Warning! I am about to sound clichéd. But that’s OK. You see, I am an Indian. And all Indians have this genetic disease. For anyone curious to know the various symptoms and effects of the disease, I hope this will provide enough fodder.
Firstly, I am very excited about writing this. So much so, that immediately after last night’s match, I began drafting a post about it and I did not get sleep for quite some time. And I did not even watch the match! So that just proves how severe the infection is.
Yesterday, India took on England in the world cup. All of us were sitting and watching the match in bits and pieces. We just got the news that we had won the toss and decided to bat first. We had a decent start, and there wasn’t much excitement. Then word got around that Sachin Tendulkar had started hammering the Englishmen. Ah! Now things were interesting. We all gathered around the television to admire the little master as he effortlessly scored yet another century and smashed yet another record. Everything was as per the textbook!
And then the wickets began falling. One, two, three… And then panic set in. “Go inside! You’re a bad luck charm!” “Switch it off!”… Well, hopefully you got the picture.
One by one the wickets tumbled. With every fall of a wicket, we felt like we were being stabbed. It was agonising. Soon, we were all out!
But we had a big score. Yeah, it should have been bigger, but 338 was still a match winning total. Some consolation.
But, as we soon found out, the pain had only just begun. The English batsmen were off to a flying start. Boundaries flowed mercilessly. We could not bear the pain. So we decided to take the anaesthetic. We switched off the TV and went for a walk. But the horrors of the match followed us, and we kept in touch with the commentary every few minutes. Strauss was in sterling form and he lead the team with a brilliant knock. 200 for just 2 wickets, and plenty of time in hand. The match was all but lost.
Some people had gathered outside a small retail outlet. We joined them as a decision was referred to the third umpire. Complete strangers were discussing with each other what the decision should be. “That’s out! Clearly!” “Yes! Absolutely!” But then the umpire did not agree with us. It’s open to debate if that decision was correct or not. But I’ll say it was wrong!
We continued, with heavy hearts to reach home. And then I received a message. The eerie silence of the empty streets was interrupted by the sounds of people cheering. Something had happened. We tuned in. 4 wickets down! Ah! Finally, some respite. A sight for sore eyes. But there was still a long way to go.
We stuck by our superstition and turned off the broadcast. And sure enough another fell. We tuned in again. And then another… But they continued to make runs comfortably. We turned it off! Every time we turned it off, a wicket fell! Soon they were 8 wickets down! Well, surely we couldn’t lose it now! And then they hit a six. And then another! Oh no!
The tension was unbearable. Last over – 14 runs, 2 wickets. We turned it off yet again. We waited patiently for a few balls to be bowled. We waited for some cheers, some sounds. But the sounds outside, and the messages on the phone were discouraging. It was all lost.
Well, at least we did not see it! We tuned in to the result. And we could scarcely believe it.
It was a tie. A TIE.
For all the sacrifices we made, after all this emotional trauma, no result!
They say cricket is a funny game. But for those suffering from this disease, we just don’t seem to get the joke. Whether or not cricket is funny, the joke’s definitely on us!