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Boom! A New Culture

The year 2020 has well arrived and set in, Dr Kalam Sir's vision of India being a superpower might still be miles away, but then that's not what I'm here to talk about.

As I move towards my topic of comfort, Cricket, 2020 is quite a milestone year again. No doubt the smallest format of the game will get celebrated through it's global event later this year, but the race for supremacy in the Elite format of the game will be simultaneously contested via the World Test Championship getting heated up.

India, though always considered a SuperPower in this International fraternity, have always lacked in a vital half of the game. Just when the Nation has kept churning out Champion batsmen, one after the other, it's the Bowling aspect of the game that has always remained more than just a worry for this Cricket crazy Nation and this isn't a secret that I'm trying to uncover

The basic Cricketing culture in our country has been such that bowling has always remained the neglected part of our society. In a typical Gully cricket contest, "Batting karke bhaag jaana" is a heinous crime, but "Bowling karke bhaag jaana" isn't something that you'll ever hear. In a place where a general cricket fan comes out to express his views in public, be a Nukkad wala Pan Shop or a super busy barber shop, everybody's just there to criticize or at times, even abuse our bowling attacks.

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In a country crossing all records of obesity and disorders generated via poor lifestyles, every other cricket fan expects India to have a bowler who can easily notch up 150kmph and just blow away opposition batting lineups

Not that India never had great bowling prospects, not that our fast bowlers never won us big matches, it's only that we've never quite had an era of fast bowling greats, like the mighty West Indies of the 80s, the Strong Aussies of the 90s or the extremely skilled Pakistanis had

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But then, India has this habit of pulling out a rabit from the most unlikeliest of the hats. For a country who's most popular Prime Minister in last few decades is someone who sold tea on a rural Railway Station, India's quest for it's much dreamt about fast bowler was about to end in a similar way. While we all had our eyes glued to our clockwork of a Domestic Cricket Circuit to produce a World Class bowler, a Cricket league, which was always critically described as an Entertainment & Revenue generation Carnival, threw up a giant of a Talent.

A struggling franchisee of this Cricketing extravaganza had organized a Talent hunt competition, sounds a bit Filmy, doesn't it ? The auditions kept rolling on, from city to city, state to state, an Old friend of Indian Cricket was all set to uncover a diamond from the great cricketing depths that one can't even imagine.

What followed next was Indian Cricket realizing it's long term dream, it was beautiful as it began, revolutionary, enlightening, something that promised to bring in a new culture into the country, something satisfying, the journey so far hasn't been any lesser than a poem

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Indian Cricket saw a beautiful dream,

a Young man with a promise had entered the scene

 

His arms moved like the hands of a clock,

soon he'd become a part of every talk

 

With lightning pace & fury he bowled,

quickly grabbed the Eyes of the young & the old

 

He set the cricket's carnival ablaze,

from instant Fame & stardom he remained unfazed

 

Soon his opportunity in the National colours arrived,

with each rising expectation he thrived

 

What a sight it was to see the young man blossom,

from a freaky talent to a potent weapon

 

As seasons went by, he changed along,

the skinny boy was now a Man,Fit & Strong

 

Soon he donned the sacred Whites,

Indian cricket was now ready to scale new heights

 

His captain had a love affair with aggression & pace,

with him by his side he could win every Race

 

The African land was his 1st Conquest,

with his brilliance he blasted away the very best

 

Then next in line was the English Summer,

he ran through the Poms like a hot knife in Butter

 

The Indian Caravan now travelled down under,

the Aussies were no game against his mighty Thunder

 

The World Cup Stage was all set for his arrival,

he enthralled all with his skills surreal

 

As one by one he unleashed his toe crushing Yorkers,

the Indian contingent in the crowd went Bonkers

 

The Champ could see the coveted Cup coming his way,

but destiny said "some other day"

 

We know someday that the Champagne bottle will Pop,

the Spark we see will never drop

 

For now we know how delighted we are,

coz India's got its Bowling SuperStar

Nish (1)

Nish Navalkar

Love, watch, play, analyse, write, eat, sleep, dream Cricket. Railways enthusiast. I scribble poems.

Test-Cricket

Test Cricket

The Challenges of Test Cricket. An absolute concrete giant of a stadium, beautifully lit by soaring light towers, catchy extravagant music being played on a World class Sound system, flashy advertising hoardings of Top notch commercial brands occupying every nook & corner of the venue, players with glamourous coloured clothing taking part & more of advertisements all around. This might be the very basic identity of Cricket in year 2020, but there’s still a large community of people around the globe who’ll prefer the more sacred, dare I say, the more authentic version of the Sport.

As the 5 day version of the sport itself stands against a stern Test of time, its distinctiveness & unpredictable nature remain the 2 key aspects that need to be highlighted. Rolling back the calendar pages to Aug 2018, in a divine setting at the Home of Cricket, India battling against the hosts, the rain Gods playing a cat & mouse with the ever so inaffective Sun throughout the course of the match. A telling feature of this match that comes to the surface is this extremely unique feature of test cricket where the day to day changes in weather conditions have a huge impact in the overall outcome of the game. Hardly will an athlete playing any other sport will face such a challenge.

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The traditional format might be boring and slow for the modern day generation, but if ever there was a game of chess to be represented on a playground, it would always be our beloved 5 day game. The challenges that the players face, be it mental, physical or related to teamwork, are just so unique.

The game also gets played across 5 continents and each different geographic playing area has it's different impression on the way the game gets played. From the hard and quick wickets of Australia, to the low and crumbling pitches in Asia. The cold and windy playing arenas of New Zealand to the sun baked grounds of the Caribbean. The romantic wet conditions of England to these green and seaming wickets of South Africa. Needless to say, these unique conditions give birth to some of the most unique kind of Champions. The ones with swagger, some with ruthless physical abilities, the others weaker in physical aspects but skilful nonetheless.

This lovely game which originated in the farms of Britain is now a global phenomenon and on the spread all the time. A game which was initially meant for the rich and the cream of the society has now moved onto the masses irrespective of the social and financial backgrounds they come from. What was supposed to be a game played only in the urban centres has now reached the far corners. Obviously the development of television media has had a huge role to play, but nothing inspires people more than National heroes. All the test playing nations have had people playing for their country who would go on to become Idols that would make millions to take to this game. In Asian countries, cricket is no more just a sport, it has a become a way of life for people. Cricket brings people together where religion and political boundaries creates divides.

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In recent times, the managers of this game have decided to expand boundaries and incorporate newer countries to try their hands at cricket. The results have been terrific and has led to the exuberance of talent from areas nobody had expected from. Countries known for people with grenades & rifles in their hands and faces covered with scarfs are now proudly donning the Gentleman's whites and are ready to conquer the world with this new opportunity to change the reputations and with them the fortunes of their countries.

The advocates of the game know that the task at hand is a challenging one, but the process, though challenging, is a beautiful one. It should be a pleasure to watch this lovely game spread it's wings and reach new heights with every new country it spells it's magic on.

Long live test cricket!

Nish (1)

Nish Navalkar

Love, watch, play, analyse, write, eat, sleep, dream Cricket. Railways enthusiast. I scribble poems.

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