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Thursday, September 13, 2012

BCCI says No to new jersy of Nike - Superstition - India in T20 WC 2012


From time immemorial, mankind’s fear to supernatural events is well documented – though many would pose outside to be too strong mentally, they resort to many beliefs in the fear that one event leads  to the cause of another without any physical process linking the two events.

When we grew up, Swedish tennis legend  Bjorn Borg  was a role-model known as Iceman for his steely confidence on the court, winning  5 Wimbledon and 6  French open titles.  Later learnt that, Borg would always prepare for the annual tournament by growing a beard and wearing the same Fila shirt. He is not alone as more sportspersons are believed to be superstitious. Legendary Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff used to slap his goalkeeper in the stomach before each match. Tennis ace Serena Williams alwaysbounces her ball five times before her first serve.

Heard of Nelson – a piece of cricket slang terminology and superstition.  It is score of 111 and multiples thereof known as double Nelson; triple Nelson etc., - thought to refer to Lord Nelson's lost eye, arm and leg (Nelson actually had both of his legs intact, the third missing body part is mythical) – was feared by some teams.   English  Umpire David Shepherd made popular the longstanding practice of raising a leg or legs from the ground on Nelson in an effort to avoid ill fate.  The equivalent superstitious number in Australian cricket is 87, or the "Devil's Number", thirteen shy of 100.  Some reports have it that on  11 November 2011, in a match between South Africa and Australia with the time at 11:11 with South Africa requiring 111 runs to win, the majority of the crowd and umpire Ian Gould did Shepherd's leg raise Nelson for that minute with the scoreboard reading 11:11 11/11/11.

Having a red one is also a belief.   Steve Waugh reportedly carried one,  a gift from his grandparents,  the man who was Man of the Match in Semis & Finals in 1983 WC -  Mohinder Amarnath, kept a red handkerchief with him. Sachin Tendulkar is known to put on his left pad first and is fussy about his favourite bats.  Krish Srikkanth would look towards the Sun, twirl his bat and mumble as he walked in to take guard.  He also recalled once how members of the 1983 World Cup winning squad were asked not to move from their positions when Kapil Dev was batting to glory at Turnbridgewells when he made that magnificent 175 n.o – even at home, many fans do not change their position when their favourite batsman is at the crease.  Sunil Gavaskar in an interview said that he used to wear something new at the start of every Test match. 

Over a period of time such behaviour becomes a habit and over take the mental effort.  Even animals are believed to be superstitious and resort to some peculiar behaviour regularly. 

It is not individuals but institutions also that subscribe to such beliefs !!!! – BCCI is believed to have scrapped the new T20 kit in trying to be lucky.  India is in a group alongside Afghanisthan and England and a win over Afghan would ensure their entry into next round.   DNA reports that BCCI have taken the plunge in their quest for luck –  BCCI have decided to do away with Nike’s new Twenty20 kit and continue with the colours they wore during their World Cup triumph. That probably also explains why India wore the old kit during the recent T20 match against New Zealand (which they lost). A BCCI official in the report was quoted as saying: “We’ve decided to go with the old jersey and we have communicated this to Nike.
Team India Jersey unveiled earlier

BCCI president N Srinivasan is known to be superstitious man and makes move based on vaastu.  There were reports that he had CSK’s dressing room placed in elevation to other teams; that he ordered his team to travel back to Chennai before heading for another venue, though the venue between the matches was much closer.  And even when Dhoni was ruled out of a few games after his elbow injury, his kitbag travelled with the squad.  Sure none knows what can bring luck to Men in Blue and whether they would perform in any manner else, if they are wear any other colour – but beliefs, sentiments are there entrenched in minds.  The board officials, for now seemingly have subscribed to  ‘old is gold’  and have the team in the old colours and not on the new jersey, which by itself had attracted criticism from connoisseurs for its tacky colour combination. A top board official  is quoted as stating  that  “We’ve decided to go with the old jersey and we have communicated this to Nike. The players won’t be wearing the new colours,” the official said

To most of the fans, blue or white, it is Indian win that matters

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

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