8 Hours – of my second life

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I had to wait for 368755200 seconds to watch the cricket match LIVE in stadium. The first time I closely watched the whole cricket match was on 8th June 1999, India vs Pakistan clash in 1999 World cup at Super Six stage.

From then on, as every cricket fan dream, I was hoping to see a cricket match in stadium. The closest I had been to the stadium, was during !nd-Pak Test series 2005 at M. Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium, Bangalore. I was outside the stadium hearing the roar of the crowd as they were treated  with flurry of SIXES by Sehwag in a test match where he struck a Double century against Pakistan (201 runs).

Flash Back – Cricket and Me

A short tale on How did I fell love with cricket. It all started when I moved from my town to Bangalore to continue my schooling, Whatever happened in Bangalore at that time, it was totally new.

Kids over there in city had a completely different attitude. First few days, it was kinda horrible time, where I was being completely ignored, and one of the reasons being I was not fluent in English, had been fuzzy with moving freely with new persons, which is still in my nature :-(, Also, was not keen on the happenings in Bollywood 😀 (sounds strange?, yes if it was not studies, then the discussion was about Bollywood 🙂 and I had not seen any Hindi movie till that point and just a few thereafter).

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After a few days, with 1996 world cup round the corner, the discussion turned from Bollywood to Cricket. At that time, I sensed that every person in the school would get together to voice their thoughts on the cricket matched happened on the previous day. Cricket became the only topic and that is where I thought I should learn the game so that I could get together along with others easily.

Mind you, learning the game was very tough, with no television in my Aunt’s house (that is where i was brought up during my schooling in Bangalore) and did not had one person in my family who follows cricket (forget about following, they hate it). It was really tough, and I had to rely on newspapers, magazines to extract whatever information I could and have something ready for next discussion in the school.

The days passed on and cricket brought me more friends and transformed me to a stage where I myself could not believe the change in me. While I was having a good times with my friends :-), at the same time I had to fought with my family members at home to let me watch Cricket matches 😦 (at that time, with no cable connection, I had to watch on Doordarshan). Sometimes, I had to wait for my cousins to come to rescue, who had a a bit of interest in cricket and I watched along with them.

The only time I remember watching a game with my family members was the India vs Pakistan in 1996 quarter final match. There were more reasons for my family members to watch that match, with 1) It was in Bangalore, and the hype was enough to keep them interested 2) It was against arch rivals Pakistan and they had to see Pakistan on losing side. Fortunately that match was a thriller and AGAIN! Cricket brought smiles on all of our faces 🙂

It took me few years to know the basics of the game, but slowly it also got injected into my nerves and got addicted towards it. As years passed on, I became addicted to Cricket so much that

  • Shadow cricket became part of my life
  • Played book cricket with friends and more when alone
  • Even practiced batting on terrace, when alone by throwing the ball against wall and hitting the ball bouncing back towards me.
  • Broke few window panes
  • A Bowling action while walking no matter whether it is a public road or any other place. You commonly see that nowadays. Isn’t It?

And lots of stuffs which looked funny to others, but not to Me 🙂

There is pretty much a lot of those things where cricket plays a major role in my life, but just made the story short, coz I have more to share about the day where I completely lived in cricket for whole 8 hours. It was the day, where everybody’s focus around me was on Cricket.

 

Finally, The Day Arrived

On 13th February 2011 2:30 PM, my wait was put to end :-). I was all geared up to watch India vs Australia ICC Cricket World Cup warm up match (Scorecard), thanks to the last minute tickets by Nitheesh and Prakash in Sourcebits. Me, Vasu, and Sandeep reached stadium on a perfect time to get a 4th Seat in front Row of C Stand. And I was very thrilled to get the horizontal view of the Pitch. The view from my seat was awesome and I never expected to get such a close view of the ground. The build up to the match never looked like this was just a practice match.

I LOVED each and every moment in the ground and here are few of many of those moments 🙂

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Note: Please bear with the quality of images shown here. As the camera were not allowed inside the cricket stadium, we had to stick to our VGA camera with digital zoom

Master at Nets – Does he need to practice?

