PTSD and the Millennial Experience: My Story from 2003

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Australia has beaten India in a World Cup final again. This time it’s a refresher course for young fans on how to deal with it. The year was 2003, and India lost to Australia in the World Cup final. For many cricket fans, this was their first heartbreak. Now, in 2023, India entered the final again, undefeated, but many young fans were still tentative due to the spectre of Australian dominance in finals. Australian dominance in previous World Cup finals has haunted millennial Indian cricket fans. Many Indian cricket fans born after 2000 saw the Aussies on the decline. Their first tryst with cricket occurred when an MS Dhoni-led Indian team was on the ascendency. They took Team India’s domination as a sign of a new cricketing dynasty but were still apprehensive. On November 19, Australia showed why. The Australian bowlers turned back the clocks to be the world’s best bowling attack, and their fielding was reminiscent of Jonty Rhodes and Ricky Ponting. By the end of the drubbing, the crowd showed two sets of fans: the young fans looked heartbroken, and the older fans, on the wrong side of 30, looked sad but almost ready to move on. It won’t get easier, and the wounds of 2003 are yet to heal. This won’t be the last loss at the hands of the Aussies, and their sporting DNA means they will reach many more finals and inevitably win a few. Maybe, Indian cricket fans can learn something from them on how to approach these big games.