The World Cup fever is not restricted to ordinary cricket fans living in the competing nations. It has claimed many high-profile victims who are living in countries unconcerned with the event. CEO of internet giant Sundar Pichai has also given vent to the passionate cricket fan within him that has survived his long stay in USA, and jumped into the fray of making prediction about the ongoing event in England.
The 46-year old self-confessed cricket fan, unsurprisingly, chose India as one of the finalists in his prediction and gave England, the hosts, the other spot. His analysis is not very different from most other fans who consider the home side and the men in blue to be the two toughest teams in the tournament.
India have started the World Cuplwith a bang, winning their first two matches – one against South Africa and the other against Australia – while the English team suffered a setback when they lost to Pakistan in their second contest before bouncing back with a morale-boosting, dominant victory over Bangladesh.
In Washington for a special event, the India Ideas Summit organised by UBISC, Pichai was asked a question by another prominent figure in the business world, of Indian extraction, Nisha Desai Biswal. The latter wanted to know which two teams, the Google CEO fancies seeing in the final to be played at Lord's on July 14.
His response was a measured one and didn't fail to notice the other important players in the event who have a chance. "It (World Cup final) should be (played between) England and India. But, you know, Australia and New Zealand, these are all very, very good teams," was the diplomatic answer proffered by the chief of Internet's most famous search engine-running company.
Talking about his love for the game and how it has remained undiminished despite a prolonged stay in the USA, he gave a long replay, detailing the various factors that keep him loyal to the sport. "When I first came here, I tried to kind of adapt to baseball. I have to say it was a bit challenging. In my first game, I was proud because I hit the ball on the back. It's a really good shot in cricket. I was like, well look, what I did. But people didn't appreciate it. In cricket when you run, you always take your bat with you. So I also ran between base with my bat as well. So eventually, I realised baseball was a bit difficult. I can adjust on many things, but I'm going to stick to cricket. There is a cricket World Cup going on. It's a wonderful tournament... rooting for India to do well. But there's a lot at stake here," he concluded by saying. .