It’s not just cricket fans in India who are mourning the team’s World Cup demise. The country’s army of backstreet barbers and high-class salon stylists are also in a state of shock after seeing a lucrative sideline dry up as soon as Rahul Dravid’s men made their early exit in the Caribbean.
On the eve of the World Cup, fans flocked to have their hair dyed in the colours of the Indian flag while others boasted curls which had been encouraged to imitate the trophy itself.
Some opted for a style in the manner of wicketkeeper MS Dhoni who may be thinking of a new look himself to disguise a campaign which was so poor that his house was attacked by irate fans. “I have had a cut showing India’s map, Ganguly batting, a bat and ball and a pitch with two stumps,” one fan in Mumbai, Bhola Sardar, said before the tournament turned sour.
In a cricket-crazy country like India, hairstyles attract as much discussion as a forward defensive. Harbhajan Singh came under fire when he appeared in an advertisement with his hair uncovered.
Virender Sehwag has seen his receding hairline debated while Dhoni once went for a haircut near his Ranchi home and such was the clamour to see him that police were called to protect the player. With India gone, it’s Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga’s turn in the spotlight with his bleached-blond hairstyle proving as photo-friendly as his curious low-slung round-arm action.