The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Message mischief

New Delhi, March 23: Some fans have again shown themselves to be poor losers.

As soon as Australia piled up 359, SMS messages started littering the airwaves. A sample: “Bowling, fielding and field setting were all horrible, seemed deliberate, definitely not international standard. Bookies made a killing as India perished.”

Blinded by anger, the senders forgot that the betting odds were all along stacked against India.

The hype before the start of the World Cup final soon gave way to depression. If the capital’s empty streets reflected the “fever” at the start, they mirrored the desolation as the day progressed. The general feeling among Delhiites was the “feel good” factor that the Indian team had generated throughout the tournament had been washed away.

Connaught Place was a picture of gloom. So was Kamla Nagar, a commercial area near Delhi University’s North Campus. The students had turned up in the Indian team colours. Soon the men in blue disappeared from the streets.

As the shocked fans returned home they could not hold back their anger. Shouts of “India hai hai” split the heavy air.

Nobody remembered India’s march to the final and the gutsy turnaround that made it possible.

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