India, the home of the World Cup Cricket Champions and where cricket is passion, utmost dedication and almost religion. But has it gone too far? Meaning, are they over confident that they will retain the trophy?
My attention was caught by their campaign #wontgiveitback and their TV commercial which showed thousands gathering and being aggressive in body language as if this was a big war. I don’t doubt their talent or even the possibility that they may just go ahead and keep the trophy. But this is a negative campaign and touchy especially because Australia has a history of ragging and bullying Indian students. So is this payback? We all remember Australian cricket Andrew Symonds buffiness towards Harbhajan Singh and it didn’t take too long to see this was not a competitive spirit but destructive.
Sports is a multi-billion Dollar profession and cricket is no far from the millions it generates for TV rights, advertising, marketing, product endorsements and more. Coming from corruption and match fixing wrangles, the T20 format and the mega-success of the Indian Premier League brought a silver lining to the dark cloud of betting. While perhaps no sport maybe is corruption or dope free, cricket has been the gentleman’s game that used the steel of nerves to score runs, hit wickets and fly boundaries.
The use of social media also has exploded the fans reactions and following from player to match to country. Millions are tweeting and tuning in to share their highs and lows. This makes sending a strong message like #wontgiveitback easier. They should have said #onemore, which is positive and a proud goal to achieve. What are the chances without the cricket maestro Sachin Tendulkar? I’ll let the cricket experts review. An ICC commercial showing Sachin’s success gives lines where he talks of a dream and chasing it again. That’s a positive note.
World Cup cricket has had its upsets and that is also the beauty of this game, unpredictability. Here’s the list according to ICC Cricket’s website:
- Sri Lanka beat India by 47 runs, 1979
- Zimbabwe beat Australia by 13 runs, 1983
- England beat India by 35 runs, 1987
- New Zealand beat Australia by 37 runs, 1992
- Kenya beat West Indies by 73 runs, 1996
- Zimbabwe beat India by 3 runs, 1999
- Kenya beat Sri Lanka by 53 runs, 2003
- Bangladesh beat India by 5 wickets, 2007
- Ireland beat Pakistan by 3 wickets, 2007
- Ireland beat England by 3 wickets, 2011
Incase you have noticed in the above list, India has been on the receiving end most times while our Kenya features twice, but that will be a topic for another day.
India’s fans resorted to hooliganism in the 1st Semi Final, 1996 when Sri Lanka had scored 251 runs and at the fall of India’s 8th wicket at 120 runs, they jumped onto the field and started throwing fruit and water bottles. Sri Lanka was awarded the win by match-referee Clive Lloyd.
Over-confident Team India ignored fans when they arrived in Perth and were training on 25th February for their match against UAE. They snubbed their fans who stood proud in blue when India beat South Africa just a few days ago in Melbourne.
On their opening match with Pakistan #BleedBlue caused a stir for India and Roger Federer fans. As it is most will reckon and India match with Pakistan is near a proxy war, but when a third member comes in and wears the Team India shirt, it disturbs the scene. Top tennis player Roger Federer shares the same sponsor for Team India and wore their shirt and posted the photo on Facebook with #BleedBlue and it upset his fans around the world including Pakistan. Again aggressive indications from Team India.
Ireland is most likely to give India another World Cup upset when they play on 10th March 2015. We will wait and watch how long will #wontgiveitback