Exactly a year ago, I shared a concern on Facebook. Well, the answer turned out to be an emphatic yes. Sachin did descend at Wankade, and although it wasn’t him who set the stage on fire today, he did have his moment of ascent when he was lifted by his team mates during the victory lap. Kohli was simple in his explanation – they were carrying a man who had carried the burden of the team for 21 years. And yes, Sachin did manage to get what he so badly wanted, the one thing that was missing from his cricketing resume – the World Cup.
This World Cup has been about the 15 players. It makes me shudder to think that Yuvraj had once entertained thoughts of quitting cricket, when he was going through that horrible phase in his career not too long ago. This World Cup has been about his fight back. You could sense the pain he has gone through when he let out the roar after thumping Australia, and the extended hug he gave Dhoni and Sachin post victory today. And people are saying there was no fairy tale ending in the finals.
This World Cup has been about Mahindra Singh Dhoni. The media has always found enough fodder to hang him; today he ensured that they shut up – at least for the next few days.
This World Cup has been India’s support staff led by Gary Kirsten, the unsung heroes. Spare a thought for Praveen Kumar too. He deserved to be there - at the podium - living what would undoubtedly have been the best moments of his life. May be his time will come later.
And last but not the least, this World Cup has been about us, the fans - the “undefined fans”, according to Sharad Pawar, who can safely be ignored while distributing tickets. We are the ones who sit in the same positions so that the momentum of the players who are thousands of miles away is not lost. We are the ones who delay nature’s call just so that any movement does not affect proceedings in any way. We are the ones who miss offices or schools to watch a match because we are lucky for the team. We are the ones who give up watching an important game so that we do not jinx the team. Yes, this is our World Cup.
And for the advocates of the theory that it was fixed - Yes, it was. It is called destiny.
The latest chapter of my trysts with World Cups has a happy ending. I wouldn't care less if the World comes to an end in 2012. For all the romantics, who have been coming up with pieces of trivia to link this victory with the one in 1983, here’s one from my side. If the World comes to an end in 2012, I (and many others who would be reading this) was a World Champion when I was born and will be a World Champion when I die.
I will end with a quote by the late Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter (Literature, 2005), “I tend to think that cricket is the greatest thing that God ever created on earth – certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either”.