was in Std. VI at that time.

  • srinivas on April 5, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    Dear Mr. Hemant please have your stats right. The 1987 World Cup was played in India, Pakistan & was the last world cup without the colored clothing,white ball & of course the flood-lights. But how can cricket be played in India during summer. The cricketing season in the sub-continent begins in October and ends early April. The 1987 World Cup started on Thursday 08.October.1987 and the final on 08.November.1987 & I was in Std. VI at that time.

  • AP on April 5, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    This is hilarious. The best WC 2011 article I've read so far. Thanks!!!

  • Muralidharan on April 5, 2011, 13:12 GMT

    Wonderful Andy. It is an excellent piece positioning the words at the right places and sequencing the perfect way. As avid readers, vivid followers of your articles and proud Indians, we feel ashamed on reading the behaviour of a nut. This India will isolate such fools. Keep coming back; Keep enthralling us with your wonderful language. Thanks for the great coverage of an astounding tournament.

  • Sethu on April 5, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    We Indians are not known for the arrogance or tough nature. Even that reflects in the sledging stories. We'll usually be on the other side. So I don't mind sometimes, we being dominating rather arrogant. It's needed sometimes, otherwise, we ll be beaten up always!

  • Sami Khan on April 5, 2011, 11:56 GMT

    Hi Z...man. Great article. I am also a Sehwag fan. I can understand your comments about him. You are right, if he doesn't contribute, he lets other to contribute. Rightly said about Sri Lanka, foolish idea of picking 3 players worthy of 1 wicket in a finale.

  • Atul Bhogle on April 5, 2011, 9:44 GMT

    You know, I was out of town since the final and the first thing I did after opening Cricinfo today was to see what Mr Andy had to say about the final and boy, you never disappoint! The bits about Jesus's missed trick and equating Sri Lankan selection to three Sreesanths were priceless!!! Hope you had a good time in India Andy, and sorry about the idiot on the street. Cheers!

  • Rajesh on April 5, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    Andy, you're the (white) man! Well written, and hope to see more of your writing in future.

  • Shyam on April 5, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    Nice article...let us not be over-apologetic about the "white man go home" comment. It happens to non-whites in other countries all the time. I am not condoning what the guy said...but stuff happens

  • nitiksh on April 5, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    It was fun reading your articles during the world cup. I am sorry of behalf of the whole mumbai and India for that stupid remark. Please feel free to come to india whenever you like. Its an amazing country and don't judge it based on few outliers.

    Looking forward to IPL analysis from ur end :)

  • Anonymous on April 5, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    Hi Andy - i am an inian and i am sorry for what that jerk (fan) said to you.Not every indian are the same.

  • ARNAB DEB on April 5, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    "The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths."

    i wish sree had read this one..he wud also have lost his guts like us...this is HOWLARIOUS MR. ANDY

  • ramesh on April 5, 2011, 5:12 GMT

    Hi Andy, I log on to Cricinfo just to read your article. What a sense of humor and command on language. Thanks for your contributions.

  • Teen on April 5, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    Andy, Great fun reading your article. A billion hearts apologize to you for that comment by a crazy Indian. Please keep coming back to India. We love you as much as we love our cricket and our Cricket god!

  • Anil on April 5, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    Andy, just ignore what that Indian uttered - it was pure trash. You are most welcome to move around anywhere in India. Indians welcome their foreign guests. Your mastery over word play is unparalled and so humorous and entertaining at the same time. Not only that, you sum up the game's twists and turns so beautifully. A sharp intellect, Andy.

  • AND on April 5, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Hey Andy, Have thoroughly enjoyed all your write-ups on this WC 2011. You are not only incredibly funny, but very shrewd as well - many of your observations are spot-on. Your analyses are unique, no other cricket "expert" has made the analyses you have made.

    Andy man, we just love you and I for one hope you will make India your home, in spite of that foolish chap. There are some people like that who really don't know what they're saying. The same fellow, had you spoken to him, might very well have taken you to his house as his guest!

    Warm regards from Bengaluru, and eagerly look forward to your triumphant return!

  • Indiyeah! on April 5, 2011, 1:49 GMT

    Andy,

    Your column is a delight. Thanks for following the Men in Blue and writing up this delightfully funny piece. I am sorry (and I am sure many Indians will join me in this) for that ill-advised and immature bigot who was rude to you. Please do not let that keep you from visiting India in the future. You will find, way more times than not, Indian hospitality to be quite an inviting factor.

  • g parthasarathy on April 5, 2011, 0:06 GMT

    Good article.

    The name was "odd" I did not realise that he is a good q writer. Took interest in cricket reading JH Fingleton in 1953 and afterwards. Later read Peter Ditton from West Indies. Commentaries by John Arlott, Brian Johnstone, Trevor Bailey, EW Swanton, alan macgillvary (sp.?) interested me. I have to read this gentleman - from now on.

  • Gobi Anand on April 4, 2011, 23:07 GMT

    Hi Andy, Good and bad people everywhere. I received verbal abuse from Aussies and English while walking in the streets “Indian dog ... Go home”

  • Mowgli on April 4, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Methinks you made that stuff up about "white man go home". All the suckers here fell for it.

    and what is up with that hair?

