Monday, December 31, 2007

Chennai 600080

What do you do when you have just finished your 9th std half yearly exams and are gonna have 2 weeks full of vacation? Collect 2 rupees each from the 25 odd people, buy two tennis balls and head to the play ground. There were quite a few of us – BK, Marla, VB, MB, Vidhyashankar, Thiaga, Sathya, Krishna, Tony, Bharani, Krishna Prasad, Manja, myself, Prasanna, Abdul, Vishwas, Kishore, Srini, Buddi, Gullu, Kulla, Palla, Naresh, Varuna, Shreenath…..

Usually UCO bank ground was our abode. It was just besides BK’s house – whose mom was great enough to tolerate us and feed us for a whole of 2-3 yrs that we spent playing there. The ground had a longer off side boundary (behind square was plain shrubbery, mid-off: there was a building - so square of the wicket and long off were the only scoring options). Leg side was restricted (by shrubbery yet again), max u could score was a 2G and between long on and cow’s corner it was no didnt have runs behind the stumps...since it was blocked by the wall of you had to be careful you dont hook or scoop lest the ball falls on the other side of the wall......

Generally we played 15 overs a side. Most of us enjoying the shade under the tree, while the wretched few baked in the sun and played. Those were the days…….we enjoyed a lot….it was usual for the tennis ball to get lost in the shrubs….and getting it out was an adventure in itself…..this BK always reminded me of adam gilchrist…..dunno why….but he was one cool character…one of the best fielders and calm headed batsman I have seen….

Vidhya was a class act on the off side….was vulnerable to balls cutting into him….but he always ha the knack of scoring when it mattered…..thiyaga was jekyl and hyde combo…a class act on the off…and a rustic wood cutter on the leg side…. Varuna was stylish….though I am tempted to say style over substance…fact is he had both in ample quantity….he was a perfect batsmen..a perfect bowler…a great fielder…just that it was easy to get under his skin…..Naresh was a complete cricketer….in fact he was the complete sportsman in our group..could play any game..and excelled in every game….Sathya and Kishore were scary fast bowlers…and maverick batsmen….home grown techniques..which served them well….MB was a nice player to watch too…Buddi had a beautiful action modeled on wasim akram…just that he couldn’t bowl….but a tenacious batsman….

The rest of us were mere pretenders…..trying this or that…we never knew when we would score and when we would not…it was always lottery…the only thing we were sure of was that we had immense fun…..

There were few gem in our midst too...there was this P.S.Ramakrishnan who was very very stylish....and Sathyamurthy who was frighteningly fast with the bowl and explosive with the bat...

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