India v Pakistan, 2nd semi-final, World Cup 2011 April 1, 2011

Is this really patriotism?

Looking at the hype and hysteria that surrounds every India-Pakistan encounter, one wonders whether India has really evolved as a responsible nation
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Was it really good-spirited patriotism that strutted itself in all forms decipherable in the lead up the semi-final game against Pakistan, or was it in fact an obsessive case of fervent jingoism? The support for the Indian team bordered on crass, the nation did not just support Team India but ridiculed the opposition. The media, in order to grab eyeballs and increase TRPs, went to unimaginable extremes and added fuel to the fire. Losing to Pakistan seemed no longer an option for the Men in Blue. But wasn't it a game of cricket in which one side had to lose? Yes, it was the semi-final of the World Cup and hence an important game, but would the build-up have been the same if the opponent had been any other team? I doubt it. In fact, now that we have beaten Pakistan it's considered okay if we lose to Sri Lanka in the final, for we have been avenged. Don't you find it strange? What does it tell you about our evolution as a responsible nation?

Let me go back to the 1920s when India was reeling under the British rule and cricket, a European sport, was finding its feet in India. There was an annual quadrangular tournament featuring a team each of Hindus, Muslims, Parsis and the British. Initially, these matches were played and seen as a sport but when the freedom movement gained steam, the stakes changed too. These annual cricket encounters were seen and used as the vehicles to assert our presence and our right to freedom. Every British loss on the cricket pitch was viewed as the nation's victory over its rulers. And one could easily relate to those emotions because the country was struggling for its existence and survival. But even then the Indians (called natives) didn't take up the sport to get even with the rulers; they took it up because they liked playing it.

Post independence and the division of the country, we just carried forward the same sentiment i.e. sport being the vehicle to assert supremacy. The relations between India and Pakistan remained sour for the longest time. We've fought wars and still continue to have other equally important issues plaguing us. Yet, there's enough reason to believe that we as people, have matured and come a long way in trimming down that animosity, especially via Bollywood and numerous other cultural exchanges, perhaps reiterating time and again that the rivalry is only political. Or at least I'd like to believe that India has definitely evolved and has become a responsible nation. Unfortunately though, all it took was a cricket match to topple that process of evolution. Are we not, in a sense, pushing ourselves back a 100 years?

Besides that would it not be fair to spare a moment of thought for cricketers involved in the game? We cricketers are also the product of the environment we've grown in. We also understand the importance of an India-Pakistan game and dearly want to beat them every time we meet. But we also realise that it might not be possible every single time, for a game of cricket is not won by the team that is more emotionally charged but by that team which executes its plans properly and has the skill to support those plans. We know that we carry the expectations of a billion people and would do anything to not let them down. But at the same time we are humans too and can take only so much pressure. We try to insulate ourselves by not reading the newspapers or watching the news channels but despite our best efforts, we can't completely go into our cocoon. While we want to think positively all the time, the thought of a possible loss followed by a backlash finds its way into our mind. What if we lose this game against Pakistan? Will our effigies be burnt across India? Will our houses be vandalised and will our families be safe? Will we be the nation's pariah just because we couldn't win a game of cricket?

It's about time that we, as a nation, answer these questions. Are we going to behave like this every time we play Pakistan? If we detest them so much, it may not be a bad idea to severe all cricketing ties with them, for a cricket match can't be used as a benchmark to prove our superiority as a nation. Every time we behave like the way we did this time, it pulls us down as a responsible nation

You must be thinking right now -- since we love you so much, it's only fair to receive the ridicule. While we agree that we are what we are because of your love and support, we are humans too who can and should be allowed to fail from time to time. Memories from 2003 loom large in my mind, when fans vandalised Mohammad Kaif's house and left the players completely gobsmacked. For the first time ever, we felt unsure about our families, and their safety back home. I also vividly remember my tour to Pakistan in 2004. That was the first time I saw cricket being the lead story on the front page of all national dailies for almost every single day. As a player, however much you want the recognition, you'd rather stay within the sports pages, for the repercussions of featuring on the front pages can be manifold. We have in a way, learnt to take even appreciation with a pinch of salt.

I, personally, have taken immense pleasure when we defeated Pakistan in Multan and Rawalpindi and felt gutted when we lost to them at Lahore. The point I'm trying to make is that we also go through the same set of emotions as you do, albeit objectively. And believe me, the Pakistan cricketers, who are otherwise a friendly lot, don't forget to remind us about the repercussions of a possible loss during an event. While they envy the status our cricketers enjoy, they're happy that their country receives a loss in a much better fashion. England did not go to Zimbabwe during the 2003 World Cup because they received threats. While the English players were warned by the outsiders, cricketers in India get that word of warning, quite strangely, from their own fans.

It's about time that we, as a nation, answer these questions. Are we going to behave like this every time we play Pakistan? If we detest them so much, it may not be a bad idea to sever all cricketing ties with them, for a cricket match can't be used as a benchmark to prove our superiority as a nation. Every time we behave like the way we did this time, it pulls us down as a responsible nation. The choice is ours.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra is the author of Beyond the Blues, an account of the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy season. His website is here and his Twitter feed here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 3, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    I think the person who wrote this article dont get the point that Cricket is like a religion in subcontinent and Indopak matches are the clash of the titans and when u win a match with that magnitude u should celebrate ur heart out i mean cmon how many good moments do we get in life? I m from Lahore, Pakistan and i m with the Indian fans with this celebration thing if Pakistan would have won the same situation would had been experienced in every street of my country so thats absolute normal and is the love for cricket and for our motherlands I respect India and their cricket team i know there are some hate mockers on both sides but generally I think we love each other how can two parts of a human body hate each other its impossible ... if only media and politicians correct themselves i think we will become the best neighboring countries on this planet and than there will be more matches and more celebrations burrrrrrrrr cant wait :P and Many many congrats to Team India on WC victory !!

  • on April 2, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    Of course it's Patriotism! The match was one of the greatest. It was a great victory too against a very qualified Pakistani team. And the victory was treated with the right respect and celebration it deserved. To have celebrated it with any less enthusiasm would be an insult to the match. The 2 countries have not faced each other in the World Cup since 2003 and this match was eagerly awaited by people of both countries. Victory would have been celebrated with equal fervor by both nations. It was not treated like a war by anyone, there were cheers for the Pakistani team from the Indian audience. Doesn't the same rivalry-fever exist during Aus-Eng or Aus-NZ matches? The only difference would be the method of celebration. Their fans would party with beers, while our fans (India/Pak) celebrate with fireworks. Dance, Music and Fireworks! That's almost part of our culture. So Mr. Chopra, please dont politicize this. No one asked you to sing and dance but at least stop being a party-pooper!

  • Rukmankan on April 2, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Hahahaha…look at all the Indian fans jump on Aakash just because he says it as he sees it.

    @ Rogerproxy - no SL fans, while passionate, are much more reasonable. No one ever throws stones at our cricketer's houses or even heckle them when they seem at restaurants and while shopping. Yes, our cricketers go shopping and lead normal lives.

  • maddyjagadish on April 2, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    There is a bit of truth in what akash said ..... I understand the match between India Vs Pakistan was a big one but it was very hyped and i did switch off the television till the match started .... It was too much to be honest .... It did reflect upon the performances of our boy's , they were under tremendous pressure, luckily we got a cool captain who handled it very well ... I think we tend get overboard when it comes to success and failure with our cricket team ...

  • bhanumanish on April 2, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    I found your article very interesting in the sense that when "allz is not well" between the 2 countries,this could perhaps go in some +ve and right direction.Infact cricket only gave chances for the relations to improve like anything.Like I thought Sachin on dat day did not deserve MoM,it wud have been a great gesture to share it wid Wahib Raiz as he outshone everyone.n mind it it wud have been a much greater effort than of Manmohan singh.but than I forgot one incident,remembering which I still cme @ pain and which will always remind me that dis is just not d game.In one of the test match @ Kol,Tendulkar had just taken two runs and was returning for a third when substitute Nadeem Khan hit the stumps from deep mid-wicket. Tendulkar had collided with Akhtar, who was waiting for the throw, and failed to ground his bat; third umpire K. T. Francis ruled him out. Had then Capt Wasim Akram called back Sachin,it wud hve been a great thing not only for the game but for the relationship as well.

  • on April 2, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    This was a lame article! First you deem this to be the match of the century and then expect that the fans from both sides will not be passionate about it.. There is a reason why India vs Pakistan is special and it is because of the emotions that every fan associates with a game.. If you take that quotient away from the game, it will no longer be passion. It will no longer unite 1 billion people the way it did on Wednesday. Though I was not in India on that day, but from what I have heard from people.. They have never seen or experienced something like that in their entire lives. They have never seen so many people on streets to celebrate with each other.. a united celebration.. Emotions are important in everything and need to be respected.. I dont blame people like Aakash Chopra because unfortunately for him, he has not done anything..for himself or for India. Sitting infront of the TV, watching his peers pull off one of the greatest wins in Indian cicket can be frustrating.

  • deedupie on April 2, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    Well Mr Chopra, I beg to differ... India is a country where 1.2 Bn hearts beat together when their team is gathered around those 22 yards, forget about defeating their longest standing arch-rival in a World Cup Semi Final which will in all likelihood be our God's last.... It is inhumane to expect fans to sit inside their houses and clap as if they just finished watching some stand-up comedy show. What we did was true patriotism, for our country and for the game which brings billions together. If someone could not reach a pinnacle in his career or was tagged as the "secret-blogger" in one of the Domestic tournaments, doesn't give him the right to stop Indians from celebrating their team's triumph over their arch-rivals. We knew we just moved a step closer to gifting our God the World Cup as a parting gift... The emotions WILL flow and no one, absolutely, NO ONE can stop them!

  • on April 1, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    Very well written I must say. Akash Chopra read my mind. I tend to think that the sense of patriotism or jingoism that was shown by our media and also the people was immature. There is no problem with celebration. How ever it is silly to go overboard with the celebrations when the final is yet to be played. As far as the sentiment "losing world cup final is OK but we shouldnt lose to Pakistan" i think it boils down to what we call "Jhooti Shaan". Very true in saying "Every time we behave like the way we did this time, it pulls us down as a responsible nation. The choice is ours."

    I am actually surprised to see grown up and mature people behave the way they did in regards to the semifinal. I am very Happy that MS Dhoni is doing the right thing by asking the team to stay away from this frenzy. All the best to Team India today. Hope they win.

  • devudk on April 1, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    It seem to have become a fashion, a statement of excellence among the so-called 'intelligent', 'fair minded' reporters and columnists to bash and criticize how Indians celebrate their cricket and their cricketers. Yes, Indian are pretty damn passionate about cricket so get over it. And yes when it comes to Ind vs Pak this passion multiples many more times. For gods sake it is passion and not HATE. Anyway, we passionate Indian cricket fans don't need Chopras of this world to tell us how to celebrate our passion for cricket and cricketer.

  • on April 1, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    I appreciate your cricketer's perspective. After all, you are the ones who face all types of fans on a daily basis and know their nature and temperament. We know you are not referring to the majority of "polite & respectful" fans, but the boisterous, over-zealous ones. Unfortunately the uncouth loudmouths may not be the majority but they tend to be the most visible too.

    Having said that, I was mostly impressed by the way cricketers from both sides behaved. Egoless & gentlemanly with plenty of good things to say about the opposing teams. That's what ultimately counts :)

  • on April 3, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    I think the person who wrote this article dont get the point that Cricket is like a religion in subcontinent and Indopak matches are the clash of the titans and when u win a match with that magnitude u should celebrate ur heart out i mean cmon how many good moments do we get in life? I m from Lahore, Pakistan and i m with the Indian fans with this celebration thing if Pakistan would have won the same situation would had been experienced in every street of my country so thats absolute normal and is the love for cricket and for our motherlands I respect India and their cricket team i know there are some hate mockers on both sides but generally I think we love each other how can two parts of a human body hate each other its impossible ... if only media and politicians correct themselves i think we will become the best neighboring countries on this planet and than there will be more matches and more celebrations burrrrrrrrr cant wait :P and Many many congrats to Team India on WC victory !!

  • on April 2, 2011, 2:59 GMT

    Of course it's Patriotism! The match was one of the greatest. It was a great victory too against a very qualified Pakistani team. And the victory was treated with the right respect and celebration it deserved. To have celebrated it with any less enthusiasm would be an insult to the match. The 2 countries have not faced each other in the World Cup since 2003 and this match was eagerly awaited by people of both countries. Victory would have been celebrated with equal fervor by both nations. It was not treated like a war by anyone, there were cheers for the Pakistani team from the Indian audience. Doesn't the same rivalry-fever exist during Aus-Eng or Aus-NZ matches? The only difference would be the method of celebration. Their fans would party with beers, while our fans (India/Pak) celebrate with fireworks. Dance, Music and Fireworks! That's almost part of our culture. So Mr. Chopra, please dont politicize this. No one asked you to sing and dance but at least stop being a party-pooper!

  • Rukmankan on April 2, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Hahahaha…look at all the Indian fans jump on Aakash just because he says it as he sees it.

    @ Rogerproxy - no SL fans, while passionate, are much more reasonable. No one ever throws stones at our cricketer's houses or even heckle them when they seem at restaurants and while shopping. Yes, our cricketers go shopping and lead normal lives.

  • maddyjagadish on April 2, 2011, 1:43 GMT

    There is a bit of truth in what akash said ..... I understand the match between India Vs Pakistan was a big one but it was very hyped and i did switch off the television till the match started .... It was too much to be honest .... It did reflect upon the performances of our boy's , they were under tremendous pressure, luckily we got a cool captain who handled it very well ... I think we tend get overboard when it comes to success and failure with our cricket team ...

  • bhanumanish on April 2, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    I found your article very interesting in the sense that when "allz is not well" between the 2 countries,this could perhaps go in some +ve and right direction.Infact cricket only gave chances for the relations to improve like anything.Like I thought Sachin on dat day did not deserve MoM,it wud have been a great gesture to share it wid Wahib Raiz as he outshone everyone.n mind it it wud have been a much greater effort than of Manmohan singh.but than I forgot one incident,remembering which I still cme @ pain and which will always remind me that dis is just not d game.In one of the test match @ Kol,Tendulkar had just taken two runs and was returning for a third when substitute Nadeem Khan hit the stumps from deep mid-wicket. Tendulkar had collided with Akhtar, who was waiting for the throw, and failed to ground his bat; third umpire K. T. Francis ruled him out. Had then Capt Wasim Akram called back Sachin,it wud hve been a great thing not only for the game but for the relationship as well.

  • on April 2, 2011, 0:22 GMT

    This was a lame article! First you deem this to be the match of the century and then expect that the fans from both sides will not be passionate about it.. There is a reason why India vs Pakistan is special and it is because of the emotions that every fan associates with a game.. If you take that quotient away from the game, it will no longer be passion. It will no longer unite 1 billion people the way it did on Wednesday. Though I was not in India on that day, but from what I have heard from people.. They have never seen or experienced something like that in their entire lives. They have never seen so many people on streets to celebrate with each other.. a united celebration.. Emotions are important in everything and need to be respected.. I dont blame people like Aakash Chopra because unfortunately for him, he has not done anything..for himself or for India. Sitting infront of the TV, watching his peers pull off one of the greatest wins in Indian cicket can be frustrating.

  • deedupie on April 2, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    Well Mr Chopra, I beg to differ... India is a country where 1.2 Bn hearts beat together when their team is gathered around those 22 yards, forget about defeating their longest standing arch-rival in a World Cup Semi Final which will in all likelihood be our God's last.... It is inhumane to expect fans to sit inside their houses and clap as if they just finished watching some stand-up comedy show. What we did was true patriotism, for our country and for the game which brings billions together. If someone could not reach a pinnacle in his career or was tagged as the "secret-blogger" in one of the Domestic tournaments, doesn't give him the right to stop Indians from celebrating their team's triumph over their arch-rivals. We knew we just moved a step closer to gifting our God the World Cup as a parting gift... The emotions WILL flow and no one, absolutely, NO ONE can stop them!

  • on April 1, 2011, 23:45 GMT

    Very well written I must say. Akash Chopra read my mind. I tend to think that the sense of patriotism or jingoism that was shown by our media and also the people was immature. There is no problem with celebration. How ever it is silly to go overboard with the celebrations when the final is yet to be played. As far as the sentiment "losing world cup final is OK but we shouldnt lose to Pakistan" i think it boils down to what we call "Jhooti Shaan". Very true in saying "Every time we behave like the way we did this time, it pulls us down as a responsible nation. The choice is ours."

    I am actually surprised to see grown up and mature people behave the way they did in regards to the semifinal. I am very Happy that MS Dhoni is doing the right thing by asking the team to stay away from this frenzy. All the best to Team India today. Hope they win.

  • devudk on April 1, 2011, 23:30 GMT

    It seem to have become a fashion, a statement of excellence among the so-called 'intelligent', 'fair minded' reporters and columnists to bash and criticize how Indians celebrate their cricket and their cricketers. Yes, Indian are pretty damn passionate about cricket so get over it. And yes when it comes to Ind vs Pak this passion multiples many more times. For gods sake it is passion and not HATE. Anyway, we passionate Indian cricket fans don't need Chopras of this world to tell us how to celebrate our passion for cricket and cricketer.

  • on April 1, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    I appreciate your cricketer's perspective. After all, you are the ones who face all types of fans on a daily basis and know their nature and temperament. We know you are not referring to the majority of "polite & respectful" fans, but the boisterous, over-zealous ones. Unfortunately the uncouth loudmouths may not be the majority but they tend to be the most visible too.

    Having said that, I was mostly impressed by the way cricketers from both sides behaved. Egoless & gentlemanly with plenty of good things to say about the opposing teams. That's what ultimately counts :)

  • on April 1, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    Maybe I have seen Jay Leno and Letterman too much, enjoy South Park a bit too much..but I think Pakistan team is made of world class players..and they are thick skinned enough to take a few jabs and jokes....The people who are calling our national celebration an act of jingoism, and calling it immatured, should be watching FIFA soccer...because Brazil will celebrate, Germany will celebrate, and so will India...and the noise will be loud..we r 1.2 billion now afterall :)

  • on April 1, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Well...most of the things in this article are true.We played Aussies in QF and defeated them we defeated a team which ruled the world cup for a decade.yet I didnt see any such things in media or in public but the emotions after beating pakistan was definately not the same both in media and public.I have heard ppl saying don bother even if we loose finals..Thats pathetic why don bother this team has played so well for past 2 yrs that it reached no.2 in ODI and no. 1 in tests.and it desrve to win the Cup.Ppl will forgive men in blue if they loose finals but wud have never forgive if we had lost to pakistan...Its a game a sport not a war .....plzz be like a responsible nation.The main role which played in creating this huge fuss was media It made the game a war....We want to win the cup for sachin .A legend who has just this dark spot of not winning a WC in his entire carreer so far.

