Why

Why

Thursday, 10 February 2011

The First Heartbreak


I was in college and the World Cup was something I was so thrilled about. Much to say, I was joking about Afridi being still 23 when this important tie was scheduled on the 1st of March, 2003. Centurion was the arena for this biggest stage - India vs. Pakistan. Nothing much to say about this match, whose memories still echo as group of friends watched Sachin play a breathtaking innings and the way Yuvraj and Rahul Dravid finished it off.
March 1st brings back another incident which is deeply rooted in me. My first heartbreak with cricket, to be more precise, crying first time for cricket.
As a seven year old kid in 1992, getting up early on a Sunday morning, watching Prabhakar for his in-swingers, other bowlers and the zinc oxide cream all over their face was such a treat. I woke up every day to catch the action before I was forcefully pushed to attend school.
My memories about the India-Australia match are - Kapil Dev taking early wickets, Dean Jones blasting away to 90. A spectacular catch by Ajay Jadeja which had me imitating by diving on the bed to catch the ball next few months is a snap shot to my mind till date.
I remember hearing few of elder folks at home complaining about rain and the revised target, which was not good. Ravi shastri took ages to get going something close to 11 overs to get to 25. If my memory serves me right, I think Shastri didn't play a part in the remaining matches as he was dropped after this match.
Azharuddin was in sublime touch and I was sad to see Sachin getting out early. 236 out of 47 overs were gettable and India was on course before the run outs of Azhar and that of Manjrekar. Never had I witnessed Manjrekar belting the ball and score more than run a ball. Cameos from Kiran More in scoring those two crucial boundaries in the last over and we have 5 runs in 4 balls with 3 wickets to spare.
Tom Moody castles More when he tried to scoop or fine flick it to fine leg one many time. Prabhakar comes in, takes a single. 4 runs - 2 balls. Srinath facing Moody hits it to short mid wicket and no run, but Prabhakar is run out. It’s all happening here, says Bill Lawry alongside Greg Chappell in the commentary box.
Last ball, not sure what was discussed between Raju and Srinath. It was decided that Srinath would go for a slog and slog he did, only to be stopped by Steve Waugh who hurried in the throw while Raju was contemplating whether to run or not. David Boon donning the gloves uproots the stumps and Aussies win by one run at the Gabba.
Late in the afternoon on that Sunday, tears make their appearance on my face as I see India’s cricketing suicide for the first time. As I remember, it was my crying debut with cricket. The kind of emotional guy that I was and to an extent I am now, it’s fair to say I was heartbroken then. Later for another match, I faked a stomach ache to watch India-New Zealand tie and when I saw Mark Greatbatch belting our bowlers, I told my mother I want to go to school in the post lunch break as I was feeling better.
Now we have a World Cup that is coming up shortly. I expect this to be something sort of a picturesque for more than one reason as I will be getting married when the World Cup is on.
To be honest, I did plan it this way and thankfully other aspects of mine and my fiancée’s life co-incided during this period, hopefully to make it memorable for the cricketing souls in me.
It’s time to redeem those first tears with huge big smile on my face when I see India lifting the trophy. Otherwise, I guess I have to wait like I did for the past 19 years.