Mar 12, 2011

Remembering Hansie Cronje and the days of WC-1999

I was eleven years old when I was first introduced to the game called cricket. The first ever player I loved to watch out for was Sourav Ganguly, of course his good looks was the reason. My interest or may be I must name it my passion towards watching cricket reached it’s peak when the world cup started in England back in 1999.

I was just thirteen then and I must thank my parents who were very generous to me in allowing me to go on watching every match of the world cup who were otherwise very uninterested. In fact one of the biggest achievements I felt was the moment when I went to bed in disappointment as Indian team was losing it’s way against the then not-so-known Zimbabwe as my parents continued watching until they witnessed the disastrous defeat of India.

I don’t think any one on this earth know this except my mom that I didn’t turn up to my 10th class summer coaching classes the next day of that very famous defeat!! I felt the love and the understanding my mother had for me when she herself asked me if I was upset about the defeat and that was the reason behind my absence to the classes! Really, she is an awesome woman of my life.

Well, as the tournament progressed I started getting to know the other teams and players. It really helped me in answering the questions of the quiz competition at my school. The only other team I wanted to support from mid way through the tournament along side India was South Africa. And the biggest reason was the captaincy of Hansie Cronje. I know that I knew very little about the captaincy, leadership etc at that age of mine. But you know what I still stick to what I said. To me he appeared very solid both with his game and game plans. I could not even understand the commentary at that time either in English or in Hindi. I just knew this guy with his face and the emotions he displayed on field. Somehow I felt him genuine.

My support to Hansie Cronje and his men got doubled by the time of their famous semi-final match against Australia. That day’s historical tie and the followed heart breaking exit of the South Africa from the world cup made me wept like no other time so far. I shared bed with my mom that night, she probably knew that I was crying but this time she didn’t ask me.

There ended the world cup when the Australians lifted the cup after defeating the Pakistanis fascinatingly.

But my interest and the supportiveness towards the Hansie Cronje or the Team South Africa ever continued in such a fashion that even today I don’t believe in cursing Hansie for the way he rattled the cricketing world with his confession towards the match-fixing followed by a life ban. I still have the same respect, same love and same dedication in supporting him and the new South African team whenever they play. Obviously, his untimely death way back in 2002 left me blank for a moment.

As the match between India and South Africa in the ongoing WC’11 is going to take off the covers in few minutes, I dedicate this post to the great man and captain Hansie Cronje. He continues to be my idol despite of any negative news that can come up against him in future.

I await Team India’s convincing display today. Win can be of any one but I love these two teams, not equally but definitely.


Rohini Prasanth said...

oh yeah! I remember him and his legacy. at that time i honestly believed he had taken the fall for someone else. in fact, that was the first world cup that I really took interest in the game! :)

you are a true believer in the spirit of the game, as is evident from your many posts :)

anupama said...

Dear Prams,
Good Evening!
A touching tribute to your ideal hero.
Cricket is not my cup of tea;but I love knowing the life history of players.
Wishing you a beautiful viewing of the match,

KParthasarathi said...

I liked him a lot and could never associate match fixing with him.But he was atleast honest in confessing unlike many who conceal.
What we consider as peccadilloes in politicians, we cannot tolerate in cricket.We expect higher standards of morality in the game and get disillsuioned when we discover at times that all is not lily white.

Being Pramoda... said...

Hi Rohini, nice to see u back here.. and thanks so much ..:)

Being Pramoda... said...

Hi Anu, thats nice to hear frm you.. thank you dear..

Being Pramoda... said...

Hi Partha uncle, thats well said .. of course its not an one to one comparison but thats the mindset of ppl here..:(..

Thanks uncle..