Monday, April 13, 2015

thirty seven banana peels #13: cricket

Ah ha!

Cricket was my second language. Memories go back to early 1990’s. I think I really started following cricket from the 1992 world cup. I remember getting up at 3:30am to start watching the matches. A fanatic zeal then developed and the amassal of stats became natural and easy.

Sachin became my favorite - and after a while he was replaced by Lara. So naturally, I made some enemies among my friends. The debates were fierce, and in those moments, we weren’t friends. We were warriors defending our own clans. Another of my friends was a Pakistan fan. It wasn’t normal - we don’t know why he was a Pakistan fan. That made our debates and fights worse.

1996 world cup was the peak of intensity as I was in college that time and our spare time was spent discussing cricket. I particularly savored the day India beat Pakistan in the quarterfinals, in Bangalore!
It was a bad day for my friend.

I kept this cricket momentum for a few more years after that. But I never would have imagined the fever would fall off. It just withered after Isha. I don’t even follow matches or statistics. The only time I got involved again was during the final of the world cup in which India won. My heart was beating for Sachin - I just wanted him to be part of a world cup winning team. They telecast the finals here and someone came with a dholak which was beat whenever there was a boundary. Dhoni was fabulous!

Now I just follow it peripherally. But all that effort I put in earlier comes in handy. I can just dip in right away and dip out when done without any context switching effort.

PS: During school, we played a match with a real cricket ball. I was the opener and there were no pads, helmets or guards (anywhere!). I was sweating and palpitating. I scored one run and became run out. The next match I was promptly demoted to 9-down. And I do not bowl or field! As fate would have it, that match, our team needed 22 to win in three overs. I and another guy had to see the team through for the last wicket. We did it! The underdogs triumphed! Take that suckers.

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