  • No name on April 4, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    Excellent article.

  • Soans on April 4, 2011, 20:27 GMT

    Excellento! I have hereby decided to never read your column at work. Thanks to you, people think i am nuts. I live in canada and my colleagues cannot fathom what about cricket makes me laugh out loud. I love cricket and I love you writing.

  • Anonymous on April 4, 2011, 20:05 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    Worldcup is over, will miss your articles. Keep on writing n really sorry own behalf of guy who shouted on u..............u r always welcome to india:)

  • Satyajit on April 4, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    Your "On the Road" column was the one shining beacon in a sea of rather listless and sycophantic journalism. You have this wonderful gift of actually embellishing an article with healthy doses of self-deprecation, using a series of radically unusual comparisons for emphasis. Heck, you even managed to put a ridiculously positive spin on a racial slur uttered by an ignoramus country-mate of mine.....All I can say is, " Forgive him, O Andy, he knoweth not what he does". Although you seem unoffendable, I would like to offer my sincere apologies for his boorish behaviour.

    I will really miss your daily columns and podcasts, now that this World Cup is over. You have to come up with some new excuses to amuse your loyal fans(and I am definitely one of them) more frequently.

  • Navnit (Nav) Patel on April 4, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    What an article. Absolutely enjoyed every word of it. Racist remarks always props up anywhere in the world. Take no notice of it. Please do visit the great country any time you wish, people here are very humble and polite except a few.You have a new fan. Keep witing.....

  • magesh on April 4, 2011, 19:15 GMT

    Thanks Andy for all your columns during this WC. As someone else pointed out, it was the second best thing in this WC season to me next only to Team India's performance and win. My favorite among your posts are - the one about Kapil's 175, one on Kamran Akmal and the final one here. My apologies for the rude incident you encountered. But then by now I am sure you know its stupidity and anachronism which I already see you have taken in your style. Continue writing. Thanks for that..

  • gb on April 4, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    Hey Andy, Loved your article as always. Sorry you got subjected to such a treatment by a hyper-excited brown man. :) You are most welcome here in this country. Great to see you could create something funny of the situation. Respect!

  • viki-the-techie.blogspot.com on April 4, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    Amazing one Andy. Just loved reading it. That Last paragraph: overwhelmed by your sense of humor. Unbelievable, to see a Non-Indian writing this well about India and it's most celebrated game :)

  • Yoyo-Canada on April 4, 2011, 18:28 GMT

    These are the kind of morons that give any country a bad name. Seriously such people should be banned from celebrating even their birthdays. We are extremely sorry, Andy from everyone who considers themselves ambassadors of India(paid or unpaid). Hats off to every team and country that participated alongwith their countrymen who made the tournament a success. Boo to ICC for deciding to allow just 10 teams, we would def like to see a lot more of Ireland, Canada, Netherland, Kenya.

  • John Thomas on April 4, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    That guy was probably upset at the white men getting tickets for the final while the police beat the locals that tried to buy tickets. ICC should go home.

  • gaurav on April 4, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    Please do not go by what some moron on the street shouted at you. We apologise for the incident and we welcome people from all countries in India. Btw the article was a wonderful read.

  • Latha on April 4, 2011, 17:45 GMT

    Hi Andy, I've been following your blog religiously. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each & every article u wrote. Amazing wit & sense of humour. I also want to profoundly apologize for the random comment passed by some idiot. Indians are hospitable people & would always welcome anyone.

  • Shouldas – Wouldas - Couldas ! on April 4, 2011, 17:34 GMT

    Andy “THE GREAT” ! Thanx for multiplying the fun EXPONENTIALLY !

  • DL on April 4, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    Hey Andy,

    First, I just enjoy your writing and thanks for yet another excellent piece! My apologies to you for that fan's (jerk's)reaction who does not know how to behave with another human being. But trust me you'll find those types everywhere...I hope not very many in India. Looking forward for your next visit to India...

  • AM on April 4, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    Dear Mr. Zaltzman,

    Of all the comments you received in your month long trip to the sub-continent, you chose to conclude by one "go back" slur.

    Perhaps the guy was right in requesting you to leave. You could use this *love* and try to fix *other places* where such slur is a little more common place.

    Sincerely, A

  • Bob on April 4, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Good one....

  • Phani on April 4, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Such racist comments occur everywhere in the world. Try walking on streets during late friday/saturday nights (forget about game nights) in White countries you can hear racist comments. Don't try to comment India for every damn reason.

  • g s on April 4, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    great wit. keep it up.

