Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Before the EPIC match!

If you’re into reading crap, you must have read my piece on how cricket sucks and all. Well, I’m not going to renege on what I said (or at least tried to imply) but then I had no idea India and Pakistan were destined to clash in the Cricket World Cup (CWC) semifinal. My superpowers failed to predict its certainty and we are less than 6 hours away from this passive war.

As of now, I hope everyone wakes up healthy today for even if you're sick for real, your office won't believe you. Everyone’s damn excited about this game so productivity is better not discussed. I’d say Indo-Pak match makes AWOL a very legitimate option. The entire country is going to be stalemated once the coin is tossed. That’s a given. Even the sparrows and pigeons outside my window seem to be mighty excited about it. If only they knew the way to Mohali.

By the way, Mohali is the most happening place in the Indian subcontinent right now. After all, it’s playing host to a contest that doesn’t happen quite often. One can sense the hype with huge expectations from the 22 players who will be on the field amid roaring pressure. It’s going to be a riot of emotions. I guess even clouds got emotional last night and shed some tears over Mohali stadium. If rain continues to disrupt, then this match will be a more contentious issue than Kashmir. Anyway, according to my sources, God is a cricket fan so I’m pretty sure weather won’t be a hindrance.

The maxim that politics and sports shouldn’t mix sounds like a remote possibility when India and Pakistan are engaged. I like to call it diplomushy in which emotional bond is practiced between rival countries. Nevertheless, Indo-Pak cricket makes the most of it like it always has, be it in Sharjah or Toronto. Apparently, for countries like ours, sports are a blessing in dissguys. The rivalry is unmatched and so is the language used between players. The other day, I also watched that infamous Afridi-Gambhir-expletives-filled-clash video on YouTube to brush up my token patriotism. As you can imagine, it’s tough being a non-cricket fan in India but you have to give it to crossborder tension.

Today, Indians will be praying for their unblemished record against Pakistan in CWC to remain so whereas Pakistanis would be expecting the opposite. Of course, Indians also want their God-elect – Sachin – to score his 100th century and make Afridi eat his words and cricket ball (yet again!). They'll conveniently neglect the fact that their cheering is nothing less than a jinx for the Little Master.

Pakistani team has done a marvelous job under Afridi’s mercurial leadership so far. They have been like phoenix if you take the bad press showering into consideration. On a longshot, I even see them lifting the Cup while surprising everyone the way we did back in ’83.

Yea, I know I must be sounding like a cricket pundit here. But since I’m cricket crazy for a day, what’s the harm in abusing the privilege! You see, being a fan makes you feel like an expert on things you know nothing about. Like who’ll win or lose. In fact, the best outcome of this semifinal is that it has created a Nostradamus out of everyone in the subcontinent.

With the kind of hostile history we share, Aman and Asha can take a break today. May the match be played in the best of sportsman spirit and without any major controversy. A few minor ones here and there will do. Today would be remembered for a long time. At least until we play Pakistan again. But the worst part is, even after this match ends, noise on either side of the border will continue.

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