My cousin and I sat down for our usual late night chat. We were discussing Kumble’s retirement. I started thinking about cricket on the whole and what it meant for me. There was a time when cricket was all we lived for. Kumble’s retirement has left yet another big hole in my ever depreciating love for the game. Two names I’ve been hearing since the very word “cricket”, Sachin and Kumble. Yes, it might be time for them to hang up their shoes, but with their retirement, they also take away what I felt for the game.

I slowly realized that these heroes are what bound me to the game, rather than the game itself. That explains my change of feelings from fanatic to just a watcher.

I know the day is not far away when Sachin, Dravid and Laxman would call it quits, they ideally should, but then they are the only ones left who never fail to take me back to my fanatic days.

There are many glorious moments of the game that still lingers in my mind. It takes me back to my school days when I used to walk, talk, eat and sleep cricket. I hope Dhoni’s boys manage to re create the magic that I used to associate with Indian cricket some time ago. I wish I could get back to those crazy days.

The days when:

  • Sachin murdered each person who challenged him verbally or with provocative antics, examples being Henry Olonga, Michael Kasprovich, Andy Caddick, Azhar Mahmood and numerous others. Don’t ever challenge Sachin if you don’t want to see your bowls in the parking lot, as Caddick found out in the ’99 World Cup.
  • Venkatesh Prasad got back at Aamir Sohail’s smirk by showing him the way to the pavilion after clean bowling him in the Quarter Final of the ’96 World Cup.
  • Ajay Jadeja blasted 40 runs of 2 Waqar Younis overs.
  • Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid made a mockery of Sri Lankan Bowling attack in the ’99 World Cup. Ganguly scored 183 and Dravid 145. I ended up feeling sorry for the Lankans.
  • Warne looked down in despair at being mercilessly thrashed by Sachin and Co. The Masters of Spin.
  • Kumble was hailed as the one among the greatest after scalping a perfect 10 against Pakistan.

These were the golden days of Indian cricket for me. We may have lost a lot, but there were victories which made us all forget them and forgive our heroes.

For now, all I can say is that I wish the guys all the best and that someday I’ll get back my lost love for cricket. Until then, let me go watch the good ole days on You tube…

Cheers…

Niyad

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