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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Old Cricketing days

I'd be unnecessary to mention that I played cricket in school because I'm damn sure that every Indian school-boy would have done that. Even if not to a great extent, they would have at least held a bat in their hand or thrown the ball towards a totally lost person standing in front of three sticks or at the least would have run behind the ball as a fielder.

After a long time I'm having regular (weekendly) access to playing cricket. Ok, now those who know me and have seen me playing cricket, ya, it is most of the time running behind the ball "trying" to catch it (they would call me fielder then). Holding the bat and "only swinging" the bat in every direction (as if trying to drive away mosquitoes; they would call me batsman then) .

Little improvement from those days: I atleast save the ball, though not catch it; at times the ball hits the bat and goes for a 4 (at least). I'm still bowling, as miserable as always.

I still remember the first "official" match I played in school (sixth standard). I was the captain of the team (actually I just grabbed the oppurtunity when someone asked who wants to be captain). First ball, C.D.Ashwanth, a guy from Red House was the bowler and as I was the captain, I'm the opener. With heavy force I hit the ball so high that everyone my team (Green House) shouted. However, the ball landed straight into Ashwanth's hands without even crossing the pitch :( . My classmates Kowshik (who works for Yahoo now), Karthikeyan, Ashwanth etc used to laugh over that one-ball incident till they finally forgot it one day (well, who cares).

That one-ball fiasco, as I call it, put an end to my cricketing career (at least within school). I always used to play cricket at home. Four enthusiastic cricketers, who were the dare devils of the neighbourhood (I mean our homes). Srinath (my cousin), Chiju (ya.. me), Varun and Sushil. Varun, almost 2 years younger to me, used to come to his Granpa's house which was opposite to our house and Sushil, 2 years younger to Varun, from the house next to his grandpa's house.

We used to play cricket in many forms depending on various factors:
1. Rain/Sun.
2. Presence of Srinath's dad's car and my dad's car in my place (Our families stayed upstairs and downstairs then).
3. Presence of Varun's grandpa's cars (plural, which means we have a big pitch like stretch there).
4. Digging of road (which rarely happened).
5. Abilty to go to our school ground.
6. Availability of all the four of us.
7. Availability of the backyard of my house (we call it "Kollai", in Tamil - not the theft Kollai).

And according to the above factors, we played various forms of cricket. I'll take you through all of them one-by-one.

1. Singles - The all famous, no need to explain form. Lesser the number, better the fun.
2. Team-Team - This is a good one. We pick two international teams (ofcourse, one is India) and we take turns batting for each and every player in both the teams. This means, all of us are on the same side. Only thing that mattered was who'd play for Sachin!
3. Under-arms - Either if rain turned against us or if only Kollai cricket is possible, only underarms bowling was allowed. During rain, we used to play in the compound of my where we had ample protection from the rain. Car factors apply.
4. Road Cricket - Alagesan Road (though not as broad as it is now) has been a great pitch for us. Overarm throwing only allowed. Depending upon number of players, off-side/leg-side/both sides scoring was decided.
5. Bowling - If school ground was an option or if Varun's grandpa's cars were all out, we used to play this. I was a big loser when it came to playing Srinath's Fast Bowling. How I used to cheat, only I know (not even them most of the times). Sorry guys! :)
6. Stanes vs Lisieux - This is my favourite pick. There were lots of guys from Stanes school around my neighbourhood. And we were from Lisieux. If time and number of players coincided, we used to play this. And this was the best cricket we've played.

We've had so many fights, reasons being teaming up against one guy or cheating or other silly things and not talked for a long time and all. But, that was the best phase of my life. Lakshmi aunty (our neighbout), her dogs (Pinky and Snoopy), who used to shout at us all the time. How many balls have we lost! How many bats we've broken!

Most of all how much fun have we had. Thankyou daredevils (we never called us that, then) for all the fun! Thats the only cricket team where I've also been a hero.

PS: Srinath, I know you read all my posts. Well, I'd expect you to comment on this one. :)

8 Expressions:

Swathi Vaidyanathan said...

Nice post!!!! I remember the days when I used to watch u guys playing the different versions of the game. N I have witnessed all the fights between u guys. If memory is right, the most number of fights were about 'Who's going to buy the rubber ball to play today?' Things u forgot to mention....
1. How many glasses u broke!!!!
2. How many rubber/tennis balls went missing!!!!!!
3. How many ppl have u guys thrown into rangasamy mama's house to get the lost ball!!!!

Anjana R said...

i remember another popular game the guys in my class used to play-some pencil/pen fight game. brings back scl memories. :)

Chiju said...

@Swathi
ya.. that was interesting for us.. not so much for u ppl i guess.. :)
and ya.. the area behind our house where so many many tennis balls decayed... :)

Chiju said...

@Anjana
Ya.. it is really good to have those memories then and there.. :) keeps us going.. :)

VJ said...

LOL... the post was VERY entertaining. I didn't read it at first because I obv thought 'cricket' would not interest me. But, I'm very interested in the number of people you THREW inside someone's house ???? :P

hhehehehee
CHIJU! this is the funniest post ever! And more cus of the comments :P

Loved it!

Chiju said...

@VJ
thanks Swathi (this post turned out to be funny cos of you comment) ;P

Throwing meant helping the small guys (in this case Sushil and Varun) by lifting them over the compoud wall.. they'd do the jumping down.. :)

but true.. it always looked like throwing people into the house.. :)

Swathi Vaidyanathan said...

Chju, I remember one instance where our elder bro literally threw one of the guys into that house. The guy landed on the thorny bushes and was hurt badly. And finally all u guys got to hear from the elders for doing this.

Chiju said...

@Swathi
hmmm.. i don't remember when this happened or who were involved.. but ya.. it happened and it was fun (of course not for the guy who was hurt)...

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