27 July, 2021

Fall From Eden

Calcutta struggles to come to terms with a nightmare that has mauled its reputation

Fall From Eden

The India-Sri Lanka encounter, a game of cricket that got charred beyond recognition under the powerful Eden Gardens floodlights last week, is now history, as is the controversy-ridden Wills World Cup, but Calcutta's grim battle with itself is far from over. In fact, the war may have just begun. Coming to terms with the nightmare that unfolded without warning on the evening of Wednesday the 13th and mauled the image of the city's sports-crazy populace will not be easy, especially in the light of the worldwide condemnation that the hooliganism of a minuscule section of the gigantic gathering has understandably provoked.

True lovers of cricket in the city are squirming as uncomfortable questions fly thick and fast. Are we, like the surly Pakistanis, a nation of bad losers? Is Calcutta unfit to be the premier cricketing centre its citizens and numerous former and present cricketers make it out to be? Are we witnessing the rise of indigenous equivalents of Britain's lager louts, the dreaded soccer hooligans, and in cricket at that? Who were the undesirable elements who...

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