03 April, 2011

Eulogy to the resurgence of cricket

When there's so much happening around for the last one day in India, and all of it being about cricket, the portion of a cricketer and a Cricket fan embedded in most Indians does seek some means of expression. For some the means of expression is an exaggerated display of admiration, and as I am intending to keep this post positive will save the abuse to that plethora of fanatics for a post in future.
I intend to express it by reminiscing about cricket in all my years until now.

Like all the kids who grow up in India, one childhood passion that clung on to me as well was to obsessively watch and play Cricket. The great tensions of watching a match and the intense ball by ball discussions in school over the next days went on until the 2003 World Cup.
At this point a personal anecdote about this particular match is worth to be put on record.
In 2003, I was studying in Class X and we had the board exams scheduled within a day after the final match between India and Australia. Until that match I had almost never missed a ball during any of the Indian cricket matches telecast on TV. But, as the world saw it, we lost in the most pathetic manner. An ardent cricket fan was disturbed: I decided not to watch any more cricket, 'wasting' 8-10 hours. And since then, I have never seen a cricket match in its entirety. Hadn't seen Cricket for more than a couple of hours continuously until this world cup, where I would watch the last 15-20 overs.
Off late, with all the fixes and patches, a sense of cynicism has reduced the extent of entertainment watching cricket used to give.

Talking about playing cricket, the spectrum of balls used for the games through years ranged from plastic ones to rubber, tennis balls, hand made cork balls and now to the proper cork/leather ones! For a small stint in school I was the Vice-Captain of my House cricket team, and we did win that year.
Apart from watching and playing, collecting trump cards ( had the cards of almost all players and knew most of their statistics by heart!), stickers stuck everywhere. My cousin was a big fan of Saeed Anwar and I am still a fan of Shahid Afridi. And between us, we used to have the tedious contests about these cricketers.
I still treasure the first bat I owned and played with ( it is about 12 years old) and today I enjoy playing cricket all the more, with my bettering bowling and tending towards betterment batting performance during my Company cricket practice sessions.

This World cup win by  the Indian cricketers has had some influence on me (I am writing about it!). Not that I'd again endorse cricket as I used to ( I can't afford the time and ignorance).
Even after this performance by India, I might still not watch cricket, but have certainly found another individual to look up to in this process: MS Dhoni. Whether it is his genuine nature to stay calm and composed , or if he has inculcated it, in either case, I would certainly want to emulate him on those lines. Not because he's a superstar cricketer, but he has been consistently exhibiting it over a long period of his tenure as the leader.

Most of my eventful childhood memories has immense influence of cricket in it, like the many of you. The best time with my cousins, friends have all had the cricket moments to it. So, when people say cricket is more than a sport, I agree to the extent that it certainly is a nodal point in many of our lives, through which some intimate and exquisite moments pass through.

As a final thought, Cricket as a sport and not a corporate business is what I want it to be!
Congratulations to the Indian cricketers on their accomplishment.

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