I was sure of what would happen on 2nd April 2011. Time proved my instinct right and yesterday India won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. After watching the entire match and discussing the outcome with family and friends —it was quite late last night when I got into the bed. And this morning I woke up a bit late with a tired body but fresh mind. Tension and excitement of the yesterday’s match made everyone fatigued but the win for India made a billion people feel one of the happiest moments of their lives. This win is being hailed as one billion dreams come true; after a wait of 28 long years. No one since Kapil Dev’s daredevils in 1983 could win the coveted trophy for India. But this time, it is ours to keep for at least the next four years. The entire nation is feeling good… great… on top of the world.
When India won the first World Cup, and the only one until yesterday, in 1983 —we had gone into the tournament as minnows. No one gave us even ghost of a chance against the monopoly of West Indies and expertise of Australia and England in the game of cricket. But still, turning the tables, we won in 1983. It was a massive occasion for India. It was like a miracle. It was really something that no one had expected. The nation received the Cricket World Cup more with disbelief than authority and confidence. Kapil Dev and his men deservedly became national heroes overnight.
In 2011, yesterday, however, the game was different. We are lucky to be able to witness the rise of India in Cricket. Once upon a time, Indian nation was referred to as “Sone ki Chidiya” or the Golden Bird. This term not only pointed to the economic prosperity of the country but also it had a figurative meaning of India being a land of excellence which had gained respect from all over the world. However, under the British rule, India lost a lot of its shine (especially in terms of self-confidence among Indian population). People became submissive. The situation did not correct itself even when we got free from the British Raj in 1947. However, in last couple of decades India began to feel that it can breath on its own. As the time is passing by the confidence in Indian people is growing by leaps and bounds.
India’s win in 2011 Cricket World Cup is just a reflection of this rejuvenated, confident and youth oriented Indian nation. This time we demanded the cup and got it with full confidence. Yesterday’s win was no miracle. India had strong belief that we could it do it. Unlike in 1983, the Indian team entered the competition as strong favorites; with the numero uno position in Test format of the game already under the belt. Under the captaincy of MS Dhoni; our flamboyant bunch of players had won T20 World Cup a few years ago. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the wealthiest cricket board in the world; the position of President of the International Cricket Committee (ICC) has been with India for most of the time in recent years. And, not to forget, India began the great Twenty20 tamasha of cricket named Indian Premier League (IPL).
That was only about the game of cricket but even the cricket fans have transformed since 1983. It was incredible the way Indians celebrated yesterday’s win. I had never before seen such efforts to get in front of the bigger screens to watch the match. I had never before seen the use of so much fireworks in India for any other occasion barring Diwali. People distributed sweets, partied the whole night, the concept of “big screen” was a craze, people painted themselves with India colors, people bursted crackers, danced to the tunes of dhol… all in all, the Indians felt they deserved to win. Indians felt that they are on par with anyone in the world. The effect of power of America and elegance of Europe has begun to fade from India’s psyche. We Can Do is the new our mantra.