Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cricket - not my religion

Yes, that's true even though I am an Indian. For the simple fact that every time I raise my hopes they are dashed harder than the waves of the ocean against the shoreline rocks. There are those that would be apt audience for the new Star Cricket channel. But alas, I am not one of those. For me the only team that plays is the Indian National Cricket team.

While I am not so qualified as to pass judgment on the recent developments in the world of cricket (formation of the Indian Cricket League), I do hope that things work in the favor of cricket the game. (To some I might sound contradictory, but I can't help it!)

Anyways, I was remembering a few interesting and eventful cricketing events that went on in real time matches between different nations while reading a forward. There's a huge list of such; I am putting up just a few.

The Prasad vs. Sohail Incident: Zero to Hero in 3 easy steps

Chasing India's score of 287-8, Pakistan got off to a flyer of a start with Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar tearing the Indian attack apart.

  1. Aamir Sohail was completely bent on demolishing the Indian bowling to pieces charging down the track to faster bowlers. In this particular case he came down the ground, a good 4-5 steps and slashed the ball over the vacant off-side area. The ball disappeared into the fence in a flash. And what followed has since been etched in the memories of every cricket fan in the subcontinent.
  2. Amir Sohail is no Miandad. But he tries to be, and fails miserably. Sohail after hitting the shot pointed his bat at the area where the ball had disappeared and then towards Prasad, apparently gesturing where he will send him. It's not everyday that you see a batsman sledging the bowler, and Sohail was about to learn just why.
  3. Sohail attempted to repeat the shot (albeit with his feet stuck to the ground this time), made room and exposed his stumps, and his weakness, and in return lost his wicket and his face. As the wicket lay uprooted, Prasad returned the favor to Sohail, pointing to the pavilion this time.
McGrath Vs Brandes (I love this one!)

In a showdown of best pacers of two countries, Brandes made up for his complete absence of batting skills by displaying some great sense of humor and presence of mind.
Aussie paceman Glenn McGrath was bowling to Zimbabwe number 11 Eddo Brandes - who was unable to get his bat anywhere near the ball. McGrath, frustrated that Brandes was still at the crease, wandered up during one particular over and inquired, "Why are you so fat?"
Quick as a flash, Brandes replied, "Because every time I make love to your wife, she gives me a biscuit."
Even the Aussie slip fielders were in hysterics.

Viv Richards vs. Greg Thomas

This incident took place during a county championship match between Glamorgan and Somerset. Glamorgan quickie Greg Thomas had beaten Viv Richards' bat a couple of times and informed the legendary West Indian ace, "It's red, round and weighs about five ounces, in case you were wondering."
The very next ball was given the King Viv treatment and smashed out of the ground, into a river - at which point Richards pipped up, "Greg, you know what it looks like. Now go and find it."

Sachin Tendulkar vs. Abdul Qadir

The year was 1989, the little master had recently made his debut in Pakistan. Sachin not even old enough to get a driving license. Sachin Tendulkar was facing the best bowlers in the business. As the Pakistani crowds jeered and mocked Sachin holding out placards saying "Dudh pita bachha... ghar jaake dhoodh pi" (hey kiddo, go home and drink milk), Sachin sent the then young leg spinner Mustaq Ahmed hiding for cover (he had hit two sixes in one over.) The frustrated mentor of Mustaq Ahmed the legendary Abdul Qadir challenges Sachin saying "Bachhon ko kyon maar rahe ho? Hame bhi maar kar dikhaao." (Why are you hitting kids? Try and hit me.)
Sachin was silent. Since then we all have come to know that he lets his bat do all the talking. Abdul Qadir had made a simple request and Sachin obliged, and how! Sachin hit 4 sixes in the over, making the spinner look the kid in the contest. The over read 6,0,4,6,6,6.

Ravi Shastri vs Mike Whitney

Its common knowledge that Indian's usually don't resort to sledging and the Aussies swear by it. In this rare occasion the tables had turned and it was the Aussies who were at the receiving end.
Shastri hits the ball towards Mike Whitney (the 12th man in the game) and looks for a single. Whitney gets the ball in and says, "If you leave the crease I'll break your f***ing head!"
Shastri, without batting an eyelid, "If you could bat as well as you can talk you wouldn't be the f***ing 12th man."

Merv Huges vs Hansie Cronje

Merv Huges was one of the greatest exponents of the fine "art" of sledging. Once during a tour game in South Africa Huges was bowling to Hansie Cronje. It was an especially flat wicket and Cronje was hitting Hughes for fours and sixes all over the place.
After the umpteenth boundary, Hughes headed down the pitch, stood near Cronje, let out a fart and said, "Try hitting that for a six." It was five minutes before the guffawing stopped and play could resume.

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