Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Bleed blue, I and Cricket.

To write something about this World cup victory at the winning moment would just be an expression of draught quench, 28 years for India and 21 years for me! I remember the first time I was introduced to Cricket matches on the television. Way back in 1991 and Sachin was already playing for India. I had a plaster of paris bat, more locally known as the mavu bat. It was gifted to me by preriamma during my various visits to Trichy and I used to beat the ball around, more like playing hockey!  Our black and white Solidare telivision used to be the big screen, turning our living room into the pavilion and Dad and Mom would eagerly wait for Krish Srikanth to play, since back then, he was India´s Shewag. Ravi Shastri and Kapil Dev used to be most referred names. And for me, as a young kid, Sachin and Vinod Kambli used to be heroes, since they too were very young looking in the team. Wearing the most comfortable dress for the Indian summer (just the underwear!), I used to stand in front of the television with my bat and copy the strokes that the batsmen used to play.

And like every kid's dream, I wanted to play cricket all the time. In school, in the streets, in the terrace and even in the corridors. Countless days and nights have been spent in the pure joy of playing this game. The underarm Cricket, Cricket at school with balls made of paper and cycle tube wound around it and text books with hard bound used to be the bat. I remember that during this time, my Science text book used to be my favorite for this purpose and perhaps this is why I am now a scientist!! Sports time (P.T) during school never allowed us to play Cricket and every time we had to request and cajole our physical trainer to allow us to play cricket! Well, the school had their own reasons, like to promote interest in other sports and to minimize damage done to the school property! Nevertheless, we used to play our own version of the book cricket during recess and sometimes even when the lectures were going on. Even book cricket would bring so much of satisfaction to us.

The moment I was back from school, in spite of the scorching sun, I would meet up with friends in the apartment and we used to play cricket in the terrace until the ball was lost or until it was bad light or until all our mothers used to drag us home by the ears to do home work. And on really hot weekends, cricket used to be played with a plastic ball in the corridor! After tired game, rest for us meant to play with cricket trump cards or sit down and discuss about the recent matches. 

Then came college and cricket was now even more and a serious part of life. By now we had matured more in following the game. I was not too good in playing cricket, but it seldom mattered. After all passion has many forms! It included bunking boring lectures at college and play cricket near the hostel! 

Indian cricket has gone through various transformations and yesterday's victory voices hard work, discipline and determination. There were times when when Sachin would be out, the Indian batting order would collapse like dominoes. The master has stood alone on so many victorious occasion and has been the lone fighter in desperate situations. Then came the match fixing controversy that wiped clean, players like Azhar, Mongia and Jadega. For long, Javagal Srinath stood as the lone epitome of bowling discipline and then was a time when Indian team was at its aggressive best, Saurav Ganguly. And there was a time when the Indian team lacked the young propellers to move forward and when the journalists were screaming for Sachin to retire and give place for youngsters. From all these controversies and misdirected anger, rose this team. First the team which won the T20 World cup and the team which won yesterday. A team balanced between the adrenaline and serotonin, to provide the thrust and to provide the calm and the point of balance still originating from the master himself.

The sail to lifting this cup has not been smooth either. A hyper energetic start and yet not a convincing victory against Bangladesh, a fantastic performance against England but an immediate lack of attitude during the chase, wrong decisions against SA, bounce back of bowling against WI, the real test of character against Aussies, exhibition of ultimate control under pressure against Paki and then, finally, the calm, composed and asserting victory to lift the World cup. 

I feel proud to have lived when the legends lived/live. M.S.Subbulakshmi, Rajnikanth and Sachin Tendulkar!
Go Hindustan!