You somehow miss the anticipation that a Cricket World Cup when you aren’t in a country that is a serious contender. I experienced a similar feeling when the Football World Cup came around last year. But then, Houston has a sizeable immigrant population from countries playing in the World Cup. And oh boy, do a lot of countries play football. This is the World Cup that will be Sachin’s last. Probably even so for Saurav and Dravid. I hadn’t quite caught on the cricket buzz until I spoke to my brother today morning. He mentioned Australia’s chances weren’t good and just that fact throws the entire tournament open, right?

Most of the hype and buzz is created by before-the-Cup advertisements on TV. But then, this is the age of YouTube and you can relive any moment. I saw the much-talked about Nike ad first on Rashmi’s Youth Curry. Watch it first:

Incidentally, this is the first Nike ad featuring cricket and frankly, I was surprised they waited this long to tap the growing Indian market. They rank third after Reebok & Adidas and I presume they are looking to correct that this cricket season. In fact, Rashmi also mentioned that Nike paid a whopping Rs. 196 crores for becoming the official apparel sponsor for Team India. The official team jersey is a typical Nike product:

“The jersey is made from Dri-FIT fabric, a Nike patented technology, which reduces cling and enables the skin to breathe better. The fabric is designed to dry sweat, which leads to better moisture management and is extremely light, so that the player isn’t carrying additional weight that may hamper performance” [source]

All hi-tech and all, huh? The players now cannot blame their clothing for the failure to stop that damn boundary; not that they ever did. The above ad features only two star cricketers – Zaheer Khan and S Sreesanth but they are shown as onlookers to the exciting game played in crowded streets and atop vehicle rooftops of a typical Indian town. The music (Konkani) and visuals are awesome and actually atypical of a sports ad. Truly, the real cricket in India especially Bombay is played in the streets and this ad embodies that spirit. The line – ‘Balcony, ball dena’ – that kicks off the mayhem of cricket is so Bombay. However, the best part of the ad was a solitary freeze when the famed Nike logo appears. Surprisingly, the entire ad was shot on a set at Karjat, a town between Bombay and Pune. Truly, Nike did it [source.]