The Heavy Ball

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Tears sans slaps, the importance of Shaz, and the worst song ever

Sidelights from the second half of the World Cup? We thought you'd never ask

S Aga

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A
Model Poonam Pandey
Shashank Manohar did not let you see this woman naked. In Paris © AFP
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The New Pakistan
Competition for the title was fierce. In the final analysis England, who at most stages in their games gave Ravi Shastri cause to shout - not that Mr Shastri needs cause to shout - that all three results were possible, shot ahead of India, who had rocketed into contention by losing nine wickets for 29 against South Africa. Pakistan themselves were mostly monotonous, not mercurial, despite the best efforts of Kamran Akmal.

The Prophet
As India hunted down the last few runs to victory in the final, in the commentary box Ravi Shastri channelled his inner Nostradamus. Back when India won the World Cup last, he informed us hectoringly, they were captained by a man whose surname began with a D. Just like now! Back then the president of the BCCI was NKP Salve, from Nagpur. Just like now! (Shashank Manohar is from Nagpur.) The weight of these revelations sent tremors through the Wankhede Stadium, which communicated themselves to MS Dhoni out in the middle, who, realising it was ordained in the stars, hit a six to get the match over with. You owe Shastri, India.

The Post-Modern Question
If Navjot Sidhu hasn't yet got the sack for referring to a certain team as cockroaches, does that not make him a resilient little cockroach himself as well?

The Non-Violent Revenge
After the final: Harbhajan crying, Sreesanth mere feet away, dry-eyed. No slapping involved. Who'd have thought we'd live to see the day?

The Interviewee
Cornered by Nasser Hussain after he had taken three wickets against England, Devendra Bishoo managed to get away with as few syllables in his replies to the questions he was asked as there were numbers in his economy rate - a fetching 3.4.

"You seemed to enjoy that?" "I really enjoyed it."

"Is that the pace to bowl on this pitch - slightly slower?" "Yeah, slightly slower."

"Two hundred and forty - a good score?" "Yeah, it's a good score."

They don't teach you this stuff at the Chris Gayle School of Post-Match Dead-Batting.

The Agony
More than Sidhu, more even than "Deano" Jones, the thing that did not just get our goat this World Cup but drugged our goat, led it to a shed out back, slaughtered it, made of its flesh a curry and ate it with lashings of our collective bheja, was the Official World Cup Song. From hell. Where its "composers" must burn for all eternity.

The Contender
In a sane and just world, the tournament theme would have been this song instead.

The Oldie
This World Cup was marked by the unseemly sight of geriatrics like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Muttiah Muralitharan refusing to act their age and insisting on throwing themselves around on the field. Imagine, then, how heartening it was to see one particular senior citizen actually playing in a manner befitting a greybeard. Props to John Davison of Canada, 40, who after deflecting a yorker to fine leg against New Zealand decided to walk, not run, to the other end, and was duly run out.

The Sarcasm
In Bangladesh's match against South Africa, the crowd applauded loudest when Shakib Al Hasan took a single to push the team total past 58 - the score the side were all out for against West Indies earlier in the tournament.

The introduction of Devendra Bishoo sparked England's collapse, England v West Indies, World Cup, Group B, March 17, 2011
Devendra Bishoo: comes into his own after the match © Getty Images
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The Ruse
Andre Russell unveiled his super power in West Indies' game against England: pretending to pull out of his run-up a second before launching into his delivery stride. Yes, very classy.

The Rule
Among the laundry list of offending items that would not be allowed into the PCA Stadium in Mohali during the India-Pakistan semi-final were: persons wearing black or black turbans. Thus did the authorities, in one fell swoop, stop all potential miscreants and terrorists dead in their tracks. For, as any fool knows, all self-respecting agents of terror are constitutionally obliged to wear black at all times.

The Other Afridi
You've seen Vitruvian Man; at the Mohali semi-final we got Vitruvian Woman, courtesy Sonia Gandhi, who did a convincing Shahid Afridi impression, arms aloft, after India won. Son Rahul clapped demurely in the foreground.

The Cancelled Exposition
If you thought she was just a tease, no. Poonam Pandey was good and ready to get naked for the good of India. And would have, had the vile cricket board not got in the way.

She was serious about it. "I am serious about it," she confirmed in a letter to the BCCI a day before the final. "As many studies conducted by various universities abroad confirm, such performances boost and inspire people to perform better in any field, be it sports or otherwise.''

She was confident no morals would be depraved in the process as she would be "going nude in private with consulting adults for a therapeutic purpose" Only, the revelation would happen in Paris, she stipulated, to avoid controversy innit, thereby performing the nifty feat of covering her posterior while threatening to take off her clothes.

"I am willing to go the extra mileage," she informed valiantly. Alas, no reply was forthcoming from the board to this offer of improved fuel-efficiency and we must assume Ms Pandey's offer has lapsed with the confounded World Cup win.

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 27 
Posted by ikey on (April 5, 2011, 10:05 GMT)

the song is for ppl who stayed back at home..!! yeah rehman gave an ultimate song for commonwealth games and charged not less than 10C for that pathetic song..go hear that if u wanna have an idea..and at last its not a bunch of third rated composers..shankar mahadevan composed the song..any Indian who is in india will know who he is!?? It is no way going to be about team indian spirit cos it is not team india's song but the official song of WC!!

Posted by sabres_1212 on (April 5, 2011, 0:54 GMT)

For those defending this god-awful song -- I am an Indian living in the US and was appalled by this choice. is this really the best we could come up with to symbolize a multi-national event? this sounds like something concocted by a third rate wannabe bollywood composer. Yes, my first problem is the "song" is in Hindi - this is the ICC (Emphasis) world Cup not a BCCI World Cup. A better idea would be a medley of various artists from different participating countries (at least the host nations). Secondly, this "song" has nothing to do with the Indian Spirit and severely lacks a concept (making circles???). Come on, we are the lad of Lakshmikanth Pyarelal and AR Rehman. This "song" is hardly worthy of that. Congratulations India - Proud of the tean

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (April 4, 2011, 18:11 GMT)

Aw come on, some of you, get a sense of humour!! Hilarious stuff!! Cyrus Broacha was saying on CNN-IBN yesterday "All of India wanted to win this World Cup for only one person - Poonam Pandey!!"

Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 22:59 GMT)

guys u need to hear the song ..click the link...its sarcastically said...

Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 19:18 GMT)

nyc article... cant stop laughing after reading this... !!! =D

Posted by ikey on (April 3, 2011, 19:14 GMT)

Worst article i have read in cricinfo so far..

Posted by Cricket_Blues on (April 3, 2011, 18:07 GMT)

Guys, He is being sarcastic. Any of you clicked on the lick for the contender song? That is perhaps the worst song and video ever recorded.

Posted by Dhurka on (April 3, 2011, 17:15 GMT)

are you out of your mind to call the world cup song agony! So out of touch you are..

Posted by   on (April 3, 2011, 16:15 GMT)

jai ho India...we have the world cup

Posted by mogan707 on (April 3, 2011, 16:12 GMT)

Posted by an unknown EspnCricinfo staff to avoid another controversy?Cricinfo could have directly told to their partners ESPN, and STAR Cricket about the song and rectified it or prevent it from telecasting it.But now after WC you are here to critcize the events related to WC and its official song.Why it is worst?Is it because it is only in Hindi?Please fine tune this article to make it a good one.NOT A GOOD ARTICLE.

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