February 4, 2014


The world of obsessive sports fans

India has more than its fair share of fans whose mood swings can be blamed on cricket, where the fortunes of the team affect the daily lives of its obsessive followers. Akshay Sawai in Open Magazine tries to understand the mindset of some of these fans, and when asked to recall their darkest moments, the 1996 World Cup semi-final stands out.

The notorious 1996 World Cup semifinal turns up again when one speaks to Gaurav Sethi, head of advertising agency Naked and a cricket nut who blends sport and humour in the portal BCCI (Bored Cricket Crazy Indians), of which he is founder. That World Cup should have been ours, just as the 1987 World Cup should have been ours. World Cups like 1991-92, 1999 and 2007, we agree, we didn't have a chance. Even in the 2003 World Cup, we came close--Australia outplayed us in the final. But 1996 should have been ours. When that didn't happen, it hurt. Especially if, like Sethi, it was your wedding sangeet that day. 'Even before the first guests arrived, I knew Aravinda de Silva would spoil my party,' Sethi writes in an email message. 'By the time the people-trickle started, I decided to distance myself from India's chase.' Sethi says the crumbling of India's dream resulted in even non-drinkers hitting the bottle that day

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