  • RAHULKS1123 on April 1, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    Celebrating is right, Aakash never said that there is anything bad in celebration but burning down effigies of players whom you respect is not right at all, also i never understand what we try to prove by abusing players from other teams. Since India defeated Pakistan, PAkistani fans are supporting Sri-lanka for the finals. i am not against pakistani's supporting srilanka but the reason why they are supporting is terrible. On behalf of cricketers, i would say, they are humans as well, i hope we also don't do our work perfect everytime, similarly they also may fail, they also may take wrong decisions, get bowled on a loose delivery or leave a catch..its real cricket not EA sports where everything works ideal..

    if India loses tomorrow (finger crossed) it would be very sad if people are seen abusing players from indian cricket team..Both the teams have done extremely well and they brought themselves to final of CWC..

    We must support a healthy cricket..

  • on April 1, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    I think Aakash Chopra's comments border on lunacy. It was a semi final win and naturally the whole country was upbeat. Did we not see such scenes when England beat Australia in the ashes in 2005? Also his comments on Pakistanis being soft on their players seems to be a rant emanating from medical prescriptions. Pakistan is renowned for it's hooliganism after most defeats, and in fact players even make hasty exits from airports.

  • Vibrant_Patel on April 1, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    its only bcoz Ind - Pak not playing each other frequently... unlike Ind - SL...!! When India & Pak. play more... say 10 matches / year, the intensity will come down then...!!! India... The Only World Champions..!!!

  • insider580 on April 1, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    Very nice article. To be honest, i have never seen hatred towards Pakistani by any other country. India always show as if they are very peace loving country but you all must have seen their response once they have beaten Pakistan. I am sure we could have never done like this, you must have watched our news channels before the match, nothing like that was delivered....

  • on April 1, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    I don't agree with u Mr. Akash Chopra. It's a celebration that every Indian looks fwd 2 as cricket is the one of the few sports where we still have supremacy in the world being no 1 ranked in tests & 2 in ODIs. It was a celebration for the laurel-starved nation that idolise the men in blue.It was a celebration that we still have a chance 2 lift the world cup & b the champions for 4 yrs atleast.BTW, I was keenly watching NDTV here & I can vouch that 4 once, thre ws no sign of jingoism.It's sad when we read such comments 4m soprtspersons, especially cricketers when we look up to them & almost worship them.

  • on April 1, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    A disappointing piece. As many have pointed out, the purpose of this article is unclear. In stead of focusing on any of several positives, he hypothesizes about all that could have gone wrong off the field and assumes the worst. He adopts narrow, cynical and anachronistic views at every point in this article. He sees jingo-ism, not passion. He sees effigies, not young (IPL) millionaires. He notes that things have improved with cultural exchanges etc., but then goes on to make extremely irresponsible, unfounded statements about things going back 100 years. He blames the media for fanning the fire but, ironically, he seems to have based his article more on what he's seen & heard on TV, rather than experiencing the reality out there. BTW, has he seen media coverage of cricket or football in England, or F1 in Spain? Mr. Chopra has just done something a lot of Indian 'intelligentsia' love to do - pass unnecessary and harsh judgment on their fellow countrymen. Do something useful instead.

  • on April 1, 2011, 20:09 GMT

    Aakash, While I do commend you for this refreshingly sane and balanced look at an Indian cricket fan's "jingoism" (as u assumed it to be), You have to understand that India has and always will be a country of celebration be it festivals or cricket matches. And when it comes to Pakistan , the ante is upped many times more simply because Pakistan has always been a rival to India. The attack on Kaif's house and other incidents have been regrettable incidents and shameful too but you can't stereotype every Indian cricket fan to have taken part in those degraded acts of false patriotism. You're also wrong in assuming that Pakistani cricket fans aren't prone to any pressure. Ask Inzamam. Bottom line, India Pakistan matches are such highly strung encounters precisely because it's not entirely possible for people to be objective and treat cricket as an alternate reality to what has been happening in the world.

  • rahkab on April 1, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    I have many Pakistani friends and I don't see them complaining about any "jingoism" from the Indians. I mean sure we were happy after the win and should be and I don't think the Pakistani's expected anything less because they would have done the same. And to say that Indian fans "ridiculed the opposition" is highly offensive because if anything the opposite holds true. This sort of generalization cannot be based on what the Indian media propagates because everyone knows that they are more or less pathetic and most fans don't give it a second thought.

  • on April 1, 2011, 19:47 GMT

    A nice article sir i m totally agreed wid u.

  • CricketkaFunda on April 1, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    After reading your post, one saying came to my mind. Who never came out of his country, his opinion will always be biased. You must come and watch games in US (baseball, football or basketball). We always believe in east that western countries do not care about games and that's why they all are matured and progressive. It is completely non-sense and a myth. They care so much about sports that even a college basket ball or football is a big thing. Fans support them like any thing. Sports is one of the main constituent of their talk. They even bet amongst themselves (in offices) on games. They celebrate even worst than us on occasions. There is so much hype of games but it all depends upon you whether you wanna get affected by hype or not. Let Indians enjoy this occasion as an Indian, we don't have many sports to fall upon other than cricket. If we would be competitive in other sports, things will be different and hype about cricket will go down naturally.

  • ATrueLegend on April 1, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Sometimes, I feel Akash, you over-analyzed things a lot. I agree with you where vandalizing players' home and burning effigy is concerned but to be honest other than that don't see a point here. I am sure as a ppl, we have evolved from the level of 90s where sub-continent fans used to burn effigy and all. It can be seen as Pakistani players are welcomed well to their home even after a loss to their arch-rivals. If you thing celebrating and hyping a game is no sign of matured nation, then I am sorry none of the nations in world, is matured enough. Every rivalry in world is celebrated like that and that's the fun and celebration attached to it. Even in countries like US and Europe, there are so much hype about there games like football, basketball and soccer. People celebrate in a grand style if they win and there are great rivalries like red sox-yankees in baseball. Eng-Arg in soccer, etc. So, take a chill pill and enjoy and celebrate if you team wins.

  • Flat_Track_bullies on April 1, 2011, 19:21 GMT

    Must say i agree with Aakash. Sam_us and the rest - if you see this in US, doesnt mean that is the way to behave. Agree with fans celebration but Aakash is making a specific point about treating pakistani fans. he's talking about showing responsibility and not 'proving a point' and I cant argue with that..

  • MillionairePauper on April 1, 2011, 19:16 GMT

    with all this hype created in india, I now want sri lanka to win this wold cup

  • deepak_chicago on April 1, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    Mr. Aakash Chopra... I think your article is a bit too harsh on the way you have passed your judgement over indian cricket fans ... This has nothing to do with patriotism or jingoism... this is just a way to let your emotions to be shown to others... which is very normal in the age of FACEBOOK & TWITTER... and for your kind information this is exactly the way other countries have been celebrating their victories of their favourite sport for years... and I believe if we had won world cup every time you would have seen us doing the same regardless who we beat... wait for one more day.... then you would realise.... it has nothing to do with pakistan alone... :D tab tak you shud take a chill pill .... and login to your facebook account and check out some more videos of public celebrations... on a final note... "You cannot tell a Rajinikant fan to sit and watch a movie quietly on a fisrt day first show"

  • digi2K on April 1, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Till date, I have liked most of the Akash Chopra's article that I have read. This one, I am not even sure what he is trying to convey. My guess is he suddenly felt that amid all this craze when every Tom Dick and Harry is making comments, he had to have an opinion.. and to rise above the lesser mortals. It started with his wrath on media personnel (possibly) and then went on to the specators in general (possibly).. as I said, I am not sure I quite understood this article. I am sure he was carried away by his emotions, precisely the thing he is urging others to control.

  • scripted on April 1, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Of course the media hypes up an India-Pakistan match, especially given the stage and the stakes this time. Of course the fans celebrate the intense rivalry, and it is part of the bargain, as long as it does not deteriorate into the violence you described from 2004. Nothing remotely similar happened this time. To 'analyze' this as a sign of some sort of immaturity as a nation and address us from your high pedestal is somewhat patronizing.

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Great article. A lot of defensive Indian commentors.

    As a Kiwi, I notice that the Indian-Pakistan rivalry can get a lot uglier than ours with the Aussies. Both sides are more likely to take offence than an Aussie or Kiwi.

    And I thought it was interesting that someone mentioned the Red Sox v Yankees rivalry. I live in Boston and it can get ugly between the two fans. Yet the two cities have no reason to dislike each otherwise. It's a great example of a rivalry gone wrong. Just wearing a Red Sox cap in NY can get you attacked in broad daylight. Is there anything, nationalism or patriotism or whatever, that justifies such actions?

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    Yeah Akash has touched the points which we need to impress upon.I am just reminiscing the backlash India got after their first round exit in the 2007 CWC.The media criticized them for the whole month and the homes of MSD and even Kaif who didn't even feature in that squad were attacked.Effigy burners made a beeline for the TV cameras and girls brandished bangles on the posters of Indian cricketers.Some insane people even talked of lynching them.Even BCCI joined the bandwagon.Did these scenes justified the non performance of the team?The reaction was just the opposite when India won the T-20 WC.Its time we invest common sense and rationality in our cricket viewing.We have to behave like a society not as a mob.Some times our expectations with our cricketers is much more than with the governments or even with our children.Neither should we overpraise or overcriticize them.

  • sweetspot on April 1, 2011, 18:44 GMT

    LOL@vmahajan for saying "Cricket fans in India are no different than those in New York and Boston during a Yankees-Red Sox game, or those in Boston and LA during a Celtics-Lakers game." Complete nonsense. Cricket fans in Chennai gave a standing ovation to the Pakistan team for winning a tightly fought Test match. The game is always bigger than the contestants for any cricket fan. Show me one game in the USA where a heroic performance of the opponent is cheered. Even Shaq was booed when he left the Lakers and came back to the Staples Center to play against the Lakers in Los Angeles. Booing a player who has been a key component of not just your own local team's success last year, and also the Olympic team of your country? THAT sort of thing is never going to happen in ANY cricket match. The Americans are boors when it comes to being sporting about anything. They can't even take criticism without getting sensitive about it. Are you kidding me!?

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:39 GMT

    I like all his articles.

  • RehmanOfMultan on April 1, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    Dear Mr Chopra,

    This is indeed a great article and kudos to you for your perception as an Indian. I do agree with you that extreme display of emotions such as the ones you mention are undoubtedly due to unbridled jingoism. The flames of jingoism is most certainly aggravated by the irresponsible TRP hungry media.

    I reside in USA, and I must say that here the Pakistani and Indian people get along very well. This is especially true for all those who are able to communicate in the same language. Makes me wonder what this bad-blood is all about?

    In our web group (OurMehfil) where cricket lovers from all over the world share their point of view, almost like a big family, I noticed that with the ability to talk on common prosaic everyday things, unconstrained by media influence, most people in Pakistan and India are able to get along quite well. I hope with the help of well meaning people like you we will see much improvement in our relations.

    Thanks for your nice article!

  • Rajeev3001 on April 1, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    hey Akash, all you wrote i agreed with except that your point that Pakistan claim their fan's receive defeat in much better fashion. Fan's even there are insane and it is not only the masses but so called intellectual lot think the same way.

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    Ofcourse SL wont punish their cricketers for their bad performance....durin SL-PAK match recently.. whn afridi took sangakara's wicket..game was over.. i felt disappointed tht the match lost its intensity..but the SL crowd was busy rejoicing and playing instruments..dancing...knowing nothin wats goin on...im not sayin SL crowd doesnt enjoy cricket but majority of thm fool around in the park as if they are in for vacation for bahamas beaches

  • Rayind on April 1, 2011, 18:19 GMT

    Akash.... For Indian in India, Bollywood Movies n' Cricket are part of life (not that Bollywood Movies are great). These two bring them joy...sorrow through their everyday life. What you are saying is correct and what it should be. But, buddy we don't live in books ... we live in society, streets, friends, culture, religion n' a country with hundreds year fo history.

  • Pickwick on April 1, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    I can only cite the examples of Karachi and Chennai crowds who have shown marvellous sportmanship to the opposing teams. They also reflect many in the fan base who enjoy a tough contest and a little good-natured banter. It is good for cricket for the rivalry to be intense but the players themselves have set the standards for the public. I think Aakash may have gone a little bit over the top here much like the criticism that followed Bangladesh, unfairly so, after a few folks stoned the West Indies bus following their one-sided win.

  • lawreee on April 1, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Chopra, you always try to write something against the flow to get attention and readership- cheap tactics.Sanjay Manjrekar used to do that too..My point is that the celebrations were appropraite against a rival team aka Eng vs Aus in Ashes or Wales vs Eng in rugby etc..We are evolving as a responsible nation and these celebartions do not in anyway affect it.Never did anyone ridicule Pakistan as cited by you...Cricinfo should think twice about publishing his articles, to avoid losing its readers.

  • AjaySridharan on April 1, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    Akash...fans celebrate the way they want to. Burning of effigies, etc is stupid, but carried out by a minuscule bunch of hooligans. They are the same goons who would raise 100 ft cut-outs for Rajnikanth and pour 1000 lts of milk on it. Did you raise this question about being a responsible nation when hordes of well educated people all over the country bunked work enmasse to queue up in front of ganesh mandirs to feed the idol milk?! At least the India-Pak rivalry has tremendous history to it. Rivalries like this make for good viewing and makes the games more interesting, even for the players. I think the format of the tournament is to blame. Allowing for a one-week build up for an India-Pak game was asking for trouble, and the ever greedy media gladly gobbled it up. I live in the US, and hence was partly insulated from the media barrage, but my friends told how "crazy" it was on the TV. Maybe you should point your responsible finger at the media first...go after the source!

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    Dear Mr. Chopra, I appreciate your very thoughtful article and timing of it. But I do not necessarily agree with it. While I condone fans (fanatics) threatening players and their families, I support the way people celebrated the occasion. I remember c bus rally in Mumbai after we won the T20 WC in 2007. Nobody said it's wrong, maybe because that's the way fans express their happiness. Although we won the semi-final and not final, the very fact that we won on our arch-rival calls for a celebration. Besides, as many have pointed out already, there's arch-rivalry in every sport, and the fans from the winning team go nuts. Just ask any English fan how they felt when England won the recent Ashes, or any other Ashes for that matter. There is a difference in mindset between a fan and a player. This is my version of the story.

  • on April 1, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    All Indians must read this....

  • TywinLannister on April 1, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    I would prefer this over-the-top celebrations on a cricket match over trigger happy warmongering, any day of the week!

  • ntnb on April 1, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Quite an overreaction to the media hype which you are also part of!

    You have based your facts on 2007 incident, I'm sure if India had lost this SF , it would not have been same. fans also understand he difference bet'n overall poor performance & a good tournament till SF! PAK fans did same! When dhoni & co. gets paid millions for adverts , i dont see u compalining , but when they get stick for poor performance , here u r for their defense! Also, did u see the youtube video of Afridi's little daughter on how badly she wanted to win ! can you put your 5 yr. old in front of camera! its on both sides of border , atleast we indians are not shooting bullets on every four/wkt & injuring our fellow fans!

  • Adnan_80 on April 1, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    I agree with Akash that one must support the team but shall not ridicule the opposition which Indian Media did. I am quite happy for the maturity Pakistani fans showed in their reaction for defeat. They warmly welcome the team Pakistan back home and criticize in positive manner. I guess it may be contradictory if the result of this match be otherwise.

  • on April 1, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    Partly agree with the article. Celebrations are OK and beating long time rival Pakistan is a definite reason for celebration.

    Jingoism in the media is not OK, however extra-coverage is OK. That was such a crucial match and it's the duty of the media to cover that honestly.

    Hate for a country and it's people/sportsmen should absolutely not be tolerated.

    Both Pakistani and India team were exceptional the way carried themselves.

  • ManharPatelGujrati on April 1, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    This type of passion and patriotism attached with cricket made Akash Chopra respectable name in India. Whoever cannot handle the heat from public of India than they should consider another profession. Don't forget, this zeal makes you people stars and multi millionaire.

  • RandomVichar on April 1, 2011, 17:36 GMT

    Had enough of such articles. Everyone, appears to be piling on the Indian cricket fan. Indian cricket fan is a part of the society and not an organism in itself.

    First, the Indian cricket fan is responsible for the riches of players, commentators plus columnists including this author. So, how about some respect and gratitude minus the lecturing? Second, He did not cause the Mumbai Attacks. He is reacting to the Mumbai attacks. If the Pak gov had acted differently, the reaction of the fans wouldn't have been so jingoistic. I hate to mix politics and sports but its irrational to expect all the Indian cricket fans to make that distinction.

  • gouthamkotera on April 1, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Mr.Chopra, dont take this away from us. every nation has some sport as their passion and one opponent as their eternal enemy. its not uncommon. its not just us. take football in Europe, rugby in Aus and NZ and the innumerable sport rivalries in US. its not just us. there is nothing wrong in building up to a match up against an arch rival. this is how we Humans keep ourselves motivated and entertained. we are not waging a war against Pakistan, nor a victory or a loss brings in any serious change in our geo political scenario. all it brings is a smile in one country and despair but anticipation of another future showdown in another. especially we in subcontinent have little to look forward for in our daily struggling lives. if cricket brings in a little bit of excitement in us, whats the harm. learn to enjoy the moment Mr. Chopra and stop finding fault in everything and pls dont take this away from us.

  • on April 1, 2011, 17:24 GMT

    brilliantly written article ..cricket is a sport and just a sport only ..players r humans & just humans only.

  • BoomBoom_Khan on April 1, 2011, 17:23 GMT

    Akash is not talking about "the fans celebration". You guys are completely missing his point. Pakistan lost to India in the biggest game on the biggest stage and people were furious, sad, angry and completely torn apart but when the team arrived at the airport they were greeted like their heros, because they fought and fought hard & the fight was enough for the fans to keep their heads high. Was that something that was going to happen in India if they had lost this game to Pakistan? Over-hyped, over-exhaggerrated over patronized and over marketed. People must have made a few quick bucks with it without the ordinary cricket lover even realising that it was at their cost. Good luck for the finals team India!

  • Aerofight on April 1, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    no a good article at all.I didn't understand what he actually wanted to tell. Totally confused.

  • khansha on April 1, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    Akash The picture you paint with your words hardly matches the photo you include.

    That just appears to be a good natured crowd.

