World Cup Cricket Brings Communities Together

By Neel Nanda

It has been just over a month that India has won the ICC World Cup Cricket 2011 but the celebration still continues. The journey which began on February 19th had a dramatic and spectacular closure on April 2nd.India wins the coveted World Cup after 28 years!!! As a young child I have vivid memories when India lifted the Cup in 1983, I was six years then and in my 2nd grade but the vibrations are still alive. I was in Bombay then (which is called Mumbai now) and had witnessed celebrations in the middle of the night like never before. And 28 years later Mumbai which staged the World Cup Finals experienced a spectacular euphoria.

Here in Canada and especially in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) the celebration is a never ending process. As the South Asian population is exploding in GTA like never before so is the interest for cricket. There has been several events in the GTA celebrating India’s triumph in the past few weeks .It was a festive occasion in many South Asian households during the 45 day competition. Despite the time difference in watching live games thousands in Canada woke up at odd hours to witness their favourite team or player. For Canada the victory against Kenya made it extra special, as it gave confidence and hope to budding cricketers in the country to follow their passion. We all know the animosity and political squabbling between India and Pakistan; however India’s victory brought both the communities together like never before. Many of my friends from Pakistani origin congratulated me on India’s victory. Najeeb A a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin said “It is a revolution in cricket and the world cup has come back to the subcontinent after many years. This will perhaps give hope to my 9 year old son to follow his dream and passion. Asif K another Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin went a step ahead and waved Indian flags with his neighbours of Indian origin. He told me “We are brothers, we do fight at times but we also celebrate events and festivals together”. Not only people of Pakistani origin but also people of Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan origins (Sri Lanka lost the cup to India in the final) joined in the celebrations It is perhaps a sign of good times to come in the future and we all hope that not only in Canada but also in the rest of the world we follow course. If cricket can bridge the gap of communally dived nations, then let there be abundance of cricket. I am signing off with the everlasting celebration for the game of cricket!

Neel Nanda is a cricket enthusiast,
editor of
and also the General Secretary of
National Ethnic Press and
Media Council of Canada.

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