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Australian Indian cricket fans relish a memorable win PDF Print E-mail

© Neena Bhandari, Mid Day, India 

Australian cricket lovers have been generous in their adulation as a splendid Indian innings provided a perfect crescendo to this aggressively contested tournament, but sadly the mainstream Australian television only began telecasting three hours into the match. Whether it was in the bus, train, at office or in the bank or post office queue, congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Australian-Indians, who couldn't be more proud of their country of origin.

Australian cricket lovers have been generous in their adulation as a splendid Indian innings provided a perfect crescendo to this aggressively contested tournament, but sadly the mainstream Australian television only began telecasting three hours into the match. Whether it was in the bus, train, at office or in the bank or post office queue, congratulatory messages have been pouring in for Australian-Indians, who couldn't be more proud of their country of origin.

Congratulatory messages have been pouring in at the Indian High Commission in Canberra and the consulates in Sydney and Melbourne as the Indian community marked the occasion by distributing tricoloured sweets.

Even diners calling to make bookings at the two `Jewel of India' restaurants in Canberra were all praise for India and for once not wanting to talk cricket. As Venkatesh Ramachandran, owner of the two restaurants said, "I am looking forward to India's tour Down Under later this year as I have been providing special home-style food for our cricketers, whenever they visit Canberra".

In Adelaide, the Indian Australian Association of South Australia (IAASA) organised an Indian cultural and food festival at the pristine Elder Park on the banks of River Torrens in the CBD to coincide with the World Cup finals."Somewhere deep within we were sure India would make the Finals and probably win it too. We arranged to show the match on a huge LCD Screen with almost 10 000 people watching. There were not only Indians, but people from the sub-continent and a large number of Australians too, who joined the Indian taxi drivers in a spontaneous show of Bhangra as India cruised to victory", said Major General Vikram Madan, president of IAASA, who served in the Indian army for four decades before settling in Adelaide, capital of South Australia state.

In Sydney, about 300 people gathered at the popular Billu's Indian Eatery in Harris Park to watch the match on the big screen over kababs and samosas. "As Dhoni hit the winning six, the entire restaurant reverberated with loud cheers and we distributed laddoos as outside on Wigram Street, hundreds of Indian fans lit fireworks and performed dances to the beats of the dhol", the owner, Avtar Singh Billu, said.

For some, it was just a quiet reflection on the magnanimity of the achievement, they had just witnessed.  "It was 4 am in Melbourne, there was a tranquil and almost surreal ambience around when M S Dhoni hit a six to end the anguish of the brilliant Sri Lankan team in the 48th over", said Kerala-born Professor Sabu John from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology's (RMIT) School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

"Kids around the world should watch and imitate the sublime craftsmanship shown on the pitch and the sportsmanship and graciousness shown by both teams off the pitch", John added. Many were peeved at Channel 9 not showing the entire match. "I am sure they would have showed the entire game if Australia was playing the finals", said Arijit Banarji, a Sydney-based student.

"Watching mainstream Australia's interest (or lack thereof) in an all-Asian World Cup cricket final pointed to the reasons why the Cup may forever remain in Asian hands.  We've moved on from cricket, partly because Australia were dumped in the quarter finals and partly because it's now football season", said Michael Jeh, former first-class cricketer who manages the Griffith University Sports College in Brisbane.

"Our love for cricket doesn't transcend patriotism - that's why cricket will always be king in a part of the world that now have the cricketers to match the passion of the masses", added Jeh, who grew up in Sri Lanka and has spent a lot of time in India.

Many more parties and festivities are planned for the coming days to celebrate this historic win. Earlier, Indian High Commissioner Sujatha Singh had held a reception in Canberra, to coincide with the viewing of the India vs Australia quarter-final match.

© Copyright Neena Bhandari. All rights reserved. Republication, copying or using information from any www.india-voice.comcontent is expressly prohibited without the permission of the writer and the news agency through which the article is syndicated.
 
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