Thursday, February 17, 2011

World Cup - 2011

Its time to eat, drink, sleep (and ofcourse play) cricket. Greatest event in world cricket is starting in couple of days and my memory goes back to 1983 & every world cup there after. Some of the moments I cannot forget from the world cups:

1983: Best ever
That was the first world cup I followed and Wowa, what an achievement by Indians then. I remember how we used to listen to the commentary in radio back then and Kapil's magnanimous innings of 175* is etched deep inside my mind (or heart?). Binny, Madan Lal, Amarnath, Sandeep Patil, Shrikanth.. wow, what a team that was...

1987: First World cup outside England
"If he hits, it stays hit" -- Sidhu became an overnight hero among our friends back then. Impeccable shots, sixer after sixer, he was better known as "Sixer Sidhu". Who can forget Chetan Sharma's hat-trick in that world cup? Amazing moments.

1992 - Bang bang cricket
It is always always special to watch the Cricket action from Australia. The kind of atmosphere it provides and an early telecast of matches in India make it an all together a different experience. 1992 world cup belonged to Mark Greatbatch and Inzamam-ul-Haq. Wow, Newzealand were on fire from the first match itself, thanks to aggressive Greatbatch and redefining the way Cricket played in initial 15 overs. But ultimately Inzi single handedly steered Pakis to many victories in that tournament.

1996 - Mixed Emotions
Can any Cricket fan in India ever forget the quarter final victory for India over Pakistan at Bangalore? India scored 280+ runs and we knew, that was it. We had a celebration run with Indian flags fluttering during the innings break itself - although there were huge drama to follow in second half of the match. That wicket of Amir Sohail which Venkatesh Prasad took still gives me goosebumps.

None of us can forget the semi-finals in Kolkotta and crying Kambli :-(

1999 - South African Safari
Not much to remember from this world cup, dominance of Aussies began with this world cup. Lance Klusner was the man to watch out for in this tournament.

2003 - Bees saal baad
Astrologers predicted an Indian victory, media created hype of "Bees saal baad" - to get world cup after 20 years. India lived upto all the hype through out the tournament - thanks to Ganguly and Sachin. But alas, the team crumbled in the match it mattered the most - finals :-( Anyway, this was the 2nd best world cup result for India.

2007 - A killer
RIP - Bob Woolmer, RIP - Pakistan, RIP - India. This was the story at the end of first round of tournament. Does it matter anymore who won the world cup? I must say the interest in 50 over cricket started to die down from this point onwards. India won 20-20 world cup and then IPL completely redefined the way Cricket has to be played.

2011 - Great expectation
Well, as with every tournament, expectations are rising on India now :-) But people are more cautious now not to get carried away with any hype - considering the debacle in 2007. Its a new team, tournament is happening in India and India are doing well in recent past. So, no one can easily write-off India. Srilanka, South Africa, India and Australia - my bet for semifinalists. All four are very very capable of winning this tournament. Let the game begin !!!

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