1) 1996 WORLD CUP SEMI FINAL ( 13/03/1996, Eden Gardens )
Those who followed the 1996 World Cup, can never forget the sight of Vinod Kambli walking off the ground with tears in his eyes. At the fall of the 8th Indian wicket, sections of the crowd vented their disgust with the state of the match by setting fire to some areas of the stands and throwing fruit and water bottles onto the field. The match referee decided to stop the game when the crowd starting throwing bottles at deep fielders and the game was awarded to Sri Lanka by default. That day, the entire nation cried with Vinod Kambli.
2) MATCH-FIXING SCANDAL (December 2000)
It was one of the most saddest days in the annals of Indian cricket, when Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and two other Indian cricketers were banned for life for their involvement in match fixing. It was a big heartbreak for a nation that worships its cricketers.
3) 2003 WORLD CUP FINAL
The whole nation united when Sourav Ganguly and his boys challenged the mighty Australians at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. Australia batted first and scored 359 in their 50 overs. Most of the people thought the match was over, as chasing 359 against the experienced and world class bowling attack. But somehow the hopes were alive till the time Sachin Tendulkar was playing.
Sachin hits a four and gets out on the next ball. There ended a dream. His dream, India’s dream.
4) 2007 WORLD CUP: an early departure
That defeat against Bangladesh will always remain one of the most bitter memories for an Indian cricket fan. India failed to go past the first round for the first time since 1992. It was a heartbreak for Indian fans, as India were one of the favorites before the start of the tournament.
5) YUVRAJ SINGH’S CANCER BATTLE
As India inched closer to a second World Cup victory, a giant tumour was growing within Yuvraj Singh. The doctors told him afterwards that he could have died of a heart attack because the artery was being squeezed. But, Yuvjraj Singh ignored all the medical advice and played for his country. He played like a champion and won the man of the series award. He was instrumental in the quarter final against Australia. When the news of Yuvraj’s cancer came out in the public domain, the entire nation united in praying for him. Yuvraj fought this battle and he had the support and prayers of millions of his fans in India and across the world. Yuvraj won the battle. Yuvraj’s comeback match against England was a very teary-eyed match, as it was a very emotional moment for all his fans to see their champion back after a long, scary battle with cancer.
By Aniket Arora