Yes, I have to write something about the epic semi-final matchJ. It was a good match, a typical 2011 India-style match; meaning the Indian team has played only suspenseful thrilling matches in this world cup. Not one match has been obvious that India would win or lose. We have sat on the edge of our seats through each match praying that the team wins. But it has all been worth the excitement and the tension.
I would say the semi match between India and Pakistan was one of the most civilized matches the two teams have ever played with each other. Ind-pak matches are always high tension, most emotional and dramatic. The players tease each other; there are small arguments, a bit of cursing thrown in, the umpires meddling in to resolve any possible big arguments. As anxiously as I waited to see some friction, there was none in the whole match. And I soon realized that it must have been ONLY because of the presence of the Prime Ministers of the two countries at the game. It was like a class behaving properly when their teachers are watching them!
The Pak wicketkeeper was quite annoying with his yelling through the game, yet no friction from our Indian side. The Indian team was very calm, poised and more importantly very honest. How about that catch that Nehra held in his finger tips and yet said he wasn’t sure if it was a valid one? After Tendulkar’s honest game display before, this is another significant one. Especially when our team was desperate to get wickets, the sincerity of Nehra’s game is admirable.
Afridi’s interview was very insensitive, to say “I THINK the Indian team played well”; Of course we did. We won the match and not by very close fight. We had a respectable win! I feel sorry for the Pak team, who will have to bear the public’s anger now. Cricket is always very sensitive in the Indian sub-continent. And for crucial matches like Ind-Pak, the audience is just too sensitive. Even the Indian audience has shown their anger on the failing Indian team players in the past.
And the combination of sports and politics is just too unfair, for the players. The two countries have political rivalry since their independence. And to have the high-level politicians present at the game, adds layers of tension. I can only imagine how the players from both teams try to keep their cool. It was funny to see the two prime ministers sitting quietly beside each other, not talking at all. As weird as it looked, Sonia Gandhi looked very cool when she raised her hands in the air like any other fan after the win.
No matter how difficult it is for my American friends to understand how we sit for hours watching cricket, only we know the crazy goose bumps we get and the thrill. A match like yesterday gives us the adrenaline rush. For now, we all are just happy and content that our team has won and we made it to the finals. Now all we want is the CUP J. And we beat Australia and Pakistan; I think Sri Lanka should be smooth ;)