India is a country where everything is "chalta hai".Our history of thousands of years is full of black swan events.It is therefore no wonder that we comfortably replace our national sport hockey with the de facto national sport of cricket--one which is more unpredictable that our Sensex or the future of our governments.
Ever since AB Vajpayee & Co. conducted the nuclear tests in Pokhran and effectively ended the possibility of 4th Indo Pak war,cricket has become the battlefield for both the nations.An Indo Pak match is never a match played by 22 players from 2 countries.Its a war played by 1.5 billion people from both the countries
Every Indian from the 5 year old chintu to the 75 year old "dadima" plays a part in this war
As yesterdays semif final match between the two arch rivals was about to begin ,warnings were thrown on Facebook to ensure that XYZ person did not enter the common room of hostel,lest he spoil the party like he did in India England encounter earlier...this was too big an occasion to let a person spoil the party.During the match a superstitious friend o wouldnt allow us to change positions,lest Afridi send the ball for a six.As I saw the match and the audience ,it seemed that Allah,Guru Nanak ,Ram and Christs prayer inboxes would be filled with only one request...get Pakistan out before its too late.
As the match ended ,it seemed a job well done...prayers seemed answered,the odd superstition seemed to have worked and yes the players played well too.However,India is a cynical naion .There were the usual crowd of doubters.."the match was fixed..I told you so" said one of them .During the 24th over,we got a message.."The match is fixed ..from 25th over Pakistan collapse would start"..the "satta players" shifted the focus from Sensex to the match score.And then there are those who drubbed the event as nothing more than another no use event created by television companies for their profit
Fixed or not fixed..big event or small event..the way cricket stirs passion in our country and unites the divided people,one does wonder if it wouldn't be a bad idea to declare cricket the national religion and Sachin ,the national God.Outrageous..stupidity..some of us might shout.However,looking at hindsight cricket has played its part in our 9% plus growth rate .Cricket has provided an outlet for the excessive energies of Indians.The unpredictables of cricket has helped Indians cope with the faliure of Indian State in many areas and always look at positive side.It has provided us inspiration to fight till the end.It has fueled among us the passion to succeed.The 1983 victory provided millions with the hope --we can..and this time if we win the cup....it will provide us the confidence to enter the middle over of Indian growth story with the belief ..we are winnning