    As for the TV channels selling nonsense - its about ratings. Perhaps one way for the people to demonstrate their disagreement would be to write in your disappointment (facebook, twitter etc.) to your preferred channels every time they show useless overhype, jingoism.

  • on April 1, 2011, 17:07 GMT

    It is unfortunate that a country with 1/6th of world's population could only compete in one sport on world stage. I would blame the series of Inidan governments for not developing the infrastructures/encouragement for other sports in the county. Come on... I have never seen a swimming pool in India for 30 years... I think there is nothing wrong in sports rivalary. Couple of my white american associates watched the match live as they liked the hype. I love the intense competition between Duke and UNC of college basket ball.

  • Vilander on April 1, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    Akash, your name suits you. By this one sentence "cricket match can't be used as a benchmark to prove our superiority as a nation" you hereby have received the right to write crass, jingoist drib for the rest of your life and still be accounted as the sanest cricket writer.

    Man you are 100% correct, its pathetic that non cricket lovers take special interest in cricket when ind plays pak as a matter of fact some real fans might be forced not to watch these matches because of these jingoists, cause that did happen to me.

  • sahil_cricrazy on April 1, 2011, 16:54 GMT

    Aakash Chopra was himself a really negative batsman and same is the thing with his article.What's a sport?It's all about a getting a country so passionate and so close.....You see the atmospheres around and realize that yes as Indians we r united......our prayers r united .....our passion is united......And ofcourse if u r an international sportsperson u got to handle the perssure along with the love of the people............

  • Rolling_in_The_Deep on April 1, 2011, 16:51 GMT

    Very Nice Article and If we have more people like you this world can become a better place to live. All the celebrations are justified but it would have been sanner if opposition was not rediculed on the TV channels. If legends like Sunil Gavaskar or Bishen Singh Bedi or Kapil Dev say something harsh about Pakistan then its justifiable as they are legends but when third rated players like Atul Wasson redicule Pakistan Team, it really hurts . Would like to say this to my indian friends that Savour the moments, relish the victory but also try to appreciate the good skills of your opponents and try not to show the stone dead silence on a good wicket from Wahab Riaz or silky on drive from Ricky Ponting and indian media should show more responsibility. Enjoy!

  • on April 1, 2011, 16:49 GMT

    I find it strange that Akash Chopra tries to talk about how much we evolved as a nation by citing the reactions of a section of the fans during a defeat. It is very normal that the crowd gets upset when the Jets defeat Patriots in the NFL or when Madrid get defeated by Barca at the Bernabeu. When it is common in all sports across all nations and all regions it is surprising that one has to come up with an article about a nation being jingoistic in their celebration. Like sam_us says it is evident that Mr. Chopra has not watched any other game barring cricket or else he wouldn't have come up with such an unjustified article! Also, remember that the same Indian fans are responsible for the humongous following for the game and the millions that flow into the sport. So, with the fervor and passion of the fans it is difficult for a sport to sustain!

  • Jheath on April 1, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    "Patriotism is a disease" - Albert Einstein

  • on April 1, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Mr. Chopra - are you saying that India v/s Australia was any less interesting... or any less important... maybe media didnt add the necessary fuel... but the people of this nation know it and feel the same whether its Australia or Pakistan... Maybe we wont feel the same for NZ or SA or WI.... it depends on how much ON FIELD rivalries we have had with which team in past... thats what fuels the sports... and not the political barriers... Im sure everyone will agree both teams were disciplined... they didnt exchange any hot words, no eyebrows raised... no harsh comments... everybody in both teams were cool and content... and towards... the end... didnt you hear what Afridi said... he kind of hailed the Team India and their efforts.. whereas Dhoni didnt even have single sporting comment for the losing side...

  • CricSare on April 1, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    no chance Indian people..ITS SRI LANKA ..they areunbeatable ..so don't dance just watch tmrw team India is losing .HAIL SRI LANKA!!!

  • Ashique129 on April 1, 2011, 16:41 GMT

    And actually, this issue does not concern only the Indian fans but also others, for whom emotions sometimes overtake good manners. I believe a game cannot be bigger than life. Fans of the losing team must be graceful in appreciating the winners. Similarly, fans of the winners must make sure that they are humble, and don't undermine the opponents, which is a despicable thing to do in the first place. Folks, what happens when a bowler, after getting the batsman out, points the batsman to the pavilion or curses him? He in sternly disciplined, and penalized most of the match fees. We need to be rational and keen to learn from all the good examples that are out there. Thanks Akash - for reminding us all about the truth.

  • sweetspot on April 1, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    LOL@sam_us - Imitating Americans (people of the USA) in the way they buy into sports rivalries is the most retarded and unevolved way of enjoying any sport. That kind of extreme parochialism is exactly what Aakash is imploring us to rise above. Even if Aakash may not have played other sports or watched them, I can tell you as a huge Lakers fan, and having followed my university team's exploits in the NCAA etc., I was always sickened by the way the booing nonsense goes on there. What is that crap about disturbing the free throw shooter's vision with stupid gadgets? That's even legal! Is that part of any sort of sporting "culture"? I can't expect anything better from morons that appreciate that sort of crap, but cricket sure can be appreciated by a lot of evolved souls. Those are the souls Aakash is reaching out to.

  • Junaeds on April 1, 2011, 16:32 GMT

    This is one of the best articles I have seen in cricinfo. I always feel that Indian writers are utterly unable to write objectively about the game, and I hardly ever see them criticise their vast biased media which overwhelms media from other representations. If Indian media is hell bent on negative potrayal of its neighbours (not just Pakistan) you shouldn't expect people to respect neighbouring teams.

  • pv65 on April 1, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    I think Mr. Chopra was born in a wrong era. He should have played cricket 50 yrs back. I live in Canada, he should come here and watch Montreal Canedians and Boston or other hockey matches between traditional rivals. There are fights and riots and big headlines. This is what rivalries is all about nowadays. Ask the players, they won't mind losing to SL compared to Pakistan,even though they won't say so. This rivalry is going to remain till there is life on earth.

  • on April 1, 2011, 16:24 GMT

    Don't draw your conclusions based on the behaviour of the media and a few narrow minded people. There are plenty of people who supported their teams in good spirit, and did NOT spread hatred against the opposite team.

  • KishoreSharma on April 1, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Pakistan's public "receives a loss in in a much better fashion". Are you sure, Akash? Don't you remember how their public reacted when they lost the quarter final to India in the 1996 world cup? I think that losing to India is a much greater stigma for Pakistan than vice versa. Apart from this howler of a mistake, the article is well written.

  • amit4cricket on April 1, 2011, 16:17 GMT

    Well said Aakash... Even we have come this far as a nation... but still we behave as immature whenever we talk about cricket between India n Pak... afterall this is a game.. and one has to lose... Indeed one of the best article written amidst of worldcup so far..

  • ardentcricketer on April 1, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    Hi Akash : A mature article from a mature person . Very well written

  • Umair_umair on April 1, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    Well pointed out Akash. Looking at the comments here, I can say that all is not black. But still some commentators here, does not seem to get your message. On another note: Pakistan team arrived in Karachi today; and they were received with flowers. When Pakistan lost to Australia in t20 Semis, Pakistani fans sent so many comments in support of their team. After loss to India in Semis, again there were supporting comments on cricinfo. But I thought may be these are onle a few educated people. But the support and understanding which I saw from Pakistani media, politicians and the fans today. I am proud that Pakistani fans have moved on. Lost a WC Semi to India, in India and still flowers and appreciation. I am happy. Pakistan fans, Hats off to you. Best of Luck to India and Srilanka for the finalz.

  • on April 1, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Competition is fine;grudge is okay, but the match is a match. There are many other temas in the world besides India and Pakistan, people and the players of these two countries should be determined to beat especially white nations after one of us has lost the contest, this may sound racist but white race has degarded people of color as inferior to their race for ever and are continuing it today and will continue. What the coutries like our two countries and sub continent countries should do is to wish the win for our subcontinent country and not the other, once one of us gets to this stage, . e.g. say if it is bet. Pakistan and Australia, indians should wish for Pakistan and not Australia and same should apply to Pakistanies, after all before 1947, it was all one country .

    Politicians and Religious leaders in both countires are responsible for creating terrible enemosity and feelings of hatred or dislike.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    lol....do they desrve another win?????

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    This is just Fanaticism...This is not patriotism...If it was really patriotism, people would back the country even in tough times which we haven't seen happen...People just celebrate when India wins, but when they lose badly, they burn effigies, they create a mob and what not...And moreover, patriotism doesn't just mean supporting your country in a sport..There are a lot more things of higher magnitude and importance that the country needs our backing for which we don't see unfortunately...I am a hardcore fan of the Indian cricket team by the way and I do back my team during rough times rather than criticizing the players or the team...

  • zapeta on April 1, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    I would not agree with Mr.Chopra, Its absolutely a greatest moment for all Indians to cheer. the captain himself agreed that winning against Pakistan is more important than winning world cup. Pakistan would have celebrated in the same fashion, even more than this, if this game is played in Pakistan. More over its time to celebrate, and cheer for india in the final. " DIL HAI HINDUSTANI"

  • bluebillion on April 1, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    Maybe Akash should try watching Man City v Man Utd, Milan v Inter, Barca v Real Madrid in football or maybe even the annual Oxford - Cambridge boat race to try and understand rivalry and passion - of both the players and the supporters. Besides, after the way the people of Mohali opened their hearts and doors to the Pakistani supporters, I cant see the point being made by Akash. And this article does contradict the one written by Nagraj Gollapudi on cricinfo yeasterday - he was there at the ground and described the emotions and the atmosphere excellently.

  • VivekKrS on April 1, 2011, 15:55 GMT

    I'm surprised my earlier set of comments wasn;t published! This article is just wrong..plain absurdity in the name of aware polite civilized please-all journalism! Cricinfo should really not be allowing such articles to be written and published...very badly done, in very bad taste. Perhaps Mr Chopra has an illusion that he can wear a suit and speak anything and hope to be respected for that. Wrong.

  • Aussie_Mike on April 1, 2011, 15:53 GMT

    first of all players of both the teams were graceful in defeat and victory. Which shows that they understand well the feelings of the players of the opposite team. The match was played in good spirit, no verbal issues, no cry baby by Afridi. Hats of to both the captains for keeping the cool in the park despite high temperature all around.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    I will not agree to the points raised by Akash. The need of the hour for India is solidarity. So what if it is in the name of Cricket ?. We have endured agonising moments when we used to loose the matches agaist them only due to lack of confidence. Now we are at top , growing in confidence and it is natural to celibrate the win against pakistan...... afterall it is better option than going for a real war. I tis great to see the all sects of people coming together and feeling togetherness. Akash defenitely would not have made these comments had he been a member of present WC team ... would he ?

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:49 GMT

    I don't completely agree with Mr.Chopra. I think the crowd in Mohali behaved responsibly. Even though a tension is there in the air with respect to the result of the match, not even once people thought there will be a outbreak of violence if India lost. Traditional rivalries between Pak and India is a norm and I don't think even if our border issues are resolved we will have a game without this rivalry. I think it is a pride thing and as long as it is not physically attacking (or manifesting itself into violence) it is completely understandable. For the money the Indian players are making, the stress levels are completely justified.

  • pr3m on April 1, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Hey man, tell the ICC. I wouldn't mind us not playing them ever again.

    Also, didn't we win, and celebrate? We're not allowed to celebrate now? Mohammad Kaif's house was broken into. How many other instances do you have to support your point? Dude, give it a rest. It was a good game, we won. The players didn't even seem that tense. In a team with Munaf and Nehra, how intense can it really get?

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:47 GMT

    I am a Pakistani, but I would say, it is okay to celebrate the win, specially when there was so much hype created by media on both sides, it was big win. Now the question is, how do we take a loss. Pakistani crowd (no credit to media) did a tremendous job in giving such a warm welcome to their team. People were lined up at airports long before the team arrived. I remember the days when after a loss, players would not dare to come back as a team. They tried to arrive in the middel of the night. It was different this time. I must say, Pakistani fans showed a lot of maturity and I am proud of them.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    who is this joker and why is Cricinfo publishing nonsense like this? Of course we know it's just a sport, but this is the way sport is followed all around the world. go back to your cave

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:40 GMT

    Yankees-Mets, Ashes, India-Pakistan, France-England, Argentina-Brazil, ManU-Arsenal, Real Madrid-Barca. These are some of the examples of the most frenzied rivalries in sports. This rivalry fuels passion and losing any encounter with your rival team is treated as a sin. This prevails not only in India, but all over the world. This is nothing but the expression of a society's mindset using the sport's forum. This is something that has to be cherished as it brings out the best in all the teams. The will to perform, the will to win, the will to please your nation and your fans. This is the pinnacle of any sport.

  • dhurandhar007 on April 1, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    Totally agree. This is embarrassing. I have seen headlines like "Pakistan Vanquished" , "Pakistan Concedes Defeat" (What???), "Pakistan Thrashed", "Pakistan Outclassed", etc. It has left a very bad after-taste. Thankfully I did not yet see "India Wins the War", "Pakistan Surrenders". Was Pakistan really thrashed? No. The match was open until the last 2 overs when Misbah suddenly awoke from his slumber. A few big hits or one Boom Boom Afridi over and Pak would have sailed thru. Happy to see India win but world would not have ended had India lost. Pakistan has been playing with only one arm and one leg, no domestic Cricket, no country tours them, 3 first choice players banned, no IPL, no money to promote Cricket, and still they gave everyone a BIG scare. Great Job Pakistan! Hats Off to Lala Afridi! Tone down India. Learn to be gracious - it is only a sport. Be sporting. Don't celebrate so much on pinning someone a tenth your size. And do not start rioting if Sri Lanka wins the final.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    i think we indians have only cricket sport isolated to chears about so i don't think it's bad idea to make celebration after winning of a team and yah ofcourse when india pak match dude we sure make atmosphere like this again......................

  • Kreazy on April 1, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Media is the culprit.

    Not the fans

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    yes I would celebrate every success of INDIA so would my counterparts too.. cm'n there is nothing wrong in celebrating a success by anyone, because at the end of the day one of them gotta loose... i was in the stadium and saw every where people smiling at each other despite cheering their own teams...its not superiority that we cheer for but because cricket is something more than a mere entertainment for us.. and you got completely on wrong foot brother...

  • Rahulbose on April 1, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    As a foreign national and a cricket fan who grew up in India, I have always found the average Indian fan not much of a cricket lover. With most Indians its just about nationalism not cricket. The attitude is always that we only want to see India play and win, not about appreciating a good game of cricket. So it is natural that games against Pakistan are treated as national pride matches.

  • henchart on April 1, 2011, 15:28 GMT

    This seems to be ghost written and written to appease Afridi and his team.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Nice Article ... Kudos to Afridi and Dhoni for the way they handled this match

  • kman610 on April 1, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    Mr. Chopra do you really feel that a single cricket match will change the way 2 nations look and react towards each other? What is wrong in beating your chest and cheering for the team.Thank God we do not have players like you in our team any more.We need more cricketers in the line of a Ganguly or a Sehwag who can slap back when slapped.You also blame the media in you piece.While the media can be over the top some times, tell me in which country this is not true? You cricketers are seeing unheard amounts of money becuase of the inccredible backing you recieve from the Indian media. PLease do not try to bite the hand that feeds you. I do agree on one point, that we need to increase the security provided to our players families...but hey it is still bettr in India than in Columbia, where a player was shot dead for being responsible for their team's loss.

  • nmdasaya on April 1, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    well said!!! so true!!!! boring to listen to ndian media

  • cric-procrastinator on April 1, 2011, 15:20 GMT

    I dont know if you have the guts to publish this but its people like you who blow up India pakistan match by making an issue out of nothing. I can bet you my bottom dollar that the celebrations in India would be even more vibrant if india wins world cup than the victory over pakistan. An over whelming majority of people in india would take victory in world cup final any day over victory against pakistan. There is a healthy rivalry nothing more than that. The england team is more happy with there win in ashes over australia and dont mind the world cup bad performance. does that mean the english use ashes as a superiority of there nation over asutralia or vice versa. We as a nation are lucky that there is a great cricket rivalry between india and paskistan even surpassing ashes in its appeal. Please dont spoil it by making an issue out of it and blowing it up and advicing against dong it!!!!!!!!!

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:19 GMT

    absolutely wonderful. Was disgusted seeing people abusing pakistan players as if being a pakistani makes you a bad person. I personally believe we have not matured as a nation. People still think along lines that divide people, and people who open their minds beyond the nonsensensical divides of the world are a precious few. Pakistan is a nation, its people are like you and me. Not enemies, but fellow human beings. Humanism and humanity are ideas far away from the narrow minded nature of the Indian thought process. Wonderfully said Aakash. We need patriotism. Nationalism is absolute nonsense.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    what else do u expect Mr. Chopra?????? feel sorry for the pakistanis??????? think you have nothin else 2 write about

  • cric_fanatics on April 1, 2011, 15:17 GMT

    but do you guys really work hard enough..?...may be ..but i still see indian players escorting the ball to the boundary and dropping catches...half of them are not fit enough to play sport of any kind...only when give it your all do you get the right to complain...

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    Really good article by Akash Chopra. He definitely writes much better than he played. A very balanced view of a cricketer's mind in the run-up to the over-hyped India Pakistan match.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:14 GMT

    It's only to show people who is residing in India and supporting to Pakistan.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    It is a game and I agree with Akash...it is time the rivalry comes to the level of an ashes than a war atmosphere....Akash is one of most intelligent ex-cricketers I have read and writes very well....Hopefully someone like him can be part of the system....

  • Woody111 on April 1, 2011, 15:08 GMT

    so we've got patriotism, censorship, jingoism, political history, war, sport and a little religion thrown in. I read all of your technical articles Akash, I'm unsure what point you're trying to make here other than poor behaviour from Indian media/fans. I'd suggest focussing on that if that's your central argument. Bringing tense history between Pakistan and India into play infers you're explaining the over-exposure of the semi. A plea and explanation that you included would have been enough.

  • on April 1, 2011, 15:02 GMT

    I don't think it's wrong. It's there on all high profile rivalry. Have you heard about Yankees vs. Red sox? Just because it's between two countries, fans should not celebrate the win.

    Pakistanis would have done the same thing.

  • PTtheAxis on April 1, 2011, 14:58 GMT

    patriotism everywhere in this world is about spoiling the enviornment. period. teh subcontinent especially. just pollute the air with firecrackers, water and earth with celebratory waste. not a point aakash even touched upon. i love my counrty equals i love to pollute my land , air & water.

