This blog is not for men. Men are advised to read it at their own risk and refrain from making superior-toned comments on my cricketing worries. Women, the more sensitive hearted gender, God bless you! I am sure most of you totally agree with all my observations and share similar tensions whilst watching the crazy game called cricket.
I mean, fathom this. When the player in the slips catches the ball, it seems mandatory that he throw it into the air with a whoop and perform a celebratory dance by climbing onto the back of the nearest idiot who comes prancing to hug him. This is also exactly the time when the channels take us away from the mad hoopla dance (how disappointing!) to suggest either getting the house painted or some crazy beauty regimen that makes pimples disappear. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrgh! And I really want to see the expression of the fielder who is bearing the weight of the entire country’s expectations as well as of the guy in the slips on his shoulder. I have often thought of recommending to successive captains that he keep the lightest players in the slips. And some weight lifter Hulk kinda guy nearby. Its a win-win, I tell you. Hulk can intimidate the other team with sheer size. And can be sent off immediately for a weight lifting event post-match.
And the most important issue, and the one that truly worries me to death: What about the ball? I mean, irrespective of whether Clarke and Watson stay on the pitch or no, Newton always does. Sorry, let me explain. That ball, the one that the slip of the player in the slip didn’t let slip? He throws it up, right? As a part of the post-catch throw and dance routine. Well, so its going to come down at some point in time obviously…they never show it come down..and it worries me tremendously. I wish they would allow the house painting and pimple cures to be postponed till such a time that it came crashing down to some safe place, quite a way off from Hulk and Slip.
And this really huge question of the difference between the LB and the LBW. This crucial difference of the W can only be understood by those of the unfair sex, is my contention. I mean, my wisp of a son, just by virtue of being born as a male, knows this instinctively. And when, with my cricket watching cum commentary experience of so many years, I gasp, “OMG its an LBW”, comes the superior tone immediately “Gosh maa, how can you be sooooo uneducated? That was only a leg bye.” Now, I have a deep resentment for the name itself…how can you call it leg bye when the leg actually is giving the ball the royal bye. As a small kid, I used to initially think that the leg bye literally means that the leg is…you know, ….bye. Broken. And it used to worry me immensely. No, not only the fact that some guy had to sacrifice an entire limb for the nation; what used to worry me MUCH more was the completely business-as-usual approach of my elder brother and friends who used to be totally unmoved by the saga of such a huge sacrifice. Rude! And then my deep admiration for the Gavaskars and the Vengsarkars who used to keep playing gustily, without so much as a grimace…what bravehearts!
And then, my innocent mind used to spend a lot of time mulling about Umpires. Doesn’t the umpire get bored stiff? What a thankless job! Hold people’s hats and point a finger occasionally to the skies. Done. And to stand steadfast in that hot sun in the face of threatening faces and war cries of the bowling team, shaking your head sagely at’em. If I were to be the umpire, I would have made sure I would have dropped a spider or something into the hat of the next ugly who dared make threatening faces at me.
And this thing of banging fists with those of the other batsman after a 4 or a 6? This was so not around earlier in the gentleman’s game. Now, think about this reasonably. If I have just hit a boundary, I have saved myself the effort of running like the devil across the pitch, right? So, enjoy the break. Now the new style is that you go running across anyway, that too without fear of getting run out, in order to bash up the other guy’s fist. What if they get hurt, I always fret. And I really hope they won’t do some crazy cost saving on the design of that batting glove. The most cushioning goes on the fist, is the correct design strategy, says my womanly intuition.
And what do they speak about in that huddle, I wonder. When I was a real little kid, my brother had wickedly told me (looking back I realize it was quite creative of him…..grrrrrrrrr) that they say “Holi hain bhai holi hain. Boora na maano holi hain.” Even at age 6, this answer was so madly unacceptable that I looked askance at him for a seriously long time. But this information had come across with such a straight face, that I was forced into accepting it and I did so for a real long time. It was dad, in whom I confided worriedly, 6 years later, when aged around 12, that they should be getting more serious than singing “Holi hain bhai holi hain. Boora na maano holi hain” just before that crucial match against Pakistan. I still remember Dad’s face; first disbelief flitting across and then crazy crazy laughter. I also remember him going after Bhaiyya with vengeance. Heh heh heh.
Life does come back full circle though. When my lil one was 6, he asked me, “What are they talking in the huddle, mommy?” Heeheeheehee.