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Magic in Mumbai: India the First Hosts To Win World Cup in Cricket

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

India’s cup of joy spilled over the streets of Mumbai when Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit his trademark square cut in the finals and India saw its first win of the World Cup in 28 years. It was a box-office hit on home soil. India was en route to chasing down a total of 274 which was the highest ever in a final. The wait was over and a new legend was born – Dhoni and his team warriors now stand atop the world as India became the third country after Australia and the West Indies to win the World Cup more than once. After waiting an entire generation, India was once again crowned world champions as they scored 277/4 to beat Sri Lanka (274/6) with 10 balls to spare. “This was the goal and I am happy we achieved it,” said Dhoni, lifting the trophy in celebration.

Infosys Chief Mentor Narayana Murthy said in a statement that talent wins games but when it comes to winning championships, it is teamwork that matters, and India is quoted to have demonstrated this in its victory in the World Cup.

Countless cricket fans from around the world turned commentators as the World Cup Final unfolded at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Brands like Pepsi with slogans like “Change the Game” and Nike’s “Bleed Blue” have really contributed to the historic win of India. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar said it was unbelievable victory. “Reaching the finals and that too in Mumbai was exciting but winning in the finals is like the ultimate dream coming true; we can only thank god for this,” said Tendulkar in a report.

It was a rare spectacle as politicians, top business men, film fraternities, bureaucrats, VIPs including the President of India, Governor and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, ICC president Sharad Pawar, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries, etc., were sharing the same dais at Wankhede stadium. Media persons were clicking their camera from all possible angles to capture images of the victorious team, which was on the road to riches soon after the cup came to Dhoni’s hand. As India celebrated, the congress president Sonia Gandhi quietly slipped out of her 10 Janpath residence and went for a round of the city – a rare occasion.

Cricket has for a long time been India’s most popular sport. The India national cricket team won the 1983 Cricket World Cup, also known as the Prudential Cup, where eight countries participated in the event. The preliminary matches were played in two groups of four teams each, and each country played the others in its group twice. The top two teams in each group qualified for the semi-finals. Kapil Dev was the Captain at that time and he gloriously lifted the cup, making all of India proud. Not only this, India also proved victorious during the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, and it shared the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka, as well as its victory in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Domestic competition wins include the Ranji Trophy, the Duleep Trophy, the Deodhar Trophy, the Irani Trophy and the Challenger Series. In addition, BCCI conducts the Indian Premier League, a Twenty20 competition.

The 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was the tenth Cricket World Cup. It was played in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. All matches in the World Cup were accorded One Day International status, with 50 overs. Fourteen national cricket teams competed in the tournament, including ten full members and four associate members. The World Cup took place between February and April 2011, with the first match played on the 19th of February. The opening ceremony was held on February 17th at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh, two days before the start of the tournament, with the final on April 2nd between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. In the final between India and Sri Lanka, there was a mix-up at the toss. Due to the loud crowd noise, match referee Jeff Crowe could not hear the Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara’s call as the coin was tossed by the Indian captain MS Dhoni and as a result the toss had to be redone - a virtually unheard of event, especially on a stage as big as the World Cup Final. The next time, the call was heads and Sangakkara won the toss and decided to bat first.

Frenzy mania among fans and viewers increased which was reflected even on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Cricket portals like Yahoo! Cricket, Cricinfo and Cricketnext made use of the opportunities offered by the event with their spontaneous coverage through score updates, ball-by-ball commentary, videos, live feeds, cricket contests, expert columns, match summaries, and so on.

The 2011 cricket season was also remarkably powered by various interactive mobile applications based on cricket. Customers were keen on catching the World Cup on their mobiles, and the first week of the ICC World Cup saw a huge rise in the sale of cricket-based applications. One of the reports indicated that nearly 10 percent of smartphone owners downloaded sports-based applications. Several companies launched cricket theme-based games to cash in on major traffic. The launch of Cricket Power, CricEx, Cricket Manger, Super Fielder, etc., also bought cricket mania to its pinnacle.

New business opportunities were flooding in for the corporate world to enhance consumer interactions with the help of cricket based apps which have compatibility with major devices like iPhone, Blackberry and Android-based phones. Similarly, Nokia also has come up with new apps to win the hearts of cricket lovers. On the model Nokia N8 it has introduced the ESPN sports widget app which enabled users to access all the live news feed, video clips, scores and other cricket-related information. Not only this, Channel 2 Group, a Dubai-based company that signed the radio broadcasts rights for the ICC World Cup, had also announced the launch of the Internet radio channel, which offered live commentary of all World Cup matches followed by the post-match analysis.

ESPN STAR punched in various technologies to enhance the sporting experience of the fans. It partnered with Coolris to provide them with real-time exclusive photo stream of never before seen behind-thecameras coverage of the cricketing action, using Liveshare by Coolris. The Liveshare application allowed the fans to experience matches at major venues and share the video feed with their friends via cwcliveshare, Facebook, Twitter and e-mail, or even to create their own streams with the Liveshare application.

Zapak, an online gaming company which has the rights to distribute the game called Cricket Power, reportedly had traffic go double after the game went live.

This year cricket World Cup was not just another sporting event. After the FIFA World Cup and Olympics, it was in fact the third most viewed sporting event. Excit- ing offers and services were raining down on this cricket season, adding an element of fantasy to all cricket fans, and India saw its captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni scoring an unbeaten 91 in the final. Mahendra was later judged the man of the match. India’s Yuvraj Singh was declared the man of the tournament. Forty three days of World Cup matches were made memorable not only to fans but also to all those technology companies who pitched in their mind.

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