  • PrakashPage on April 1, 2011, 14:56 GMT

    I think the title of the article it self is wrong I don't think it is a patriotism it is a Nationalism, I agree with him and most of the others media should not hype they way they did it, It is nice to celebrate after a big win specially on a semi-final game after all the emotions and pressure.

  • Malret on April 1, 2011, 14:51 GMT

    Ok, I just read what vmahajan said before and he makes the point better than I did. We don't care who wins in a hockey game, do we? Rivalries Akash, that is what any sport is all about.

  • vaidy on April 1, 2011, 14:50 GMT

    I think Aakash, you are confusing what the media portrays with what the average Indian feels. yes, I am upset with Pakistan and consider them a petulant black sheep of a brother, but I do like it if India wins against them in a cricket match, as much as when Indian wins against SL or AUS.

    However, the jingoistic patriotism that you are talking about - its a media creation and not seen with the average Indian.

    Its like the friendly 'brotherly' banter between Oz and NZ, if you know what I mean!

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:44 GMT

    I think we've come a long way as a cricket team and as a society since 2007. Though there might have pockets of bad behavior by idiots here and there, overall we were an excellent host. Does help that MS is a cool-headed skipper and that we've had quite a bit of success under him. While I agree with Akash, I don't want that to diminish the intensity and pressure of an India - Pak match. Long running fierce rivalries like that help more than hurt cricket.

  • Malret on April 1, 2011, 14:43 GMT

    Dude, this is what any sport is all about. Rivalries are what make the sport interesting every now and then. Rivalries are created in any sport played for any length of time. Media hypes the game because that is what the fans want to hear and the media just feeds it. Imagine, what cricket would be like if India Pakistan was just another game. I am an Indian and still follow Ashes as much as I follow Indian games.

    Just because the rivalry exists, it does not mean it is bad. The India Pak test match in Chennai 1999 is a case in point. Intense rivalry, India lost but Pak was appreciated by the crowd for a well fought game. I have been living in the US for 6 years now and follow OSU vs. Michigan football game very closely (sorry to those not familiar with American football). It is a rivalry unmatched and I want OSU to beat Michigan each time they play and the pressure on the players is every bit as intense as an India Pakistan world cup semifinal.

  • sam_us on April 1, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    I would not agree with Mr. Chopra, especially, with the title of this article "one wonders whether India has really evolved as a responsible nation". I reside in US, and I can report that fans celebrate it the same way here, even, in a college basket ball match. This victory was well deserved and the fans must celebrate it the way they want to. I would ask you a simple question here Mr. Chopra: Have you ever watched any other game than cricket? If yes, then this article is simply hypocritical. This is in plain simple terms "an over-analysis".

  • abhi_cricinfo on April 1, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    Aakash Chopra don't know about Football. So Article Fail.

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:39 GMT

    Thanks Aakash Chopra, my respect for you increased a notch. Finally, some sensible voice. But, I would like to differ slightly. The hype is high when we are playing a few other countries too, like Australia, SA and Sri Lanka. But the point remains that fans in our country are becoming worse every match they see. Ridiculing the opposition players is not way to support your team, and when fans boo at the dismissal of players like Ponting and Umar Akmal, I feel like I should stop watching cricket.

  • inswing on April 1, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    Not clear about what the fans did wrong exactly. A lot of people were celebrating in the streets, over WC semi-final victory over long-time rival Pakistan. What is wrong with that exactly? Should there be no celebrations of muted celebrations? I have not heard about any abuse of Pak players, simply happiness at victory. A related point is that India has a long and proud history. In the modern world, India was marginalized. In sport, we are bad at almost everything, which creates dissonance with the proud self-image. Cricket is the only sport where we are internationally competitive, and even close to the best. Because there is nothing else, massive burden is placed on the cricketers. As the performance in other sports improves, the burden (and adulation) of crickets will go down. Cricketers have nothing to complain about - if they accept enormous amount of money and fame, they must accept criticism too. It is the athletes in other sports that have a reason to complain.

  • skchai on April 1, 2011, 14:31 GMT

    I agree that Pakistan fans seem to be less jingoistic than Indian ones. This wasn't true in 1996, when Wasim Akram's house was torched, but there is no evidence of similar repercussions for this year's team. On the other hand, if India had lost . . .

    One very controversial hypothesis would be that this is a by-product of the increased religious polarization of Pakistani society. Individuals with jingoistic tendencies to begin with may increasingly look at fundamentalist religion as the answer and thus view cricket negatively altogether, thus making it irrelevant to them who wins.

    A less controversial (and hopefully more plausible) hypothesis would be that Pakistani fans are not as burdened by the hubris hyped by elements of the Indian mass media, which often drive home the point that India's destiny should be as the natural leader of world cricket, both financially and on the playing field. Thus a loss can be taken less as a "betrayal" than as, well, as a loss.

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    Some of the posters are misunderstanding the article, I think. Chopra is not arguing that we should a put an end to rivalry so that cricket matches come to resemble Sunday afternoon picnics. He's just saying that sometimes, evident particularly, though not exclusively, in India-Pakistan encounters - it gets a bit much. I think most will agree that burning effigies is a bit much, and all will agree that violently targeting cricketers and their families is, ahem, a bit much.

    But this is an obvious point. A more interesting question, going forward, is how do we curb this jingoism? This question is often answered in one of two ways: a lengthy, but inconclusive article full of observation, ifs and buts; or a set of meaningless clichés telling each party to 'embrace' one another for the good of humanity. While you can readily find examples of both on the internet, the latter, alas, are far more common. So the first step for us is an obvious one: face up to the complexity of grey areas.

  • PraveenU on April 1, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    Nice Article, but we cant deny the fact that we were brought up saying that our neighbors are our main enemy(may not a good word to use). So we cant help our common people from celebrating a win against them in this way. It was a big moment for India..and we did it... You will see much higher celebrations once we win the WC... :)

  • kooljack on April 1, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    just imagine how would have pakistanis celebrated if they had won. It is a known fact that pakis would have done a lot worse than we indians did, celebrating the victory. Winning in any battle, including cricket, against a not so friendly neighbor is always a celebration. I am not saying that what we did is right but its definitely not wrong. If india win final, celebration would be lot different and definitely no indian fan would ridicule Sri Lankan players. Why not just accept that winning/losing against pakistan is different than norm?

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Seriously Sad! Millions celebrated with crackers and cheering...on March 30th Victory against Pakistan. Outof which how many would have celebrated with the same spirit on the last August 15 2010? Shame!!!

  • bozo_bhai on April 1, 2011, 14:16 GMT

    I definitely disagree with your article. Show me any sport and I will show you a rivalry that matches the India - Pakistan rivalry or bests it. In fact we don't really have to look too far for another example of your so called "jingoism", look at what happens between Aus and England during the Ashes. Cricket is a sport and I agree that the players should know and remember that when they play these games and I think both the Indian and the Pakistani team did an exceptional job of doing that, but as far as the fans are concerned, let them be! Are you truly trying to tell me that the celebrations wouldn't have been as grand in Pakistan if they would have won the game. All in all I think it's time for us to stop feeling bad when we succeed or celebrate a victory a little too much under the false pretense of being "gentlemanly". Your article in this regard is absolutely unnecessary and in my mind it is this kind of thought that takes the game back a 100 years and nothing else!

  • lionrockzy on April 1, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    I don't agree with you Mr. Rogerproxy. Sri lankans have always taken this game as a game.They have never vandalized players' houses, threaten their families safety...etc! Simply due to the fact that Sri lanka has a decent and matured fan base! The whole world owns to it! Sure we will be disappointed and perhaps even bitter if we lose, but we also understand that this is a game and one side will have to own the hearache! But I am sure lankans will never seek to "punish" the players if they don't succeed! So please don't insult us saying we are "similar"!!

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:11 GMT

    Fab article. Quite an eye-opening perspective. @Amit Agrawal - Surely you don't mean to say that the fear they live in is good. Should we then keep a gun behind every IT expert's head and make them code while during their working hours so that they work with more determination? Should we threaten the cricketers with violence if they lose any game? That's the most Hitler-ian and bizarrely ridiculous statement I've heard.

  • sanjeevve on April 1, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    In complete agreement, Aaakash. Some of the things that were done and said in the euphoria of victory were simply unacceptable. We shouldn't forget that ultimately it's just a game and while we have every right to passionately cheer for our team, we shouldn't become stridently jingoistic in that endeavour. When India went to Pakistan in 2004, and so did hundreds of fans from India, they came back with stories of the hospitality of Lahoreans and Karachiites. We should also have set a similar example with Pakistan fans who came to Mohali. But, whether in Mohali or in the media (especially electronic media), everything being said was more than a little distatsteful. I celebrated India's victory too but throughout I was advising my son and his friends who were watching the match at our place to not get too partisan. If Wahab Riaz and Saaed Ajmal are bowling well, enjoy their craft rather than just bemoan the dismissal of Yuvraj and Sachin.

    I am glad I read your piece. Others should too.

  • on April 1, 2011, 14:03 GMT

    You might have touched many a heart there Mr. Chopra, but I respectfully disagree with you on many grounds. Sports have always been the ultimate display of passion, euphoria and more often than not, reflects the mood of the nation. Take any mass followed sport, for example, if you remember the scenes of a sombre Amsterdam after their world cup loss to Spain not too long ago and the waves of depression that kept the city quiet for a good week. Mr Chopra, it's the lows of a mood of a nation that makes it appreciate the highs. Our passion in sports is a mere reflection of the mood of the society. It's brittle, it's hungry, it's furious and it needs a reason to celebrate. At all costs. An India-Pakistan clash is a time for unbridled wrath of the aam-aadmi to come out and it is the duty of every Indian cricketer to answer to the call of the nation. Win or loss is a different issue all together. Old rivalries in sports are not easily forgotten and this is true in almost every major spectator

  • makechaos on April 1, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Sure, you are itching to provide another twist for ratings as part of the media! Contrary to the unfortunate incident you mentioned is the standing ovation for Pakistan in 1999 Chennai test. In most cases the consequences have been very decent and humane - what is here to bicker about ? Why cant we grow-up and appreciate the oneness of these celebration ?

    Celebrating our passion - even through herd/crowd-effect is only a celebration of our nationalism. I cannot imagine another event that lets us all to truly bypass every barrier (economic, culture, religion) on the single topic of cricket. Try explaining the diverseness of India to another nationality and you will be amazed by their bewilderment. We should just take pride in these events that reminds us of the "unity in diversity". Peacefulness in the celebrations is surely a must, no questions there.

  • Bharadwaj on April 1, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    Extremely well written. This point had to be made - more so on a medium as far reaching as Cricinfo. Aakash Chopra has hit the nail on the head. It is not entirely true that Pakistan receives loss in a better fashion than India. Nevertheless, this one's a must read.

  • ImpartialObserver on April 1, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    Good article Akash. I guess, while it is OK for fans to really savour the victory, and that it was also great to see the whole nation so united by a sport, it is really silly to be partisan. We invariably need to treat this as just another match and also praise the opposition. I must add that even the MOM adjudicators missed a trick by not giving the MOM to Wahab. It's true that he has not got victory for his team, but I still remember Sachin being given MOM in Sharjah when India lost to Aus. It would have been just and magnanimous had Wahab been given the MOM. Further, the less said about our media, the better. They are the biggest culprits in sensationalizing all the silliest events. Just look at the Randiv NO BALL issue, for instance; it was "sensationalization" of the worst kind. Same is the case with this match. It is the media that is introducing and abetting jingoism. Something MUST be done to make the NEWS channels understand that THEIR SURVIVAL is not everything.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:58 GMT

    The nation has every right to celebrate. Sentiments of millions cannot be overlooked and under appreciated. Of course the cup is yet to be won and the Men in Blue know that. Pakistan is an arch rival and we are emotional about winning against them, especially at World Cup stage. If nothing else, it shows how much people care about it. I am sure if it was a semi final or an important match in Field Hockey, we would have seen similar celebrations, not at same scale but celebrations would have been there.

  • Undergrounded on April 1, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    Akash - Can't appreciate you enough! I am already a fan of your technical write-ups about cricket but with this philosophical piece you elevated your image to extreme heights. Media influences people to great extent and Indian media always plays a negative role in Indo-Pak clashes by stooping too low. I remember the last Champions Trophy match Pakistan won over India where one channel had punch lines like "dushman pe karo vaar", etc in the match preview and the same channel bad-mouthed the Indian players after they lost. Many Indians questioned Dhoni's captaincy on the internet and I, despite being a Pakistani, defended his cool nature and wise captaincy. It really hurts to hear bad words from my Indian schoolmates on Facebook who I always respected and never bad-mouthed even when Pakistan won.

  • virufan1 on April 1, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    It is not the immaturity of the fans or the people but media bereft of ideas and politicians bereft of vote getting tricks. Why would the combine do anything but get fans drunk on meaningless jingoism?

  • Milind_Jadhav on April 1, 2011, 13:53 GMT

    Akash, While it is true that the behavior borders on jingoistic or whatever else the "thinking people" (I am not using the term Intelligentsia) may wish to label it as, the media is largely responsible for the state of mind of the people. The hyperbole on TV, the unmoderated cyber wars were simply disgusting. However, take a step back and think about us...the hundreds of millions who are starved for hero's, who crave honesty, who desire basic necessities for ourselves and the next generation, who want to see a better India, who feel for what we lost on 26/11 and all the terror attacks, who seek a united country but have one that has been split by self-serving politicians and bureaucrats. There are very few things for us to cheer about and one thing that is common (bordering on jingoism) for all of us is India...and it is India that matters. Incidentally, one did not hear of any of our visiting Pakistani neighbors being ill treated or messed around with. So what is the problem?

  • Gazza038 on April 1, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Right on the ball. A top class article.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    Fully Disagree with Chopra. It is the passion that gives the hype for the game and it is this kind of passion that keeps the game alive. India Pakistan fever is no different than a NY Yankees vs Boston Red Sox or Cetics vs Laker or Ashes for that matter. Whenever there is a match between these two teams, there is no option for failure from a fan point of view. It is the passion that keeps a sports fan alive. Yes, there could be failure and we should take that too and to me that is only aftermath of the event. But for the next event, I would again expect that failure is not a option. But yes there should not no attacks on sports person homes. It is an act of an uncivilized person. You cannot relate the passion on TV to a physical attack.

    As a fan, I will always have that passion and failure is not an option for my team [Period]

  • sgd123456 on April 1, 2011, 13:44 GMT

    It is a choice to be a cricketer, or not to be... if one doesnt want to live with this, choose another profession. Not that I support the fanaticism, but it is a natural by-product of the history and emotions... it may be difficult to tolerate, understandably. No one is philanthropically choosing to be a cricketer.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:41 GMT

    Very well written Akash...

    Only people were more comfortable, were the actual cricketer who were enjoying every moment of game, exchange words, joking and smiling at each other at the battle ground.

    I have seen people saying after beating Pakistan that" we won cup after defeating Pakistan ". Is this the true sportsmanship or something else. I am ardent cricket fan and i always support my Nation against any opponent.

    Go India Go. Bring back glory of 83........... Chak De India..........

  • whyowhy on April 1, 2011, 13:40 GMT

    Aakash this is absolutely, absolutely brilliant.....hats off to you man, these sentiments are in many Indians but they are difficult to put down in fear of being labled 'unpatriotic' - Even if the Indians lose tomorrow (you will lose just becos this is a Sri Lankan writing) your article will never be forgotten. The world will be a better place to live in if we have more people like you. God bless you.

  • Apolloniac on April 1, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    Great article. As a Sri Lankan we believe that keeping one's head is important and understanding that a game is exactly that and not a statement of the character and quality of a group of players or a country is critical. When a nation stops knowing appreciating this difference, that nation must recognize, as Aakash implies, that its not only misplaced and misguided but dangerously misdirected as well. If loving one's country is defined by the level to which one hates one's "un-country" or detests another country - then, that brand of patriotism can only drag an individual, his community, his village, his city, his province and his country down. If a majority of a nation think like this - it doesn't require a whole lot of insight to determine exactly where that country is headed.

  • saginaw on April 1, 2011, 13:37 GMT

    Very well written Akash. One comment from Afridi of not letting Sachin make a 100 was taken as a propaganda by the media and they themselves crossed all the lines. These tv channels have tried their best to add to the hatred against Pakistanis. I must congratulate the Pakistani Nation of taking this loss in such a positive way. Salute to Afridi and his men for their efforts. Either you win or loose, we will always love you.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    and BTW, who are the people who report in these news channels about cricket. ex-Cricketers who have faced this pressure themselves. Why dont they do it? If they think thats bad. This is really good. Cricketers complains about pressure being put on them by other ex-cricketers but blame the fans.

    All CRAP!

  • Ajayvs on April 1, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Let us get it straight, India-Pakistan match is not a war ,it is just a game at the end of the day. Vandalizing players homes or burning effigies is not called for.Having said that India-Pakistan game is also not just any other game.You cannot isolate sport from history however much you try. A Australia-England cricket match or a Real Madrid-Barcelona football match or a England-Ireland rugby match or a Brazil-Argentina football match is not just any other match. There are needle contests in every sport and it is always because of the past history. The most important thing for all the stake holders is not to cross the limit, be it the fans,media or the players themselves.

  • batnpad on April 1, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Easily not the best article by Mr.Chopra. The common public no doubt get hyped when India plays Pakistan. Will Mr.C deny that he gets pumped up when he faces Pak bowlers? Of course, this is big match and WC being held in India after a while. So people naturally react to it. What I don't fathom is the TV and print media and every other entity which lits the fire and milks it to their advantage. Blaming the common man is ridiculous. He gets lathi charged to gets his ticket, and the political figure-heads hijack the event to promote friendship. Can't they all leave the game to the players and the public? The players situation is totally understandable, but when would everyone else recognize and respect the fan?

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:27 GMT

    Another Cry baby, you Mr Chopra. This is these fans Zingoism that makes you and other Cricketers rich and famous. If it was not us fans and our so called Zingoism, you would be useless. Its our Zingoism which you are calling is the root of your bread and butter. There are others sports person in India outside cricket which are much more talented and work much harder than a cricketer but they are poor or living like a common man.

    Cricketers have no right to complain. They have got everything even their 7 generations could dream off. If you can not take the pressure better leave the game. We did not came begging you, please the cricket.

    Take it or Leave it.

  • Brolly on April 1, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Fantastic article I very much enjoyed it and it was so refreshing to see someone look at this from a human perspective and not a vengeful and hateful one. I am not pakistani (from Kashmir) but I support Pakistan. Yet to loose to India hurts alot but also one the same note I'm glad its India. They are a very good side and have proven their worth over many a year now.

