Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cricket And Superstition

I am usually not a superstitious person. Usually. And we Bengalis have a lot of strange superstitions. For example, do you know you are not supposed to cut your nails after Maghreb (evening)? Now I don't know what led to this rule (probably in ancient times light in evening was precious and you did not waste it cutting nails, also nailcutters were not there so you could cut yourself in bad light - my theory). One of my aunts told me if you cut your nails at night you won't be rich. See, I don't believe in that kind of stuff - but I still cut my nails in the morning on the weekend. I mean, why risk it?

However, when it comes to cricket, superstition takes a whole new meaning. During the 1999 World Cup, Bangladesh vs Pakistan, every time I would check Cricinfo for the scores and keep the live score window running, Bangladesh would lose a wicket. When I closed the browser window we would do good. I was convinced it was my browser that was costing Bangladesh wickets. So I walked away from the computer and checked the scores after the game. It worked - we won.

Similarly, during India's tour of Pakistan, when Pakistan nearly chased down 350, I was watching with a few friends. One Indian was amongst them - he was pacing. I told him in jest that every time he sat down Pakistan would hit a four. At first it was funny, then it became eerily true. He never sat down. In the final over he went out of the room to pace in the next hall. It seems to have worked, as India won by 5 runs.

Currently Bangladesh and Australia are engaged in a good dogfight of a match. This is the number 1 team against the number 10 team, or as BBC never tires of reminding their viewers endlessly - the worst Test team. To have had the Aussies down on the mat for two days was amazing in itself. All across my MSN, people had various ways to affect the outcome of the match.

I am convinced if I open Cricinfo in Firefox Bangladesh will do well, but if I open it in IE they won't. Another friend warned me not to post anything on the blog about the game lest we jinx it. Another friend of mine was changing his MSN nick to reflect the scores. Last night, when Bangladesh was on 41/0, he had 'BD kicks Oz A**' - and then we started to collapse. We all messaged him to immediately change his nick back - never count your chickens and all that.

Then, religion is never behind from entering the mix.

During last World Cup final, India vs Australia, a friend's mother had promised Allah she would pray 10 rakats nafil if India won. When Australia scored near 350, then it became 10 rakats if there was rain. When there was rain, and India still lost, she was in a dilemma - pray or not - because by rain she had meant game abandoned, but she said rain. In the end, she prayed.

And that's what we all are doing now. Hoping, praying, and closing browser windows (IE only). C'mon Tigers!



Zainub said...


Here's hoping your blog post turns out to be a really good omen and Bangladesh win.

Go Tigers!

Anonymous said...

IF you win you have to take all your friends and go celebrate in the bengali area of toronto like the greeks did. Don't like the Greeks but I'll enjoy this one...

Anonymous said...

No your friend didn't cause us to collapse. I did - when I started to watch it on CBN. :-P If I miss the morning session BD will do well.

- Tahmid.

Anonymous said...

You know its so true. Whenever I watch a Leafs game on TV, they tend to Lose and when I am not watching, they win. I sometimes think to myself, Am I a bad omen for the leafs hockey team? :P

But its the other way round for the Raptors basketball...

Its all in the head..Psychology rulez the mind and the body in this case.

- Behbood

Crimson Mouzi said...

ok we really want BD to win. ANd for that, I decided not to look at Cricinfo the whole night and I will rather sleep (if I can). But wait, the whole time I wa keeping track of the score, Gilchrist was going crazy hitting fours. And whenever I dug nose in the book (for the exam), there was a maiden over, or AWESOME wickets. So, maybe I should be reading but still sitting in front of the computer.
But seriously, let's just NOT pay attention to CRICINFO until tomorrow morning, and see how things go! Afterall it's a 5 day match, (if it lasts that long that is) so we can see the 5th day, but let's not ruin the crucial day! (I am serious...NOT)

Em said...

had a good laugh at your friend's mum's antics :)

*rolling eyes* at the creative causality inferences some of you have drawn. tut-tut, you all!

BTW, for those unaware, TigerCricket is often marginally more real-time than CricInfo...

*sob* WHY did Gilchrist have to end Shahriar's bid to be the man of the match?

Have faith, people... Pilot and Rafique Bhai can still rack up a lead, Insha Allah... Oh, and did you know there're potential T-storms predicted for the afternoon? Benevolent (yet specific enough so as to preclude the aunty's fate) du'as everyone! Amra korbo joi, Insha Allah!!

al Furqaan said...

bangladesh khela jitbe!!!

we need about 70 more runs and the game is ours...none has chased more than 326 to win a test.

4th innings subcontinet...it will be tough for OZ

Crimson Mouzi said...

yes dude! 70 runs will be enough. But the problem holo Bangladesh onek khela dekhay! Next 20 run-er modhdhe 5ta wicket pore jete pare!!! Amra ebhabei kheli. Duck marle shobai duck mare nahole atleast 3 ta half century kore! Doshe mile kori kaaj, hari jiti nahi laaj!
Idaning mone hochche Bangladesh er bowling is better than the batting. And yeah top order batsman der aro responsible hote hobe! I mean 5 ta wicket pore kemne 124 run er modhdhe??? ARGH!
Shooo. I actually can't wait till the game starts... lol

mezba said...

Hi all.

Just waiting for the game to start. Firefox fired up. Lets hope we get those 100 runs (and more)!

Crimson Mouzi said...

ami thik bujhlamna! Cricinfo just khullam, oh wow! 147/9!
All right, good night y'all. I guess we can't expect much from them for now! :'(

Em said...

*sob* "Faitta jai, bukta faitta jai"... baghera shei khela-i dekhalo. gorjon to dure thak, ekta meow porjonto ber korlo na.

Mone hoi brishti lagbe ebar, tufan!! Allah megh de, pani de... Du'ar prohor ekhono peroi ni kintu.

mezba said...

C'mon guys, we must keep the faith. Ahem, there is still the matter of 95 runs to go. In first innings, we took 95 runs for 6 top order wickets. Now we need 6 tail ender wickets. As soon as Ponting and Gilchrist goes, my friends, we have won the game.

*Sob* *sob* *sob*

Atleast now I know how it feels for supporters to have your team lose a game from a winning situation.

*gentle dig at fellow South Asians*
How did you guys manage it for so long?

Crimson Mouzi said...

Br. Mezba,

I am GLAD to see your optimism! But LET'S GET REAL, we ain't winning nothing! That's all wishful thinking for now. Gilchrist and Ponting are enough to take 95 runs all by themselves. I should stop saying it. A few comments above I think I was the one who said BD can lose 5 wickets in 20 runs, and that's what happened.

You may delete this comment lest what I say comes true too!


Angry Tigeress!

Crimson Mouzi said...

were you using IE to keep track of the score on Cricinfo, last night?