  • chinmay boriwal on April 4, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    I was waiting 4 this moment in my life!! I can die with happiness now!!may the ghosts of 2003 Wcup rest in peace!!A huge monkey is off the back now!!! as it is said that nothing succeeds like success I have some fascinating facts- -sri lanka lost both Wcup finals when they were outperformed by the wicketkeeper.Even in their T20 cup 2009 final,kamran demolished their bowling, -india won both ODI Wcups on saturday, -india started the campaign with a 4 and ended it with a 6, -india played their last and first match against the 2 teams with oustered then in 2007 Wcup, -Shane Warne emerged as "PAUL" of cricket, -sri lanka didn't beat any Wcup winning side in this Wcup, -mahela scored ton in a losing cause, -highest ever run chase in final, -274 was enough 4 srilanka 2 win..but they saw rajni & ghajini in crowd.. -home side jinx broken, -gambhir top scored under MS in both finals of 2007 t20 and this one, -srilanka drinking the tea in plate...coz india took away the cup.LOL

  • stevieb on April 4, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    Andy.. Guess we can't apologise enough for stupid 'go home' man. Thanks for laughing it off though.but.. You leaving ??? What about IPL?? Come on.. Stay on mate.

  • Shreeram on April 4, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    As for the 'Go home white man' comment. It deserves the same treatment that i give when i get 'p*k*' comment in the UK - a resolute stare followed by a very idiotic smile and a stammered .....no speke english......hahhaha!

  • Hiddy on April 4, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    Hello Andy, I love your articles. I am an Indian (third generation living in South Africa). That comment is just from one moron. As another guy said "we love u in India" and that would be true for 99.999999999999999999% of the people. Indians are a loving bunch, even gary Kirsten felt immediately at home.

  • Kool Kat on April 4, 2011, 14:14 GMT

    Thanks Andy, for the riot that you conjured. As for the last guy, he was probably bi-polar in nature. In a nation of a billion, we may have a million like him. Not too bad a sampling I suppose.

  • Nakul on April 4, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Thanks for the lovely blogs and the smiles all through, Andy.

    Hope you enjoyed your trip to the sub-continent.

    Our apologies for that screaming fool but there are a few buffoons still around - in every place

  • Jay Nikra on April 4, 2011, 14:00 GMT

    Let me apologize you on behalf of the person that shouted at you. He might have been in a shock and uncontrollable state of mind. These things do happen knowingly/unknowingly and I appreciate your positive spirit in taking the moment.

    Thank you Andy, you have been excellent with your articles and I am proud to be an Indian after this world cup win. It means not only they brought the cup hope, but this could be a new beginning to many people and now as Shah Rukh Khan said, now 'D' goes for Dhoni in every kids life. I hope the new generation get their inspiration from Dhoni and the way he lead the team. Personally, it is a very inspirational leadership and a perfect team work.

    Chak De India!!!!

  • Aditya on April 4, 2011, 13:51 GMT

    Andy, I would remember this world cup for being introduced to a lovely human being, someone who loves cricket at heart, someone whose bald pate will go into annals of cricketing history, someone who miraculously is also a family man inspite of being a cricket fanatic, someone who in my mind will be intimately connected to world cup' 2011 .. of course you, of all the people, would know whom I am referring to - Sehwag. Best wishes ..

  • Avinash on April 4, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    Only one error in the usual master pieces that you come up with..the opening line is wrong. Its not "Yesterday night" but "Last Night"...the other apparent mistakes - I am assuming is intentional...otherwise nicely done...Oh and the idiot who asked called you white man...forget him...we all love you:)

  • Sai on April 4, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    "The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths." Classic!

  • Eskay on April 4, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    AZ, thanks for the delightful coverage of the World Cup. Finding enough superlatives for the 'fun and laughter' approach you adorn is proving to be a Herculean task. Presumably, you gather the sentiment.

    Apologies from a proud Indian for the idiot who was rude to you.

  • Nirav on April 4, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    Andy, I got critical about your blogs in the mid stages of the tournament...But you make a wholloping comeback with...

    'The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths'... My office-mates in UK are asking, what am I laughing about... I wont bother to explain who's Sreesant and his impact on the game...

    Good one...And the Pseudo racial abuse you experienced...I experience that too in Scotland...but i take it with the same pich of iodised salt you took it with...

    Keep it up...

    Nirav

  • sreekanth on April 4, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    Great article, as usual lot of Zalt and pepper on it.Thanks for a nice read.

  • Mr_from_Virginia on April 4, 2011, 12:43 GMT

    Andy, Great Stuff as usual. I seriously suggest you to compile all these articles into a book. I predict that it would be a very big hit in India and elsewhere .. Thanks for making us very happy with your extremely funny humor.

  • Jagannath on April 4, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    Titus has said exactly what I'd have like to say !(Thanks Titus)

    Only you could conjure a masterpiece like this! " I am prepared to accept that he was an employee of the airline company I am flying back to Britain with today, who had hunted me down on the packed streets of Mumbai to give me a verbal flight reminder. For which I am eternally grateful." LMAO!!!

  • manu on April 4, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    Amazing as always. Hmm, feel sad about the stupidness of the 60 year late guy. You are always welcome to our loving India. Come here to write for us. :) :)

  • Ryan on April 4, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Andy - Please write a book. And, stay funny white man, stay!!

  • venbas on April 4, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Maybe the guy you found in the car was sreesanth himself who mistook you for Andrew Strauss the man who almost spoiled India's party before they regrouped. Maybe sreesanth just found out that there was ONE unaccounted run in that IND-ENG match that gives England a WIN and hence the results of subsequent matches have to be erased and replayed.

