Champagne is a part of sports. Maybe not before or during a game, but definitely afterwards as it has long been a symbol of celebration. Following the conclusion of the five-match Test series between England and India, both sides were presented with bottles of champagne along with any monetary winnings.
Despite the 1-3 loss to England, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was awarded with the Man of the Series award. Along with the award was of course a bottle of champagne. Kumar may be 23 years old, but the young star is still a kid – at least to his father.
“I watched the presentation ceremony after the Test match on Sunday,” said Kiran Pal Singh, Kumar’s father. “The huge-margin defeats (in the series) hurt more than Bhuvi winning the MoS award. My son is a teetotaler and don’t know what he would do with this bottle. Bhuvi does not smoke, or even touches a glass of wine. I don’t think this practice of gifting champagne bottles exist in other countries. It should be stopped.”
Some may think Singh is being just an overprotective father, and rightfully so. Kumar’s sister Rekha understands where her father is coming from, but acknowledges that Bhuvi is mature enough to make these types of decisions on his own.
“Yes, till now, Kumar has not touched the wine bottle,” Rekha explained. “But my brother is matured enough now and will take his own decision on this champagne bottle. Whether to gift it to the team or keep it as an honour in the cupboard will be his own decision.”
The loss to England may have been part of the frustration for Kumar’s family as the the same types of bottles were presented to the Indian national team following the 2011 World Cup victory.
“The champagne bottles are supplied by sponsors,” said Colin Gibson, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s Media Director. “It is traditional in many countries not just England. Champagne is also celebratory in other sports such as motor racing. This has been a practice in Australia, South Africa, West Indies, New Zealand and at some ICC events. In India there is sometimes something like a motor cycle from the sponsors which is not likely in England.”