The Moment That Changed Indian Cricket Forever
The creation of the remarkable MRF Pace Foundation runs it close, but this is surely the key tipping point – or rather the stripping point – in Indian cricket history, on and off the field. When the captain Sourav Ganguly whipped his top off and whirled it above his head after the most sensational and cathartic of victories – India, who had lost their last nine one-day finals, recovered from 146 for five to chase 326 – he made a symbolic statement that never again would India be the uncomplaining patsies of world cricket. He was also sticking two rigid digits right in the face of Andrew Flintoff, who had done a similar thing when England beat India five months earlier.
There had been other signs of India’s rapidly hardening nose, not least when Steve Waugh was moved to call Ganguly a “prick” during the legendary 2001 series. But this was overseas, where India generally rolled over. Nor was it just any overseas venue; it was Lord’s, where you were about as likely to find a topless man as you were at a working-men’s club in the 1940s. At the time the anarchy was thrilling, and in a pure cricket sense it still is; the sort of moment that shivers a patriot’s spine forever more. Yet it has also has a more unpleasant side; we might see this as the moment when Indian cricket decided it would do what it wants, when it wants, where it wants, and that the rest of the cricket world could go fuck themselves. Within a decade that cricket world would be at the mercy of the BCCI, the game’s governing body in all but name.
Trackback from your site.