  • RJ on April 4, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    V. Good article...one thing is missing though, India had the right to use home advantage and they used in pefection. India - Australia, they had pitch with one half sppining and the other had bounce for fatsre men. India - Pakistan, slow wicket and spray to root out the dew factor. Srilanka - India, flat wicket and dew at the end. Masterly used home advantade. Srilanka missed the trick at home.

  • Karthik Rajasekar on April 4, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    I am pleased that Andy has taken the "Go home.." comment lightly and is even able to make a joke out of it. I think if Andy does a few shows in India it would boost stand up comedy in India. Since his subject would be Criket I am sure he can attract masses.

  • ramaprasad on April 4, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    All news headings say India's BCCI team won the World Cup Cricket. But Bupati and Paes won the Ericsson trophy and are the World Number ONE in Tennis doubles. No news headlines. So much hype for Cricket. Why? Viswanth Anand was called a foreigner after owning all his contribution. Very sad! Only Cricket like the Congress and Ghandi family for India!

  • Santosh on April 4, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    The one bit of resentment I have towards you is due to the fact that you did your stand-up show in Bangladesh and not in India. WTF??? Still, that's easily remedied: come back to India (specifically Bangalore) whenever you can. We'd love to have you again, I'm sure.

  • Sridhar Kalyan on April 4, 2011, 11:03 GMT

    Andy Zaltzman - you have been terribly guilty of doling out consistently great stuff during the entire length of this world cup, which even the cricketers couldn't manage!! You are therefore banned from covering the next world-cup to be held in India (which is expected to be in 2021) - but as a fitting tribute to that "lagaan-inspired" fellow countryman of mine, you shall very certainly comeback to cover everything else, in the meanwhile.

    Phew!! Where did you learn to come out with such analogies.....

    Thank you, AZ.

  • Pankaj on April 4, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Excellent article; keep writing as it could inspire others.

  • Chakri on April 4, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Super entertaining column!!

  • John on April 4, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Great Article.....thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  • Ryan on April 4, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    "...not merely agog, but severalgogs" how do you come up with these ??? Good work Andy. Your column continues to be one of my favorites on cricinfo. Best Wishes.

  • Jatin on April 4, 2011, 9:30 GMT

    Hi Andy,

    I've been reading your each and every blog covering the world cup. Hats off to you for writing such wonderful stuff. Don't go back, just stay here to regale us further. Would surely love to see your stand up comedy routine sometime.

  • Ramanna Rai on April 4, 2011, 9:23 GMT

    Great!!!!! Sehwag`s contribution and 3 Sreesanths were really outstanding, hopefully `the man yelling from the car window` is forgiven, it happens after a worldcup final(irresepective of the result!!!)

  • Sameer Katti on April 4, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Great Article Andy. I browse Cricinfo searching for your articles. You have made this WC more memorable with your fantabulous Wit and Absolutely superb sense of Humour. Sorry about that idiot. Please visit again and again and again. Love you, take care.

  • Deepak on April 4, 2011, 8:14 GMT

    Truly Funny "3 Sreesanths"

  • arun on April 4, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    Andy,

    You are a rare and endangered species among sports writers. While the rest of the sporting world takes the game and players too seriously, you are a welcome change. Bless your soul !

  • Abhishek Joshi on April 4, 2011, 7:20 GMT

    Looking forward to your articles (and predictions!) during the SL-Eng and Ind-Eng series this summer. Re-iterating my friends here - You're always welcome in India, AZ. Thanks for your awesome work during the world-cup :: Regards from Bangalore, India!

  • Sharatchandra Bhargav on April 4, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Andy, your wit and humor are peerless.I have enjoyed reading you through this world cup. Hope the one sore apple does not spoil what has been a basket full of delicious Indian fruit during this world cup. Keep coming back,India welcomes you with open arms.

  • jiju on April 4, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    good comments andy....when will england win the cup...fourth time lucky????

  • Nirupam on April 4, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    Simply brilliant!

  • Wanderer on April 4, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Beautiful analysis written in "Queen's English".....!!!! Would like to read more from you...

  • Arun Kumar on April 4, 2011, 5:57 GMT

    One of those rare articles that had me laughing lengthily, till people around me asked me "What happened?", especially surprised that I found something funny on a cricket website. Very witty. Very readable. And full of things to carry home in mind and heart and tell the family over dinner table.

  • Hemal on April 4, 2011, 3:06 GMT

    Andy...As usual you are great and one of the main reason to log on to cricinfo.

  • Latha Kumar on April 4, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    Another fabulously written article, Andy! Despite the stupid incident at the end, I hope you had a reasonably good time in India. We love you here Andy - you are a rockstar! Do come back soon :-)

  • Richard on April 4, 2011, 2:19 GMT

    East or west, Zaltzman is the best!

  • syed ahmed on April 3, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    you are a true humorist. standing ovations for the last paragraph

  • deepanker on April 3, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    loved your coverage of the world cup. hope to see u soon in this country....maybe a stand up gig!! :)

  • Ani D Konda on April 3, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    Andy, The highlight of this world cup has been reading your columns (amongst other things). I loved your take on Kamran Akmal's 'keeping during the Pak vs NZ match. Nice to see someone so passionate about cricket actually belonging to the country where it originated. And don't worry about the fool who wanted you to go home last night. I guess there are a lot of us who would welcome you home and be glad to bear our addresses as your "India address". Keep making people smile.

