Bangalore: All sports constantly hark back to a past that glows brighter with every passing year, with the added bonus that some of the less wholesome characteristics associated with that period disappear. Nostalgia ensures the reverse of the Caesar Effect - it is the evil that is oft interred with the bones. But it also ensures that when a team is down, there is a mental craning of the neck to see the days ahead when the world rights itself and favourite teams get back on top.
So it was with Brazil in soccer in the post-Pele years, when the country went without winning the World Cup for 24 years. A whole generation of football lovers around the world might have forgotten or not been aware of Brazil's years of glory, yet in that wonderful way fact, fantasy and romance merge in sport, it had worked out that Brazil winning was a good thing.
Likewise with the West Indies - a 'country' that exists only on a cricket field - and cricket. Every departure from depressing normalcy is seen as a sign of great things to come. After they won the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, reams were written about the resurrection of cricket in the West Indies. Analysis has been replaced by wishful thinking. Twenty20 today, the Test world tomorrow? Perhaps with a brief detour to win the 50-over World Cup?