Cricket is all about being at the right place at the right time. What happens when you suddenly find yourself rediscovering your bowling arm?
Enjoy Episode 10 of your favourite morning read with your morning coffee! ☕ Santosh Bakaya’s ever popular MM Season 3 comes to you with weekly episodes that will make your Sunday mornings extra special! ☀️📆 🎉
Five days had passed, since Deepavali, yet, the Deepavali mist still clung to the sky, reluctant to dissipate. But there was no mist or fog regarding the passionate intensity of the cricket lovers. Everything was clear that cricket had taken the joggers to a different level altogether. They were almost levitating, excitement oozing from every pore.
A youngster with sleep kinks still in his eyes was holding forth on India’s chances of winning the World Cup final which was to begin at 2 pm.
“I wish Vivian Richards would come to the commentary box today, like he did during the Australia-South Africa semi-finals. It is always a pleasure listening to the incisive comments of the Great Man.” There was a comic vehemence in his gestures that brought a smile to my lips.
The man he was talking to, was a swarthy man who seemed to have no interest in cricket, but, nonetheless, was listening to him patiently and nodding dutifully now and then. His red face had lots of blackheads.
An incredibly tall man, with a huge scowl on his face, was walking towards them with the heavy steps of a Neanderthal man. He was going towards the wilderness with an axe to cut firewood but stopped for a couple of minutes listening to their discussion, and then chimed in, “I think, India has no chance, Australia will win, I am sure.”
“But Australia is in a bad shape.”
“India is going to win the toss and bat first, I can vouch for that. There is going to be a huge turnout in Ahmedabad.”
I gaped at the Neanderthal man. The youngster stared at him for some time, then smiled brightly. The man walked off, his clasp on the axe tighter, his strides bigger. A brother sister duo — twelve and ten years of age, were also discussing the prospects of the World Cup Final, their voices, high-pitched.
A couple of middle-aged men were going full throttle: “Some people know zilch about cricket and they are still going to Ahmedabad to watch the World Cup. I tell you, we are a cricket obsessed nation.”
“You know, the hotel reservations in Ahmedabad have gone up to 1 lakh.”
“By the way, loved Virat Kohli’s century in the semi-final.”
“What I loved more was Anoushka clapping so boisterously. ”
In the vacant plot, a little distance away, a bunch of kids of construction site workers had also started their Sunday cricket.
A ball came flying towards me, and, to my utter befuddlement, landed right into my hands that had cupped on reflex. I looked around, not knowing what to do with the ball.
“What a catch!” Said the youngster, eyes no longer groggy with sleep, but bursting with admiration.
A kid came racing towards me and tried to snatch the ball from my hands. I noticed his eyes were two cricket balls of wrath. But, I stood my ground, not batting an eyelid.
Cricket is all about being at the right place at the right time. I remembered my time in school and my days of gully cricket. To the utter surprise of the kids (I refuse to call it horror) I danced down the patch of green and bowled at the shocked batsman. He lifted his rickety bat in Kohli style but I was no less than Bumrah. Off went one of the three misshapen sticks that were standing as wickets. It was my turn to be horrified as all the arms of the fielding team went up in air… “AAAOOOTTTT!”
It was the batsman’s turn to stand his ground, refusing to budge. The umpire was nowhere to be found – probably he had gone to check the rule book to see if a bowled-by-a-strange-trespassing-bowler can be considered out.
I set off for home, with my heart filled with a kind of joy which I had never felt before! Probably this is how Bumrah and Shami had felt when taking their first World Cup wicket. 🏏
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