“Dhoni is the best thing to have ever happened to Jharkand” – Rajdeep Sardesai
“I hope Rahul (Gandhi) like Dhoni, will win the next big match (election)” – Sonia Maino (a.k.a Sonia Gandhi)
“*&*&@ ((&(& @&@&^@ ()(*!^&!%” – Rameez Raja
The world was going crazy.
What a week!!….To wake up to a cricket match is always fun (especially when you ahve been advised bed-rest!). The morning filter coffee mixes with the game almost as well as an evening pint at a pub with TV….epsecially when India is winning! and what wins!!….for me, the best part was the fact that none of the indians featured in the most runs / most wickets or even most sixes tables until the finals. Probably the biggest indicator that we are working well as a unit and it is not a few good horses pushing the cart, like the ’03 world cup.
I thought RPS and Gambhir were the real heroes….the yuvraj mania was obviously amazing….but for me, it was these two work horses who turned in class acts over and over again. And ofcourse sreesanth…..i heard one of the panelists comment in IBN Live that ‘the team should collect a sreesanth tax, where every other team member can compensate for his losses of match fee’….i dont think we ever had a character like him on our ranks…
Having said all this, the end was a bit bitter-sweet for me. When Ravi announced at the presentation ceremony that “$2 Million” is being gifted by the BCCI to the team, I honestly choked. This is unheard of…in cricket….The UEFA prize money for the winner is 7 Million Euros, but that is the prize money…Not the bonus…..The money rain did not end there….Rs. 1 Crore for Yuvraj and something like that for Dhoni….and the list got extended by the day…I take it back…It IS being extended by the day…..
Now, I agree that ‘what a sports person makes’ is not a ‘fan’ question anywhere else in the world….but I think it is a relevant question in India…simply because no other country that I know of, has sportsmen and fans complain of step-motherly treatment dealt out to a sport…
India won the Nehru Cup for the first time…ever! and if you are wondering what the sport is, it is soccer….we won the Asia cup for hockey this year….I would love to see how much those players made, vis-a-vis Dhoni’s boys…it would actually be a rude joke.
You can count the number of astro-turfs in india, probably on one hand. I am almost positive that most of us can count ‘Indian footballer names that we remember’ in one hand too. I understand that the fundamental problem is the lack of popularity among fans for hockey & soccer and not the BCCI….but I believe this is a solvable problem….It has been done before in many countries….Cricket in Kenya, soccer in the U.S., soccer in West Indies….I think that something like this should be very possible for the Sports Authority of India, with enough funding and a clear long term ‘grass-rooted’ plan….we should at least be able to scratch the surface….I dont think we have even done that yet.
I got up this morning to read the article about the hockey players on a hunger strike in karnataka….coz they felt like “dust” when they saw state governments fighting with each other to announce awards for cricketers….I think this has got to be an absolute first….since big bang….that a sportsperson went on a hunger strike for more recognition….chak that India!