April 4, 2011

Cricket World Cup Final in Norway

Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar - the Master Blaster

Congratulations, India! I have a few readers from South Asia and Britain, so you know what I am referring to. The World Cup Final in 50-50 cricket between India and Sri Lanka.

It was a great match - exciting to the very last. I'd never thought I'd say that about cricket. For the first time in my life I followed a full cricket match - by the time Indian captain MS Dhoni hit the last 6 pointer after 8 hours of battle, I felt I was as tired as the sweat-soaked cricketers in the hot, humid weather of Mumbai.

I had the great fortune of watching the game with Indian and Sri Lankan friends. Both parties claimed that it didn't really matter who won; that the real final had already been played (the semi-final between India and Pakistan) so now they would just enjoy.

A safe bet! A face painted with both flags. Photo: V. R

 Although I tried to paint my heart with the flags of both teams, it was difficult. India has been a source of great joy ever since I fell in love with Vikram Seth in august 1995 when I read A Suitable Boy. Come to think of it, the first cricketer I fell in love with was Kabir Durrani, the hero of the book who is oh so unsuitable as a match for a Hindu daughter because he is a Muslim.

The Color of My Heart: Ultramarine Blue
So I must admit that although I was sitting in my Sri Lankan friend's house, and feeling sorry for him being surrounded by a group of Indian supporters, my heart was as blue as the ultramarine blue color of the Indian national team jerseys. I probably would have supported the Indian team for their jersey color alone. Although Sri Lanka's jerseys also are blue, they are a deeper navy blue and with yellow stripes - a very close resemblance to the Swedish national jerseys. No self-respecting Norwegian could cheer for the Sri Lankan team as long as they insist on wearing navy blue and yellow jerseys.

My Indian friend S early on started to worry about the Sri Lankan bowler Malinga, also known as "Slinga Malinga" due to his very special roundarm bowling (watch his exceptional bowling style in a hat trick against Kenya here). Whenever Malinga bowled S would leap from her chair and shout with indignation: "What is that fellow playing?!? It is at least not cricket!" My Sri Lankan friend N would suppress a gleeful smile. 

Sri Lankan bowler Malinga in the air

When Malinga proceeds to take out Indian star batsman Sachin Tendulkar - close to shattering the Indian dream of a victory - N calmly says, his chest swelling with pride: Oh, there is still a long way to go; India stands a very good chance...a very good chance...  From this point onwards S is not sure who to target with her fiery eyes - N or Malinga. So she turns to her laptop and appeals to the stars - that is, fate, as predicted by the astrologists. Sitting with one evil eye glued to Malinga she uses the other to google astrology predictions for the match.  Loud and clear we all get to hear Destiny read out:

Based on the Date and Time of the India Vs Sri Lanka Final Match: The ascendant is cancer and its lord Moon is well placed in the 9th house with yogadhipathi Mars. This indicates strong possibility for India to win the world cup final match; however, the chart also indicates that the match is going to be a tough one. Moreover, Jupiter and Sun are also favoring India by their placement in Pisces along with Moon. Lot of expectations is there from Sachin and he will be able to meet the expectations to a certain extent....
N smirks from the corner: Yes, yes - Sachin is capable; unfortunately he is now OUT!

But S plays her trump card:

Based on the Prasna Chart: - The charts are indicating that the final will be a tough encounter. Dhoni will have to use his tactics, presence of mind and his experience well in this world cup encounter to gift India their 2nd World Cup Trophy. So, according to our astrologers, the final match will be a tough one; however, the planets are strongly favoring India to gift us our 2nd world Cup trophy.
See, N, S says with determination - if Sri Lanka wins, they are not only winning over India, they have also defeated the planetary constellations. So if you manage that, surely you will deserve to win the World Cup and I will be at peace.

It has been around 40 hours since the fireworks lit up the sky of Mumbai - the people of India are most likely still running on a high of positive emotions. But - be aware. I have some advice based on Norway's recent gold rush in the World Championships in Nordic Skiing. As our skiers were sweeping in buckets of gold our government was busy quietly releasing as much bad news as they could - knowing bitterness is a much easier pill to swallow with something sweet. So people of India - now is the time to be vigilant! Don't let the politicians take advantage of the Men in Blue.

I want to end my post with a beautiful video. It is a saying that the smaller the country, the longer the national anthem. I think it must be something related to the Napoleon complex. As a case in point, Norway's anthem is pretty long whereas India's is short and sweet. Rabindranath Tagore wrote the anthem Jana Gana Mana and I find this rendition moving - the Silent Indian National Anthem, signed by a group of Indian children:


  1. Takk for et hysterisk morsomt innblikk i sportens verden. Selv for en som ellers hopper elegant bukk over alle sportkommentatorer, var dette en meget interessant lesestund. Takk, lille drage!

  2. Fantastisk - første norske kommentar :-) Jeg er glad for at du syntes det var morsomt! Jeg trodde cricket var en kjedelig sport, men nå har jeg forandret mening. Du får se sammen med meg neste gang, Fornavn :-)

  3. Se?!? Njæh...men lese om det... ihvertfall når du skriver om det:-)
    Fornavn Ettternavn

  4. Ok! Jeg drar da til Australia i 2015 (neste cricket VM) og er din personlige kommentator. Takk for tilliten, Fornavn Etternavn!

  5. thanks to Shanthi for directing me to your blog - I absolutely loved your piece on the world cup! :)

  6. Thanks, Sharon! It's a little too bad that it is four years till next time! I hope you follow me again then :-)

  7. This is such a good post... I find myself laughing because I was kind of going trough the same emotions as S. And Malinga did make me very upset. It was also my firstt ime watching a full cricket match, and never thought it could be so exciting! Thanks for sharing your views... it was a very good read.

  8. Thank you, Prasantha :-) S wondered why India has not trained any Indian cricketers to throw like Malinga; perhaps the team have started to practice. Although I'm not sure it will work - I think it requires a special gene!

  9. You make regret I didn't watch the game! Nice job :-)