First of all let me just say to everyone who kept telling me that the WC matches were fixed: You people suck. You ruined the semi-final and final for me, 2 matches which were probably the biggest and most important ones that Team India has played since I was born. So thanks for that :|
Secondly, WOW. It's a dream come true. India are now the undisputed champions of cricket. I think Virat Kohli, a dude who I'm starting to like more and more by the day, was worth noting when he said "He's (Sachin) carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, it's time we carried him on our shoulders." This is definitely going to be something that is going to be quoted everywhere, because it's so true. I have no more words left for Sachin Tendulkar. He's achieved everything anyone could ever dream of (except maybe the elusive 100th ton, which I'm sure is not far away :P :) ). And to do it in Mumbai must've been more than even he could have hoped for. If he retires now, I will shed many tears, but at least some of them will be tears of happiness.
I have grown up watching cricket, it is a part of my family. I remember watching cricket in the 90s. After India, Pakistan was my favourite team, Shoaib Akhtar my favourite cricketer (now it's India > Sri Lanka > South Africa). Back then every girl had a crush on the then beardless and single Shahid Afridi. And then there were others like Moin Khan (ai guh!), Inzaman, Saqlain Mushtaq (we share birthdays :P), Abdul Razzaq, Waqar Younis, Yousuf Youhana and plenty more. Speaking of Inzamam, have you seen what he looks like now? You'd never think he used to be an international cricketer. It's quite scary how much he's changed over the years. I hope Afridi doesn't end up looking like that. Say what you will, he's still the most handsome Asian cricketer, beard or not, and Dhoni is a close second.
Okay okay sorry, can't help it :P Anyway, my point was, that I love these guys. I felt so bad for Afridi when Pakistan lost to us a few days back. He's probably one of the few honest cricketers left in Pakistan, and even today, he manages to look dangerous on the field. I have so much respect for all these old cricketers already, and my respect for them increased tenfold this World Cup. Players like Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Muralitharan, Tendulkar, Brett Lee, Ponting (yes Ponting) etc. are all masters of the game in their own right. And the thought that this might well have been the last World Cup for them is just downright depressing. Don't get me wrong, the younger players, esp the Indians, look very promising. But the end of this WC has brought about the end of an era. The face of cricket is slowly changing, and soon all the players I've grown up watching will no longer be a part of the game. And that is just hard to accept.
Okay so by now you've seen that I'm a rambler, and I find it very difficult to get my thoughts in order. Bear with me please :P I want to mention Dhoni here. Before today, I couldn't remember the last time I'd seen him make a decent score. As a batsman he was suffering, and was getting a lot of criticism. But as a captain, he never failed. When you look at him, you can see that he was born to be a leader. And so many times people question his tactics, and he always proves his point, like he did today. Maybe bringing Sreesanth in was madness, but now that we've won, no one is going to question that move, as Dhoni pointed out himself. He's one of those few captains who manages to keep an utterly cool head and handle pressure oh so well, as opposed to the perpetually whiny-faced Ponting, for instance. It's people like that who command respect.
Another point I want to bring up is the sheer madness and love for cricket that Indians have. During the last two matches, there was a steady stream of noise flowing in through my windows the whole day, and I'm quite sure that it's on even now, all around the city, all around the country. Even people who don't normally care about cricket can't help but celebrate and feel proud. An example of this is my neighbourwali aunty. Middle-aged, sweet old lady, who at 11 PM on the day of the s/f came ringing our doorbell with sweets, and handed us all a piece :) It's stuff like this that make you realize what a crazy nation we live in, where people hand out sweets after India beats Pakistan in a cricket match.
Anyway, so, yeah, this is my post. Don't worry, I won't bore anyone with any more. After this, my journal goes back to being a friends-only personal diary :P But over the last few days, so much was going through my mind, so many emotions, and it seemed too much to fit into a Facebook status message or tweet. All I can say now is that I'm happy, as happy as any other Indian is right now. I'm happy for India, happy for Sachin, happy for the entire team. I love each and every one of those guys, even Nehra! Nothing came easy to them in the tournament, they fought and they fought, and it was team effort that won them the Cup eventually. And I'm also sad a bit, because this is the last time I will have seen so many of my favourite players. I've grown to respect them so much over the years, and though new players will come and fill in the gaps left by them, they will never really be able to replace them. For that reason, I am thankful for the IPL. Because of the IPL, I still get to watch these legends play. That century Gilchrist scored against the Mumbai Indians once is one of my most cherished sporting memories.
Yay cricket. Yay Team India, CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! :)
The sheer awesomeness of today's win is what has inspired me to write this post, my first public post. Okay maybe 'inspired' is the wrong word to use. But I'm nervous okay? :P