One school of thought says that every game for Indian cricket team is a home game; such is the following and passion and love for the game globally. If there is one thing you just cannot separate from India, it is cricket. Although the list also includes the foods, the festivals, the culture and the movies but these things are, I should say, diversified. Every region and religion has its own taste. But when it comes to cricket, it will be absolutely safe to say that this is one single thread that binds the nation. The 100 crore plus population can be very proud of their country’s history in this game. Of course, in such a large fan base with different opinions, arguments are waiting to happen but that is a part of the game. India and cricket are inseparable. Our dear God, Shri Sachin Tendulkar will bear testimony to that.
For me, the craziness started from 1996 World Cup held in India. I was 9, the perfect age to get yourself into the game. Like everyone, my hero was the God himself. And although the tournament ended on a bad note for Indian fans, it gave me enough fuel to play and follow this game for lifetime.
But as I grew up, with more studies and now office, watching cricket became difficult. Earlier, I used to watch highlights of old matches between India and Pakistan in Sharjah. Now, life has become hectic. Earlier, there were my parents to stop me from watching, now that no one is stopping me; I am short on time.
So, when you are at home, how do you make sure you don’t miss a single ball bowled? Or a single shot? Well, it is not easy.
1. No showers - who is coming to meet you on a holiday? And even if someone comes, it does not matter. I have skipped numerous showers in winters (and delayed in summers). And when it is an absolute necessity to take a bath, it is a mere formality. Stand behind shower for maximum 1 minute, 30 seconds to dry myself up and I am back.
2. Lying - this is something I do very often. yaar, traffic jam tha. Actually, I was not feeling well .had some guest; these are some common lies. If I have to leave for somewhere, it is always once the innings end. It never mattered who was waiting- parents, friends, and girlfriend. Live telecast comes first. My nation needs me- this is how I backed myself.
3. SMS Group - the first two IPLs coincided with my engineering semester exams. So, it was hard to watch every game (primarily because of lack of studies and less because of guilt). Mobile internet was a luxury those days and so checking score was not as easy as it is today. Free message service was a trend. So, we made a message group of 10 friends and assigned matches to everyone to update the scores to the rest of the members of the group. I will watch one and update others. The rest will do the same. It often resulted in discussions which took most of time in which we could have studied but it spared the guilt of watching matches and not studying. Strange, is it?
4. I have held back my piss and sh*t - Frankly, this is the most common thing I do. But not to make this post sh*tty, I did not mention it in the beginning. I have delayed my washrooms trips by few minutes to sometimes an hour to see some important parts of the matches, in the hope that I do not miss out on something while I am relieving myself. Sounds gross and bad but as they say, you can’t run away from the truth.
Coming to the matches, sometimes the 11 players on the pitch and the support staff are not enough to win you matches. Sometimes, you need more than the on-field performances to bail you out. We, the fans, take care of that. In every single match, numerous people perform small superstitions that eventually lead to a win.
I am proud to say that I have done my bit in two most important matches in India’s cricketing history.
1. India vs England Natwest Final 2002 - My father used to make me stand on his legs when I was young. I never liked it. In reality, it was my punishment for watching TV. I could stop doing it easily but that would mean no TV. That night, India were 150-5 in 25 overs chasing a target of 325 plus. I had watched the first 25 overs (2 hours) and as my father thought that it was my time to leave the idiot box, he asked me to stand. I did it, reluctantly, as I wanted to see few more overs. Yuvi and Kaif started scoring. I had a hunch that it will be disgraceful act of non-patriotism if I leave now; just for my disliking of standing on his legs. I vowed to stand until the end of the match, things started happening and as the history book says, India won famously. When Dada took off his Team India shirt and flaunted his six abs, he had no idea that I did not park my ass anywhere for 2 hours straight. I smiled and retired to sleep after 2 hours of leg stamping.
2. India vs Pakistan, Semi final, 2011 World Cup - India did not post a big total and Pakistan made a good start. I needed washroom but as I said above, held back my piss as match was getting too gripping. At the end of 10 th over, Zaheer Khan got the first wicket and I hurriedly relieved myself. And I got a feeling that today, whenever India takes a wicket, I need to take a piss to make sure India wins and I did that. In 3 hours of Pakistani innings, I went to the loo 10 times. Don’t ask me how I managed each time, even when two wickets fell in an interval of 4 minutes. But I made sure I put 2 drops in the ocean. After all, it’s the contribution that matters and not the size of it.
And bringing a revolution in the field of cricket and online streaming, Star Sports has launched a very well thought, acutely planned strategy. They have realized the potential of sports in India and are actually working on it. And one thing that I love about this website is very simple, but untapped till date, feature- legal, adware free live streaming.
There have been instances when live telecast on TV is not available. This happens mostly in my office. So, I hop on to Google, search for “free live streaming” and jump from one site to other, hoping to find one good streaming site. To be honest, it was painful and time consuming. And after few attempts, I always gave up.
Not anymore. Now, as StarSports.com has brought live streaming to India , it has truly surpassed every other sports channel/ brand in India. For Pepsi IPL 2014, they are the online streaming partners. For people like me, who spend most of the time in office, this is a boon. And icing on the cake is that this is “NO CONDITIONS ATTACHED” free. With the growing reach of internet; they have started embarking on a journey in which opportunities are endless. I wish them good luck for their further expansion plans.
And for me, the StarSports app is the best thing that has happened in a long time. Being an ardent follower of cricket and football, I want to view every match possible. But Delhi’s slow traffic does not allow me to reach home early. What do I do? I open StarSports app on my mobile and watch live matches. In this age of cheap internet where you get certain free data every month; this app makes watching matches live so easy. And it does not cost you anything. There is no separate subscription for mobile access. You can watch any match from any computer or mobile. How cool is that? This has certainly made my life easy- following and watching cricket on the go. It even helps when there is a power cut. Till my phone runs, I can watch any game, anywhere.
Seriously, how tough would have life been without cricket and StarSports.com
(It was supposed to be an at least 300 word article but I ended up writing 1400 + words. Actually, it is tough to stop when you are writing about cricket. It is such a sport. Bear with me, please. And if you liked it, please do share it.)