Posted by: kcgadiyar | January 24, 2011

Cricket fans and Superstitions

During the recent India-SA series, i noticed something strange, or rather i would say, i did not notice something happening. Not a single person posted any positive comments on Facebook or Twitter till the match ended. The few comments which came on Facebook were more of “Cannot believe the batting collapsed again” or things to that effect. There were no “Brilliant innings being played by Yusuf” or such comments posted by anyone on Facebook or Twitter. This puzzled me for some time, then it struck me all of a sudden. No one wanted to jinx it. In fact, one person posted “Just 30 more runs required” just before a wicker fell and he was chastised for being a jinx. In what seems to be an amazing bit of groupthink, all of India has decided to stop posting updates of an in-progress match if there is even a 10% chance of an India victory.

Watching cricket in India is as much an art as the sport itself. We know exactly where to stand in order for a six to be hit. How everyone in a group of people should be positioned to get a wicket and so on. We give Vaasthu and Feng-Shui experts an inferiority complex. The strange thing in all this is that almost everyone who does this is not superstitious in the least in their normal lives. During the last world cup, i remember poojas being conducted in order to send good tidings to the Indian team.

In my office, there is a person who is considered a bad omen for India, in case a match is getting really close, he is immediately asked to stop watching and sent back to the floor to follow the match online. I am not sure if he has ever watched any close match end. The height of the whole thing happened during a match when a person in the group decided to read the newspaper and as he picked it up, an opposition wicket fell. The poor guy was forced to watch the rest of the match with a paper open in his hands.

So why do we do this? Do we really believe that our actions influence the outcome of a game happening thousands of miles away? Based on all this, all that has to happen in order for India to win the World Cup is as follows:

– The Indian team need to show up to play the match

– Every single Indian Facebook and Twitter user must stop making complimentary or even hopeful comments regarding the days match, better yet don’t even log on to FB and Twitter through the day

– People need to stay still from overs 40-50 of the second innings of the match (sooner if the match seems to be turning into a real nailbiter)

– Don’t bite your nails even during a nailbiting finish

– Most importantly, do not visit the restroom. I know of so many matches we have lost which have been blamed on someone or the other visiting the restroom during the match.


If we follow all of the ab0ve rules, victory will be ours. Remember, pain endured due to a weird seating position is temporary, a World Cup victory which is achieved because you endured that pain lasts forever.


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