Symbolic Animals of Cricketing Nations

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Both Puncha and Panchi are finishing their homework early these days and sit glued to their TV to watch cricket matches. They’ve enjoyed seeing the tournament’s mascot Stumpy and also are curious about the symbolic animals of the cricket teams…

Both Puncha and Panchi are a little saddened as Sri Lanka lost their game against Pakistan. At the last
stages, their interest in the match faded away. “The Lions are down, but they will meet the Kangaroos in the next match,” said their favourite commentator Tony Greig. Panchi knew that Tony had referred to the
Sri Lankans as Lions, but couldn’t remember who the Kangaroos are.

“They are dressed in yellow.. Became world cup champions several times..” Puncha teased his sister.“Hmm.. They are … are.. I KNOW.. I KNOW.. Kangaroos are AUSTRALIANS..!!” Panchi shouted. Both Puncha and Seeya nodded. “But Seeya why are Australians called Kangaroos..?” is Panchi’s question.“It is because there are lots of Kangaroos in Australia,” said Puncha.

“Yes, Kangaroos can be found only in Australia, hence they uniquely symbolize Australia,” explained Seeya. “There are some other countries too that have animals as their symbols. Can you remember..?” asked Seeya.

Hmm.. I know.. I know… Puncha shouted. “Tony calls New Zealanders, Kiwis.” “Kiwi.. – is it an
animal similar to the Kangaroo Seeya..?” asked Panchi “Well, it is infact a bird.. To be exact, one of the flightless birds that live only in New Zealand. It is their national bird too,” explained Seeya. “The Kiwi has its nose at the tip of its beak and has a good sense of smell,” Puncha told his little
sister, what he had seen on the Discovery Channel recently. He ran to his room and brought a book to show his sister what Kiwis look like.

“I’ve seen somebody dressed as a tiger. Is he an Indian, Seeya?” Puncha was not sure.
“Well, Bengal Tigers live in India too, but Bangladesh use the tiger symbol in their cricket. However the tiger is the national animal of both these countries,” revealed Seeya.

“But we do not have lions now in Sri Lanka Seeya, even though we are called Lions..?” Puncha too has a question. “Yes, there are no lions now in our forests, but it is believed that there were lions in
Sri Lanka a long time back. Besides the legends say the Sinhalese are having origins from lions.”

“Seeya.. Seeya.. There is another animal these days. You have all forgotten my friend Stumpy..!!” yelled Panchi. “Yes, Stumpy is the little chubby jumbo mascot of this Cricket World Cup 2011. But unlike the lions, we are lucky to still have Stumpy’s wild relatives in our forests.

“Stumpy is so cute, Seeya,” Panchi loves her friend. “Yes the baby elephants all are lovely to watch.
But they are also having big problems in their living areas.”“We all should protect Stumpy’s relatives.

The Stumpy Story!

The ICC Cricket World Cup mascot ‘Stumpy’, a light-blue elephant, is set to win millions of hearts with his intelligence and ageless appeal. Of all the mascots of sports events, over the last two decades, stumpy clearly is one of the most adorable.

Stumpy was unveiled at a function in Colombo on 2 April 2010 and ever since become the official symbol of the Cricket World Cup 2011. The official name of the mascot was released on Monday, 2 August 2010 after an online competition conducted by the International Cricket Council.

The Stumpy is designed and masterminded by Christoph Kaul. A light blue elephant, its colour has also been chosen keeping the men in blue in mind, yet again driving home the point that while the ICC Cricket World Cup is being hosted by three sub-continental nations, India continue to be the cynosure of all attention according to ESPN Sports. It is important to state here, though, that stumpy was initially visualized as green in colour. But soon enough stumpy turned blue, in an attempt to take a place among the men in blue.

The designer of the Mascot says, the Stumpy has evolved in five stages. He is intelligent, efficient and lovable, a combination that took considerable time to mastermind. Even his trunk is different from a traditional elephant’s trunk and is modeled on the Indian elephant God, Ganesh. Since Stumpy is an Asian Elephant this also reminds us about the adorable elephants in our jungles.

Published on FundayTimes – the Kids Section of SundayTimes on 06.03.2011 http://www.sundaytimes.lk/110306/FunDay/fut_05.html

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