One of the hardest things as a sports team fan is seeing your favorite athletes cry as their dreams slip away with every passing second in front of the entire world. It is the worst feeling in the world because 1) you are shattered at seeing your dream get crushed bit by bit, and you sit there helpless hoping for everything to end, and 2) the heart breaks into a million pieces when you see your players fall short at the final hurdle despite giving their all.
On November 19, 2023, the great Indian heartbreak was played out in front of the entire world, which ended in tears and immense agony. It was supposed to be the crowning moment of the best team of the competition in front of 100,000+ adoring fans; a fitting culmination to a decade of heartbreaks.
But, what eventually played out, was the collective sadness of a billion fans at the worst possible occasion, leaving the entire nation, but, most importantly, those 11 players shattered and broken.
India in ICC World Cup 2023
-Played 11, Won 10, Lost 1
-2nd team to win 10 games in a row in a single event
Sports can be pretty cruel, and the Indian team is a perfect example to illustrate this. Over the last 2 months, starting from the Asia Cup, this group of men played at a level that has not only left their supporters in awe but also their bitter rivals.
It is an extremely bitter pill to swallow because we as fans who follow this team year-on-year basis know the amount of hard work it takes in reaching the point where they could lay claim to being one of the leading contenders of the showpiece event. The realization that some of these champions will end up with 0 World Cup titles is heartbreaking.
However, whether we like it or not, this is just a reflection of life; a reminder that sometimes even your best efforts aren't good enough on the day, and all you can do is applaud the opposition.
A message from our Bharat Army Founder Rakesh Patel:
“I much like many of you will be absolutely broken this morning but I’m incredibly proud of the team and our fans this #CWC23 - we gave it everything on and off the pitch, but it just wasn’t meant to be.
Congratulations to @/cricket.com.au who played like champions when it mattered the most.
Thank you to @bcci who did everything to accommodate all our requests. Your support for The Bharat Army meant so much.
Finally, to all our #BAFamily members, it was an incredible journey where we made some wonderful memories together again.
Winning and losing doesn’t define us, our continued commitment, dedication and support for the team does.
See you in the stands soon…”
A single bad day cannot define this Team India
Ultimately, it was not to be for the Men in Blue as their ruthless juggernaut ran into a determined Australian team in the summit clash this past Sunday.
A campaign that, until November 18, looked like the stuff of dreams, has now turned into a scar, however it would be unfair to paint this entire campaign on the basis of just one day.
Yes, that one day is the one that mattered the most, and history will only remember that it was the Pat Cummins-led unit which was crowned World Champions on November 19th, 2023, but as fans, who have witnessed so many great moments from our Men in Blue in these past 7 weeks, we at the Bharat Army, feel that its important to recognize the efforts and hard work put in by our players to give us cherished moments that will last for a lifetime.
The Men in Blue will forever be etched in our hearts, their valiant efforts and unwavering spirit etched in the annals of cricketing history. How can we forget the indomitable spirit of Virat Kohli, whose every stroke was a testament to his unwavering determination? How can we forget the fiery spells of Jasprit Bumrah, the tireless pursuit of Mohammed Shami, the cunning spin duo of Jadeja-Kuldeep, or the composed contributions of KL Rahul behind the wicket and with the bat? How can we forget the audacious strokeplay of Rohit Sharma, the authoritative batting of Shreyas Iyer against spinners, or the relentless dismantling of each opposition en route to the final?
The sting of the final defeat may linger, casting a shadow over the glorious moments of the past seven weeks. Each triumph, each moment of brilliance, will forever be intertwined with the heartache of that fateful day.
But such is the nature of life, a tapestry woven with threads of joy and sorrow.
Yes, we lick our wounds, but not in despair. We do so with the knowledge that we witnessed a team of unwavering spirit, a team destined for glory. And we, the Bharat Army, will stand with them, roaring our support with every swing of the bat and every wicket taken, until the day those scars of the past are replaced with the golden hue of victory. Until the day our champions raise the cup, bathed in the glory they so richly deserve.