Disclaimer: Too long.
It all began when I was born in a cricket frenzy family. Growing up, I played cricket more than I ever played with my dolls and toys. With plastic bat and ball to hardcover textbooks to proper bat n ball. Then on the Playstation. . Oh also those cricket cards, remember those?
I know the rules to gully cricket, courtesy of my brothers they always took me in their team (Well they had no choice after destroying my doll houses). I played cricket in our hall with my brothers cautiously, trying not to break any of Ammi’s precious show pieces and vases.
My Dad and uncles are chalte phirtey encyclopedias of Cricket (like almost every other Indian). Never mention anything about cricket in front of them and expect for the discussion to end soon. Mention a player and they will give you his cricket shajra (Shajra- Genealogical tree).
Usually on fridays, after the friday prayers, all of them sit together and watch an old match highlights (usually IndVsPak Sharjah tours) and reminiscence the on field rivalry and sledging. This goes on for hours without any break, they will take a break only to youtube the clip where Azharuddin is seen telling Afridi “Zara time deke daalo na baday bhai” or Javed Miandad’s on field comments.
If any of us (the kids) are present there, one of my uncles will without fail explain the greatness of a particular shot of a particular match. There’s no easy way to end the Cricket discussions at my household.
With this madness at hand, it was natural for me to get infused with the passion for the game. I don’t remember when or how I became one of the active participants. Besides playing with my brothers and cousins, I never followed a match on TV. I knew the basic rules and all but never followed a match.
I guess it changed when India reached the final of Natwest series in 2002 and beat england by two wickets or so. Who does not remember that match? If nothing else, for Ganguly’s celebration after the victory. 😉
And after that, I started following India’s matches regularly, now I learned about the minor differences between Test and ODI matches. I started picking up tidbits of information from the discussions at home. Polished my General Knowledge of Cricket, I learnt why Dravid was the Wall and Shoaib Akhtar the Pindi Express, Gilchrist-Gilly etc.
While I was learning about the game, the 2003 World Cup started. That Tournament was the first one when I was pumped up for each and every match India played and other big matches as well. Everyone used to gather at our place after their office hours, and our hall was filled for every match. I was so into the game that I remember asking my maulvisaab (our Quran tutor) to pray for India’s victory. Well, even he was a cricket fan and while teaching us, he’d ask us to update him with the score 😛
And when India reached into the Semi’s, I took matters in my own hands and started praying for India’s win. (Do not give me that look, I was a kid, for God’s sake!)
This was the time when I started betting with one of my uncles :$ Yes, I did that as well.
And then came the finals, my my my that was the time when I learnt what it was to be heartbroken! On a side note, does anyone remember Zaheer Khan’s mom’s message for him before the finals? That was Aww-worthy.
Then there was a drop in the team’s performance after the world cup and I lost interest for few months.I was lured again into the game with the influx of some new players; MSD n Irfan Pathan and others. Pathan’s almost all rounder performance against Pakistan in 2004, I guess, made me his fan.
Anyone remember that 183 of 140 balls or something by Dhoni against SriLanka? I remember the joke that was doing rounds in our family after that victory “Dhoni, dho diya sabko!”
In 2007, with many expectations and high hopes, I supported the Indian Team in the World Cup only to be heartbroken once again. </3
And then then then Dhoni was made the Captain, and this was the time when I was more than ever into the game, one of the reasons was until then, I’d no one in my friends circle who used to watch cricket, then I met two other cricket fans and we religiously watched every match and discussed it on the phone and the next day in the school. We kept record of bowling figures and runs. Inaugural WT20 will be remembered for three things, first and foremost Yuvraj’s Six sixes to Stuart Board. Khekhe. Secondly of course because we won
and thirdly for Dhoni’s captaincy. Remember my bets with my uncle? Well, they were fruitful now 😛
I was up the whole night to witness Indian team’s return to India after winning the cup. I’d school the next day 🙂
At this point, no matter who played, if anyone from my family wanted an update on score, they’d call me up. Yes, I had transformed into that person.
And then came the IPL, it didn’t really entice me initially but it grew on me.
Fast forward to 2011, World cup now clashed with my 12th Boards. Yep. My Chemistry tuition sir was asking us to set routine for preparation now with zero distractions and say goodbye to TV, and I, of all the girls in the room, utter in a low voice “But Sir, World Cup is going to start.” He looked at me, smiled his usual smile and replied “Kyun betey? Unless you are betting on the games you needn’t worry about those and focus on your studies.” Well I was betting, with my heart and soul on India’s win.
