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The London Tea Party (1999)


This is the 1st part of a series of reports that we will be bringing you as a countdown to the world cup 1999
This report was written by our special correspondent K. Madhavan

MADHAVAN.K

World Cup time once again. World Cup cricket brings back some of fondest moments I shall cherish for all my life. Strangely, right from the first world cup that I was fortunate to see (ofcourse the magical June 1983) there have been unique incidents happening in my life just when all these tournaments were at their peak. The 1983 world cup, what a thrill it was to be an Indian.I remember this world cup so fondly for not only India won the tournament then, but also semifinal day was when we purchased television for our house for the first time for the very purpose. I was in standard 3 then.Truely, the event has left a lasting impression on all of us I am sure.This victory was a special event, for the first time since Independence we we were the world champs in a competitive international sport in which no one gave us any chance to win. Feeling was something like like winning a nobel prize yourself. I think that was the comaradrie that world cup victory was able to bring to all the Indians.Can the present team win this year's world cup, is anybody's guess.

The 1987 was a water shed world cup.I still remember the hype that was generated about a prospective India-Pakistan final at the Eden Gardens. True to our reputation in the sub-continent we had started to count the chickens a bit too soon,before they were even hatched.Deservingly the Aussies were the victors beating their arch rivals England in a thrilling final. England once again reamined a bride's mate and not the bride herself.This was the second of the three world cup finals that England have played to date not winning even once.But I frankly feel the Indian world cup team of 1987 was by far the strongest team India have fielded in a world cup, not withstanding the fact that we lost in the semi final to an inspired England side.During one of these days of this world cup I remember my sister was hosipitalised because of dehydration.I was in standard 7 then(sure enough).The 1992 is the world cup that as an Indian we have the right to feel that we were unlucky. Time and time again events kept happening at this tournament which we could feel as though the gods were working overtime to keep India out of contention. First match was lost to England by a narrow margin of 9 runs mainly because of a few run outs of our main batsmen at the most critical time of the match. The second match against a team which we fancied (SriLankan team of 1992) was rained off. Then the third match against Australia was most heart breaking one which we lost by one run thanks mainly to some crazy rules of the tournament in a rain affected match.Perhaps the only positive aspect of this world cup for India was we were able to beat our arch rivals Pakistan who ended up being the eventual champions.I remember all these events so vividly because the world cup was played during my 12th standard exams(perhaps the biggest exam of my life).I still remember the heated arguments I used have with my father who was against my viewing of these matches during exam time. You can rest assured who won these arguments.

Perhaps the most enjoyable of all the world cups to date for me has been the 1996 edition of the cup.For an Indian supportor,the emotions ranged from a real orgasmic high to a feeling of being badly let down, all within a matter of few days.Who would forget the March 9th 1996 quarter final match between India and Pakistan played at our own backyard (KSCA Bangalore).The atmosphere for the big match was being built up over the previous few days by the media. Both the teams were fired up.The atmosphere at our hostel TV room was carnival. No one seemed to have any care about the 7th Semester B.E exam breathing down our neck in a few days time.All that mattered was victory over Pakistan. Sure enough, there were celebrations galore after the match.I remember having slept that night or rather next morning at 4AM.What followed at Calcutta in a few days time has now become a all too familiar debacle by our team when it matters most.

Will 1999 world cup have such storires to tell ?

This report was written by our special correspondent MADHAVAN.K

For comments on this column please mail to : ramacba@eng.auburn.edu