The Ground was full house within few minutes and before I did get to see the Ground, God had unveiled in what could be treated as the First Gift of the day. The “God of Cricket” was practicing, For Non-cricket followers, he is called “Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar”.  I got see his some of his awesome strokes at practice nets. OMG!!, does he need to practice??

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Pic:  God of Cricket(Sachin Tendulkar) at Practice

The Ground had a lush green outfield. The amenities at the ground, the Pitch, and other facilities were above standards and whatever doubts I had in my mind about this stadium not being up to International standards were cleared off.

 

Aussies sweat out – A Professional approach

A few minutes later, The Aussies took the field for their Practices session. They did their warm ups,

  • Watto ( Share Watson) had some slip catching,
  • David Hussey onto Pull Shots, fielding drills.

They even displayed hitting to one stump in which they had 99.99% accuracy. I was witnessing a thorough professionalism approach towards the game.

OMG!!, The Worlds Fasters Bowler. Brett (Lee) and Tait (Shaun) were practicing at the other side , I witnessed the Ball whistling away and they displayed a few of their deadliest weapons in their armor and reiterated a why they are rated the most Destructive and Super Fast bowlers.

Indian Team took the ground 45 minutes before the match and there practice was not as intensive as the Aussies. No further comments on this :-X.

Well, every one knew what happened to the match. If someone’s still wondering what was the result, here it is for you Scorecard

It was the toss time, and noice of the full house crowd in the stadium meant that I had to call someone at home 🙂 to know result of the toss. Probably, It was the start of the tournament and the organizers was not prepared to show the result of the toss on the BIG Giant screen they had.

 

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Pic: M. Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium, Bengaluru, India

“Nawab of Najafgarh”

I would be more interested in sharing the experience of watching cricket in the stadium, rather than on the match. BUT, would like to make one comment on the most Daring and person who possess Never say Die attitude, we call him ‘Nawab of Najafgarh”, It is none other than Virender Sehwag.

I was expecting something to happen when Sehwag took strike for his First ball, and as expected He hits it for FOUR!!

Name any Batsmen in this world currently, who hits his FIRST ball ( ideally the match’s first ball) to FOUR  or SIX consistently. (As I write this, Sehwag has played five matches (including practice match against Aus) in the world cup, and he has hit his first ball for FOUR on every single occassion)

To Watch that in the Stadium, I dont have words to explain you, Have a look at the video below, and hear the ROAR of the crowd (keep a check on your volume when you play it). THAT IS what you get when you are in the stadium. No matter you might be sitting in front of BIG Sony Plasma TV, you would not experience joy you get over here.

Worlds Fastest Bowler – Brett Lee

Brett, once gain proved his ability in not only bowling at 150k, but he demonstrated his accuracy in getting the ball hit the stumps more often than not. The Indian Team did not have any answer to his deadly Yorkers. The amount of practice he does before the match was very evident in this match.

 

PUTTA – Next-Gen Cricketer

As the nerves calm down with the wicket of Virender Sehwag, for a few moments I felt that there I am missing the commentary that you hear while watching it on TV. But those moments disappeared, as I started hearing a voice of a Kid in the backseat (in hindi) and had an ear towards his side. The accent and the words he spoke was CRYSTAL  clear. Moreover, his knowledge on cricket was amazing. Just to provide an instance, only a few knew at that moment, there was a Fast bowler named John Hastings in Australia team, and he was the one to identify over there. I chose to call him PUTTA (means, small kid in kannada but there is other reason why I chose the name ;-)). He kept cheering for Indian team, and enjoyed each and every moment of Indian batting (until the Indian batting collapse).

In my Previous Post , I did made a comment on Tamilians do not know to speak Hindi. I take back my word, after seeing this kid. He spoke in Hindi as clear as he spoke in Tamil.