    However why all our supports are still stuck in 1947 baffles me. What happened was the past yet today in some ways our ties are strong. Why can the people of India and Pakistan not see that we are so much stronger united then we are set apart. Anyway it was a good match and largely kept in perspective. I'm thrilled at a All Asian final, its good for cricket and its good for the respective companies. Believe me even Pakistani supports will be wathcing the game and I hope with no resentment.

  • Cricket_Fan_007 on April 1, 2011, 13:23 GMT

    Aakash - It is a zero sum game. Either your opponents get to be happy or you get to be happy. And no one said its ok if we lose to SL it will be fine. Take your 90s mindset away. Every country wants their team to win and they will support their team to the hilt. If Pakistan had won they would have done the same. Just read some of the news from their country and you will know how prepared they were.

    Stop being a hypocrite!

  • spinkingKK on April 1, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    Chopra should also acknowledge that the Pakisthanis also had a strong team and the match was anticipated as one of the closest Semifinals in recent times. The cricket fans are remaining cricket fans because of matches like this and the hype it creates. If there are no such hypes, there is no fun for the fans and you are going to see very poor turn outs and eventual end to the cricket. We are already missing the great rivlary between the Aussies and India, because of the weakening of the Australian team. Cricketers, although humans, should learn to play through such pressure and keep a cool head. I don't condone the fans who threw stones at Kaif's house. However, I think most of the people in India (eventhough I live in Australia) these days will be aware that the cricket is a game and there can only be one winner, regardless of the media advertising.

  • anuragn on April 1, 2011, 13:16 GMT

    well Mr. Chopra , first of all, let me ask you .. did anyone claim that it is patriotism no one did. every sport has certain arch-rival and that should be taken in a sporting spirit. media hypes everything , and by reply to that hype with an article , dont you think you are still making that hype greater ?

  • Chn1974 on April 1, 2011, 13:14 GMT

    First of all Mr. Akash Chopra is an unsuccessful cricketer who has played 10 tests for India with average of 23. He has never played any one day internationals for India. With due respect to Mr. Chopra, what i want to state is, if you want to be a successful in life at this period of time where competition and expectations are everywhere no matter whatever field one may choose then you have to cope up all the pressure. Unfortunately you didn't do, that is why you failed miserably against Australia in 2004 where Australia won a test series first time in 35 years there by loosing your position in Indian team for ever. We know cricketers are human being but to be a successful cricketer in India you have to cope up with pressure and expectations it is as simple as that.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Brilliantly written, Mr. Chopra. Finally somebody brings this out, and in such a wonderful manner. Especially like the way you have written it from your personal standpoint as a cricketer, and yet not distanced yourself from the fans or the country. Sport is as much about the players as the spectators. If the players grow in stature and ability, so must we spectators, in our ability to learn from sport and to appreciate it. The sad thing is, even during the years when there were a lot of Ind-Pak 'friendship' matches, people were actually bemoaning the lack of 'intensity' in them.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    This tells me why you did not stayed on top, Mr Chopra. You do not have attitude or hunger to win and that is why you are not one of them.

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Akash I beg to differ from your observation and I do so because I don't feel the way you do. The picture above of fans celebrating has nothing bad in it! And to beat an arch rival and celebrate it is the first thing sports exist for. Why else are a Ashes so legendary, Why NZ feel so special when they win against the Aussies. The media may be trying to catch eyeballs by showing more negative matters, but mind it, we People are not fools...we have our emotions and for us Indians beating Pakistan is the most important thing because they feel it the same...We did not celebrate this way when we beat Pak in SL a little while back...Its the whole scenario of a World Cup that added to it..anyways, you are not important when it comes to me and my cricket love!

  • on April 1, 2011, 13:07 GMT

    Remember the semi final in 96? Wasn't the stadium being torn apart when India were losing badly! It's called evolution people, it's just a game, grow up. I guess with 1.2 billion people, not being able to dominate in any sport, must be hard to swallow.

  • NarN on April 1, 2011, 13:00 GMT

    This happens across all sports. Maybe Mr. Chopra should have flown to Belgrade to watch the Davis Cup match. The treatment that Somdev and Rohan Bopanna were subjected to by the Serbs was appalling. All we did was to celebrate our win. And there is nothing wrong in celebrating, even if it is over the top

    The channels did go overboard but it was not only for this match. Its upto the viewer to decide what to watch and what not to watch.

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:57 GMT

    Well written article. I likes the way it said game cannot be won on emotions rather with profesionalism. It counts how much you are well prepared and did all your home work right. I sincerly feel, we Indians always carry too much of emotions could be coz of 80s bollywood films. I am very much happy after we beat Pakistan, but I was much more delighted when we defeated mighty Australians. Go India go... .... ! we can do it.... !

  • samsabeesh on April 1, 2011, 12:54 GMT

    Oh!! Gee!! Thanks Aakash Chopra .... nice long article to satisfy your itch to write ... I'm sure I've seen you play and probably the art of playing "competitive sport" is tough to master for such a wise head like you.... I'll teach you here ... first let us start by increasing a little bit of salt and spice in our food shall we??

  • NP_NY on April 1, 2011, 12:49 GMT

    Hi Akash, as an Indian fan I like the honesty in your article. There is nothing wrong in celebrating on the streets after a win over an arch-rival. It happens in many sports. However, while most fans celebrate it as a victory over an arch rival in cricket, there is no denying that some fans treat it like it is a war. I unfriended an acquiantance on facebook yesterday because he wrote "Terrorists killed and Raavans are next" and some of his friends even found it funny. These people obviously have never met a Pakistani or a Srilankan and are just misguided by the crass politicians and media. While I am proud of India for winning the game and have no problem with the street celebrations, I am disgusted with the fans who treat the game like a war and display emotions of pure hate!

  • voyager on April 1, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    saw a news coverage from an Indian news outlet prior to the match in which they were showing Pakistan team practice in a very evil light, with background music and sound and words. All they were doing was practicing short pitch deliveries on a marble slab and it was shown as 'kaala pathar' (blackstone) pakistan's evil designs to physically hurt Sachin and Viru... with news outlet like Aaj tak common people cannot be blamed much for seeing any thing pakistani as evil

  • topguncricket on April 1, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    A wonderful level-headed article from A. Chopra and a MUST READ for anyone looking to put things in perspective. Fine line between being a fan and a fanatic - MEDIA needs to be more thoughtful about the garbage it spews. For the sake of progress there needs to be a cultural shift - perhaps 'overhaul' is the right term. Cricinfo Staff - nice job for publishing this and continue more of this good work. Aakash - many thanks for this poignant piece.

  • puneet_usa on April 1, 2011, 12:40 GMT

    Well with all due respect to all of your comments- I AM SO SURPRISED THAT NO ONE HAS EVEN ONCE MENTIONED ABOUT GARY KRISTEN-INDIA'S QUIET AND BEHIND THE SCENE COACH WHO HAS LEAD THIS TEAM TO THEIR WORLD CUP FINAL JOURNEY AND ALSO INDIAN CRICKET'S RISE IN PAST FEW YEARS- SPARE FEW COMMENTS FOR THIS GREAT COACH GARY GUYS- IT WILL BE GARY'S FINAL MATCH AS INDIA'S COACH AND WHAT A WAY TO FINISH- GREAT JOB GARY-THANKS FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE-CHEEERS--!!!!!

  • fanfromcanada on April 1, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    Aakash, popular media only supplies what the masses want. On a side point, that is why I have always appreciated cricinfo as it has over time stuck to its values of pure cricket journalism for ardent cricket fans and has never "manufactured" news just to get eyeballs. What you see on the streets in India is a very deep-rooted trait where every encounter is treated as personal (or in this case, a national) challenge. This stems from an insecurity or a non-surity about self against your peers that you see as your "competition" so every time there is a challenge, it turns into a peeing contest! Somewhere a win is not just a cricket win for the masses, but it satisfies what the masses see as their, only perceived I should add, inferiority. This takes the form of "victory" when India plays Pakistan, or "superiority" when India plays Australia....basically the media helps the masses in beating their chests by saying "we are better than them!". So in a loss, the reaction is to pelt stones!

  • padsp on April 1, 2011, 12:35 GMT

    good article

    this will change the way of thinking

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:34 GMT

    Problem is there are too many channels!!! And every channel wants exclusive story which will set the world on fire!!! There is nothing wrong in celebrating victory!!! But celebration which shows disrespect to the loosing team is unsporting!!!

  • srikarkav on April 1, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    Very well written and well thought out comments.Even when we were rejoicing iwhen India won i was thinking that we should spare a thought for Afridi who led the team so well and For the Paksitan people who would have plunged into gloom on that night.I am disgusted by the way some Indian and Pakistan fans carry on on various websites spewing venom at each other.

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:30 GMT

    This article is well-written, but I gainsay with a number of sentiments expressed. We are passionate about our team and want to win at any cost. The real passion that underlies Indo-Pak matches is the intensity with which players have played it over the years. There have been some stellar performances, mouth-watering contests and fighting till the end - things one wouldn't associate with an Ind-Eng or Ind-SL clash. Politics or wars of yore or terror attacks have little to no role in the ardency.

    You really can't take the past out of the equation or people's memories. Remember the people of Ahmedabad shouting 'Cheater' when Ponting asked the umpires for a catch referral? For a number of fans, Sydney 2008 will remain a haunting memory and Australians of that team would be a source of anathema. You can't change that or deny that by pretending you are a cultured citizen!

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    Amazing article. An eye opener, really. I think this article should be printed on the front pages of all leading dailies. Let people read this and think. Thanks Aakash. I have decided to think differently. You are simply a great insightful person Aakash. I always loved reading your articles. Please keep at it. The pen is mightier than the sword. Your articles will affect a lot of people. It surely did to me.

  • wrongturn on April 1, 2011, 12:27 GMT

    it's a nicely written column...akash u r great...the issue u have raise in the column is very importan be coz every time we will not behave lik this but as it was wc semi final it was..great to celebrate......

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Hats off Chopra!! Very well written!!

  • SAILAX on April 1, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    hahaha aakash u don go too philosophical.... a tournament is about winning hearts of the world and not just the cup... Noone would forget k o brein though ireland get knocked out... and india has won the ppls heart by winning.. and about patriotism v ll celebrate... v ll celebrate to pour petrol on fire for all the ppl who hate india... u can see the level of criticism faced by our ppl wen v lose... so v have the right to criticise others by our celebration

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Akash is entiled to his opinion but to try to impose the idea on others is littel unfair, why we should always be apologetic about our moments of high, You guys dont complain when westerners beat their drums the loudest be it steve Jobs or Steve Waugh, but when an Indian Does it, it has be toned down look east,west see whether anyone will get upset then celebrate? Silly, when brazil or argentina dances on streets for FIFA victory or losses, you will be the first person to say its a beautiful exhibition of passion for sport etc, when you see it happen in Mohali you are sour, what will the opponent think??Then why compete at all, we can simply give them money and we will watch that way we will not hurt anyone?? Grow-up man, sport means passion, howmany ever layer of plasters you paste India and Pakistan are rivals of first order, why hide it, instead of facing it, like Aussie and UK do or Brazil and Argentina do, why you want cat and dog in a same enclosure?? Lets enjoy some diversity

  • MV_Raghavan on April 1, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Thanks Akash... this is a great article and you have brought many valid items to ponder upon. While the media may be stooping low to gain TRP, the citizens of India can be much more mature in dealing with the hype and frenzy that the media creats. There should be some more expressive means for the Indians to cold-shoulder & ignore the media in such circumstances, which should refrain media from acting so.

  • Dingri on April 1, 2011, 12:21 GMT

    I think the emotions in any india pakistan match run very high because of what pakistan is upto as a troublesome neighbour across the border. But I agree with Akash, we should be objective enough to separate these two things.

    We (including the media) should put pressure on govt to take tough stands on matters of national importance and dont give in like weak kneed under the garb of "diplomacy". The alive and kicking Ajmal Kasab is a glaring case to the point. But when someone comes to your home to play with you, please respect his position, dont humiliate him.

  • vish2020 on April 1, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    I am indian living in Islmabad...Aakash why don't you come here and see how the media behaved before the game!! You don't know anything and you were due an article and you write this rubbish? its not about responsible nation or not!! its called rivalry! get use to it and dont get scared next time

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    If you Smelllla the hype media is coocking

  • JosephRoshanthaKingstonFernando on April 1, 2011, 12:19 GMT

    Great article... well said...

    Learnt about the History of Indian cricket...

    Yes... Indians will have to think on what has been said here... and take necessary action...

  • leggierulz on April 1, 2011, 12:14 GMT

    Thank you Aakash for providing a touch of sanity to the crass noise that passes off as patriotism and journalism these days. I would recommend this as mandatory reading for one and all.

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:13 GMT

    but then wats wrong with jingoism?? at least it brought the nation together... agreed that the media went over-hype regarding it, but then wats the fun without some masala in it??... never seen the spirit of our nation so strong before wat hapnd on wednesday... frankly speaking i've never seen such wild celebrations on the street before... watever happened false patriotism or jingoisim was fun... really..

  • BattingOpener on April 1, 2011, 12:07 GMT

    I agree and disagree with the article. Agreed on the point that media creates extraordinary hype to increase their TRP, but disagree that people and nation are not responsible/mature or anything of that sort. If the players are allowed to sledge nastily because "things can happen in the heat of the match", then why should the spectators be blamed for displaying the fervor and emotions they do in such a big game like this? Even Sachin Tendulkar was notably, and rather unusually, ecstatic after our win - I don't think I ever see such a display for emotions from him when we win against other teams. Aakash, it's natural and let it be natural. This is what makes is fun!! :)

  • SRAM20 on April 1, 2011, 12:06 GMT

    As long as people dont kill each other and people dont lose lives for this rivalry, I am fine with whatever has happened for this game. Australia and England have a fierce rivalry, ours is even bigger. Cant stop it! This one game is a big thing and people are expected to react like this.

  • darshan69 on April 1, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    this is rubbish..guess he is cranky cuz he didnt represent india for long..

  • on April 1, 2011, 12:01 GMT

    Hit the nail on the head. I was amused when those dumb clowns were dancing on TV - this is like the Finals for us. Maybe for you , you dumb clown was what I felt like saying to him. Be mature. The objective is to win the WC, not a semi-finals.

  • rohitkossery on April 1, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Well written Akash. I think its time we, the fans, learn to accept that things will not always go according to plan. Players are humans just like us, and can wilt under pressure at times.

    To all Pakistani fans: Your team played brilliantly. They might not have won the match, but i doubt if ever a Pakistani team has won so much respect from the Indians, for the way they defied all odds stacked against them (scandals, bad admin and politics) and reached so far. It would be a great injustice if this team is blamed, for they are real heroes and deserve a heroes welcome home.

    I think fans should stop seeing cricket matches like a gladiator fight to the death. in the Colosseum. Support the teams with fervour, and if they lose, we should be there to support them, to tell them that we are behind them 100%. Our love and support for them and the sport should be their strength, not their greatest fear.

  • CricketFanOfIndia on April 1, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    Great Article Akash...It time to play cricket as a sport and not as a war. Lets not bring the past back and destroy the future. Rather live in the present moment and better ties...

  • Morpheus273 on April 1, 2011, 11:47 GMT

    Though I have enjoyed the India's win over Pak to the core, I have been made to think otherwise. I agree with Aakash that if it could have been any other side, be it Aussies or SAffers, their would not have been so much media hype. Yes, because of the history of the two nations there have always been high emotion and expectation when the two sides meet face to face in any arena which puts them across each other. Be it hockey, cricket, etc, wny place where India and Pak face each other, the stakes rises exponentially. More than the in the player, there is an emotion of winning at any cost. Competition is always good but what happens between these to countries in not competition. It's war to put it in simple words. How could a Sport be the cause of someone's death. I read an article in the newspaper this morning that 3 people lost their lives in Pak of heart attack as a result of Pak loosing the cricket match. I am ashamed of such kind of competition that could lead to such kind of loss.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:45 GMT

    Nice Article..................

  • aamed33 on April 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    While criticising the the extreme nationalism displayed by both sets of fan in your article, you nevertheless hinted at your personal bias by using words indicating that it's okay to feel especial pleasure in beating Pakistan. Well that's a fine example to set! It's a game of cricket and India-Pakistan matches should not involve hatred, detestation, particular pleasure in defeating the other. We in the UK watched the match on the big screen, both sets of fans mingling and supporting their teams and just having a great time. That's what sports is all about, as well as bringing people together. So please push that point in your articles, and not division and talk of partisan.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    I stopped watching news channel for 3 days before semifinal as media has just lost balance and had nothing to show or talk except playing with Pakistan.

    If media reflect the maturity of a nation then i'm really ashamed of it. How immature , irritating and greedy our media is.

  • GrtIndia_Ann on April 1, 2011, 11:41 GMT

    wow...so here we have got bunch of philosophers amidst 1 billion fools....gud....i wonder how many of these intelligent people here look at Europeans as fools when such high fever develops during FIFA world cup....every one remembers how the "GENTLE" English critisised when he failed to deliver in one of the past worldcups....most of socalled "intelligent people" here forgot how exteme English media goes during football WC.... '

  • crictendya on April 1, 2011, 11:35 GMT

    Akash,

    though you are right from the player's perspective, your article is wrong in the nation's context. Celebrations on SF win over Pakistan in all cities across India were RIGHTLY justified. Yes, cricketing ties are severed with Pakistan and they should be banned from playing in India but had we not played this match, we'd havelost it to the country that is non deservind and hence was proved by Men in Bleed Blue!!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PS: Have been your fan since that tour of Australia where you formed solid opening partnerships with Viru. B4 that everytime India used to lose the openers within first few overs. But ur partnership with Danger personified changed all that. Don't know why you were overlooked...remains a mystery but then BCCI is a shapeless organism and better not to write anything about it here.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:34 GMT

    in my opinion, I believe this article is an overreaction. What you are seeing is just a revelry match. You see that all over the world, and in all types of sports. Argentina-Brazil (Soccer), Kansas University-Kansas State University (College Basketball in the US) to name a few. I don't believe that it is bad for fans to mark their calendars for the day when you play a particular team, and then build up emotions for that game. Life would be too boring if we played without emotions regardless of who we played! Just relax, and absorb the emotions. Don't over-analyze. Just don't be uncouth. Regardless of whether you win or lose, it is a fantastic experience!

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:31 GMT

    i don feel it was over hyped...the match against pakistan was always going to be intese...since no matter wat happens...they shouldnt be entering mumbai in any case...point taken the attacks by the fans are bad...but how do you rate the celebration, the media hype, the battling nerves as bad .....its always der from the beginning....eng vs aus...ireland vs eng....every country hav their rivalries...and der is no point as to why we should express our feelings...i give a thumbs down on the article..

