Hi, my name is… Well, that does not matter. What matters is that I am A Stupid Indian Cricket Fan. Cricket is in my heart. It is my life. I enjoy every moment of it.
I was born on 25 June 1983, the moment when Mohinder Amarnath trapped Michael Holding in front of the wicket in an exciting World Cup final, which India won for the first time. We beat a team which had won the previous two editions of the World Cup (the Prudential Cup back then) and were in the finals for the third consecutive time – The West Indies. I feel proud when I see the footage of the ear-to-ear smile on Kapil Dev’s face while lifting the Cup at Lords.
The history of Indian cricket is rich and goes back to before I was born. Indian cricket had its moments. (I say this because I have seen Lagaan and I believe that India did well to retain their “Teen Guna Lagaan” under Bhuvan!)
I had finished school and was moving into another phase of my life just as Team India was undergoing some major improvements under Saurav Ganguly. The 2001 Kolkata test win is still my favourite. Dada –God on the off-side will be remembered as an aggressive and fearless captain who changed the way the game was played in India.
There is another God in Team India – The Master Blaster: Sachin Tendulkar. What else do you call a person who can hit a double century at the age of 37? It was only right and fitting that the greatest ODI player of all time did what no batsman before him had managed – scoring a double century in a 50 over game. It is not easy to carry the aspirations of one billion people but Sachin has done it with grace over the years.
They say I am emotional. Yes, I am. I am really obsessive about Indian Cricket. I perform special rituals. I fast and pray for Team India to win no matter what the conditions are, no matter the opposition, no matter what form the players are in, no matter their fitness… I just want India to win.
I have seen India become the number one test side in the world. I have seen India win the inaugural T20 World Cup. I was a part of the great welcome that Team India received as their open-bus ride through Mumbai brought the city to a stand-still. Indian cricket has given me a lot of memories like these to cherish. Be it the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985 or be it the emphatic WC 2011 win when we all had tears in eyes. I have experienced it all.
I have seen India losing test matches on the trot. I have seen India suffering defeats against Zimbabwe, and thanks to Bangladesh, being thrashed out of WC 2007. I can not tolerate when someone criticizes Team India. I do understand that the defeats are a part and parcel of the game, but when people exaggerate things that are not true, my control slips off. So, I burn the statues of the players who put themselves ahead of the country.
I am the one who gets brutally lathi-charged by Police while buying tickets, and soon forgets the pain from the blows as I witness a cracker of a match (Yes, I refer to the India vs England tie in WC 2011!). My brain does not work as fast as my heart beats for India. I do not understand nor particularly care for the detailed statistical analysis they show on Star Sports these days. It might be interesting for some, but not for me. What matters to me is the attitude of the players when they step on the field. These are the players who represent the country at the International level. They should have some dignity and pride while playing for their country. They should always remember that Cricket in India is not just a game. It is a religion (with a God)!
Though there is a lot of cricket being played these days, and it is difficult to keep track of events, this quadrennial event is the greatest of all. After all, I was born on the day when India won the World Cup for the first time. When MS Dhoni hit the towering six to win the 2011 ODI World Cup, it brought the entire nation to a standstill as it roared its approval. This time too, Team India is playing like a champion. But, whatever might be the performance, as always, I will back Team India to retain the title.
I am a Stupid Indian Cricket Fan and I will stretch my vocal chords to the limit to support Team India in the final of the WC 2015.