Despite being born and brought up in a commonwealth nation, I am not a very big fan of cricket. Now the fundamentalist in you might love to dismiss me as an outcaste, but hey!…that’s just my preconditioning; strikingly in contrast to yours. Not much is mentioned about cricket in my home ever (not that it is a tabooed subject) and I was somehow never an active member of cricket discussions among my friends. But of course it is a full-fledged sport which asks for, if not reverence, then at least some respect. All other people in the whole damn world who might call it a bullshit game should take some time to ponder why no other player, except a few, has ever been able to come close to the achievements of a medium-built guy named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Yes it is a sport like any other which demands skills, sophistication and mental as well as physical grit.
And so with these mixed feelings I also witnessed yesterday’s match between India and Australia, specifically to experience the feeling which had swept over the whole nation and was in no way short of a small-scale revolution. I also reveled in my heart when India won. But I also couldn’t help myself but draw parallels between this amazing sport and life in general.
It has its panache. It has its moments of glory and perfect play. It also has its moments of unexpected despair, rage and shame. It can be long and boring, but it can also be short and thrilling. No matter how divinely gifted and painstakingly prepared you are, your game can be messed up by unseen forces of nature like moisture, heat or bad pitch. The ball starts behaving eerily with time. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has some pearls of wisdom to offer about how you should have played. You take turns in bashing someone with your deliveries and sooner or later facing the music yourself. And if you are not cautious enough, you might miss the ball. Even till the end, you might not know whether you were winning all the time or losing or just getting lucky. If all this wasn’t enough, you have unjust marvels like Duckworth-Lewis method. And finally on a personal note, when it comes to rules which dictate the game, I am as lost as a tone-deaf in a music store.
At the end of the day it is a heart warmer.
I am not able to think of any other sport which comes as close to having so many idiosyncrasies and yet still be so wonderful. Some skeptics might agree to disagree, but then…hell its a swell game!