Calcutta, Feb. 17: Davania Jackson is not going to South Africa.
The Class VIII student of Welland Gouldsmith School had made her family and her school proud when she won the Pepsi-MTV contest to win a free trip to South Africa to watch any one match featuring Sourav Ganguly’s team.
Saturday and 125 against Australia changed her mind.
The captain was her “favourite” and she had penned a few lines eulogising Sourav. Her entry was deemed the luckiest and she was told to pack her bags and stand by for the next flight to the World Cup.
All that was then. On Saturday, she told the sponsors of her trip-to-be that she was unable to make herself available. The loss to Australia “definitely” played a big part in his daughter’s decision, father David Jackson said.
“It’s not worth taking so much trouble for just a lousy match,” Davania told her father, convinced that any game featuring the Men in Blue would only give her the blues.
She would not like to waste “valuable” study-time, what with the term-ending examinations just round the corner, Davania added.
School principal Gillian Rosemary D’Costa Hart said the school would extend every cooperation to the girl who had made them proud, but Davania was sure she was not going.
“Not by a long, long way,” she said, referring to chances of changing her mind.
All this has, however, put the event management firm taking care of the all-India contest here, Grips, in a soup.
Vikas Goenka, a spokesperson, did not hide his disappointment. “This means that we will have to scout for another ‘lucky winner’.”
Although the sponsors would have borne much of the costs, Davania and a companion to escort her would have still had to come up with Rs 60,000.
“But that is not the factor here,” her father said.