  • Preyas on April 3, 2011, 15:09 GMT

    Brilliant humor..your way describing things is Wodehousian and fresh..and good job taking the last comment in your strides as you did! The comment was uncalled for though.

  • Das on April 3, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    Andy rocks. P G Wodehouse reborn. The best cricket journalism is as pleasurable as the game itself and Andy's writing proves that!

  • Rahil Khan on April 3, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    Great work Andy. A masterpiece worthy of the WC Final that it covered. I will miss your articles just as much as I shall miss the World Cup. What a tournament! What a wonderful company with Andy's updates!

    Cheers

  • Vaidya on April 3, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    The WC was just the main course... I believe you don't intend leaving before dessert is served! The IPL is just around the corner!

  • LALIT on April 3, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    hi andy, your article was perfect. your sense of humour is great and really gives that ''i have to finish reading this before anything else'' feeling. god knows where you get these ideas from. i wish i could think and write like you. continue your good work.. best of luck.

  • P.Satish on April 3, 2011, 14:54 GMT

    Hello Andy,

    It was great to read your articles about the World Cup. We hope you have enjoyed visiting this part of the World and have had a good time. Apologies for the idiot who shouted out at you. You are always welcome.

    This nation has seen some great personalities visit us - Alexander, Marco Polo, Mandela, and now Andy Zaltzman.

  • Jayanti Balakrishna on April 3, 2011, 14:52 GMT

    It would appear that you are now a fan of Indian Team.

  • Deepanjan Datta on April 3, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Thanks for being such a sport about your experience mentioned in the end ( and for turning it around with your humor!). LOL! hilarious summary.

  • Aaron Smothers on April 3, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Andy, how about coming back towards the end of IPL to enjoy and cover the shortest version of the game? As well: hope to see you in circulation when India tours England in the summer! Cheers

  • Yourfan on April 3, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    Andy, nice article. I think the comment from the by passer was in just and out of care for you. He was suggesting you to get into a safe place and not be on the streets where crowds can go frenzy with celebration.

  • Shankar on April 3, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    “You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you.” That's EXACTLY what I picture Dhoni saying when the going gets tough. A supreme captain's innings.

  • sandeep on April 3, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    the las para... airline employee giving verbal flight reminder.... absolutely funny...wonderful article... m one of ur grt fans dude... long live..

  • Malik Mendis on April 3, 2011, 14:34 GMT

    I am a huge fan of yours. I find you really hilarious. Always look forward to the next article. The part about Sri Lanka paying for selecting 3 new bowlers for the final is spot-on. Perhaps that was the single biggest reason Sri Lanka lost. Sri Lanka was supposed to have one of the best bowling attacks in the competition. The bowling attack on display yesterday would have been taken to the cleaners by the Saracens batting line-up.Clever use of stats as always - like the one about 3 Sreesanths. Keep going Andy!

  • Cricket Lover on April 3, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    Stupendofabulouslyfantastical.."picking three Sreesanths"..was just great.apologies about the unpleasant incident mentioned in the last para...

  • srikanth on April 3, 2011, 14:32 GMT

    So you left india . There will be many sreesanths playing in IPL.who is going to give us the stats?

  • Sichu on April 3, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    Andy,

    Great Narration, Just Awesome..keep your good work man...

    In your style...just remove the green chilly topped on a "DELICIOUS PIZZA"

  • raj on April 3, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Hilarious. Loved Sehwag's radioactive pads. Don't go, Andy, come back. We love you.

  • Anumeha on April 3, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    Fabulous article...

  • Shridhar on April 3, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    You will be missed Andy. Hope you update your Confectionery Stall as often as you did with On the Road With Zaltzman.

  • GOPI on April 3, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    sincere apologies!individual opinions may be forgiven. we indians have always been welcoming anyone onboard. thank you for all your superdooper humorous mind tickling articles. LYA.

  • Lord of the Dings on April 3, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Andy,

    This is the best piece so far. Your writing reminds one of a certain Douglas Adams - perhaps you heard of him? :)

    I wish you would write a book - I promise to buy the non pirated version...

  • Sriram on April 3, 2011, 14:05 GMT

    My apologies for that idiot in the cab. You are welcome to stay: in fact, I think you should be made an honorary citizen of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

  • Praveen on April 3, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    Great writing Andy! I really like the way you bring in words to enrich the cricket story.

  • Rohan on April 3, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Wonderful.

  • Nithin on April 3, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    the last paragraph -- please don't take it the heart! You are always welcome to India.

  • Mufaddal Yamani on April 3, 2011, 13:50 GMT

    "equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths." Man, that just slayed me!!!

  • Varun Reddy on April 3, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Loved your writings for this World Cup... And your predictions too... Have a blast back in England :)And keep writing Andy !!!

