Saturday, April 28, 2007

Desi Diaspora Sports View

Hours away from the final of the Cricket world cup where Sri Lanka will try to do what India could not four years ago. It is as good a time as any to place the events in perspective. Having roots in India, Canada, Britain and the U.S my loyalties are all over the place.This, not an uncommon thing for diaspora people.

The UEFA champions league sees three English premier teams in the final four. Only Milan can spoil the whole thing for English pride this year. Well, as far teams with rosters filled with the very best of the world's football elite can be called definitively English. The British pound backed by foriegn capital can buy it's talent from anywhere.
Foreign owner ship has at least allowed more competition on top of the tables in the premier league relieving the tedium of the same two teams vying for the championships every year.

Among the contenders, in spite of the deep pockets Manchester United has a mystique that transcends their limitless bankroll. They look like the Man united of old where it was once said like a battle cry Man United never lost. They just ran out of time.

Wayne Rooney's goal in the extra time win over Milan in the first leg of their series brough
t back memories of the shocking win over Bayern Munich in 1999 UEFA Champions league final. The best finish in sport's history bar none.

I only wish a billionaire would buy Charlton Athletic, now languishing ne
ar the bottom of the table and in a dogfight to avoid relegation. My family lived on Charlton Lane when they immigrated from India. Have to support the hood.

Here in Vancouver the city is abuzz with the Vancouver Canucks' win tying their series with the Anaheim Ducks at one game apiece. Ice hockey is the one thing that Canada shamelessly and assertively plugs as part of its otherwise nebulous national identity.

The changing demographics of the country as immigration more and more sustains its growth will make it more democratic in its' choice of totems in the future. Soccer will hopefully one day known as football here as well, and other sports will catch on too.Cricket there is hope for you here.

The NBA finals have local pride involved as well. Two time NBA MVP and man of social conscience Steve Nash hails from Victoria, British Columbia. He will try to lead his squad to it's first team championship ever. So far his Phoenix Suns are playing to form ahead of the ever self absorbed Kobe Bryant's Lakers in the first series.

Meanwhile back to cricket. India's early departure has left this year's World Cup ringing more than a little hollow. Putting aside national pride
there is simply no replacing the energy of the collective expectant wishes of a billion people. In this years over 2 month long, poorly staged Cup the mourning period has gone on far too long. We need closure.

Hopefully Murali can extend his birthday celebrations right through the weekend as he, Jayasuriya and company help beat the Aussies down . I have relatives in Australia but that won't stop me for cheering for the Lankans. I guess it's a bro thing.

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