Added on April 4th, 2011: Yes. India won it this time. It did not ruin its destiny. It was after all a world cup that belonged to Sachin Tendulkar. Will a cricket world cup be enough? We will have to wait and see. The out of the world celebrations that are to follow this triumph need some restraint. Cricketers will get their due and will move on. Is the cup half full?
What a script! Dropped once, twice, thrice…and believe it or not we also saw it dropped the fourth time… Tendulkar’s team had dropped the cricket world cup not four but five times unlike South Africa’s Herchelle Gibbs who had dropped it once (1999).
I am confusing the issues here. It was Tendulkar who was dropped four times in the India vs. Pakistan semi final match on Wednesday. I rarely agree with Sanjay Manjrekar (a cricket commentator these days) but as an exception, I could not agree more with him when he observed that Tendulkar had lost interest in his innings against Pakistan by the time he was dropped the second time. I wonder whether Tendulkar had lost his interest in this World cup when he was dropped the fourth time. Hmm…I don’t think he did.
We have heard talks about ‘destiny’. Destined to be the world’s finest, the greatest, the poorest, the biggest, the smallest and what not.. Sachin Tendulkar has come one step closer to be a part of the Indian cricket team that could win a cricket world cup. This time, it has to be India. It has to be Tendulkar’s cup. I remember Hansie Cronje (the late South African captain, The World cup, 1999) saying in an advertisement “Yeh cup mujhe dede Thaakoor” with a funny accent. I am sure Tendulkar will be saying this in his dream and I am sure he can do Gabbar Singh’s accent (not his voice though :-)).
The reason why I am referring to 1999 again and again is the fact that South Africans were the favourites to win it in 1999. South Africa should not have lost the semi finals against Australia. South Africans were destined to win it in 1999 and they ruined it. 2003 was close enough for India. 2003 had the best Indian team ever to have played in a world cup final. Yes, you heard me right. 2003 team was much better than the team of 2011. I have heard Sir Vivian Richards (the West Indian great) say and I quote, “being a tournament favourite does not give any team a divine right to win it”. Well, I would like to add and say “do your duty and see your rights turning divine”. My only worry is the possibility that India could ruin its destiny to win the World cup in 2011. Listen to me. It is very easy…”don’t ruin your destiny this time“.