Sunday, April 03, 2011

Dhoni has Lifted India's Morale with Cricket World Cup

By winning the world cup MS Dhoni's has done something really significant for the people of India at a moment in history when it is most helpful. It also has a lot to do with the way it all happened, i.e. India not choking after Sachin was out early in the game. We, in this a country of billion were not certain if the future really belongs to us, as media and many reputed names around the world keep saying. Now we have learnt that we can really aspire to be a world leader, and that is a great feeling.

Other sports, our research system and business environment are mostly resource constrained to achieve something like this, and our politicians certainly don't have either credibility or guts which could have a similar impact. To experience the impact of this win, I also decided to hit the road to India gate in Delhi for joining the victory march when someone told me a lot of people are collecting there to celebrate the world cup victory. As I saw later on TV, similar things were happening all across the country. It was a phenomenal experience, seeing the crowds cheering and congratulating strangers, dancing and celebrating the victory as wildly as they could.

One could sense that almost all of them were much more happy because inside their heart all of them had probably lost the match once, like they often lose other battles in their everyday life. Sri Lanka, a tiny country with resources nowhere close to India's cricket associations and many more internal problems than India, had also taken over the minds of all Indians for sometime. It happened most likely, because our self-confidence has never been in a great shape before and probably because we have no memories of winning something like this, and though we felt it could be done but we were not sure. So rightly at the time when the new generation of India wanted to believe in itself, Dhoni delivered this win to make it possible.

I was on cloud nine seeing the "we can do it" or "we did it" feeling in everybody's eyes I saw yesterday. Friends from everywhere in India and even London, San Francisco and New York said that the same of victory marches there. It is no exaggeration to say that what Dhoni has done is the best thing which has happened to India in the memory of my generation. We haven't experienced such a feeling of national pride ever before.

People said at the semi-final that it doesn't matter if we win the World Cup of not, but we must not lose to Pakistan in the world cup, because maybe deep down in our hearts we knew that winning over Pakistan is possible but we feared that the World Cup is something much bigger and maybe nearing impossible. We wanted to satisfy our ego by setting up a lower, achievable target of winning the India-Pak match as a non-negotiable target. But the celebrations of yesterday night will shut everyone's mouth who said that winning to Pakistan was more important to all of us than winning the world cup. It was just that we didn't fully believe that we could win.

I believe that now we will start seeing the spillovers of this win as leadership in other sports, science, technology, business and (hopefully) politics too. Thank you Dhoni, for winning the World Cup for us! We will not remain the same ever again.

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