Khair, that didn’t prevent me from following the matches. India’s group match against England was at the crucial stage and I had to go for Physics’ tuition. We had a test or sort of a test in the class that day, but I was the first one to get there and I put up a condition for writing the test, well it was, Sir would update me with the score if he wanted me to write the test. *shrugs* Well he did update me, also explained me the necessity of keeping cool like our Captain Cool in the crucial hours. Then the journey to Semi finals was made with few ups and downs. But we’d beaten the defending champions (Australia) and then came 26th March, Ind Vs Pak, lol, in that game I was neutral, I promised myself I’d be okay even if we lose this. No problem. But we won, and I was teeny meeny sad that Pakistan lost.
2nd April 2011, I still had one exam to go, but supporting my team was my priority then. And I couldn’t have been anymore ecstatic than I’ve been on that day. I could feel the adrenaline rush, if I were in India that time, I’d be on streets with the Indian flag going all Kajol like from K3g “HUM JEEEETGAYE!” But sadly I was not. Hahaha!
2011-2014, my years went in a jiffy. I don’t remember watching any match, except for any one here and there and IPL matches every now and then. I was up to date with stats and trivia but rarely switched on the TV to watch cricket.
With 2015, the cricket enthusiast in me was reborn, I was prepped up to support my team in defending the title. But khair we all know what happened.
This time I had my exams again, and I somehow managed to butter my HOD in flexing the timings for the practical exam whose date clashed with India’s match against Bangladesh (Pros of being a favourite student :P), and for another knock out match I was updated every few minutes by our lab assistant. Khair to say that I was heartbroken at India’s exit will be an understatement.
Then IPL came to my rescue and cheered me a bit (a bit because I was supporting SRH). Also that we’d WT20 coming up consoled me then.
While I waited for next year, I started following the game regularly.
2016, it promised to satisfy my heart with various tournaments. Started with one against Australia,followed by Sri Lanka’s tour and then the real madness began with T20 Asia Cup.
And when we won that cup, I was more than pumped for the upcoming WT20.
We lost the first match against New Zealand, I was disheartened. But nope, ain’t nobody got time to be sad after one defeat. So I was there supporting my team with full josh o jazba. Mahn oh Mahn were the matches nail-baiting! God! Those matches had stress written all over them. Every boundary by opponents teams n every catch drops by our team, brought the heart into my throat. Those feels.
Especially the one against Bangladesh. Heart was not in the throat but in the mouth. NO exaggeration. AT ALL. Stress levels were at peak. I couldn’t sit still in the last few overs. I was chatting with a friend while watching the match, and because I had phone in my hand, I didn’t chip off my nails. Even after we won that thrilling match, my heartbeat didn’t get back to its normal pace for an hour or so.
Snippets of the chat I had while watching the match. *Hides face*
Then, the next match, Kohli’s chase made me a proud Indian cricket team fan.
In Semi-Finals, we had enough score but the West Indian team were better than us that day and it was their day. We had few bad moments in the second innings but it was their day. Not gonna be a sore loser.
And I was more than happy that they won the final coz to be honest, they deserved it. They they had to show their board their capabilities and that they could win without ANY help from the WICB.
One thing, that this T20 world cup changed for me was my appreciation for Kohli. It’s not like I disliked him earlier, I always accepted that he was a good player but this tournament really changed something about my perspective of him. The way he carried the batting line up was really amazing. Falling of the wickets didn’t really upset me unless it was his or Dhoni’s. There were times when I wished the opening batsmen were out instead of wasting balls. For me, in T20WC, bowlers, Kohli and Dhoni were the stars.
And now the ipl has begun, I haven’t really seen a single match yet. Because exams.
But insha’Allah once I’m done I shall catch up with the madness. And this year, I won’t be supporting Hyderabad anymore. Sorry. They are the Pakistani team (no offense padosis) of IPL. Good on paper and you know how on field. So no thank you.
This is my affair with the game. And I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime in the near future. To many more matches that we shall play and trophies we will win! 🙂
I know this is probably too long, if you’re reading this, Thank You. I tried, I really tried to cut it down but I couldn’t. 😦
How’s the garmi treating y’all?