There are some images that stay etched in the mind. The passage of time and the overload of images do not seem erode them. In fact, they appear to become a huge part of our lives and it is no surprise that sport gives us many such memories to cherish forever. And the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 threw up many such moments.
And when I sit down to think of game changers, my favourite image is of Yuvraj Singh going down on his padded knees, his left hand holding the bat aloft, a clenched right fist rising up and letting a guttural scream at the end of the quarterfinal against Australia. The screaming drive through covers signalled the end of the glittering trophy’s stay in an Australian shelf since 1999.
It is a fact that Yuvraj Singh has not played in any of the 20 one-day internationals that India has competed in after the World Cup final on April 2 and featured in two Tests against the West Indies when it became known that he had a tumor in his lung and needed rest and 55 tablets a day to recover from the ailment.
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The biggest sporting moment for India this year
The sands of time are trickling down on the world of sports too. And before we turn the hour glass around to start the year 2012, it would be nice to revisit some of the moments from Indian sport that made 2011 the year that it was.
They spilled on the roads, countless faces painted with national colours, waving the Tricolour, airing slogans as India broke into one large and spontaneous celebration of the conquest of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 on April 2. There have been few more telling demonstrations of outpouring of collective National pride than late that night. That cricket is one of the few refuges for nationalism was cast in stone that night.
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Studies in Contrast: Umesh Yadav (left) and Varun Aaron (Photo courtesy: hindustantimes.com)
They have shown that all it takes to succeed is an idea, a dream, a lot of hard work and an element of luck. The rise of players like Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Ajinkya Rahane has come as a confirmation that dreams are no longer a prerogative of the metros likes Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
A little over two decades ago, when cricket telecasts were still being produced by Doordarshan, it was hard to imagine so Indian cricketers coming from such diverse locations. The selling of TV rights to cable and satellite companies has had a huge role in the spawning of such dreams in small towns like Rae Bareily and Jamshedpur, Kochi and Cuttack, Moradabad and Gadag, Allahabad and Ikhar, Jalandhar and Ranchi.
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