  • Ravi kumar on April 3, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    I apologize on behalf of that person who asked you to go home Andy. Anyway maybe as one of my friend said Asian domination over the decline of White dominated English invented game, is a mere stupidity of over-excitement. Maybe the waiting of the end of 28 years got into his head. But otherwise its a brilliant article, articulate of everything what some of those who watched cricket closely and not-so-experts opine of what you have said. Cheers mate!!!!

  • Vidyarthi on April 3, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    ROFL...Hilarious Andy ..specially the predictions about Sehwag...good one!! Don't go White man. Dont go, come back!!

  • Shwetank Dhyani on April 3, 2011, 13:42 GMT

    Sorry about the last bit Andy.. :-( The guy sure got under your skin. Shrug it off !!! I am sure 99% of those party freaks would have bought you a drink that day.

  • RAJ on April 3, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Mr. Zaltzman, Very commendable article and enjoyed reading and visualizing every bit of it..... This article will definitely powerdrill itself into the annals of my memory cushion.

    Cheers Mate.

  • Gaurav on April 3, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    If you ever read the comments that we post here - I am absolutely saddened by the remark someone made to you about going home. I think just that all the celebration makes one too 'patriotic' (so to say). Its just plain unfortunate that this happens today. But I am sure the Indians that love you outnumber those who will scoff at you at least by as much as Dhoni outscored Sehwag in yesterday's game.

    You rock!

  • Mandeep on April 3, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    lol! Andy, this stuff is hilarious!

  • Raaj on April 3, 2011, 13:34 GMT

    Fantabulous, Andy i have been your fan for a long time and religiously read your satirical articles, but this one takes the cake with the icing. Marvelously written and like someone commented on top I wish I had the command over the balmy English language as you.

  • Dipankar on April 3, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Superlative article. Damn funny!

  • V on April 3, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    I couldn't stop laughing for the last paragraph. :) It is very nice positive outlook.

  • Partha on April 3, 2011, 13:32 GMT

    Andrew - great article. Sorry about the comment in poor taste by an Indian.Chalk it up to poor taste and exuberant nationalism on a night when both were at their peak. I know you took it well and kudos to your sense of humour. There will always be some stuck in a tme warp.

  • Vignesh on April 3, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    So many laughs in this. This is truly genius.

  • Prakash on April 3, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    Brilliant again!!! “You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you.” - clearly shows how MSD took command over the game..not only the Captain cool but also courageous because he knows what would be the outcome if he failed to shine yesterday.

  • duncan Brown on April 3, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Another gift from Zaltzman.

  • Suds on April 3, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    gud creative stuff. But even google did not seem to know what " Jeroboam of Chateau Criticism" means.

  • Malay Deb on April 3, 2011, 13:21 GMT

    "Go home,white man, go home".....

    I am sorry Andy and I am ashamed. But I guess we all have our share of these lousy nuts. However I APOLOGISE on behalf of all Indians who do not approve such naked display of jingoistic fervor. Keep visiting us and keep writing on cricket.

  • Oliver on April 3, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Briliant write! Loved the “Go home, white man, go home” bit. Hillarious.

  • Raj on April 3, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    Great Article Andy. I apologize on behalf of that man for his loose comment.India welcomes all.

    Hope you had a good time during this world cup and you are welcome anytime.

    Keep us entertained with your brilliant writing.

  • sandeep on April 3, 2011, 13:18 GMT

    Andy meting you personally during the course of the kevin o brien innings was the higlight for me during the tournament .. Of course Dhoni's six chnaged all that ....:-) But i am sure you are going back only with pleasant memories of india sri lanka and bangaldesh !! keep up your good work

  • hemant on April 3, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Andy:

    (1) Thanks for coming to India, you will always be welcome here. (2) If you feel ----, come to India. (Fill in that blank with words like: "lonely;" "need to watch cricket," "the need to celebrate;" "the need for color;" "like running away from the complexity of modern life;" "the need for simplicity;" "feel the rush of blood." (3) Thanks for the column and your travel diary, it makes the win much more special. (4) I get a feeling cricket is dying in other countries. It is nice to see fans like you.

    Please continue to keep writing and stay creative.

    When I was in school and I remember the 1987 world cup on a summer day. I could knock on any door in a 2 km radius and say I wanted to watch the cricket match. They would let me in, give me some water from the fridge and give me a seat under the fan to sit. No questions asked. That is how we like our cricket.

    In response to that guy who said, "Go Home," please accept my humble invitation. You are always welcome in India

  • Saurabh Saxena on April 3, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    Excellent!! Excellent article... right amount of English sarcasm, wit and humor in it... two things i like the best in it..

    1. "MS Dhoni grabbed the game by the throat and barked sternly into its face: You are coming with me. No arguments. Now sit down, and do exactly what I tell you." - love that quote.

    2. "..he made a ballsy decision. He backed it up with granite cojones.." - and i agree Dhoni sure has guts to make risky decisions and then had sheer grit to support and make those decisions successful.

    My believe is that this world cup is won by the country that has learn to improve from their mistakes and has the capability to capitalize on the pressure that comes with such events.

    South Africa, England, Australia, Pakistan and even Sir Lanka, all have some how buck down when the pressure applied to them.

