September 2002: Glorious Indian Summer at Headingly!
by Elizabeth Menon
Glorious Indian Summer at Headingly! “Congratulations to Sourav Ganguly and his golden boys” -- it was breathtaking, to say the least. I was glued to the television and I am sure most of you were too! ‘‘628 declared’’, was nothing short of magic, for Indians anywhere in the world. When Sourav Ganguly caught the last ball on that beautiful Monday afternoon, that was a captain’s catch in style, to clinch the win, his fourth as captain and India’s 18th victory abroad. India won by one innings and 46 runs in hand, a definite reply to all the critics. Rahul Dravid was man of the match, as he was surely the one who paved the way to an Indian victory. Anil Kumble and harbhajan singh took a total of 11 wickets and it was Sachin’s best ever batting abroad, with his 193 runs, breaking a record too in the bargain!
The players showed courage and inner strength by winning the test, though they were put under great pressure before the game at Headingly, by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the ‘Players Terms’ for the ICC Champions Trophy next month in Sri Lanka. Signing the contract would have prevented the players from endorsing products, for a month before and after the tournament. One should remember here that Indian players are among the lowest paid in the world and BCCI, among the richest! Other countries have assured their players of a percentage of the sponsorship money and no such guarantee for the Indian players. However, in the interest of the game, Ravi Shastri, the official spokesperson for the Indian Team has announced on Tuesday that the players have decided to back off for 18 days, during the ICC Championship Trophy next Month.
If we win the test at the Oval, it’ll be the first victory abroad since 1986; one has to focus for a victory here of course. Let’s wish for a win at the Oval.