 

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Pic: PUTTA – The Next-Gen Cricketer

Snacks and Dollu Kunitha

I was well prepared for the match with respect to keeping my stomach happy. I just had my breaklunch (breakfast cum lunch) just before I left for the stadium. I knew that there would be plenty of snacks available in the stadium, but apart from being too priced, It does not help keep your stomach out of trouble. Mind you that eatables from outside are not allowed  into the stadium, and to have whatever you get in the stadium for 8 long hours, you are asking for more especially if you are more prone to gastric and other allergies. Not to say that I did not had anything for 8 hours, but took it very minimal :-).

Between the Innings break, Organizers arranged the Dollu kunitha (see the video below), and you could see Mysore Express Javagal Srinath being the in-charge of this arrangement. Meanwhile, Zaheer gave an entry into stadium, walking around the boundary lines. I did got a good look at him. BOY!!, he has completely changed his look and got a good body shape and muscles. Never seen a Indian player having such a physique.

AUSSIES Dominate

Indian first innings came to an end while making a paltry 214 on a good batting wicket. For the first half of the match, Aussies progressed as if the pitch changed its nature completely. They were timing the ball more often, and I was disappointed to see the Intensity of the Indian team on the field.

For the first time I felt it could be boring with nothing to cheer as Aussies take control over the game, but the cool breeze around the ground, Flood light effect and some superb shots by the Aussie batsmen, kept me awake.

As the crowd were kept silence by the Aussie Batsmen, one voice kept cheering for them. Guess who?? Its our PUTTA – Next Gen cricketer. It SURPRISED Me!! He completely changed his color, and started cheering for Aussie Batsmen?? – “GO AUSSIE GO” is all what I could hear from him.

 

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Pic: Night View of M. Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium, Bengaluru.

The U turn – Indians on high

With the first wicket falling at around 120 runs in 23 overs, more than a few in the ground thought there would be nothing serious threat to the result of the match, with Australia still in dominant position. But I could sense that there could be a twist in the tale, and there was a sense of confidence in every single Indian player and this was clearly evident in their body language.

Parasappa had plans of leaving the stadium at this point. But I had already decided well before the match, that whatever happens I would be there till the last ball. Add to this the sudden intensity in the Indian players from nowhere, made me stand firm on my decision.

The wickets which fell after was clearly evident that there is a lack of players in Australian team who can handle spin well on what was called a placid pitch by both the captains after the match. With the crowd backing up, we roared after each wicket, Indian team destructed the Australian batting line up to a such an extent that everyone forgot that Kohli dropped two important catches after finally holding onto the third opportunity. With only 70 odd runs needed with 10 wickets in hand, Australians crumbled like a pack of cards, the way the pitch behaved after first wicket is still a mystery.

I also experienced and got to know why the experts keep saying that the Home team has the crowd support. It was unbelievable for me to hear the huge noise, and to experience from the middle, one needs to have a strong heart 🙂

 

Win-Win

God has unveiled his final gift for me with India winning in a dramatic fashion, and made sure the match had all the ingredients of a Thrilling contest one could experience. They were few Australians who was cheering as the Aussies dominated, and one person in front of me made sure they received what they had given. He used to point to them after each DOT ball, or a Wicket ball and made some gestures of Jai Ho India :-).  You call that racism(?) or whatever, It was good to watch. He went to an extent where he made them to hold the India national flag and cheer for India :-).

What was our PUTTA doing? Well, he was jubilant. He proved he is neither a India fan nor an Australia fan. He was a TRUE fan of Cricket :-). We celebrated the win with utmost joy and felt very satisfied to experience such a memorable and dramatic Game of Cricket!!.

 

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Pic: Crowd after witnessing a Dramatic India Win

 

“There is nothing other than Cricket in this world which Introduces to you every nook and corner of this world”

“There is nothing other than Cricket which brings joy on billions of faces :-)”

Thanks to God for not only making giving me what I expected, but along with it he made it a memorable day in my life 🙂

Hope you relished the article. I whole-heartedly welcome all your comments 🙂

 

With Wishing the India team ALL THE BEST to their ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 campaign, Signing off from you 🙂

 

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