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:30 GMT

    Well written, Sometime i feel shamed to see some pictures insulting opponent players coming around in social networks, the truth is that Indian cricket fans are not behind the players, they are behind the "Success" of the players, they follow whoever is successfull and leave out the rest......i still remember people who asked sachin to retire 4 or 5 years back and then praising him as God when he is in form of his life.... news media should be blamed for these sorts of things....

  • Indus_vvsfan on April 1, 2011, 11:29 GMT

    I agree that it is just a sport and that we shouldn't be on either of the extremes when dealing with a loss or a win. But I'm afraid, the people who attack the homes of Cricketers are not the ones that go on cricinfo.com. Maybe you can try to write to local news papers or channels not to promote the game as a war. I also didn't like witnessing the "Cricket Diplomacy" between our two prime ministers. WTH are they doing there?? But honestly, I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate Ind vs Pak matches and I truly respect Pak cricketers and their talent. I have one solution to all this...why can't we be one country again....that should fix all the problems. :o)

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:24 GMT

    Its not the fans, neither the Indian nation, but its the indian media which creates so much of negativity and people are completely blindfolded only because they've to increase their so-called TRP. What bothers me more is that Pakistani media is following in their footsteps as well.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:22 GMT

    Ok. Mr Player.Do you ever imagine how a fan goes through on each crucial game that India plays? Fans and Indian people are not fools to react for no reason. Every one who is watching would be praying for the team not to loose wicket. But, at times, players wont care much of sticking to the basic rules and loose the match badly. Just take the semi as an example. Though Pakistan lost the match, still they could derive some pride because of their fighting spirit. When did India lost the matches that gracefully?? So, please dont preach the fans on their emotion level. Because of fans, Indian crickets are making fortune. And fans have every right to feel and act. But I agree completely that the emotions should not turn into a violence.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    A very good article , i think as a Pakistani i feel really proud the way we received our team even after the loss from India , Pakistani Nation really showed their character and spirit in these 2 days after loosing , the way they have praised their captain shahid afridi and the way they said that there was no need for an apology after the loss as they have done really a lot of good on reaching the semis .. i wonder if it would have been the same if India would have lost ...

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:16 GMT

    Absolutely correct. This is dangerous feeling and emotion we Indians are developing inside us. This is neither good for the game of cricket nor for the Team India. What if the team loose against Pakistan someday? I don't want to imagine but we will pelt the stones on our cricketers. We should behave as a responsible nation now.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    I disagree with Akash's analysis that Indian would prefer winning to Pakistan than to winning the cup. I wonder if Akash Chopra would have gone to the Aam Admi and read their hearts and mind to find out the truth rather than reading too much into India Media which is is one of the most irresponsible media in the entire world and only believe in sensationalise every news item.

    We have beaten Pakistan 5-0 in worldcups, but when we talk about greatest victory in Indian One Day Cricket History we talk about 1983.

    Sorry Akash you read too much into Indian Media which creates nothing but false hypes and cheap/easy selling.

  • vimalkm on April 1, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Sorry would like to add that i dont think the media hype plays a part AT ALL! Any one following cricket is gonna know there is a Ind Pak match....and why are we complaining about the hype?? its there job to hype things they do that...its your job to play well do that...good if you not reading the papers or watching the news...but i WANT this hype...it adds to the atmosphere!

  • Batliboy on April 1, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Extremely well written Aakash .... And very appropriate!

  • Chennaisuperkiing on April 1, 2011, 11:09 GMT

    Aakash what point are you trying to make? It was an emotional game as there is a lot of rivalry between both the nations. This is not any different from the Ashes rivalry or Argentina beating England in the soccer world cup with the Hand of God goal. Life is beautiful because of moments like this. If we wanted an quite orderly game we would watch Tiger Woods playing golf rather than watching Tendulkar's delicate late cut off Wahab.

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    Fans in Sri Lanka no way similar to Indians. We do not look at it beyond sport... rogerproxy... u got it all wrong i guess...

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    I guess you are overreacting to the celebrations. Beating Pakistan was a neccesary step to move into the finals. If you think other matches dont matter than Mohd Kaif's house wouldnt have been painted black after losing embarrassingly to 'Australia'.

    India and Pakistan share the same sort of rivalry in cricket like 2 good schools in the same city share in almost every sporting event.

    I dont agree with the part about Pakistan public taking loss in a more responsible way, whatever happened at Wasim Akram's house after theri loss in the final of 99 world cup is a proof, in India we may vandalize , but no real death threats are given to any player as such.

  • Mash3009 on April 1, 2011, 11:07 GMT

    @Rogerproxy - You need to get your observations straight. Sri Lankan fans are fans...not fanatics! They don't go around threatening their own team!

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    At Rogerproxy : I don't know if you are Sri Lankan. Fans in Sri Lanka are no way similar to Indians. We do not look at it beyond sport. Someone has to lose if others are to win....

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:06 GMT

    I agree with Akash - somehow when we play Pakistan it is not viewed as just another game. I think the real fans of the sport will be more balanced about victory and defeat but the fair-weather fans are the ones who make this event bigger than it is.

    The fact is that Indian players are more comfortable with Pakistani players than they ar with others because they have so much in common. While watching the game I ordered delicious biriyani from a Pakistani restaurant. I asked the owner about the game. He said if Pakistan win there will be free Biriyani tomorrow. I then asked him -what if India win? He said " then~ 50% off. " We high fived each other and laughed. We have more in common because of our shared history. We should always remember that. So for all of us Indians our second favorite team should be Pakistan and vice versa for Pakistani's. It should be like the English supporting the Irish

  • on April 1, 2011, 11:05 GMT

    Wonderful Article Akash.... and for those who juts blame media I feel it was not just media but also the people who equally created this hype.Media just reflects the society they just broadcast what we love to watch. The facebook status of people declaring this game more important than the CUP itself prove this mentality. I guess time for us to act more matured.If we want to become a sporting power or a super power in the world we should compete with ourselves or compete the skills of the best countries in the world rather than India competing with Pak and vice versa.

  • AncientAstronaut on April 1, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    While the support for cricket is abnormally passionate in this country, I don't agree with this article. Chopra and a lot of other cricketers make millions because of this very support. And so I find it ridiculous that he's complaining. It's the regular people like us who just want to enjoy cricket without the noise and stupidity who should be complaining! Mr. Chopra, don't forget the fact that your wealth is a result of this support and stop being a cry baby.

  • mogan707 on April 1, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    The media started it all.When you publicise a news to an extent that even Prime Ministers talk about it,then you can put the blame of hype and jingoism partly on the electronic media.But the topic of jingoism was raised ever since the matches were telecasted on TV.THIS WAS ON THE RISE FROM 1996 when India hosted the WC.And it reached to such extremes during the WC 2003,we thought that if any provocation was made by any fan would result in riots.However,the good thing is that did not happen for a good cause.And the true nature of India-Pakistan match would be always like that.This sentiment is even exploited in films like Chakde India,etc.After all it is a match,and would be remembered only until that match or series is completed;And then normal procedure follows.In this competitive world and tension filled work Fans enjoy their moments and express themselves that seems exaggerated;This is the way fans behave;IF THEY TEND TO CHANGE THEN CRICKET YIELDS NO MONEY(no one watches them then)

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:59 GMT

    May be you are correct but we are not exception. Look at Ashes series. England and Australia care more about it than any other thing. Rivalry between those teams is always considered as best. That is what brings the best out of the team and that is when people see their teams at top level.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    You are very defensive in nature, while opening in cricket and writing here. Why we shouldnt celebrate a victory with a country which always troubled us. You go to any part of the world and you can see a sport tied with historic/political uneasiness. Its how it is, just because of your one page wriitng, it aint gona change anything. Nobody harmed Nobody, so peace out and enjoy the fun.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Mr. akaash, i know u want to show urselves unique among the cricinfo writers, but i can't follow what you are trying to say.... whatever channel we switch, we can see atleast 5 cricketers in each channel....its not the common man who was sitting and increasing the hype...it is the media and the former cricketers doing this....i bet millions of people would have felt bit sad when shahid afridi felt sorry for his nation and could not fulfill his daughter's wishes....people were ecsatatic because the nations pride has been saved not because the enemy has been destroyed.... Even in IPL people go crazy....does it mean we hate each others city....no Mr. Akaash....it is the ZEAL we show to our team...otherwise no sport would be this sucess....

  • oc2205 on April 1, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    That's what I have been trying to put across to my indian fans, but they just don't get it. The excuse is that now that they have won, they have the right to enjoy. I cant say no to that, but at least do not ridicule others! Some of them are so content with their team's win, they don't mind losing the finals. What patriotism. :/

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:53 GMT

    Hey Akash, congratulations on your courage. You are trying to talk sense to fanatics armed with hate and stupidity. These fanatics occupy newsrooms and CEO suites. They are your best friends, even siblings. Their patriotism and ambition is limited to embarassing a pet enemy. Your courage is remarkable because you are wrestling pigs in a shitpool - you cringe but the pigs love it. But even if you can make one pig fly, this effort would be worth it.

  • dhurisunil on April 1, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    I thought Bombay Quadrangular was played between Hindu, Muslim, Parsi and European and not British as you mentioned..

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    A perfect article for the stupid mindless so-called Cricket fans who believe India's win over Pakistan was much bigger than winning the final!!! No wonder I never celebrated after the semi-final win, because I am mature enough to understand that the job is only half done...

  • AsherCA on April 1, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    Akash,

    There are 2 ways of responding to your well thought out article - 1. Remind cricketers that they are collecting crores from IPL teams & Sponsors because the Indian public think of the cricketers as gods. When god fails, there is anarchy. Option - disappear from the public life so people don't treat you like god, stop collecting the crores you get for being considered god and then, talk about I don't want to pay the price of being considered god. 2. Empathise with the Indian cricketers, alongwith you. In utopia, all readers would follow 2. In the real world, I guess all readers will themselves follow 1 & expect you to do the same also. So if you cricketers want the crores you get for being "god" for the Indian public, be ready & willing to pay for your failures - your failure basically means you don't deserve the money you have collected / will demand for having participated in a match.....

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    probably the best and definitely the most honest article written on the confused link between subcontinent cricket n subcontinent politics!! I as a Pakistani fan accept that the better team won the match, for we didn't deserve to play the final after such a miserable batting n fielding display! and its an opinion of whole nation that our team still made us proud by reaching the semis. Of course no one likes a lose, but a lose is same whether its to India or to Australia! I hope Indian media can one day "grow-up", cuz for a long time it has played the strongest role this hate-mongering! they are the ones who should get their acts together! the manner in which they covered the build-up to this match was atrocious to say the least, and I felt pity for a nation that produces so many intelligent engineers n doctors to have such a dumb media!

  • SinSpider on April 1, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    @Aakash, it is unfair for you to say that Indian fans have not evolved.I agree it is incorrect and unacceptable to target cricketers or their families for a loss in a game. But I do not feel that would have been the situation if Ind lost to Pak this time. Nor do I think an average Indian fan hates Pak cricketers. I think the article is muddled because it cannot distinguish between Indian and Pakistani fans loving an encounter between the two nations verus hating the oppposition.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:47 GMT

    No, no it is not. Quality article Aakash.

  • harshalb on April 1, 2011, 10:45 GMT

    While I fully, completely agree with Akash on all points, however as a Mumbaikar, I think this time was a little different. We absolutely did not want Pakistan to be playing in Mumbai after their non coperation on 26/11. Had the match been anywhere else, I don't think I would have cared as much. But thought of Pakistan winning their way to Mumbai was unacceptable. BUT, I agree on all your points regarding our behaviour. It is one thing to not want a country to win and another to hype this up to a level that Indian media did. Shame on Indian media.

  • Desiboi80 on April 1, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    BS article to get attention Aakash? We want to win the WC and nothing else. In the process if we beat Pakistan, then that's good but WC is the aim, as tribute to the li'l master who has been serving the team for 21 years and has been not given enough respect by so many people jealous of his records that have helped team India a great deal which so many people fail to realize. He doesn't play for records, records just comes his way because he is so good.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Well written and extremely relevant.

  • sameer997 on April 1, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    An article which had a lot of thought and questions which I beleive might not be answered.A very good article at the end of all.Especcialy the last para it had a lot of sense in it and a lot of thought cetainley the best article hats off to Aakash chopra.

  • Tiptop32 on April 1, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    You echoed my thoughts perfectly. I am against attaching patriotism/nationalism to cricket(for that matter any sports). Our people take sport(cricket) seriously and corruption sportively. We should not display such kind of behaviours when India wins against any sporting nation not only against Pakistan. We should remember the humility of 70's WI champion team or else Indian team will be hated like Aussies.

  • ruvvy on April 1, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    What an excellent article! Hats off to voicing the opinion of the sane and educated (not just literate). Both FM Radio and News channels were catering to the jingoistic populace and offering mere lip service to the 'Game'. I am ashamed to be grouped and identified with these fans who equate my self esteem to a result in game of cricket. But want to make another point Akash - The best player in the game was Wahab Riaz. But, our commentators again showed their partisan way of giving man of the match to Sachin catering to the jingoism. On pure cricketing merit Riaz or Raina deserved it more. Some education would have probably prompted Sachin to share the MOM award with Riaz - What a stroke of statesmanship it would have been. Disappointed! Very!

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    absolutely a thoughtful article.. everyone should read it

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    Agree ... I just want to enjoy the game of cricket... It almost felt like the Indian team had no option but to win.. I am indian but I still like some pakistani players.. I am huge fan of Wasim Akram and Afridi...

  • srudrago on April 1, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    C'mon Chopra..dont try to be good for no reason. First ask yourself, what these boards are doing to get away from this? If they play frequently these immense tensions automatically go down with time as ppl get habituated. Coming to the cricketers, you cant blame whole crowd for the stupidities of one or two. Most of ppl are compassionate with cricketers who are on the field except for the rare. A reporter throwing a sandal onto the president doesn't mean all the reporters of that country are to be blamed. Important of all,you are talking of the richest game of one of the most powerful economies. You are getting in knowing everything you may have to go through.So please dont talk like a child. Last sentence regarding PAKvsINDIA games. Its the tension created from outside. So no matter whether it is cricket/hockey/any other sport/cultural, as a citizen who have to go through all that. Thats the beauty of being in a society, enjoy or reprieve by sitting in a corner..left to the invidual

  • Sankara on April 1, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Well said Akash, These days, for an Indian who is a cricket fan, it is embarrrasing to see wht some of the TV news channels talk, and what some of the saw called Indian, buat not cricket, fans write in columns including in Cricinfo. Such trash, juvenile vitriol and unwarranted equation of a cricket victory to national superiority! Come on guys, grow up and and enjoy the game. It is not the end of the world if India loses a match. As regards to Kamal Kannans comments, who is he to decide what is good for us Mumbaikars? If final was decided to be in Mumbai, and had Pak made it to the finals, there are enough Mumbaikars who are also patriotic Indians, who would welcome them graciously. The uncouth shall not represent us

  • kasyapm on April 1, 2011, 10:34 GMT

    Nice article. Very rightly said that the hype attributed was way too much. And 'to lose the cup is fine if we win against Pak' is stupid, to say the least. Just wanted to add that not all rational cricket fans think that way and it is mostly the tone of the media. Glad to see that our players managed the pressure well and congrats for one more good article!

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I was watching the game in a bar in Auckland (as a neutral). As you'd expect there was a healthy contigent of Indian supporters there. It was depressing being there. It wasn't the less-than creative chants of Pakistan: loserbad'. It was that they would cheer madly for any ugly fluke or bludgeon that resulted in a four for India. But when a Pakistani bowler got a five-for.. nothing. These aren't cricket fans. They are India fans. They would be as rowdy whatever the medium for their Pakistan bashing.

    Watching a game of cricket in their presence is dispiriting. I don't look forward to doing so for the final.

    Grow up India. Keep the rivalry friendly and humorous. Respect your opponents. And enjoy the cricket. If you can't do that, then I agree with Aakash Chopra, sever cricketing ties.

  • game_mayank on April 1, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I think the main reason why Akash Chopra didn't do well in whatever form of cricket he was lucky to play in was the lack of mental strength and the die-hard attitude... he would buckle down the moment a bouncer was bowled or the bowler abused him and get out soon enough..so its understandable if he doesn't understand the emotions of a pak-india match...anybody who thinks india-pak is just a normal game doesn't deserve to be associated with cricket in any form... cricket is not only about performing but having the passion and correct attitude which comes from wanting a victory at any cost... i request people like Aakash Chopra to not kill this passion' ...

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    All right Mr Chopra, first of all fans across both sides of the border are the same. If Md Kaif's house was stoned in 2003, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram received death threats after his team lost the 1996 World Cup quarter-final against India.

    Further as far as my knowledge goes, Kaif's house was vandalised in 2006 during India's series with South Africa by members of a political party (and not common fans). I do not recall any incident of stoning during the 2003 WC (where India reached the finals).

    Secondly, Indian fans have matured. There was a time when except cricket we had very few things to look forward to. Times have changed. If my team lost to Pakistan, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said - "Well, let me book tickets for the Indian Grand Prix." Fans did not have that luxury during the 1990s. Also Indians do not need cricket to assert supremacy. India has marched ahead of Pakistan in a lot of spheres. The competition is with China now and not Pakistan!

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    Oh please Aakash. Stop generalising. Its about the world cup and that's why the game was so important. The over-the-top behaviour you talk about (where people want to win only against Pakistan), applies only to a very small minority. So please stop talking about the nation, and how we are not responsible. It's the passion for cricket that unites India in such times, just like football does in Brazil and Argentina. Stop writing such negative articles in such happy times and celebrate India's win in the semi and hopefully the World Cup on Sunday.

  • Azharuddin on April 1, 2011, 10:27 GMT

    @ Aina Maria Waseem! "So yes, pakistani fans have what you'd call "grown up"." so you call pakistani fans as "grown up"...committing suicides, firing bullets on every wicket and hurting others, breaking TV sets, match fixing allegations after loss....is this you call "grown up" attitude... Don't just boost off for the sake of it....I know majority of Indians take Ind vs pak as a supremacy issue, loosing to pakistan is not all accepted, but so do the pakistani fans....a majority of them can't handle the defeat. Every time, pakistan team looses to India, some one commits suicide,then there heart attacks, people kill other people...they burn dummies-... I fell those are my feelings what Mr Akash Chopra has written.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:26 GMT

    Beautifully written with a lot of true sentiments for the genuine cricketer. In the end, it is our own so-called Team India, whom we pressurised more than the worthy opponents. Somewhere down the line we are forgetting to respect the game of cricket and the genuine cricketer. Well done Akash, keep it up!

