Yipee…India won the Cricket World Cup 2011 and did so in an exceptional manner! 
And yipee that Indian Tennis players found their place as World No 1 in the Miami Open 2011 Tennis Cup! 

Its very clear now that cricket has become a religion in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka… I’d say more so in India but it’s not all bad. Its one of the few things that brings together people from different regional communities and we all pray & pin our hopes on the national team as one unit which is a rarity in its own right! I was amazed to watch footage from all over India through the news channels, the social networks, radio, etc. as millions left what they were doing and huddled together to watch the World Cup FInals 2011… from Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, from Kutch to Thoubal, in by lanes in Orissa, up in the hills in Himachal…in the common grounds in obscure villages, people came together as one and watched a game played by able and sincere(this time it seemed truly sincere!) men who played with their hearts and achieved the most amazing results bringing home a trophy after 28 years! Oh how we celebrated! I do wish that other games and sports get as much footage and following as cricket but it seems that cricket will always be number one. 

Finally it seems that Indian sportspeople are getting the recognition they deserve or is it so?! But did you know that:
Pankaj Advani won the gold medal in Billiards in Asian Games 2010
Saina Nehwal took the gold at the Swiss Open Grand Prix 2011 for badminton
SK Solanki won the gold in Asian Games 2010 for wrestling
Vijender Singh was awarded gold in Mens Boxing in the Asian Games 2010
Mary Kom won Gold medal at the 2010 AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championship
These are just few names in a long list of people who did the country proud but never got the recognition they deserved for various reasons. I’m unable to decipher the depth of the insanity with which our nation follows cricket when really Hockey is considered to be our national game. Is it time to change our national sport to cricket? 

I for one don’t follow cricket or like it too much for which I’ve been accused of being a non-Indian (blaaaaaa….) but really… I was swayed by the millions of hearts hoping for India to win. The last couple of years the nation has seen a spurt in the quality of sportspeople. From obscure corners of the nation there are athletes & players waiting to be discovered and show their ability and do their families and the nation proud! I can’t wait for the day when sports becomes an integral parts of our lives – and I don’t mean by sitting in front of the box and watching it…but people playing and encouraging their children to play. Schools where children are encouraged & supported if they want to become sportsmen and women!

A few years ago my brother came across a one time famous hockey player on the train. The gentleman was working in the Indian Railways as a ticket collector and he was moved deeply that he had been recognised by a young man on one of his many work schedules. I hope we can give our sportspeople more recognition and respect that they deserve.