Friday, May 23, 2008

The corporate side to T6 cricket in our colony


by KParthasarathi Friday, May 23, 2008
The cricket season is in full swing. The schools are closed for summer vacation. I see daily about a dozen young boys in the age group ranging from nine to eighteen playing cricket in the vacant ground opposite to my house. The sun may be scorching at 40 degrees celcius but the boys are there undaunted by 11am, some with oversized county caps and some bare headed. Only some boys have shoes while the rest play with chappals, Hawaii or otherwise. There are three stumps on one side and a bamboo stick doing the duty of a stump at the bowler’s end. They play with used tennis ball as they have no money to buy a regular cricket ball. There were two pads with one of them smaller than the other. The boys chose according to their heights. A torn hand glove was used by boys timid in heart. None of these deficiencies dampened their soaring spirits or muted their loud appeals.
They adopted a shortened version of IPL T20 by dividing the number into three teams and played 6 overs each. They christened themselves with equally high sounding names though they lacked the colourful uniforms or the smiling faces of celebrities. Luckily they had the common cheer leaders for all teams from urchins of less than 7 years with or without shirts aping the lusty movements of the regular cheer leaders we see in TV. There was the unfortunate incident of one mother pulling away her 5 year old girl from the cheer leaders’ team for what she considered an obscene movement of the child’s posterior.
As I was watching daily from the balcony of my house, I saw one fat boy sitting alone under the tree besides an improvised score board without playing on any single day. I called him and asked him his name and why he was not joining others in the fun. Amidst sobbing he told that he is Sunil Kumar a Gujarati boy and that the boys are not taking him for the game though he is pleading with them daily. They are telling that I am the owner like Sharukh Khan or Preity Zinta and should stay at the pavilion. I felt it was unfair to exclude a colony boy on silly grounds and called three aged boys who were playing.
.I asked them “Why are you excluding him? If there are thirteen players, let one sit out by turn.”
The boys said in chorus that he is the owner. I got annoyed and shouted “What rubbish are you saying? What owner? Take him for the game or I will not allow you people to play here/”
The boys pleaded “Uncle, the bat, stumps, pads and gloves belong to him. That is why he is the owner.”
I said “Are you not ashamed? The boy is giving you all the equipments for you to play with .Without them you cannot play at all. Don’t you have a sense of gratitude?”
The boys again said in one voice “Uncle, he is not giving them free. He collects a rent of Rs.10 each day.”
When I looked at the boy, he put his head down. I made the compromise that he will collect Rs5 henceforth and that he should be included. That left everyone happy including the chubby boy. I remembered Vijay Mallya’s words that IPL has a corporate side too. The Gujarati boy true to his nature has remembered it in the T6 tournament.
Kpartha12@hotmail.com

8 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful post... gave me fond memories of playing days as a kid in my colony.

    Am featuring this post on my blog... cheers

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  2. thanks for rekindling nostalgia of gully cricket...

    oh, how i miss it...

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  3. That boy will go far! Thanks for stimulating the joy of simple bat-ball again.

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  4. Interesting article. Gave me fond memories of my youth when I played cricket all day with my Hawaii Chappals on. And today, I am sweating it out in a corporate field here in US. Oh well, such is life. But T6 is an interesting concept that I have been toying with, as well. I have written several blogs on it and the response is overwhelming.. it is about opening "Virtual Twenty20 Arenas" all over India, thus giving opportunities to everyone young and old to come out and enjoy Cricket, experience the T20 atmosphere. I have a perfect business plan to go with this concept.. just waitin on a couple of good investors to listen in..

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  5. I agree with you there is so much talent remaining untapped across the country.'full many a flower born to blush unseen and waste its fragrance in deserted air..'Just look at the new names that came out of IPL dazzling by sheer brilliance.I wish your venture all success.Thanks for the comment

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