Cricket World Cup 2003: Tendulkar watches with a Disconsolate Smile

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It was the turn of South Africa now called the Rain Bow Nation to host the world cup along with their neighbors Zimbabwe and the other African nation Kenya. After their isolation from the rest of the world South Africa under the leadership of Nelson Mandela were on a path of reconciliation. Mandela realized the power of sport to change the world and used sports to transform South Africa’s Image and worked to get South Africa Involved in International Sports. The Rugby World cup in 1995 was followed by the Cricket World Cup in 2003 finally ending in South Africa hosting the mother of all cups the Football World Cup in 2010…

A lot had transpired since the 1999 world cup. We entered a new millennium unscathed by Y2K doomsayer’s apocalyptic predictions. The 9/11 attacks had changed the political landscape leading to the American war on Terror in Afghanistan and the Iraq war of 2003. Almost all the cricketing nations had no stakes in these American wars apart from Britain and Pakistan the most trusted American Ally. However it was very interesting to note the birth of a Cricketing nation Afghanistan ravaged by war during these times. The story of Afghan cricket starting from the refugee camps of Pakistan was something which grabbed my attention as a keen global follower of the game those days. I no longer identified myself as a Indian cricket fan but broadened my horizons and called myself a global cricket fan more interested in the expanding blue print of cricket throughout the world. I was quite pleased when the Cricket world cup was expanded to a 14 nation tournament with teams from Canada , Namibia Netherlands and Kenya joining the tournament. I am never in conformity with the elitist point of view that these countries have no place in world cup as the elitists argue for a more competitive tournament than a more inclusive tournament. Continue reading Cricket World Cup 2003: Tendulkar watches with a Disconsolate Smile

Cricket World Cup 1999: Start of The Invincible

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Looks like ICC a k a International Cricket Council cannot get their arithmetic right. It has only been 3 years since 96 and world cup was round the corner back to where it all Started England. English always being sticklers for exactitude reversed backed the clock to correct the extra year added to the world cup cycle by the Aussies in year 92. To be precise it was UK who was playing the hosts as Scotland and Ireland also joined the bandwagon as co hosts with their big brother England… Now I was no longer a student and moved on to a routine 9 to 5 job. I was now pretty much used to following all the cricket action on the cricketing websites and decided to watch the Indian matches on a big screen aired in a local theater in New Jersey.

Looking back at 1999 Clinton was in the last year of his presidency and as they say Americans were experiencing Clinton Fatigue with the Monica Lewinsky episode playing loud on American TV channels.. On the other side of the World India and Pakistan were fighting it out not in a cricket match but in a real war no kidding!!. Kargil war now consigned to the history text books was keeping the emotionally charged Indian and Pakistan Media busy with the spin doctors having a field day on both sides of the Aisle. The Indian blogosphere was full of stories of the brave Indian Soldiers who had laid their lives for the honor of their Home land. This really put the notion of the so called sporting hero’s into context.. Society as such has given a larger than life role for Sports in our culture but in the bigger scheme of things sports at its best mimics the real world and produces great sporting hero’s who are no match for the real life real hero’s!!

Continue reading Cricket World Cup 1999: Start of The Invincible