26 February 2015

Cricket fever

It’s hard not to notice that the Cricket World Cup is on. When the cricket is on, everything revolves around it. Then when India plays Pakistan, the world stops for a few hours. That’s what it was like on February 15th...

It was a Saturday unlike any other because there was almost no traffic on the roads. And it was quiet: no honking or traffic sounds, and not even the calls of the fruit and vegetable vendors were heard. Everyone was watching cricket. I enjoyed the peace and quiet and since matches take such a long time, most of the day stayed peaceful and quiet.

Yes, India won.

Friends were telling me how some cricket fans have rituals they follow religiously: they do silly things like not getting up from the chair they’re sitting on during the whole match – this means they spend a good part of the day rooted to the same chair in fear that they may jinx things if they got up.

There was an article in thepaper today about this exact topic and it gave a few examples of the weird rituals cricket fans have:

Alok, an accountant, sits in a certain chair and does not dare shut his laptop:

“I try and sit in a particular seat whenever India is playing an important game. I keep my laptop on the floor and try not to close it. I started following this after the quarterfinal win in the last edition of the World Cup. I noticed that Indian wickets fell every time I shut my laptop. I did not close my laptop during the chase in the World Cup final and the Champions Trophy final as well, both tournaments India won.”

Prakash, an IT professional wears shoes that are too big for him and drinks ice water:

“On all India match days, I wear a shoe that is one size larger. Every time I have worn the shoe, India has performed well in that tournament… I also make it a point to drink a glass of ice water, every time the Indian team claims an opposition wicket…”

Shevtank follows a routine which involves pizza and not getting up from his seat except to do a jinx-breaking dance:

 “I order food from the same pizza outlet, sit in the same seat and occasionally break into a dance of sorts to break the jinx in the case of a strong partnership by the opposition players. During the World cup final, my father got up to take a bottle of water from the fridge. At that moment, Gautam Gambhir got out. We did not allow him to return to his seat. He saw the rest of the chase leaning from the kitchen.”

Akash does not cut his hair or shave:

 “In the league stages of the last World Cup, I had not followed this ritual. After the league stages, I did not cut my hair or shave. It was only after India won the World Cup that I shaved.”

Judging by all these displays of religious-like devotion, India is sure to win the World Cup?

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