One flew over the cookoo's nest #CricketMyLife
The bad thing about time is that it flies and the good thing is that we are the pilots of our own flight called time. Geroge Bernard Shaw at the drop of the hat said in the ground we can see the fools and see the craft of time he could not say that the people in the dogout are super fools. Sports has always been the best thing since slice bed and the gentlemen’s game is one of the finest.
Let us jump in this bandwagon as if we are watching a sci-fi movie as if the time machine in the late 90s to early 2000s. World cup 1999, South African all rounder Lance Klusener , the last man standing between the Aussies’ course to kiss the golden cup and the misery run out at the other end halts the heroics. I search for my smart phone to post in the facebook what I have just seen. I missed the boat, this is 1999, Mark Zuckerberg “ Who” ?. “ No answer”.
Let me pool over other people’s eye and revisit my own childhood. What I see is a school going kid, comes home throws his bag, carry a four square stickered bat and go out dreaming to score 200* in a one day game. It came true but in 2010 at Gwalior architected by The Little Master, but I am in 2000, 10 years earlier. Oh the vision might steal someone’s thunder. Every day the records were made in his own ground, the gully cricket club. Five wickets in five balls, now that’s something. 58 runs in one over sounds impossible but yes that was the beauty of gully game. And those nostalgic pictures painted a thousand words but I couldn’t capture them. Does the time fly?
You might feel like getting a forty winks but the time machine is still on. As I travel further towards 2003 the Aussie era continued. Unlike today where we see the aspirant and enthusiastic youths creating a fantasy league, betting on 365, I see the kids betting for noodles or some eating stuffs at school. I smiled and thought I would have included Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Sanath Jayasuriya, Inzamam Ul Haq, Nathan Astle, Adam Gilchrist, Chaminda Vass, Brett Lee, Shaun Pollack, Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan in my fantasy league back then. Ya, someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
One cannot sign on the dotted lines. Ricky Ponting, what a player. I see a kid going for tuition is arguing with his parents to drop the day’s schedule to see the cricket match. I wandered what made him do so, I stop there and make my eyes on the score line. Australia for the first time in the white ball format was going to kiss the score of 400 and the sailor of the ship was of course The Punter. The score board read 434 and everyone guessed the climax. But it was indeed an anticlimax. Among the astounding Hersclelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith that day JJ van der Wath for his 35 of 18 ( it was outstanding then , no T20s) and Makhaya N Tini got an standing ovation for 1 run to give Mark Boucher the strike to finish off the proceedings. Oh what a game, it taught the two most powerful warriors are patience and time.
There ain’t no journey what don’t change you some. After traveling further the modified version of the game came over. 20-20 the talk of the town. The first world cup. And it showed its charismatic character Australia failing to register the win against Zimbabwe , the giant killers. India vs Pakistan arch rivals and Misbah Ul Haq mishaps. An unrecorded troll. The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost. My time machine got misdirected to India where T20 was being commercialized in the form of IPL where I saw Brendon Macullum getting 150 odd runs in the first ever IPL match. From the tournament I understood T20 is the game of adaptation and smart moves, as the team which had Adam Gilchrist, Shaid Afridi, Herschelle Gibbs, Andrew Symonds , The Decan Chargers lost and the young and raw talented Rajasthan Royals were crowned as the new champions. The greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time you fail.
The time machine stayed in India for some time in the early 2010-20 decade (still going on). The atmosphere was prolific. There were youths enjoying cricket matches with great enthusiasm. Many of them hovering at a same place supporting different teams in foreign country India Vs England in 2011 world cup, the Andrew Strauss’s mind boggling innings to draw a tie was the best of the lots that time around. I posted the event in my smart fone, it read out “OVERWHELMING PERFORMANCE”. Mark Zuckerberg Who”? One of the youngest billionaires. I got the answer. The time indeed flies. There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.
I also saw the elite group of youths formed a Cricket Discussion Forum “Panel Of Cricket Experts” in 2011. The group where cricketing pundits and the game lovers discuss about the game. Oh what a platform. It is a virtual dogout. The commentary on commentary. The joyful group. The expert panel and of course the source of knowledge. Sometimes reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of the journey and PCE has been doing so. They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
I wanted to travel further as I am no longer afraid of becoming lost because the journey back always reveals something new and that is ultimately good for the artist. And nothing happens in cricket ever. Even the highlights resemble a freeze frame. We all have our time machines. Some take us back, they are called memories. Some take us forward, they are called dreams.
By: Ankush Ojha (PCE #CricketMyLife Contest Winner)