Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A worthy effort

There was a time, not so long ago when we used to learn about the exploits of Kapil and Gavaskar on the radio. How they stood up to the mighty West Indians and won the world cup. And how a generation of young children was brought together with a common religion – cricket. But that was a different time.

We learned about the fans of cricket in Australia and especially the ones with a name in England too – Barmy Army. I was glad to find out that they too had come following their national team after Mumbai massacre. I was elated to know that their cheerleader while reflecting on the game didn’t miss out on the enormity of the moment:

“And more pertinently it proved that this series should have gone ahead. What better way for a shell-shocked nation to get over recent events than to watch Test cricket and watch one of its greatest players produce something like that? And it was a shot in the arm for Test cricket because while we'd sat at home watching India play Australia in front of a handful of people, the stadium here was packed. The noise was amazing and it was quite fun for the few England fans to try singing in the middle of it. We could barely hear ourselves speak, never mind sing, but we persevered anyway.”

Wasn't it a great match? It had to be! I am sure, years after today, this will definitely be remembered, not for the result - but the choice England had made - to come back and play the game we love and affirm the simple pleasures of friendship and camaraderie in the face of terror and agony.

Here is to you Paul and all your friends. Let's celebrate the victory together - as fans of cricket and life.