  • sewd on April 1, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Very well written Aakash'

    I personally feel the Media is the chief culprit in inciting such passions inorder to boost their TRP ratings. They generally ask very provocative questions without any responsibility, just a case of expelling verbal venom. I saw an outrageous scene on You Tube where Afridi's small innocent daughter is provoked to give the name of the person she feels is responsible for the defeat. This is pathetic yellow journalism of the worst kind and both the countries are equally guilty. There has to a code of conduct introduced by the respective press councils very soon or else there will be irreparable damage. Just imagine how the regional channels will incite the audience once the IPL starts. I just fervently hope that sane and calm voices like yours are not drowned in this Media initiated Pseudo Nationalism. If you love your country so much you can make a start by paying taxes, respecting queues .... only then my freind will you be a true "PATRIOT"

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Thank you so much Aakash for covering this very important aspect of this frenzied hatred and abrasive jingoism attached to this beautiful game of cricket. I appreciate that you have minutely delved into the intricacies of this unprecedented psychological pool of emotions in which we some times tend to forget defining a boundary or an end to.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    well said Akash Chopra. I was touched to read you statement "And believe me, the Pakistan cricketers, who are otherwise a friendly lot", and truly believe, yes they are

  • SinSpider on April 1, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    It is ironic that you at CricInfo are commenting that the India vs Pak has received undue attention. Look at the number of articles that were written in CricInfo for the Ind vs Pak match (incl this one) and compare that to the semifinal between SL vs NZ. If what you wrote is right, you guys are as guilty as others.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:15 GMT

    I do understand what you are trying to convey and wholly appreciate your point. But it is also fair to keep in mind that it is an India-Pak game where traditional rivalry takes centre stage every time. I am sure if Pak would've won, the celebration would've been similar to that witnessed in india. And there is nothing wrong with that. We as a nation (atleast the cricket loving majority) have always appreciated the way Pak plays and right now couldn't be more appreciative (and a bit jealous) of their seamers. It was indeed wonderful to see so many pak fans in the crowd. And when we are trying to forge a successful and meaningful relationship between the two nations, politically and otherwise, don't you think your article is a step backwards?? Please do not translate the jingoism projected by the media to the sport-loving people. I think after this game, the Afridi fan base in India has grown multi-many fold and I do believe inviting them to participate in the IPL is a good step forward.

  • duminda74 on April 1, 2011, 10:11 GMT

    @Rogerproxy....looks like you are yesterday born cricket Fan.....that is why you are making such a comments about SL Fans....!

  • Leggie on April 1, 2011, 10:09 GMT

    Nice / well written article. While the expectations were obviously high from the fans to win against Pakistan, I'm not sure if the expectations would have been any lesser even if the opponents were not Pakistan. The media hype calling India to win the World-Cup & the resulting jingoism has been quite alarming this time. IMHO the concept of World Cup is more like watching a masala movie. Cricket however is a game that is a test for endurance and longevity. The world ICC rankings clearly show who the winners are in the long run / long haul. By the next World Cup, it will be good if there is a slight change wherein the #1 Test/ODI ranking holders are awarded the "ICC World Cup" during the Opening Ceremony and the "Sponsored" / Knock-out World Cup is given at the end of the tournament.

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Kamal Kannan on (April 01 2011, 07:19 AM GMT) wrote "Pakistan should never enter Mumbai again in any form"

    Does that go for India when they loose anywhere too? Say for example if India lost to Australia in Perth should they then never enter Perth again 'in any form' according to your reasoning?

  • on April 1, 2011, 10:04 GMT

    Ridiculous Article.You are doing what has been doing. Taking opinion of few and terming them as nation's opinion. Sports is gives the joy and sense of victory.Its you guys in Media and Pseudo intellectuals has hyped it up and are blaming public.

  • tinkuji on April 1, 2011, 9:59 GMT

    I was more happy that India has reached the finals. I was more happy that Tendulkar can be a part of the workd cup wining team., That the losing semifinalist was Pakistan was irrelevant. It was a joy however as any opposite team is always wary of Pakistan for its mercurial talent. They are the only team which can perform very well despite their best 5 people unable to play fr various reasons. And beating sch a team is always special.

    I am sure there are loads of Indians with the same sentiments similar to mine. Just taking some people's perspectives into account and extrapolating it to the whole nation is not only unfair but also sends the wrong signals to the outer world.

    Cricinfo which is anyway owned by a western mediahouse will welcome such articles which will depict India as irresponsible and in poor light. Remember Slumdog ?? As was with the movie, there is no doubt abt the truth that such situations and feelings exist, but there is an other side which is never shown.

  • bluebillion on April 1, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Flawed article I think. In Mohali - and throughout the country - we celebrated a World Cup semifinal win over Pakistan. Whats wrong in that? There were slogans which celebrated India but not many which "ridiculed" Pakistan. Even in the stadium - if you have read Nagraj's article here on cricinfo - it was friendly banter between the fans from both sides. There was no sign of any violence or even badheartedness. In fact the people of Mohali opened their hearts and homes to the Pakistani fans. Not at one moment did it feel like the old days that if India lost there would be effigies burning and homes getting stoned - I dont know that gave Mr. Chopra that feeling. Is Mr. Chopra aware of what happened in Karachi after the game? All the giant screens put up by the Government were broken. 50 people were injured in the gunshots fired in the air by the "fans" either cheering when Pakistan were going well or venting frustration when they werent. One last question - where was Chopra in 1920?

  • SagirParkar on April 1, 2011, 9:52 GMT

    a truly sensible take on the match and the context in which it was played. i have many friends who do not care about the cricket but just want to see India beat Pak and i always give them an earful for that. the Pakistani team has performed well in this tournament despite their recent turmoil and they should be proud of their achievement and the others should respect them for that. I hate the way the media utilises opportunities such as these to get extra TRPs, the way politicians use it to further their own propaganda or fanatical associations use the context to fragment society even further. hopefully in the future, the community at large will prove to be instrumental in uprooting such seditious practices.

  • arunck30 on April 1, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    Very nice article. It shows Cricket between India and Pakistan should be treated as Game and not as war. Afridi really handled the lose in well mannered.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    what an article atlast one indian who thinks of reasons before using emotions. I am really worried about the final because the hungama after the pakistan win was quite high and i am not sure if the young players would get over that

  • IMObserver on April 1, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Well. It's something like the way England players were treated after they won Ashes in England in 2005? Fans are fanatics as the word fan suggests. Patriotism by definition is extremism. I am just an observer.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    Nice ideas, but Akash please keep it crisp.

  • SinSpider on April 1, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    It is ironic that you at CricInfo are commenting that the India vs Pak has received undue attention. Look at the number of articles that were written in CricInfo for the Ind vs Pak match (incl this one) and compare that to the semifinal between SL vs NZ. If what you wrote is right, you guys are as guilty as others.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    The stupidity of creating a war out of a cricket match comes more from media rather than the fans. Can't do much about provked fans in India. Cant do much about the irresponsible media either.

  • kirankerai on April 1, 2011, 9:41 GMT

    I agree this is showing why India is not respected and this should not be aloud and if people get this crazy then cricket is not the force to bring people together. The force of support for your team is passion but we also need to be rein the passion to inspire the team to greatness and not give ugly scene to show.

  • stormy16 on April 1, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    I can only imagine this is one of the worlds greatest rivalries which stirs deep emotions from both sides given the history of the two nations so its not a suprise for the reaction but I guess the question is why such extreme reactions. I wonder if its due the sheer lack of cricket between the two nations? If there were regular games (Ashes like) then may be the reaction would be a bit less extreme. Why dont they play Ind/Pak on a neutral venue (Sharjar/UAE, Eng, SA). I also think the Indian fans are fanatical about their cricket so this shouldnt be really a suprise given its a rare event. For the cricketers its a small price to pay for the glory they get out of playing cricket for India and without the fans there would be no glory or money.

  • sharidas on April 1, 2011, 9:37 GMT

    I personally believe that it is the life in the Gulf countries,which has brought the simple game of Cricket to such a conflicting issue. As an Indian, or Pakistani, it is only natural that we want our team to win. But it is the "after game celebrations" in the Gulf countries - and that too not necessarily by those who play Cricket or understand the game - which has brought the India Pakistan game to such a matter of enmity. This feeling has gradually filtered down to the Public in each country that a loss to the other is considered an unimaginable insult. But in no way does this really involve the people of both countries who love the game of cricket for all its excitement and tension.

  • Yasi_Gee on April 1, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    I don't agree with Rogerproxy. Cricket fans in Sri Lanka never throws stones to players' houses when they loose matches unlike other Asian fans. Sri Lankan fans never throws bottles and rubbish etc to the pitch and never try to harm opposition players. If they can't bear Sri Lanka is loosing then they leave the ground.

  • IndianFan76 on April 1, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    Thanks for the wonderful article Akash. I cannot agree more with your points of view. Moreover, the quality of cricket is also the victim of this unnecessary show of patriotic jingoism. Let sport be sport. While I immensely enjoyed and was thrilled by the Indian win, the quality of the game Pakistan played was far from what they are capable of. Possibly a result of a fear of loss and possible repercussions back home. I am greatly pleased by the maturity shown by the people of Pakistan in accepting this loss. We love our men in blue and wish them all the best in the finals. But it is ok even if you do not succeed despite your best efforts.

  • Arjunan.R on April 1, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    I accept whatever you said Mr.Chopra.But India is a nation with 1.21 billion of people.We expect professional,commited and strong minded eleven to represent this country.If a system is not able to find such a set of people than something is wrong in the system.Yes ofcourse we are comparing our nation with our neighbours.Just not only in cricket and in everything.If you going to conduct any competetion between india and pakistan billion people will expect india to win that.Outcome of that will be depend on the scale of that event.Cricket is a religion now.So its going to hurt us more.I felt a bit of pessimism in your article.Virender Sehwag never ever say that he hate this pressure.If you are a true Indian you will love take pressure for the happiness of this billion of people.Nowhere you will get this kind of respect from these much of people(17% of world population).Its not about checking the superiority of the nation,its all about our love for our heros.

  • jayapras on April 1, 2011, 9:33 GMT

    Hats off to Aakash for a candid, mature write-up. Its mainly the electronic media especially TV which is the big culprit. In their abominable style of blowing up everything, they have done so here as well. I would strongly recommend each and everyone of our TV chaps across all channels - English, Hindi and others to watch BBC news. Without an exception, all their anchors, editors etc. speak in a measured, dispassionate manner. A relief that most of our players like Dhoni, Sachin, Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman let their game speak and conduct themselves on and off the field in an impeccable manner & are ideal role models. I wish all the others such as Sreesanth, Yuvraj, Bhajji and the younger lot like Virat and Ojha emulate them and not use expletives which one can clearly make out on TV. As Gavaskar always rightly mentions, let's emulate the popular West Indies at their peak. They never resorted to the Aussie unsportsmanlike approach. No wonder they are so popular even to this day!

  • multipack on April 1, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    where are you getting this talk of hatred from? the few pakistanis in mohali were treated with the respect and good grace indians always reserve for guests. i saw little evidence of jingo-ism in the crowd with many holding up banners on the theme of brotherhood.

    no doubt the tabloid press in india, like in any country, tries to whip up the masses for reasons of circulation (2 world wars and a world cup as the sun always remind the german football team) but the people of india more often than not will appreciate opposition teams and players. long before the riches of the ipl foreign stars would always write in their autobiographies of the warm welcomes they get in india.

    and if indians 'hate' pakistan so much why were the pakistan team given a standing ovation when they beat us in chennai not long ago?

    you've written this article simply to be contrary and/or for the benefit of westen readers to confirm their stereotypes about fanatical indians. shame on you chopra.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    To put it in perspective, every Indian wicket was celebrated with gunfire in Karachi and a Pak victory would have resulted in more of that. Not that I am saying we should behave similarly. But the roots of animosity do not lay on one side of the border.

  • vineetkarthi on April 1, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    So what has Akash Chopra been watching before writing this article? If he has written this article after watching a few of our local TV channels, all he needs to do to correct his impressions is to switch his TV off and instead speak to people in stadiums and elsewhere. The electronic media in India can blow everything out of proportion. Dosent mean it reflects public / popular opinion. As for how matches against any team are perceived, it is a function of context (the context is different for matches against SA, Aus, Pak and so on). Our emotions convey the context, which obviously will change with time and circumstances. Remember the popular reaction after the Sydney test? Are we mature enough to accept defeat - the obvious answer is "Yes". But do we like spinelessness - certainly not. So while we may indulge in hyperbole as a nation, we react to performance based on the spirit shown, not just results. I found the tone of the article very patronizing.

  • Pratik_vodka on April 1, 2011, 9:28 GMT

    Well though to a certain degree i will agree, the game was over hyped it being against pakistan and all, but again do not make generalization of the whole countries emotions based on some people who make it out to be a war. I on the other hand believe sports should be over hyped cause it over hypes some thing that is still good in our society "Sports". More the hype to be frank makes it more fun to watch. Yes some players are under immense pressure some people might make aggressive actions / comments like in 2003, but in a sport followed by 1 billion they were what a handful in hundreds who would burn effigies attack players houses? Calculate the odds of people going over board there 0.00000001 or some thing? these are things in modern society we have to live with unfortunate but true. I enjoied the over hype cause that was all the game truly had going for it self and made the game interesting.Though i respect Aashihs point of view and something we should always keep track of.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    This article is stupid. The fans here are very passionate and sometimes A VERY FEW of them do very stupid stuff. But can't understand how has that gotta do with INDIA v PAK??...Akash chopra you blame the media...but you are doing the same thing!...Kaif's house was vanadalised by A FEW stupid fans was after the India-Aus match. You are pretending as if everytime we lose to pakistan...people start burning things. And everytime we win...ppl start partying in the streets.

    IND v PAK is a spl match becos v r eternal rivals. India have won a lot and have lost even more against pak around the world. And most of them were just another IND v PAK match. There were no mass hysteria when we won and no mass mourning when we lost. But this was a different match. It was a semi-final of the the world cup in INDIA with india being the favorites to win it. this was perhaps the biggest india-pak in the history. So the euphoria is obvious.

    So please climb down from your high dumb horse and talk sense.

  • Manas83 on April 1, 2011, 9:16 GMT

    I don't know whats wrong in celebrating a win over Pak to the fullest, its a bloody Semi Final nonetheless and it has been celebrated like this on previous 4 occasions as well, so have you woken up all of a sudden Mr. Aakash Chopra ?

  • Willowarriers on April 1, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Thanks for your 'alternative' perspective - just as much an attempt to grab eyeballs as those made bythe media companies you refer to in your article. Fact is, sport does channel national emotions. And yes, it doesn't just happen in cricket. Look at soccer -- Argentina Vs. England and other sports.

    I don't think there is anything wrong in celebrating a victory like the way we Indians did. The Pakistanis would have done the same and there would have been no "thoughtful" article like the one you took great pains to produce.

    Knowing you are better than Pakistan and re-enforcing the idea through sport is just brilliant. Everthing that Pakistan does is generally reactive in nature. They just react to India and try their damnest to better us. Think back to those Sharjah matches played on Fridays.. I think it is brilliant when we put the bit between our teeth and get a result against Pakistan with a do-or-die attitude. It is just a brilliant feeling.Don't tell meAkash you didn't enjoyit

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:14 GMT

    Very nice article. Infact I was also one of many who wanted my country to win but now on i would focus more on cricket when both Ind and Pak play next time.

  • spas on April 1, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    dear rogerproxy, there may be very few extremists, but in general, sri lankan fans are much better and more realistic.

  • on April 1, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    What if India wins the finals and the celebrations are even on a larger scale?? Don't you get it... Amidst all the ridicule...its just the passion for the tournament. And for once..just stop to think that India is in the finals. And Aakash Chopra....you will never know how fans feel...I saw that when you were playing a Duleep trophy match !

  • CricInfoDieHardFan on April 1, 2011, 9:00 GMT

    Wise article and this is what we call "responsible journalism"..please keep up the good work so that Cricket will be the winner!

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:56 GMT

    I am an Indian and I totally agree with this article...its a shame that we as a nation are becoming too arrogant, and the funny part is that even though this arrogance is heavily influenced by a certain section of western countries, we still haven't developed into the advantages and strengths those western countries possessed but we already have the same(or perhaps more) arrogance they had...........I do not mind supporting your nation and calling urself the best, but when you call the other a loser, that is when you urself start to look like losers.........But you know what? these people who show so much of extreme are the ones who normally do not really follow cricket so passionately, it is only when India is playing really well and there's a lot of media hype, that they join in the band wagon and suddenly become extreme supporters showing nothing but arrogance....while the true cricket lovers who support the team no matter what, are never extreme....

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    All sports and celebrations are there for every one one day one wins another day other does the same. Ya that's true Media is hyping too much. For example a leading news channel reported like this, " India thrashed Pakistan by 29 runs" I hope they will understand what is the meaning of thrashing

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:54 GMT

    such sentiments are quite common among the commoners who just want the Indian team to beat any opponents, let alone Pakistan. The Pakistani players also did not help the cause by giving negative comments in the press like they were targetting top four Indian batsmen, and Shahid Affridi, with all his flamboyance, added fuel to fire by telling the media that Pakistani bowlers would not let Sachin our national hero to reach his coveted 50th century. I think all these media hypes and unnecessary comments by Pakistani players including Gul, Younis, and Shahid Afffridi, contributed to the hate campagin among the Indian fans who literally wanted to wipe the Pakistanis' smile off their face. I wonder how the Pakistanis looked when they lost the semi final game. What irked me as an ardent Indian fan, albeit Malaysian, was the excuses they had to dish out after the 29 run loss. Affridi even said with tounge in cheek that the Pakistanis had kept to the promise of not letting Sachin get 100

  • ram5160 on April 1, 2011, 8:53 GMT

    Aakash, your thinking is all wrong. You are just presenting this as an Us vs Them situation. Is it really the people who put pressure on the team or the media? How can you present an objective view if you are part of that same media? The TV media hypes and vilifies in order to get more eyeballs and therefore make more money. I don't really blame them, because they are just doing their jobs. As for the people attacking cricketer's houses etc... they are just anti-social elements looking for their spot in the limelight. In any case, you are wrong to just vaguely generalize like this. How can you put all the billion people in India into one category like some kind of foreign jouno with no idea of the ground realities? There are literally millions with a genuine love of the game and on the same coin there are millions who have much better things to worry about.