    So my congratulations to all the Indians out their and a very big thank you to you Mr. Zaltzman for excellent articles.

  • asiqk on April 3, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    outstanding as always

  • Arun Leslie on April 3, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    As always...terriffic..the way you wrote about the not so good comment on the color of the skin is memorable...

  • ebmkunhi on April 3, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Good article from great writer.

  • asiqk on April 3, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    outstanding as always

  • Timir on April 3, 2011, 13:11 GMT

    Andy, nice article as always! And nice of you to overlook the comment regarding the "white man". I believe at times like this, nationalistic emotions get the better of otherwise sane and civilized people. I hope you do not let this incident change your perception about the Indian people. My apologies on that person's behalf. Regards.

  • Farhan on April 3, 2011, 13:10 GMT

    Andy. As great as ever. The last paragraph just made my day. I envy your sense of humour.

  • G Thomas on April 3, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Great piece! Thanks for ignoring the idiot shouting from the car. He should be ashamed of himself.

  • Rasif on April 3, 2011, 13:04 GMT

    Fantastic end. That sure was awesome

  • Haresh on April 3, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    Very entertaining and interesting article.

  • pundarik on April 3, 2011, 13:03 GMT

    boy, u killed me with dat isotope bit..hillarious..kp dem comin, Andy !!

  • M S JOSEPH on April 3, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    GREAT ARTICLE.

  • krishna on April 3, 2011, 13:01 GMT

    Awesome article Andy.. The two facts you gave to support your prediction are out of the world hilarious. I think i never would live to see sehwag getting 50 ball duck!!

  • TRex on April 3, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    He writes well,this Zaltzman, but he is so besotted by 1947 that he brings it up in pretty much everything he writes. If he isn't that old then why does he still carry the Raj hangover? Doesn't he realize that it isn't funny?

  • rohit on April 3, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    "The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths" awesome !

  • rohit on April 3, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    "The three new men took 1 for 162 in 26.2 overs. Which was approximately the equivalent of India picking three Sreesanths" awesome !

  • alok on April 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    superb ornamental language.. i envy this guy.. after so many days got 2 read a quality writing

  • ravi on April 3, 2011, 12:46 GMT

    Awesome article Andy... The comparisons are poetic and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • kaprashoo on April 3, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    on behalf of the injun diaspora i can only apoligise for the idiot that reminded you of your flight home. not that it's any consolation but every trip i make to the motherland i usually get one wag similarly advise me to "go home london boy, go home". i guess i should stop dressing like the tragicbritish german dance duo of the late 80s... but anyway, really enjoyed your articles, videos and pods. well done on a great job and will be sure to attend one of your gigs in the future.

  • Anonymous on April 3, 2011, 12:42 GMT

    sorry Andy..for the guy who asked to go back.. India belongs to nice people... all are welcom in india nice article

  • Manu on April 3, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Sorry about the douchebag on the street, Andy. Thanks for keeping us entertained this world cup.

  • hemant singh on April 3, 2011, 12:39 GMT

    Yes your prediction about Sehwag was spot on. No one would love seeing a 50 ball duck from him. And thank god they chose 3 Sreesanths (but the original sreesanth can beat them any day). He has a break dance (which he thinks is a break dance) move that's pretty hard to replicate.

  • Madhav on April 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    Thanks Andy for taking the comment on you to go home so humorously. Only great human beings can think like that.

  • Subramani on April 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    We enjoyed your articles throughout the World Cup and will continue to enjoy it. Thanks a lot. Besides the Indian team, you have also made us very very happy.

  • jsikarwar on April 3, 2011, 12:37 GMT

    lovely sentiment to round off another brilliant article. your articles are far more realistic than so many other cricinfo writers, despite the obvious attempt at being humerous.

    i also read that the indian team + management had planned this campaign for about a year or so, in Dambulla, i believe. It would be great if you could the minutes of that conversation between the team and management. i bet it would blow most people's socks off!

  • Ravi on April 3, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Super article Andy !

  • Desmond on April 3, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    Recently discovered and have been thoroughly enjoying your columns. Glad your humour helped you get beyond the idiot who yelled "Go Home" at you to the millions of my fellow countrymen and myself who would have you consider India home!

  • sandy on April 3, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    ...perfect description of a perfect final match and funny where it should be..interesting examples ..

  • Anonymous on April 3, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    will miss you posts of the world cup....!!! thanks for the laughs!!

  • Klyn on April 3, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    A Great article...Fitting one for a great finale...

  • saikat on April 3, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    totally floored by your profound take on Sehwag's critical innings.... and on the airline's reminder

  • anujan on April 3, 2011, 12:25 GMT

    u r awesome man !! india is awesome

  • katneni on April 3, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    funny.......as always

  • Jagadeesh KR on April 3, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    Quite an absorbing and cool article. Mr.Zaltzman. Yeah I do very much like the narrative style of yours. Kudos!!

  • nitin on April 3, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    Fantabulous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sreejit on April 3, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    wow! what a great analysis....! a skylarking article on the game...

