Sunday, 14 August 2011

Yours Fervently, An Ardent Cricket fan

The Saturday meant a start to an amusing long weekend of sorts after quite some time and the self had woken to a rare rooster that crows late generally. Resting on the armchair like an octogenarian, I had breathed a lot of fresh air and was running through my mind the sequence of events that would follow in the next 3 days. That contained the following : read something to lift the spirits, drink a lot of coffee, eat to the stomach full, get the 11 hour sleep that has been evading for a while now and repeat the same in the order stated. Such was the beauty of the thought flow when the mind was particularly disturbed by a wayward sound that arose from somewhere in the neighbourhood. After curious onlooking, I found to my surprise that it was the gigantic wall clock that had caused the upset of the mind as the gong was doing its hourly duty at 3 hours post noon. Half an hour before the proceedings of the 4th day of the third test between India and England at Edgbaston.

It has been quite a while since I got myself deeply interested in a cricket match by and large. The last time such an instance was recorded was way back in March 2003 when Sehwag and Sachin entered the field to chase a mammoth 360 and Glenn McGrath had the shining red piece of leather to start the proceedings. After a considerable hiatus, the same interest started growing in me just before the ongoing series against England. What good parenting and modern pedagogic techniques that exemplify moral high ground have taught the growing youngster is that thing called maturity. As the body expands vertically and horizontally when man wakes up each morning to drink his cup of horlicks or viva or whatever suits him, the mind ought to expand. That, my ancestors used to call "maturity".
It has been well documented by learned people in the scriptures and elsewhere that mental maturity is quintessential for the uplifting of an individual. Though much has been talked about in this regard, what was visibly missing in my self as I got the bunch of potato chips and the plate of ground nuts in a move to gear up for a day of pleasing test cricket was the same thing that I have repeatedly lacked - maturity. To cut a long story short, what my heart ached at that particular juncture was for some legendary batting display from the few legendary batting names we have got on the roster so as to save the match and save our number one status by some hook or crook. This particular thought is a good example of an immature one at that. I call the very idea of the whim to be singularly childish. One cannot expect such a huge turnaround after two devastating performances at Lord's and Trent Bridge. But the heart ached for it in the same way it used to do back in 2002 and 2003 when Indian cricket was one of my highest priorities in life. I used to be an ardent fan way back then. But things have changed ever since and I moved on to other more intellectual addictions namely football, spirit, love and the rest of the things that G.K Chesterton used to talk about at length. So, this cricket fever recurring after such a long while was more of an aberration.

The end result? A big disappointment. Nothing that can be classified under the banner called sport has disappointed me to such a great extent, though I remember one instance when Benfica or some equally infernal force from Portugal knocked Man United out of Champions league and if my memory doesn't fail me, it was in the year 2005.After that one, now this particular disappointment from edgbaston made an impact on me and it was a sore one to say the least. The three matches that have taken England to summit from where India just toppled, were just a vindication of the visible listlessness in the Indian camp. There are cries and shouts inside the minds of the players and fans to abandon these humiliations and get back home, in the same way the Flintoff-led English team did during the 2008 terrorist attacks in Bombay. But we Indians are made of sterner stuff and it is not in our blood to call something off cheaply like that. We can continue to be distrait for ages and eons together but we shall not abandon. That fact being a given in the current scheme of things, the only logical thing to do is to somehow get over the fourth one as quickly as possible and start getting geared up for the five match one day series that is to follow. We could have been a very disheartened lot in the last 3 weeks, but the fact remains that it is not the end of the world and the one day series can help to make up for the shame quite a bit. So, along with the Indian team, I am telling myself after yesterday's horror collapse that all is not lost and that English August could after all culminate in an Indian September.

In Cricket, class is permanent and form is temporary. Let us hope to roar back in the one day series and worry about the test shambles in an introspection later in the year when we go down under.


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