13) Because we will not have to sit through one more rerun of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy‘s mushy mind-and-body heart-and-soul ditty for Visa. Or drink another frightful bottle of Pepsi gold. Or wear that silly blue band.
12) Because the Heroes of ’83—Kapil and Mohinder and Kirmani and Srikkanth and Yashpal and even Sunil Valson—will get another chance to play the devils who could do no wrong in 2011.
11) Because we can objectively judge how good Fit-Kit, Orient PSPO, Anchor switches, HP Power and all the wondrous products endorsed by our stars are without their stardom influencing our decision-making.
10) Because we now get time to memorise the names of the top-six Ireland batsmen because they will get six—yes, six—more chances than the “world’s strongest batting lineup” to walk out to the middle.
9) Because Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra and the rest of Bollywood won’t have to mouth silly good luck messages, and they can resume wishing themselves and their movies good luck.
8) Because we won’t have to take part in any more milk-them-when-we-can signature or SMS campaigns, and we can all get back to the country’s national sport: forwarding jokes.
7) Because Mandira Bedi will now get some time to take care of whatever it is that is causing her to look the way she is looking. If it means Botox, so be it, bring the Mandira of 2003 back before the Super Eight begins.
6) Because the high-fliers who have been sent by their companies to warm the corporate boxes can come back early and start working on making the fourth-quarter results look better.
5) Because Rajdeep Sardesai‘s CNN-IBN can stop being the Official Channel of the Indian Fan and try to be what it should be: an objective news channel which has a sense of balance and priority. Sorry, or was that NDTV?
4) Because K. Srikkanth and Navjot Sidhu and Ajay Jadeja and Surinder Khanna and Nayan Mongia and Madan Lal can go back to their wives (and check their bank balances) this side of midnight.
3) Because we can now enjoy the cricket the way it should be—cheering for those who do well, marvelling at how they do it—without being breathlessly asked by some imbecile every few minutes, ‘Sachin kitna maara?’
2) Because we can tuck our India Shining/ India Rising crap in our suitcases for another four years and get back to being what we really are: coasters who don’t have the same high expectations from anybody else, least of all ourselves.
1) Because we can now understand at great leisure that there are more countries than ours which play the greatest game in the solar system. And that the richest cricket body doesn’t necessarily have to produce the best cricket team.