Last night I scored.
I don’t remember when the last time I played cricket was. I think it must be
something like a decade back. I don’t play Tennis either. I can play Volley ball
for hours. (I am not sure if I can still claim that). The thing is, my knee doesnt
let me to run on hard surfaces.
Many a times there were opportunities to play cricket. I was always
apprehensive about fielding, running and catching and stuff. Last week
some dudes who I remotely know through my friend Zee, booked an entire
ground for a day and night match. I hesitantly asked them if I can play.
Sorry, we have already formed teams. Captain Kiran informed.
How many are there in your team. Zee enquired.
Make it Twelve. Smiley is playing. Zee concluded.
Twelve we were. Before getting into the field I told Kiran that its been a
decade since I played this game.
Can you atleast stand for 25 overs? Kiran asked.
I can try.
He put me on the offside.
It was already dark and the stadium dudes switched on the flood lights.
Zee meanwhile mixed a bottle of vodka with sprite and water for me.
I ran back, stuffed my right pocket with Haldirams mixture and came back
to my position to field (with the bottle).
I was a little nervous worrying about me misfielding. It did happen.
The batsman swung his bat, before I realized, the ball came running
According to Brian Green, the probability for it to happen is infinitesimally
small.But it happened. The ball just when it was about to close in my palms
entered a new dimension, got disappeared and reappeared in a fraction of
seconds at the boundary line.
Thats ok Smiley. Zee encouraged me from the stands.
Smiley, can you move back to the boundary line? Kiran appeared.
Sure. Within no time I actually got comfortable with the whole thing. I kept on
sipping my vodka. When the ball came towards me the next time, I actually
held it and threw it right on the spot to the keeper.
Kiran suddenly appeared out of nowhere and asked, Can you bowl?
I took that question quiet literally and told him,
Of course I can, what do you think? Fucker!
Go bowl. He threw the ball at me.
Dude, I can bowl. But I don’t think I can bowl.
I did some practice rotating arms suff and tried to remember my bowling
action. It was a white leather ball. Umpire asked me for the guard.
I gave him a blank look.
The first ball was such a wide that the batsman made fun of me by
running after that ball. The second ball was a good one. But Umpire declared
it a noball. He was eighteen years something dude.
Dude, Umpire! Didnt Kiran tell you about my knee injury?
Well, you cant declare nobes for the fucking balls that I bowl.
Take a shorter runup and no nobes for you.
The next ball directly went to the keeper’s glove in a semi circular arc.
Nice throw. My keeper encouraged me.
Suddenly my basics flooded back I bowled four decent balls. Actually the
fourth one was a snick and keeper failed to catch it. After I finished the over
I ran to Kiran to give him a high five. Dude, I finished the over.
They smashed 148 in 25 overs.
I finished my vodka and sat in the stands watching my team’s batting.
Zee appeared suddenly and asked me, Why are you not batting?
Come on, I cant bat. I don’t think I can even see the ball. Besides I just had
a quarter Vodka.
You are batting. Kiran! Smiley is next.
Well, Hari is next. Kiran said.
I am stopping this match. Zee ran into the field. We pulled him back.
The thing is, I never batted with pads on. They gave me full gear. After
wearing the guard, pads, thigh pad and gloves, I refused to wear a helmet.
Thats not for me. I said.
With the gear on, I was little awkward. Kiran sensed it and said,
here, Let me bowl some practice balls for you. So, in the stands, I practiced.
Someone got out. Kiran got into the field. A little later, another one got out.
It was my turn. I walked calmly towards the crease. Took my stance. Bowler
bowled. Before I realized that he bowled, the ball was collected by the keeper.
Everyone oohed because the ball missed my ear by an inch.
Kiran walked to me and said,
Dont try anything fancy. Just enjoy the show. Keep batting. Dont get out.
I made a note. Instead of simply watching the bowlers action, react to it.
Keeper shouted to the bowler. Straight onto the wickets. We will get him.
You will get my dick. Mother fucker. I told him.
I ended up driving the next ball beautifully onside for a four.
Sometimes, after couple of drinks, I get really calm and focused. After getting
drunk, no one can beat me on my Xbox.
Instead of being a nervous wreck, I strangely ended up being focused on that
night. I played for the rest of the overs, remained a notout batsman and scored
some fifteen plus.
The best part was, for one of the offside balls that I missed; I walked down to
the umpire and told him that I would have declared it a wide.
He declared it a wide.
After the match, Kiran said, with little practice, I can come handy as a batsman.
That night I fantasized a glorious innings by me in the finals of 2007 world cup.