Sunday, March 12, 2006

1999.... Rest In Peace

1999 - Steve Waugh hits a ball to Herschelle Gibbs in a Super Six match with the Aussies up against the wall and he drops the catch. "You just dropped the World Cup, son..." says Waugh to Gibbs. The Aussies go on to win the World Cup of 1999 after tieing with South Africa in a nail-biting semi-final, but winning on the basis of that win in the Super Six match. And history condemns Herschelle Gibbs to be the man who dropped the World Cup.

Circa 2006
5th ODI of the Standard Bank ODI Series
Australia (50 overs) - 434/4.
South Africa (49.5 overs) - 438/9.
South Africa win by 1 wicket with 1 ball to spare.
South Africa win the series 3-2.

The man of match from South Africa's perspective is Herschelle Gibbs who scores 175 off 111 balls to seal the victory... A condemned man returns 7 years later to redeem his name in annals of cricketing history.

Herschelle Gibbs has played many a match-winning innings since 1999... The South Africans have gone through great upheavals(The match fixing scandal, the death of Hansie Cronje, though flawed, still a hero for me, poor performances, another heart break in the 2003 World Cup through a wrong understanding of the D/L method)

But this match is important for me, not because of the world record scores, not because of the entertainment, not because the Aussie invincibility lies in serious question... Its because after 7 years, one man was given a chance by GOD to come back to life... And he took it without a trace of bitterness over the cruel hands that fate dealt him in the past... The smile on his face at the end of the match said it all...

It may seem trivial that one match causes so many emotions to flow, but somehow you need to lose and feel the pain of such loss to know how much such wins mean...

All through the match, I was just praying(which usually happens only during a match and exams) that GOD, be kind to SA... Let them win this... And by God's grace, they did... thereby shedding the tag of chokers forever... And Herschelle Gibbs might be still known as the man who dropped the World Cup 1999, but now there will be a footnote sayin: He dared to dream. And he dared to let his talent make his country win a match that was never theirs to win in the first place.

Never question the heart of a champion...

1999... Rest In Peace

6 comments:

Ships said...

U have said it all... it was a delight watching SA win..."you need to lose and feel the pain of such loss to know how much such wins mean..." How apt indeed!

PRITZ ! said...

u know something..there is something called "Patience". And it truly has paid off ! No matter what,both have the teams have scars on their ODI stats! SA for let going the World Cup from their hands..and Australia,well...though it was just a tournament and not a World Cup,they too have that big scar!A Scar of being termed as a "Losing Team" despite of making 434!Hats off to Gibbs.And also the same thing happened I guess...Gibbs was dropped earlier,and he went on to make 175!So,inshort,a sweet revenge,and tit for tat!

Anshum said...

Life gives u a second chance....Thats something to remember....

Never question the heart of a champion...
Thats the line for me...!!!

Nima said...

Yeah..even I thought abt the 99-Gibbs thing when I heard abt SA's victory in this match..and your post reflects my thoughts exactly..
You write nicely btw...keep it up!
:)

Anonymous said...

claps claps claps........ for you... i am a writer myself... i never knew great blogging until i read this one...

the line that stole my heart is "Never question the heart of a champion..."

and yeah... " An Ode To The Human Spirit" is one of the greatest human stirring i have ever read... Andrea Bocelli had said it all for me when i had first read it... u have said it all again... beautifully....

God bless you

Maverick said...

thank you.