The Heavy Ball

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Random fan claims credit for India's win

This victory belong to the spectators. And this time they're taking it rather seriously

Anand Ramachandran

Comments: 48 | Text size: A | A
An Indian fan waits in vain for the game to start, Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL, 13th match, Cape Town, April 25, 2009
A fan who won India many games by holding a broken umbrella with his other hand in his pocket and all three buttons on his replica shirt done up © AFP
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In a rather kooky (some would say bonkers or even batshit) development in the immediate aftermath of India's thrilling win against Australia in Mohali, an Indian cricket fan named Sankalesh Jimmy has sued the ICC for not giving him the Man-of-the-Match award.

In his legal notice, Mr Jimmy has claimed that by the simple act of not watching even a single ball of the match, he decisively turned the tide in India's favour, and hence deserved to be Man of the Match.

"Whenever I watch the game on TV, India loses. So I decided to sacrifice my own personal interest for that of the team - and denied myself the pleasure of watching the match so that India could win," explained Jimmy, neatly sidestepping the logical conclusion that he would only take pleasure in watching if India won, an event that, by his own reasoning, was impossible, thus rendering his "sacrifice" redundant.

"While I agree that Zaheer Khan, VVS Laxman and Ishant Sharma played vital roles in the win, the fact remains that if I had watched, India would definitely have lost the game. For this vital and selfless contribution, it is only fair that I be given the award," said Jimmy.

The ICC has responded with a mix of bewilderment and advanced bewilderment. Reading from an official statement, an ICC spokesperson said "Eh? That's ridiculous. While the ICC is quite prepared to review the decision to award the Man of the Match to Zaheer Khan and consider the claims of other individuals who may have had a greater impact on the result - such as VVS Laxman or Billy Bowden - we draw the line at giving the award to random fans." The spokesman also pointed out that this was the first-ever official press release to contain the word "eh", another example of the ICC's constant efforts to innovate and be cutting-edge.

Surprisingly, many fans in India seem to agree with the basic idea behind Mr Jimmy's claim - with the one small but crucial difference that each of them strongly believes that they themselves were responsible for India's come-from-behind victory. Apparently, other than Zaheer's wickets, Ishant's all-round contribution, and Laxman's superb innings in the final chase, many Indians are also in agreement that there were other crucial factors that contributed to the result - such as Mr JS Sharma's keen idea of reverse-jinxing the match by steadfastly (and obnoxiously) claiming to everyone that Australia would win, Mr LR Anthonisamy's superhuman and iron-willed bladder control during long stretches in the fourth innings, and Mr Pravin Srinivasan's astoundingly cunning technique of wearing his lucky t-shirt on all five days of the test. However, none of them could provide a convincing reason why, if their techniques actually worked, India didn't win every single match they played. "Um, ah, it's all the selectors' fault! No, wait, it's all because of Twenty20," seemed to be the general consensus.

ICC President Sharad Pawar has also weighed in on the issue, saying that giving awards to fans would set a bad precedent. "It will start with Man-of-the-Match awards, and what next? Some fan will start asking for a special lifetime achievement award for managing to read the complete works of Raju Bharatan. Or a "fan of the year'' award for liking Virat Kohli. Or a fair play award for not publicly mocking New Zealand. We can't let it come to that.

"Soon, fans will be demanding that we start picking them in the playing eleven. What then? Although I must admit that the average Australian fan would probably be a better pick than Marcus North," he quipped.

RSS FeedAnand Ramachandran is a writer and humourist based in Mumbai. He blogs at bosey.co.in. All the quotes and "facts" in this article are made up (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

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Comments: 48 
Posted by   on (October 10, 2010, 17:32 GMT)

Well he is right from his perspective even though it doesn't make sense.Don't we give credit to God for things we do.Like when a patient is saved miraculously by a dr's treatment or timely Samaritan.Yet we don't blame the same God for our failures.

Posted by   on (October 10, 2010, 5:43 GMT)

He should be sued for all the previous matches they lost because he was watching!

Posted by Sibiraj on (October 8, 2010, 14:54 GMT)

I remember the whole crowd in college hostel dormitory not changing their sitting place or even positions during crucial situations. There was even a volunteer monitoring this 

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 8:53 GMT)

This is funny indeed. If that is the case, most of the wins that India has gained from 1974-75, the credit should go to me and many such others who keep praying for India's win. It is not only prayers, but the entire happiness and sadness at the end of the day is defined by happenings on the cricket field where the Indian team is playing. During the last two days, I was at a training. At the end of the 4th day's play, when India was 55/4, I said to my colleagues around, that for me, the evening result of a cricket field decides my day. I was in USA, when India was playing South Africa at Kolkata. On the last day, I sat through the night with cricinfo.com checking out India's progress in the match and went to sleep only when India won the match.I bought a 40 inch LED TV, and Mohali test was the first test match on it. However based on first two days, I saw that when I saw the game on my older TV in another room, the results are better. I did not switch on the LED TV for the match again.

Posted by SimplyBindaas on (October 8, 2010, 7:39 GMT)

Man, you tricked me. I took it a little too seriously, and searched for your "Sankalesh Jimmy". and couldnt figure out until I saw you using this poor guy in more than one aticle of yours. :P Nice !! Enjoyable Read !! Thanks..

Posted by PGW81 on (October 8, 2010, 7:00 GMT)

This is not at all funny.... From match fixing to spot fixing to superstitions???? Thought that some better stuff would have come out.....

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 6:29 GMT)

Eh? ICC can't blamed to be that funny..

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 6:26 GMT)

Same happen to me ... my friends didnt allow to get me from my seat ... but once i went away from seat ishant wicket fell :P

Posted by   on (October 8, 2010, 5:22 GMT)

what a legend believer,i respect to him.

Posted by Bang_La on (October 8, 2010, 5:12 GMT)

Above all, Geoff Boycott should have received the man of the match award. Why? oh because he is Geoff Boycott and he thinks everyone is inferior to him. (We are, however, trying to hide the record of his getting out in the very first ball of his first OD match).

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Anand Ramachandran
Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.

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Anand Ramachandran Anand Ramachandran is a game designer and writer based in Bangalore. He specialises in finding creative ways to justify time and money spent on watching sports, playing games and reading comics as "professional investment". He boasts a batting average of 79.66 with 53 first-class hundreds in various cricket videogames, on platforms as diverse as the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum and modern PCs and consoles.
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