Every Indian teenager/adolescent, from the 80s, 90s, and the millennial decade would have certainly dreamt of becoming a cricketer. I am no exception. It is funny how that love and passion for the game is a permanent fixture of our personalities, even when we grow older.
A couple of weeks ago, I was eager to be part of the tennis ball cricket tournament in office as it’s been a while since I have played this sport which grips my country, literally. It is one thing which unites the country, which is so diverse, like no other.
And there I was wearing the team Jersey, on the scheduled ground and time looking forward to some early morning fun.
Slowly the players trickle in with a cricketer like swagger. They start stretching and doing exercises which were learnt only by watching actual players on TV and may not have any impact on this day, to my colleagues. They also start their shadow practices both bowling and batting.
Some even run to the pitch to look at it closely touching it and walking beside it. Mind you it is a tennis ball tournament. Six overs a side.
Few guys were busy taping their hands to get better grip. Some we choosing bats, as they were many.
Then came the all important team meeting where the captain addressed the boys in a huddle and revealed the team strategy. There was a brief about the pitch and the pace at which everyone is set to score runs. We even had a pinch hitter and a rock solid Mr. Wall in the team. The bowlers were instructed to vary the pace, set their own fields and quickly go through the overs.
Now, over to the story of the match.
The batsmen went in one by one after touching the ground in respect, looking up in the sky and doing shadow practice all the way to the pitch. The first four batsmen (who were supposed to be the best) scored ducks. The middle order scattered around to score a few runs and we finally made 39. Yours truly scored a duck too :) ( trying to accelerate the scoring- played a cross batted swat, well, imaginary). The collapse was attributed to the zippiness in the pitch and recklessness of our batsmen.
The opposition made the runs in 4.4 overs. Yours truly was struggling to find a place in the field where the ball wouldn’t come. But the ball came and I messed it. I was immediately shunted to inside the ring . (which was scarier, standing close to the batsman)
It was one fun Saturday, with a lot of comic relief. The venue was the BEL grounds, which is located in a part of Bangalore which is really beautiful and classy.