  • Kiv_Arn on April 3, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    What's this new Cricket War strategy ? Absolutely Unique. "1: It wore the new ball out. A little. His pads are coated with a radioactive isotope that makes shiny leather biodegrade."

  • Anonymous on April 3, 2011, 12:18 GMT

    Hi Andy, you are the only writer who makes me refresh cricinfo every now and then!! Thanks a lot and I apologise on behalf of that stupid man who shouted at you..

  • Naveen on April 3, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    "so I am prepared to accept that he was an employee of the airline company I am flying back to Britain with today"

    When I read this sentence at the end ur article. My wickedest of smiles came out. I like the way you 've thot in this sentence and I want to keep thinking in same direction.

  • Manoj on April 3, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    Thanks Mr.Zaltzman , Your column was the second most source of joy through this world cup, first being Team India. Thank You, you are India's favorite Cricket Satirist. Cheers and please come again, we love you.

  • jogesh99 on April 3, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    The lawyers for the estate of PGW will be contacting you shortly. Stay here, white man, stay here.

  • Aditya on April 3, 2011, 12:15 GMT

    The incident described in the last paragraph is truly appalling and embarrassing. Apologies.

  • Surender Azad on April 3, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    It has been a great world cup for us Indians but it would have been a trifle bland triumph without the writings of this P G Wodehouse's reincarnation. Fabulous Stuff. Stay white white man stay here for ever. We Indians love talent and I amsure you have more fans here than in the stiff upper lipped London.

  • Titus on April 3, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Only you could conjure a masterpiece like this!

    " I am prepared to accept that he was an employee of the airline company I am flying back to Britain with today, who had hunted me down on the packed streets of Mumbai to give me a verbal flight reminder. For which I am eternally grateful." LMAO!!!

  • Aloke on April 3, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Andy - thanks for the delightful articles all through the world cup and wish you a safe trip back home.

    We can be a little bit (ok, more than that) crazy here in India, but i hope you generally had a great time visiting and covering this superb tournament!

  • Ajit on April 3, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    Ending was amazing !!!! Only u can come up with humour from literally Anyrthing

  • Gavin on April 3, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    To refute the bad manners of my fellow country man, may I extend an invite to you Andy to come back whenever you feel like it.

    Your articles have been excellent, and I doff my hat to your comedic wit.

  • Tarkari Ghosh on April 3, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    I enjoyed reading this. Well written.

  • Abhijeet on April 3, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    White man, you love Cricket so much, you *are* home!

  • SVL Narayan on April 3, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Keep 'em coming,Andy.

  • Vivek on April 3, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Great...

  • Shiv on April 3, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Aww. Don't go by what that idiot said, Andy. We love you in India!

  • Maithreyi on April 3, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    All the mixed food metaphors aside (restaurant? pizza? cherry? cake?) this was a delight to read. Although my favourite might've been the bit about the miserly boa-constrictor. Not an anaconda, you reckon?

  • Sridhar on April 3, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Andy, brilliant, as ever! The comment on Srilanka picking up '3 Sreesanths' was just too good! You combine an uncanny zest for statistics with a fantastic sense of humour and love for cricket- a very unique combination, I must say. But what a night for us, Indian fans, it was yesterday!

  • AR on April 3, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Great article!!!Great language!! I am sorry for the unpleasantness for the last incident you have mentioned ...It is some Idiot who said that!!!

  • moonuranus on April 3, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Hi Andy, I am sorry for the idiotic Indian you had to encounter. Hope you had a nice time.

  • Kiran on April 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Good one. Summed it up all!

  • sunil tiwary on April 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    The first few overs I felt that its all Srilankas cup ,omce Malinga removed from the attak confidence came back and it was all over

  • Abhinandan on April 3, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    awesome!!!

  • avinash on April 3, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    great article.i wish i had command over the language like you.

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  • avinash on April 3, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    great article.i wish i had command over the language like you.

  • Abhinandan on April 3, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    awesome!!!

  • sunil tiwary on April 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    The first few overs I felt that its all Srilankas cup ,omce Malinga removed from the attak confidence came back and it was all over

  • Kiran on April 3, 2011, 11:57 GMT

    Good one. Summed it up all!

  • moonuranus on April 3, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Hi Andy, I am sorry for the idiotic Indian you had to encounter. Hope you had a nice time.

  • AR on April 3, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Great article!!!Great language!! I am sorry for the unpleasantness for the last incident you have mentioned ...It is some Idiot who said that!!!

  • Sridhar on April 3, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    Andy, brilliant, as ever! The comment on Srilanka picking up '3 Sreesanths' was just too good! You combine an uncanny zest for statistics with a fantastic sense of humour and love for cricket- a very unique combination, I must say. But what a night for us, Indian fans, it was yesterday!

  • Maithreyi on April 3, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    All the mixed food metaphors aside (restaurant? pizza? cherry? cake?) this was a delight to read. Although my favourite might've been the bit about the miserly boa-constrictor. Not an anaconda, you reckon?

  • Shiv on April 3, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    Aww. Don't go by what that idiot said, Andy. We love you in India!

  • Vivek on April 3, 2011, 12:09 GMT

    Great...