Indian cricket has come a long way from its inception and is one of the best teams in the world today. Where cricket is concerned in India, controversy and emotion cannot be far away. There have been many moments of sadness in the history of our cricket and here are a few of them:
- 1996 World Cup Semi-Final
The 1996 World Cup was one that India was expected to win thanks to a strong team and the advantage of home conditions. India played Sri Lanka and was chasing a huge score. The team batted really well to chase the Sri Lankan total but was just not able to catch up with the wickets that kept tumbling at regular intervals.
At the fall of the 8th wicket, many in the crowd vented their frustration by setting fire to some of the stands and throwing bottles into the field of play. The match had to be abandoned and the sight of a teary Vinod Kambli is a sad reminder of the way India crashed out.
- 2003 World Cup Final
The 2003 World Cup Final was one that had the whole nation hyped. India had the opportunity to win the World Cup but had to play against a formidable Australian side. India had played really well and Sachin in particular was looked to as the main man in the final. However, India never even got a sniff as the Australians applied pressure from the first ball to post a mammoth total past 360 runs.
There were some who still believed India could pull off a miracle but the loss of Sachin in the first over only put a dent to any of those. India lost and a billion fans were upset but proud of the team.
- 2007 World Cup
If the 2003 World Cup run was a generation defining run, then the 2007 version had India suffer one of their worst campaigns ever. After breezing through a win against Bermuda, India were expected to beat Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
They lost the game against Sri Lanka and suffered a shock against Bangladesh to exit the tournament in the West Indies. Needless to say, the players were all publicly lambasted and it was one of the saddest moments in India’s cricket history.
- Sachin’s retirement
A sad day for every Indian cricket fan was the day that Sachin Tendulkar retired from the game. An icon and someone who could literally make a nation stop, Sachin finally hung his boots on 16th November, 2013 after 24 years. He was given a farewell fit for a king and it was his post-match speech that got everybody teary-eyed.
He spoke about his journey from the start and how he had to endure the hard times. He thanked the Indian people for their support throughout the years and ended up by thanking his family for all the sacrifices they made.
- Match-fixing scandal of 2000
In 2000, news broke out that India’s much loved Captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and others were guilty of match-fixing and were banned from the sport. Indian fans vented their anger all over the country and a lot of people lost their hope on the Indian cricket team.
It was one of the saddest days in cricketing history as the four players banned really hurt the sentiments of Indian fans.