It is in our blood!
There is something about cricket that makes it a more egalitarian sport than football. If football is Dosa Sambhar, cricket is Omelette, anyone can make it. As you have seen above, you can play cricket at any age, and that too reasonably well.
Football is different. It exacts a toll on your body. One and a half hours of constant dribbling and running is what only professionals can do. You will follow the English Premier League and the Spanish League without missing a single match but you may not be playing football every day.
On the other hand, many of us have stopped following cricket matches, thanks to the IPL overkill, but still turn up every Sunday to play tennis ball cricket.
Our relation with cricket that started with a World Cup win in 1983. Later on came a Hindi Movie, a biopic that tells a story of a cricket match between Brits and a bunch of starving farmers, the stakes were Double Lagaan or No Lagaan. Aamir Khan plays the central character, Bhuvan, and there are many Bhuvans in our midst. The connect is instant, no signal trouble.
Every world cup coincided with an exam, and you know where our priorities lay. Many a studious student picked cricket over engineering and medicine. From the cricket bat made from swollen Mango Wood to the matches in paddy fields, from the gali cricket rules to gali tournaments. We were more weird, we couldn’t play in gali. In our locality was a giant desert like graveyard, we would play there on cemented pitch with new cricket ball. You remember Mohd. Kaif, he belongs to Allahabad and he and his elder brother Saif would play with us, in Kabristan.
Sometime, we get tele-transported to childhood and adolescence, as if we are playing out in front of our eyes right now. Our senses start picking up the calls, ‘Catch it,’ ‘Howzzzthat,’ ‘Sexy Shot,’ ‘Gayi Chhakka.’
This Sunday our local cricket club, yes most of us nearing 35 or having crossed that landmark, will play our juniors. Let me tell you, if we were to lose, we would still feel the pain. The same pain we felt when a miscued drive by my teammate ended our run in the local tournament final. If only he had not played a fraction too early, if only he had not played it across the line, if only he had played it along the ground.
Oh God, can we turn back the clock please?
We are defending our World Cup… Get Ready guys to tear the sky with cheer.
…shabab khan’s blog
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