Anil Thakraney: ICC Champions Trophy Diary

26 Jun,2013

By Anil Thakraney

 

Nope, I did not follow the just concluded championship trophy, though I made it a point to watch the final match, as am sure most Indians did (aside from those in Uttarakhand, sadly). Droopy eyes at work on Monday was a clear tell-tale sign. The reason I did not care much for the ICC Champions Trophy is cricket fatigue, post the IPL. Even though I like the game, there’s only that much of it I can take. Anyway, here are some notes.

 

Totally enjoyed the final between England and India, not just because it was a tight game but because it was good to see Kohli, Raina, Rohit, Dhawan, etc, play alongside each other, and not against each other. Every year I yearn to see this soon after the IPL ends. Don’t like the image of our cricketers snarling at one other, that should be left to our esteemed netas.

 

I had written in a previous post that we in the media need to go easy on Maahi over the ‘conflict of interest’ allegations. And I still maintain that. However, I suspect our fickle-minded media, now soaking in the victory, will completely forget all about it. That too is not correct. If the man has done wrong, he should be investigated; the idea is to be fair to him. To all those speculative TV anchors now singing hosannas in the captain’s honour, here’s what I have to say: I may write a Booker winner, but if I have been accused of evading income tax, that victory doesn’t absolve me of the charges.

 

It was great to see our young cricketers perform courageously. They appeared neither intimidated by the opponents nor by the bigness of the event. I like this spirit of Young India. Despite Sachin, Saurav and Rahul’s greatness, this is one quality I seldom noticed in them. The oldies would get nervous while reaching a milestone, and their faces showed tension during crunch moments. But these young chaps seem to give two hoots for pressure. I think the retirement of the old stars has done a lot to improve the can-do-will-do spirit in the team. I see brilliant times for Indian cricket in the coming years. Provided, of course, the boys manage to keep the bookies at bay. The problem with today’s kids is while courage is on the rise, so is greed.

 

Lastly, Sunil Gavaskar’s contradictory comments left me a bit befuddled. During the tournament, when asked if the team is out to prove a point following the recent scandals, Sunnybhai denied any such thing. He said the boys had left all that behind in India, and were focused on the match at hand. However, after the final win, he seemed to have changed his mind. He said Dhoni was hurt by all the scandals, and that’s why the animated reactions after the England match. Hmm. Guess the cricket legend got over-awed by the victory. Hota hai, cricket does this to many in India.

 

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PS: Nothing brilliant about this ad, but it’s a cool idea. What I like most are the breathtaking car shots. They make you want to own this machine.

 

 

Anil Thakraney is a senior journalist and commentator. He is also Editor-at-Large, MxMIndia. The views expressed here are his own. He can be reached via Twitter at @anilthakraney

 

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