They realise that there are also other teams in fray
New Delhi: Even as the World Cup fever begins to blanket over the country, millions and millions of typical Indian cricket fans are slowly coming to terms with the shock that there are other countries participating in the game’s showpiece event and that there is also the technical possibility of India not being to able to win the tournament.
‘@#%$, man,’ Rakesh Shah, a cricket fan in Mumbai, succinctly sighed his exasperation, when it was made known to him that there were other teams, some of them with seemingly more capable players, in the fray.
‘The Indian media never let us into this fact. For the last three months, all we have been reading and seeing is: ‘Sachin’s final hurrah’, ‘Dhoni’s first frontier’. ‘Snub for Ganguly as the 1983 team fails to pick him’, ‘Yashpal Sharma gives sleepless nights to Katerina Kaif’. ‘Mandira Bedi digs Madan Lal’. There was not even a small clue that India has to compete with other teams for the Cup,’ Shah said, even as he spat out the pan juice in his mouth in random disgust.
‘They didn’t even let Sunil Valson out of this. The other day, I read a story in which he himself was quoted as saying that it was a tactical masterstroke on the part of Kapil Dev to have not played him even in a single match of the 1983 World Cup,’ pointed out Avinash of Bangalore. ‘Valson also said that India would have won the 1999 World Cup if Azhar had put to use this sterling non-playing strategy with Ajith Agarkar,’ Avinash added.
But not everyone was angry at the Indian media. ‘But what of the foreign media? Take this Roebuck chap. Born in England, living in Australia, these days even his Ashes reports are just about India,’ said Sunil Rastogi of Ahmedabad. ‘And foreign players are far worse. All you get from them these days: ‘Sachin is the most respected adversary’. And if the player interviewed is a bowler, the headline is: ‘Sachin is the most difficult batsman to dislodge’. Even pre-war era players say this. Ok, a few of them have now added Sehwag to this list’.
Meanwhile, some of the fans seem to have philosophically taken the fact that the World Cup is a competition ‘Ok, it’s a major disappointment. But at least now we have realised the truth that people like Strauss or Ponting are not here merely for the photo opportunity and to experience India’s famed heat and beautiful dust. Chalo, but we need to carefully break this news to the Indian cricket team players. Somebody like Virat Kohli will be totally besides himself with grief when he learns about this. Luckily there are mature and sober senior players like Harbhajan who can guide him,’ philosophised Sunil Singh in Amristar.
Elsewhere, a huge cross section of the Indian populace —- women to be precise —– seem to be getting ready to exhibit what they always show at the time of the World Cup —- a fake interest.
‘Faking is nothing new to us. It’s bedroom stuff otherwise, but thanks to the Indian men, we get to fake it in the drawing room too during the World Cup telecasts,’ Andrea, a media industry executive in Mumbai, said.
Meanwhile, the World Cup excitement sweeping the country is expected to be a huge boost for the Indian businesses. ‘In the last 25 years, we have made a huge killing during the cricket World Cup season. There is a near 100 per cent zoom in our profits’, said the spokesperson of the Effigies industry. ‘Azhar, Sourav have had huge takers during the previous editions. Agarkar was a perennial favourite. This time around, too, we are hoping for the best. We think that there will be demand for Yuvraj and Sreesanth. But you never know with the passionate Indian cricket fans. They may choose to shower their emotions on even Dhoni,’ the spokesperson added.
Elsewhere, a leading mobile service provider has come up with readymade, off-the-table SMSes for the handy use of typical Indian fans after every India match. The SMSes include old favourites like ‘East or West, India is the best. Jai Ho,’ to ‘Mera Bharath Mahi’, ‘Mandir Mein Bhajan, Maidan Mein Harbhajan’ and, of course, ‘A nation of over 1 billion useful people and 15 useless cricketers. Jai Hind’.
The media too seems all ready for India’s challenge in the World Cup. A leading newspaper group, which brilliantly and tastefully captured India’s debacle in 2007 World Cup with the metaphorical rubric ‘Endulkar’, is said to have zeroed in on a matching blurb now.
It will be either: ‘Bendulkar’ (to the backdrop of Indian players slouched in defeat) or ‘Sachinese Revolution’ (with joyous Indian cricketers reaching for the sky).
(Disclaimer: Mera Bharat…fill it up based on India’s performance in the World Cup )