Sunday, December 6, 2009

Say What? Seh Wag?

I'm no big fan of cricket. The true fan in me died, alongside millions of Indians, during the days of the match-fixing controversy. Along with a few of my friends, I had gone to watch the India-SA cricket match (one that India won), riding on bikes for 6 hours-nothing great there, except, those 12 hours up-and-down was for the plain love of cricket. To come to know that India's win that day was fixed was hard to digest. To see Azza and Jadeja fall, to read about Hansie's death a few years down the line, and Woolmer's mysterious demise - the sum total was that cricket had become something that it was never meant to be. Of course we all saw snaps of Dawood and starlets in Sharjah long before all of this happened, but we came to understand cricket in a new light-or rather a new darkness.

As the morning of the third day of the Ind-SL test match started, I woke up from bed with nothing on my mind. I went to office, and sometime in the afternoon realized that Sehwag may have done it. I ran up to the pantry where the TV is located and tried to figure out if one of the batsmen on the crease is HIM. But it was not meant to be. He was out, in what must have been true agony for those watching - six runs short of a landmark, like Mallory possibly in his attempt to scale Everest. Sehwag lives on for another day. He might make it, or he may not. If not, there will be a Tenzing. But remember, we were privileged to watch Mallory fall.

There is hope for Indian cricket. A few of the old fans have started switching channels looking for some cricket action. The new young ones - well they never felt our shame and disbelief, and keep on coming - that was never a problem.

The problem is that there's too much of cricket. But if it's of the variety dished out by the man whose English halts a bit, but whose willow does not, I'm game - to believe in our religion once more.


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