Behind the lens- Simply CVR| Flickr
I remember how I religiously went out to play every day with my old Alpha bat that I had wrapped in tape for some reason I cannot fathom; perhaps it was the cool thing to do then. I was never picked first by any team and very seldom did the game actually end amicably. As I sat down to write ‘Cricket-My First Love’, I realized I kept going back to that one phase in my life where cricket was the most cherished.
A lot of my friends with whom I had played (and fought) have gone onto become professional cricketers playing for divisions and franchisees.A stroll down the lanes of West Mambalam 15 years ago and one could have spotted a young mastermind perfecting the ‘Sodukku ball’ that would later go on to bewilder the likes of AB de Villiers and Alastair Cook.Cricket owes a lot to these streets and gullies, the grounds and maidaans that have all produced many stars. It is where the religion is practiced on a daily basis and in a nation with 1.3 billion people across 29 states (and still counting) it is one of the two primary adhesives that unite the nation alongside motion picture.
Agreed that not everyone gets to follow the sensational ‘Jersey #18’ into a packed stadium donning blue, but there are vital experiences that sustain. An interdepartmental final match between B.Com and BBA saw the former win by a nail biting one run.Eleven players walked off the field that day believing that if they gave anything their best shot they have a chance just as others, while another eleven walked off realizing that you haven’t won until you have. A cricketer who had to learn to cope with the disappointment of being benched throughout was able to confront a torrid relationship and later write about it in his blog. There are a lot of things the street teaches you; it produces heroes and thugs alike. Cricket on these streets are no exception. The reason why cricket in India is venerated is because we are 1.3 billion cricketers first, with a home turf that spans a few meters right outside our houses.
Cricket in India is a doctrine, the very reason we fell off our seats when David Warner stepped on the boundary lines in a premature celebration of a Virat Kohli catch or when a lesser known Aditya Tare hit an unsuspecting Jimmy Faulkner for a six off the last ball knocking out Watson’s Royals. We’ve been there and done that, only under different environments. So right from walking into a fully packed stadium of 40,000 on a world cup final to playing in your apartment with your long-time crush Priyanka watching you from her balcony and everything in between, cricket has grown.So, to all the auto annas who have moved their autos because it stood at our deep mid-wicket, or all the elderly couples who put up with our noisy appeals for a wicket, the mothers who let us play a little into our curfew, and most importantly, to all the Priyankas…thank you, for in everything that you have done or not done, a creed strengthened…. cricket burgeoned.
Cricaddict and Foodie
Twelfth Man Series