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My old cricket friend.

by Naked Cricket


Now that I think about the old black gate, I’m glad it stayed. It’s much more than a gate really. It’s a link to my earliest cricket, my first bat, my first cricket friend. It was in the 70s, and he was in his 60s, silver white hair flowing like some cricket wizard; in long half pants, china collar shirt, grey stockings, patched brown K shoes. I was 6 then. My first bat that he got me was a size 5.

And when I outgrew it, in came the size 6 bat. I was a little man, and even the size 5 bat was a handfull. The gate, it felt like some big black tower. And my friend, he bowled with a run up – not underarm filth, but with a proper bowling action.

that manhole was the bowling crease

There was intent to our little duels. And now when I play with the kids, or gatecrash anybody else’s game, I much rather bowl to them. Now I know where I get it from. Thinking back, I don’t know whether I ever bowled to him, but I must have.

The clear memory is of him briskly moving in, feigning a pacer’s run up, high arm release, but never too quick to fox me – the delivery was neither slow nor fast, it was patient. Patient enough for me to see the ball, see it pitch, and sometimes bounce and whiz past the blade of my bat, but patient enough to allow me a taste of what it was all about.

Don’t think I ever was so overwhelmed then, as I am now. It’s been a long time. But you are a 100 today. And I’m still playing cricket, and the gate wicket is in place. And Kapil Dev went on to win the World Cup, you would have liked that. Happy Bored Day Nana.

8 comments:

John said...

Outstanding.

Late Inswing said...

That was touching!

Som said...

And my man felt cricket was not manly enough!

Mahek said...

That, there, is the reason so many of us love the game. Best Bored Day message I've come across.

Homer said...

Brilliant!

straight point said...

moving!

A Bisht said...

Touching...

Megha said...

Lovely post NC...