There aren’t too many experiences that compare with sharing celebrations with good friends. If I had the money I’d book a plane right now and head to India to party with the nation that captured my heart when I first visited back in February 2003. I’m not a huge cricket fan but knowing how much the game means to millions of Indians, I know that the joy of beating Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup will be the cause of huge celebrations.
The six wicket win has placed the cup in Indian hands for the first time since 1983 and it was the first time a team has won the tournament on home soil.
Wherever I travelled in India I saw children playing cricket. From the green fields around India Gate to dusty, sand covered patches of land, wherever there is enough room to swing a bat, you’ll see children imitating their cricketing heroes. Some have shiny cricket sets, others use rough pieces of wood as they imagine themselves hitting the winning runs to clinch the game. Cricket is everywhere in India.
It’s been over six years since I was last in that amazing country but I still think about India every day. One of my very favourite memories is being in the country during the 2003 World Cup. The Massey family had invited my good friend Mark and me to their home for some home hospitality. After we were served a truly incredible meal we sat in front of an old colour television to see Australia and India battling it out on the cricket field. There was a lot of good-natured banter as we barracked for our respective home countries. As I said, I’m not a massive cricket fan but watching that game with some amazing Indian friends will remain a treasured memory for life.
India, enjoy your win. I wish I was there with you today.
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