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O.K. for starters, I am not a cricket fan and I certainly do not think Sachin is God. I am sure some of you out there would have already closed the window/tab and moved on to the next post. Now that they are gone, I am writing this post for the tolerant lot, mostly women, who have been bullied for not knowing the ABCs of cricket and for not following the game as closely as the other sex.I was 10 and my brother 7. I was the eldest kid in the family and I had more cousin brothers than sisters. Cricket was their life blood to say the least. A summer vacation never was complete without innumerous games of playing with the ‘exam-pad-turned-bat’ and a worn out tennis ball. They even played with stones when the ball crossed the threshold and cracked Sushila Auntie’s kitchen glass. When it rained, they still played cricket. The concept of book cricket awed the cricket-blind me too. I used to persuade my brothers to come play with me. I showed them how to paint a window; they called me a ‘silly’ painter and went on to collect sticks for stumps. They constantly threw brickbats at me, wait, isn’t that an ironically sympathetic statement I just used? Well, that was just the beginning.Television was a boon, or so I thought. Cartoon was heaven and ‘Tom and Jerry’ was absolutely the only God I knew at that time. Just like how every commercial movie dons a villain, there came one in my life too. The antagonist was gory in nature, the kind which made me crawl under the blanket and wish I were in another world, the kind which made time move slower than ever, the kind which made me feel lifeless, the kind which made my every summer vacation a horror - Test cricket. Man, did I get to watch the men in white playing all the day all through my vacation? Yes. My dad never let my finger touch even the remotest part of the TV remote. I was desolate and I used to cry. Mom never came to rescue because she has been there and done that, the exact same thing as me. My little wicked brothers laughed and giggled and cheered and mumbled as the cricket matches showed less or no mercy on people like me. When my parents saw my desperation and hatred, they decided I do something and made me join handwriting classes. Seriously, how cruel can that get?Time went by, I went on to become someone who hated holidays dreading the sound of ‘Tok……………..Tok…. tkk…..tok…” , that sound which comes when the ball meets the bat, I really dreaded that.Time went by, I grew up. I was matured enough to understand that none of my brothers, not even my dad did it intentionally. They were addicted to this game and all that was associated with the game. They loved it so passionately that none of the following list ever mattered to them when they are watching/playing the game – a burning house, a baby crying, a lonely kid, cockroaches flying, stale food, dogs howling, storm coming, homework pending, and the list goes on.I am part of the gang now. Not officially, but I have come to love one form of cricket which is lively, entertaining and makes it easy for people to follow the game. The 20-over matches – T20 and IPL are definitely my type of cricket as I still hate the sight of test matches and I am hated for saying so.
Picture sourced from Google
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