  • ambsmams on April 1, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    I have heard from my own friends and relatives that Ind-Pak match was what mattered to them. Losing was not an option among many fans. Such jingoism takes the emotions to extremes and we cannot control our actions. Remember Eden Gardens...!

    I plead to all the fans to watch the match with full support for the cricket that is played irrespective of whose willow the shot came from, whether from Dilshan's bat or from Dhoni's; whether the superb yorker that befuddled the batsman was from Malinga's hands or from Munaf's.

    Let's enjoy the cricket and honour the men who have worked hard to almost scale the summit.

    May the best team win!

  • Kumar_cricket on April 1, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    Superb article and the best part is timing of the article. We fans need to ground our feet in the ground while celebration. I think Media hyped more than what it is needed for this match.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:50 GMT

    I have been a fan of your writeups for long, and I must say this article is the best of the best. For the first time we have come across true feelings of the cricketers involved in these matches. Timing and contents of this article are top-notch. Really too much jingoism is visible during these matches - makes us feel that we as a nation have not really grown up. So many cricket "followers" were visible on the streets after the victory who dont even know the difference between offside and onside, or cannot recognize all the players in Indian squad.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    All sports and celebrations are there for every one one day one wins another day other does the same. Ya that's true Media is hyping too much. For example a leading news channel reported like this, " India thrashed Pakistan by 29 runs" I hope they will understand what is the meaning of thrashing

  • malad_west on April 1, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    Absolutely awesome article. Personally if you asked me if we would rather lose to Australia or Pakistan, I would say "Pakistan" without batting an eyelid. And that's because the rivalry is purely based on likeability as a team and right now Pakistan is a very likeable team. Just like to me , England were a likeable team in the last T20 WC

    Its insane to look at cricket as some sign of "superiority" in anything else except cricket.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    I completely agree with you , some of the things being said in the build-up and some of the reactions post the victory have been completely over-the-top. Some light-humoured talk before such games is always welcome and enjoyable, but some of the comments/sms being circulated ridiculing the opposition were totally unwarranted .....the problem with the news channels is that there are so many of them that times like these give them an opportunity to easily gain viewers.

    Was nice to read such a sensible, well-written article.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I thought Afridi was quite gracious in defeat. It was Pakistan's game to lose yet Afridi felt proud of the way Pakistan came this far. Good on ya.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:43 GMT

    Sorry Mr. Chopra, but this is not just another match, and will never be..I do agree that it is a game, though..and I really don't understand the talk of India going back a 100 years and what-not..a Pakistan match is more important to us that any other, and we expect the players to think likewise..if they lose, we should still applaud them for their efforts..and in case u'vent noticed, many sporting rivalries have backgrounds outside sports..so we're not alone there

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:35 GMT

    Its really well written. Its media after all earning from poor indians like us by creating so much hype.. Govt.. should have made some regulations to media when they are presenting such hyper senstive content!! Thanks a ton for this article!!

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    In a way, I would contradict Akash Chopra and say it loud & clear to Indian Cricket Team. Play every match as if you are playing against Pakistan and watch the results. More likley India is goin to win 8 out of 10 matches. What Mr Chopra have to say about Killer Instinct of Pakistanis, the brashness of Australians, the Hard Hitting West Indians and the determination of Sri Lankans. Call whatever it suits your your tongue Mr Chopra, Jingoism, Passion, Obsession, Madness, Hatred, Animosity, Fear of Defeatm teams who win big matches need to be motivated and if its against your No.1 foe, it's gotta be worth the jargon.

  • svln on April 1, 2011, 8:31 GMT

    All rubbish.For eons there has been rivalry across teams all over the world.In football it is worse than in cricket.Even in yachting it is there.Let's take it is an event that is there for a few days every two years or four years.Tickets are sold,eyeballs are attracted,headlines are written and tears shed.The world move on after that.

  • vmahajan on April 1, 2011, 8:30 GMT

    Definitely agree that most of the media was a notch below where they ought to have been, but when did we last see them downplaying anything that was as juicy as a India-Pakistan WC semi-final. Let's face it, be it the Ayodhya judgement, the Commonwealth games, or the WC, they WILL do what they can to get their TRP's up - the responsibility vests not only with them but also with us. It's high time we read between the lines and make whatever we think out of it.

    What I don't agree with, however, is your point about sports fanatics making us go back a 100 years as a nation. Traditional rivalries exist globally. Cricket fans in India are no different than those in New York and Boston during a Yankees-Red Sox game, or those in Boston and LA during a Celtics-Lakers game. There is a lot of sporting history behind all of these teams. Its the obsession with the sport and NOT with the feeling of conquering your rival. If the latter were true, where is the jingoism during a India-Pak hockey game?

  • shreerajt1986 on April 1, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    although i agree but its a lifetime opportunity! No harm in celebrating this way if u win against Pakistan!!!!! Yippppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee India india!!!

  • msdprabhakar on April 1, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    that was an wonderful comments that our people pf india need and it will be nice if they see pakistan as any other team ....but still players need that excitement while playing them not wrong motivated aggression

  • A.Afridi on April 1, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    I like the way you express the players feelings .The article preety much sum up all the feelings.

  • Jeetender on April 1, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    All the blame should go to media.. they pushed the common people to a place of no return just because of TRP..

  • Longmemory on April 1, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Thank you Aakash - for keeping your head, and for a mature, intelligent and heartfelt piece. I've often felt that the only people who must know what pressure the Indian XI feels when playing Pakistan, is the Pak XI - and vice versa. Watching Sehwag and Afridi and other Indo-Pak players smile and joke with each other during the tense match yesterday was heart-warming. The players seem to be the only ones left who realize that this is just a cricket match - nothing less but also nothing more. It is unbelievable that these twenty two players played as well as they did given the pressure the fans, the media and all the rest put them under. And hats off to Afridi and to Dhoni for keeping things in perspective.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    honestly, this side of it all didn't even come into my mind .. speechless

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    I just want to ask simple question to Mr. Chopra. Why you did not write such article before the match? who stop you to write? Why you did not write on Azharudin whom people believe a lot. Why you did not write when India lost to Sri Lanka in semis in Kolkata? Its true emotions of people. Let the people celebrate it.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    Over-interpretation according to me. Rivalry doesn't mean hate!! Just ask people from both nations who traveled across borders to watch such Ino-Pak encounters. My friends who visited Islamabad were invited for dinners/lunches by random people they met on streets. Similarly Pakistanis who came over here were treated like "atithi devo bhav" with many Autorikshaws refusing to take money from them.....

    The rivalry on field if transforms into love among the people from two sides, everything is justified for that. A healthy rivalry is always good for the game. It even brought non cricket followers to stick to their TV Screens. For once we were not discussing/debating regional issues and all were united into one wholesome unit. Cricket goes big way in providing Indians moments to realize they have in common with the people in the same country living 3000 Kms apart

    And the scenes above are nothing compared to Premiership football where people actually hit each other in acts of hooliganisms.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    Good one... very true... While we deserve to celebrate the victory... we should also check ourselves every now and then... and realize what we are winning or losing...

  • Zapsido on April 1, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    I guess you haven't heard what Dhoni said at the post match ceremony after beating the Australians. That people will come to me and ask me to WIN the match against the Pakistanis and lose the Final we don't care.

    Aakash is 100 % right. Pakistan VS India matches should be like the Ashes, competition should be there but not hatred.

    I

  • analyseabhishek on April 1, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Hardly anyone said (anecdotal evidence) that losing finals is ok but we must win the semifinal. Dhoni himself made it amply clear that the team was looking to win the semifinal- not a tie against Pakistan. Our cheap, two-a-penny media does indeed go overtly ballistic. It might be a good idea to restrict their coverage of cricket to 2 minutes per bulletin on non match days! They create unnecessary hype on an unsuspecting public.

  • PGW81 on April 1, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    A good read Mr. Chopra. Good to see a sane voice among a billion fanatics. Let me expostulate my views here now that this article is out. Sport transcends boundaries and cuts across colors, religion, language etc. Cricket is no exception. Cricket is after all a sport. India playing Pakistan is a cricket match being staged between two worthy opponents. I have never seen the same reaction to the Ashes which keeps changing hands. But why India vs Pakistan alone? Perhaps the country has grown forward but has not grown out of its narrow minded mentality. Such narrow mindedness will only cause emotional outbursts and fans forget that its after all a game of cricket and the better side won. Cricket is just spoiling other sports - we have so many talented players in tennis, squash, chess etc. but the way cricket is hyped, the other games are left lurching in the shadows. Pity the state of our NATIONAL GAME - Hockey.

  • on April 1, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Extremely well said, Mr.Aakash Chopra. Though the article may sound a bit undiplomatic and forthright, every single sentence is true. Thank you and kudos to your guts for being so frank and honest in telling us how it is from a player's point of view.

  • rohan34mca on April 1, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    This looks like voice of my heart! Akash you stole it!!! :-) Very well said!!!

  • tikna on April 1, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    If we are going to be playing Pakistan with half the frequency as we play SL then the hype will die down. Media will do anything like you said to increase their TRPs and when there is such large numbers of crowd involved, collectively people become bolder.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    @Rogerproxy: Lankan fans are much better. As for the Pakistani fans, we are hero-worshipping our players nowadays. Afridi's apology to the nation has triggered indignant messages like this: "WHY are you sorry Afridi? There is no need to be sorry. You gave us so much happiness we forgot all the cares of the world. We are proud of you.....and so on". As for Afridi, he's the most popular captain after Imran Khan, which is saying something.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    Great article. I wasn't sure how to respond to all the tweets going around before the game and after the win. Most of them did not relate to cricket. Personally, it would have been great for world cricket if Pakistan won as i think they were a much talanted and courageous team. Inspite of their inexperience and all the distractions they made a big impact on the tournament. Hats off to their journey at the world cup.

  • Prathit on April 1, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    Man Akash I cn understand abt hype n all wich is too much... but dude... nything related to Pakistan chnage the track of emotions....dat soprt wont b only a sport.. so much history n emotions behind dat... just ask English man n Ireland man wen dey hv Football match... or Spain, France..... so dude Pakistan is responsible for dat.....

  • Prabakar.S on April 1, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Very well said. I am completely agreed with Aakash view. Many people believe that supporting our cricket team is way of showing their patriotism. And the media is also exaggerating things like India thrashes Pak, shown the doors., etc.,

    It's just a game of cricket, I hope this article will make it clear to many cricket lovers to distinguish Enjoying the game and Patriotism.

    We are always a Responsible nation and pledge to be a responsible citizen.

    Good luck Indian Team.

    Cheers, Prabakar

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Hats off to you Aakash - especially for the timing of this article - a similar article in a different situation (read result) would have had fewer takers.The media is to blame for all this crass marketing activities sugar-coated with patriotism etc..u see they win either ways - the TRPS go up if we win or lose - they get to cover the incidents that they indirectly create, like the ones referred to in your article - Md.Kaif episode ,etc...

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Very true... The lack of this understanding comes from lack of education mostly... I am from Pak, but i also see such elements in my own country who see the cricket match as the only way to prove superiority over India.. i wish people could people across both countries can have more patience and enjoy the game as it is..

  • walpi on April 1, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Its not only cricketers but now common people also insulate themselves from news channels showing cricket news. We hate to see India lose to Pak but it is same as we hate to see Ind lose to Aus,but we only wish that players put their best efforts during a match. People get angry if they loose but all of don't go to attack any players family, there are only few who do that and these people should be punished for these kind of actions

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:32 GMT

    Totally agree with the sentiments. No amount of so-called patriotism will eliminate the shame which we felt when good efforts with bat or ball on part of the opposition were met with stony silence

  • Saifie on April 1, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    Very well written, Aakash. One sensible voice in the midst of a billion jingoistic shouts. Thanks!

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:25 GMT

    You're right. At the risk of attack from Indian fans, I say that I think that Pakistanis are a shade less extreme. This was a knockout game but if we were asked whether we want to beat India and lose the worldcup or lose to india and win the worldcup, we would definitely prefer the worldcup. Losing to India was unpleasant but if we had beaten India, not winning the worldcup after having come this far would also not have been an option. Especially since we could make more use of it than anyone else. We wanted back our lost respect. We wanted to bring cricket back to the country. As it happens,our team has earned respect both within and without the country for its brave performance, and pakistani fans have been more appreciative than ever before. So yes, pakistani fans have what you'd call "grown up". I think all the hardships faced by our team have not only made them stronger, its made us respect them immensely for their fortitude and fight.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Timely piece Mr. Chopra. Thanks!

  • vikas_sarangal on April 1, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Hats off the way you presented a player's state of mind and their feelings! I am speechless! I just hope our people or at least our (ir)responsible media will get the message! Once again, I hugely appreciate and admire the thoughts!

  • tkvarma on April 1, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    This is a very sincere and thoughtful article... As an educated and a progressive nation which has improved leaps and bounds over the past decade it still comes down to a game of cricket between the 2 nations to just show how deep rooted the divide is. I hope this article is circulated among the masses via other media channels so that they can learn a thing or two from it... Probably the best piece of work that I have read during the entire world cup coverage... and I have read most of them..

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:19 GMT

    I respect your emotions.. But for me its more than the cup.. Pakistan should never enter Mumbai again in any form.... U call this anything but the celebrations are fully justified.... Its not jus an another match.. lots more are at stakes... I feel immense proud when we defeat pakistan than when we win against some other team...

  • FCCian on April 1, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    one of the best article i ever read during this WC.. hats off aakash... very fluent like your cover drives...

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    I agree with you whole heartedly, I just want to enjoy a game of cricket. I love the game and of course I want India to win, but at the end of the day it is a game and win or lose , follow your team and enjoy cricket. Too much media hype and jingonistic behavior spolit it for many. we need to relax take it as a sport, winning or losing is part of it, actually I think wee endorse our insecurities and extremism on our team because of our own failures as human beings. I just want to enjoy cricket , without all the hoopla.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    It is the media which had hyped it to an extent which had put a huge amount of pressure on the team. The victory over Pakistan was celebrated the way it has been celebrated all these years which in any means does not mean that we as a nation have not grown up. Few individuals stating that this victory is enough and a loss in the final is fine is just a not what the entire nation or the current teams thought. It is just sheer joy as matches like these don't come that often. Just sit back and enjoy the success wave of the team. Do not assume things on your own and state your personal or a few individual opinion as the country's opinion.

  • mitgop11 on April 1, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    great points Akash... and in this game, the players behaved responsibly and ensured the spirit of the game is not spoiled... the celebrations and the buildups are a largely overblown, especially by the media for their own gains.. however, responsibility remains largely with the spectators too... i still recall the 1999 pakistan tour of India, right after the kargil war, when the fans in Chennai gave the Pakistan team a standing ovation after winning a close test match against India. people who watch the game for reasons other than cricket are not fans of the game. period.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Very thoughtful article Akash. Very well written. If a victory in a cricket match is the real mirror of a nations superiority (which is not true), cricket should not be played at all between such nations.

  • arvindh_d on April 1, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Excellent point Aakash. Could it be that we are still insecure about our place in the pecking order? I used to think that this was because of the indelible scars left behind on our psyche by the numerous losses to Pakistan in Sharjah in the 80s and 90s, but then most of the lot who bang the 'cant lose to Pakistan' drum now are people who were probably not even born then. The media has a lot to answer for, but I'm guessing it's all too easy for them to hide behind the freedom of opinion excuse.

  • sweetspot on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Aakash, I am proud of you for writing this piece. Most definitely we need to look at ourselves in the collective with a lot of shame with the way our popular media was allowed to twist everything into some kind of confrontational frenzy and the vast numbers of us that fell for it.

  • Rogerproxy on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Cricket fans in Sri Lanka are quite similar. Lets see what happens if Sri Lanka loses.

  • superz on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Well said Aakash, I totally understand what you mean

  • on April 1, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Absolutely spot on!!! I think 70% of this blame goes to our numerous News channels for their over hype and over zealous attitude to these matches.These cricketers are human beings of flesh and blood and i personally feel ,they should be let alone and do their job..

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  • on April 1, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Absolutely spot on!!! I think 70% of this blame goes to our numerous News channels for their over hype and over zealous attitude to these matches.These cricketers are human beings of flesh and blood and i personally feel ,they should be let alone and do their job..

  • superz on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Well said Aakash, I totally understand what you mean

  • Rogerproxy on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Cricket fans in Sri Lanka are quite similar. Lets see what happens if Sri Lanka loses.

  • sweetspot on April 1, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    Aakash, I am proud of you for writing this piece. Most definitely we need to look at ourselves in the collective with a lot of shame with the way our popular media was allowed to twist everything into some kind of confrontational frenzy and the vast numbers of us that fell for it.

  • arvindh_d on April 1, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Excellent point Aakash. Could it be that we are still insecure about our place in the pecking order? I used to think that this was because of the indelible scars left behind on our psyche by the numerous losses to Pakistan in Sharjah in the 80s and 90s, but then most of the lot who bang the 'cant lose to Pakistan' drum now are people who were probably not even born then. The media has a lot to answer for, but I'm guessing it's all too easy for them to hide behind the freedom of opinion excuse.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    Very thoughtful article Akash. Very well written. If a victory in a cricket match is the real mirror of a nations superiority (which is not true), cricket should not be played at all between such nations.

  • mitgop11 on April 1, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    great points Akash... and in this game, the players behaved responsibly and ensured the spirit of the game is not spoiled... the celebrations and the buildups are a largely overblown, especially by the media for their own gains.. however, responsibility remains largely with the spectators too... i still recall the 1999 pakistan tour of India, right after the kargil war, when the fans in Chennai gave the Pakistan team a standing ovation after winning a close test match against India. people who watch the game for reasons other than cricket are not fans of the game. period.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    It is the media which had hyped it to an extent which had put a huge amount of pressure on the team. The victory over Pakistan was celebrated the way it has been celebrated all these years which in any means does not mean that we as a nation have not grown up. Few individuals stating that this victory is enough and a loss in the final is fine is just a not what the entire nation or the current teams thought. It is just sheer joy as matches like these don't come that often. Just sit back and enjoy the success wave of the team. Do not assume things on your own and state your personal or a few individual opinion as the country's opinion.

  • on April 1, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    I agree with you whole heartedly, I just want to enjoy a game of cricket. I love the game and of course I want India to win, but at the end of the day it is a game and win or lose , follow your team and enjoy cricket. Too much media hype and jingonistic behavior spolit it for many. we need to relax take it as a sport, winning or losing is part of it, actually I think wee endorse our insecurities and extremism on our team because of our own failures as human beings. I just want to enjoy cricket , without all the hoopla.

  • FCCian on April 1, 2011, 7:18 GMT

    one of the best article i ever read during this WC.. hats off aakash... very fluent like your cover drives...