Friday, August 27, 2010

My first love - Cricket (Part 2)

With a massive win in the first match, we needed just one more victory in two matches to enter the next round. Thanks to my convocation, I had missed the second match of the tournament. The team had lost a very close encounter defending a modest score. A must win match in the Indian Air Force grounds; we fought a valiant but losing battle. Absent minded, I was looking at Manu Tayal nursing a wound in his left hand from a full length dive in front of the sight screens at frightening speed. The team showed such commitment and drive to win, yet we had failed.

Why did we fail to win? Every time I asked this question to myself, I could come with a handful of answers. If only Vimal had restrained himself from not getting caught after hitting the first three balls of the innings to boundary. If only I had bowled one bouncer to that little brat who drove me to two consecutive boundaries. If only we had saved the two boundaries which went through the hands. Four years and tons of defeats later I am still asking the same question, why did we fail to win? I don’t care to answer that, I am bored. My roommate doesn’t ask me the result after the match anymore. My sister starts consoling without even asking the result. A consolation win every now and then doesn’t taste good anymore.

Ten kilos, constant knee injury and a torn stomach muscle later, I had decided to retire prematurely as most fast bowlers. The previous line to be read as “plenty of 50 runs partnership in 4 overs with my bowling partner (yeah, yeah, when I was bowling), plenty of angry stares from my captain and bowling as first change bowler later”. I had not played for two weekends and the feeling of missing the action didn’t help. I told my then captain Jagan that I am taking a break for three months. I had been planning for four years, finally I started working out every day; swimming, simple exercises, dumb bells and some jogging was the routine.

Three months later, I was with the new ball in my hands, the familiar adrenaline rush and Jagan is padded up. I raised my hands with the ball, shouted at him “New Ball” and started running gently towards the bowling crease. I had released the ball on good length, a swing and a miss. Nervously I picked the ball and went back to the start of my run up. 15 minutes later Jagan came back from the nets with a bruised leg and stomach and said “I had not seen a fiery spell from you like this in the last few months” I secretly knew I had him dancing with my bowling and I am ready for my second innings.

At around the same time Hari and Uday were coming up with some extra ordinary performances opening the batting. Jagan had made Hari and Vijayanand as captain and vice-captain. No more 50 runs partnership of my bowling, the team is not getting let down by me again. Suddenly, the team looked like a battle unit, not afraid of any opponents. My roommate and I speak in length about the matches. My sister still thinks I am lying. Yes we had started winning and for the first time in these five years I am really excited about my cricket. The team had won 6 of the last 7 matches (5 consecutive victories) en route to the first finals. A close defeat in the finals after a rare batting collapse (me top scoring with 36 :) ) meant we had to settle for second place this time.

This is by no means the end of the journey. The platform is all set for a take-off.


  1. Very nice.
    Keep going (Both in Cricket and Writing blog)


  2. "plenty of 50 runs partnership in 4 overs with my bowling partner (yeah, yeah, when I was bowling)"
    -Exceptional bowling!
    good writting again :)

    now, come on, time to write bout ur 2nd love :P

  3. Thanks Daddy...

    Thanks Rasmi... 2nd love? who? what? when? :)

    Thanks Athai...