Memories from 2011 World Cup
Remembering the World Cups gone by is a nice way to fill in the waiting time for the World Cup action to commence. Prior to the previous edition of the World Cup, I had jotted down the memories I had of the earlier World Cups. And now for the memories of the 2011 edition.
The 2011 World Cup was the first one closely followed via social media as well as conventional media. So, it was quite common to have the game live on television as well as following ball-by-ball commentary on ESPNcricinfo while tracking Twitter constantly. It was also the first World Cup that was followed comprehensively by this blog. Regular match notes and thoughts were posted. Hence, I have quite a big bank of memories from this edition.
First up is obviously the winning moment: Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni blasting a six as the whole of India erupted. The Cup had been won back after 28 years. Also, lots of memories of the celebrations which followed. The whole team jumping up and down, many in tears, the players doing a victory lap with the support staff walking behind them arm in arm.
It was also a World Cup of quotes, especially from the Indians: Sehwag started it with wanting to bat for 50 overs, a mission he wasn't able to fulfill. He also declared that everyone except Sreesanth had a good game; Zaheer Khan asserting that as a bowling unit, they were doing well; and finally Virat Kohli after the final stated that Tendulkar had carried them for years and now it was the team's turn.
Then there was the entertaining England. Every single game of theirs was a close one. In the group stages, they lost to Ireland and Bangladesh while tying with India and beating South Africa and West Indies. Their scripts were written elsewhere as they lit up an otherwise drab group stage.
The biggest game wasn't the final; it was the semi-final when India took on Pakistan. Our then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh had invited his Pakistani counterpart and they watched the game together. The Sri Lankan President also jumped into cricket diplomacy mode and invited his Kiwi counterpart for the other semi-final. But the long distances curtailed this cricketing diplomacy.
And on the cricketing front, there was Yuvraj Singh's all-round show, Ross Taylor's slog overs blast against Pakistan, Kevin O'Brien's stunning six after six against England (which was later transformed into a book), Zaheer Khan's knuckle balls which swung many a match India's way, Bangladesh self-imploding while West Indies team bus got stoned being mistaken for the Bangladeshi bus. Australia's winning streak in World Cups came to an end, and South Africa choked again.
And finally the Bleed Blue campaign. We were the World Champions. And it was a sense of collective and pure joy that hasn't been felt since.
Now over to the 2015 edition, and let’s see what memories it will have in store for us.