How the World Cup changed my life
Less than 100 days now for cricket World Cup 2019, the following thoughts come to my mind
By Ritesh Misra
As an impressionable schoolboy, not yet 13, and newly introduced to the magic world of colour television, on 25th of June 1983, I saw Indian captain Kapil Dev lifting the World Cup on that memorable day. It was a glorious win versus the mighty West Indies who were expected to win with ease. Since that day, I have been hooked to World Cup cricket, so much so that I can say that the cricket world cup has changed my life.
How? As an event, the Cricket World Cup is eagerly and expectantly looked forward to and no sooner than one edition of the event is over does one look forward to the next. While the waiting period is one of eagerness, the period of the actual tournament when it happens is one which is actually life-changing, in more ways than one. The statement above may sound preposterous to non-cricket aficionados but will appeal to all cricket lovers since they too will be going through similar situations.
In my own case, I can easily identify how the Cricket World Cup has changed my life. For instance, during the World Cup, my normal hours of sleep decrease since the matches are often at odd hours. This may sound odd to non-sports lovers but one cannot bring oneself to waste time on mere nocturnal rest when one can watch one’s favourite sport.
Apart from sleep, the next serious casualty is conversation. One actually talks less to family members, friends and relatives during this period except for suddenly saying something like “brilliant ball” or “wonderful shot”. One also has lots of arguments with friends and relations during this period on topics such as who among Virat or Kane or Root is the better bat, who is the better bowler, Starc or Boult, will MS Dhoni be an asset or a liability and so on.
Arguments can be on Facebook, WhatsApp and via exasperated texts usually continuing until the wee hours of the night, almost until friendship breaking points, until sanity dawns on one of the “boxers” who hurriedly says good night. The next day, after a few hours sleep, sheepish realisation dawns as to that most of the discussion were more in animation than for any other reason.
How else has the World Cup changed my life? Yes, it has probably made me more statistically conscious and go in for more number crunching. Apart from delving deep into memory I unhesitatingly accept that I Google for interesting statistical details. My personal belief is that one cannot disregard statistics as they often bring us back to reality from emotions.
At the same time, the surfeit of statistics has made commentary very statistical based which has taken away the sheen from an important aspect of a cricket match i.e commentary. Also, statistics can never replace the joy of watching an exquisite cover drive or even an “aggressive” well-left. Hence in my view, a balance has to be met but well, isn’t that true for almost anything.
The World Cup has also revived and maintained my avid interest in quizzing. 25 years back I used to run a weekly quiz named Quiz-quest in a popular newspaper in Bhubaneswar for as many as 3 years. With every World Cup, the interest in quizzing revives and maintains itself and I find myself popping quiz questions to my friends off and on.
For the last few years, I am also having a weekly quiz in popular daily Pragativadi. Quizzing is a nice learning experience in itself as for instance, a quiz question on Rodney Hogg can start an interesting discussion. On say Australian Fast bowlers and one comes across several other enthralling facts and trivia. In the process, one comes into contact with other cricket lovers and one can exchange notes and learn from each other.
Currently, I stay in Mumbai which is a busy metro involving long commuting hours between home to office. World Cup makes the commute better as one can follow the current match going on in cricket sites such as Cricinfo or Cricbuzz. Even if no match is going on, one can read the analysis and newspaper reports of previous day matches and previews and forecasts of next day matches.
One wonders in fact how much the World Cup will contribute to the revenues of cell phone companies and in an aside that will be an interesting comparison in itself- To compare the sales/revenue of cell phone companies and internet service providers the month of the world cup and the previous and next months. Same for television companies and cable service providers.
The above is only an illustrative example of how the World Cup has changed my life. It actually has in many many more ways not just of mine but of the millions of people all over the country and throughout the world. There is no doubt it is a very important event and the best example I can think of is the Hon’ble Guwahati High Court in 2015 ordering the Assam Government to provide cable TV connection to inmates of the Central Jail so that they can watch the cricket World Cup.
Well, well, well. I have told you all how the World Cup has changed my life. Has it changed yours too?
The blogger, Ritesh Misra, is an IRS Officer currently based in Mumbai. He tweets @riteshmisra. His hobbies are sports, films, and music.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Pragativadi and Pragativadi.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.