During my school days I was gripped by the love for cricket. I always was crazy for this colonial sport. From my home to school and way back through the streets of my town, and elsewhere too, I was looked for cricket pitch. Somewhere I was claiming myself as a cricket expert.
Playing gully cricket on streets and backyards became a part of my life. I always liked the dramatic scene of all formats, whether an International cricket match or local cricket match. Winning the final world cup match on the last ball by England, Misbah’s sweep in 2009 T20 World cup, or when Dhoni asked for a review, looking for a third umpire’s decision – I always remained on the edge, glued to the screen, or with the radio. Besides a perfect excuse for my home work. My favourite team might face an exit in the first match, but I remained tuned to all gadgets till the final match. It was just like an addiction. Following my team in all odds was my passion. Whether they win or lose. Next day, yesterday’s game remained a hot debate in school and shared raw emotions with classmates and school friends. Sometimes I was sharing my agony when my favourite batsman or bowler failed to move the game when it was a turning point. However, if my favourite team won the match, a sense of achievement and joy knew no bounds.
In a radical move in “Big Bash” series in December 2018, teams tossed the bat instead of a coin and captains of both the teams called for “Hill” and “Roof”. However, this reminds me of my days when I too was flipping the bat to determine which team had the right to choose bat or bowl. However, flipping the coin, inspecting the turf, and checking out the weather conditions – such things I have realized in International formats, because I experienced that we lack quality Infrastructure. However, now I’m feeling proud that I was too flipping the bat in a “Gulli” cricket match, as nowadays sponsors are ready to give huge amounts for giving space for a tag on the bat which will be used for the toss.
While experiencing the past, I realized that in a local cricket match we copied the professional level of cricket, as we had no access to such synthetic turf, or other infrastructure. In our “Gulli” cricket we also had certain brands like “Rhythmic pacer, Yorker man, Run machine, Run-Out specialist, and much more, who never practiced diligently under the nets.