“I go for cricket World Cup matches primarily to watch the game. What happens afterwards is a bonus and that bonus is the cultural carnival that normally follows a match. But, in India, every short format of the game India plays, is a festival. As an Indian, there is no extra shine in the World Cup glitter,” opines Prashant Joshi, one of the foremost individuals that worked for Goa’s inclusion in the Ranji Trophy.
Prashant Joshi, who is the Honorary Consul of South Korea in India, was at the helm of cricket administration in the eighties and was appointed as observer by the Board Of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for four World Cup matches co hosted by India in 1987. In 2003, he attended his first World Cup as a fan in South Africa.
“I have not yet planned of going to England. It is an opportunity that comes in four years and if I have the time , I may decide to go and join the party. If I feel I should go, I will go,” says Prashant when asked of his plans for the coming World Cup in England and Wales.
“I think the ambience in India for the World Cup in 1987 was better than in South Africa. The crowds in India are big. We are a big country and that makes it better. The more the crowd, the better it is and that is why any short format of the game in India is like or at times better than a World Cup,” explains Prashant.
“There were two things I remember about the World Cup in South Africa- the first was the manner in which a guy used to come around with a beer can tied around his back with glasses to sell beer to everyone. It was something novel for me because something like that cannot happen in India. It added to the charm of the atmosphere. The other thing I remember was the different types of people I met in South Africa. Vijay Mallya was one of those present for one of the matches and the camaraderie was so pleasant,” reminiscences Prashant.
“I normally go for a World Cup because of my love for the game and to support India. The interactions after a game make it all the more exciting. Attending a World Cup is an experience of learning with fun,” admits Prashant.
“I was sent to a boarding school out of Goa when I was young and in that school we had to play all games. It is in this school that I started liking cricket and took up the sport. There is no doubt that football is the game of Goa. But there are quite a few of us Goans who enjoy cricket more,” says Prashant , explaining his love for cricket over football.
“I think to be a cricket star one has to work much more than in football because in cricket it is one man facing eleven. The challenges are tougher and never has it taken longer to shine. Unlike in football which is more of a team game. Cricket requires much more concentration and hard work compared to football,” thinks Prashant.
“I want India to win every World Cup. The moment India loses I pick the next best team in line. But from amongst the other teams, West Indies is one team I like a lot because they are not just talented but like Indian players, they come up the hard way. Cricket, in many ways, runs the West Indies economy ,” says Prashant, enumerating on his favourite for the World Cup.
“The best team will win the World Cup,” concludes Prashant.