“Indiaaaaaaa ! India !…Indiaaaaaaaa ! India !”….No Excuses for No Work tomorrow !
“Sachin ! Sachin !….Sachin ! Sachin !”
Ofcourse I want India to win…..but I don’t want a Close match…we should thram Pakistan at Mohali tomorrow….coz I don’t want my heart to go too much ‘dhak dhak’ nor do I want to pull my hair in frustration !
….strong memories emerge of my cricketing life in Bahrain while I was with a leading Global Audit Firm….Cricket is my passion and I have captained school and played for my colleges ….so when I got an opportunity to play for the leading Indian Club in Bahrain in the 1980s,I was thrilled…every Friday we had matches and believe me they were extremely competitive..we had Clubs and Teams that were predominantly either Sri Lankan,Indian,Pakistani or English….and a few players had represented even their country or states……and so we all played to win on matting wickets…. and whenever we clashed with the top Pakistani Team there were fireworks…even violent behaviour at times…it was War out there !…and I vividly remember how we beat them in one Final and I was instrumental in the win….the first time in 17 years that we had beaten them in the Sadiq Cup,a tournament that they themselves conducted !….. our Club was kept open all night for celebrations !….later we were rewarded with trophies and cups and gifts and even gold coins by leading Indian businessmen and even felicitated by the Indian Ambassador…and once when we were winning in some other Final,the Pakistani supporters simply could not accept this situation and so hundreds of them simply converged onto the field while the match was being played !….the Cricketing Council,dominated by Pakistanis,adjudged both teams as joint winners !….I remember I was the bowler when the crowds invaded the field and Murtaza Ali Baig, the brother of ex India Cricketer,Abbas Ali Baig leading me aside when fights with stumps and bats broke out and telling me to merely be a spectator…a lot of our Club Team constituted members of the ‘Thattai Bhatia’ community……. they fought back when provoked…..was aghast at this unsporting and unruly and violent outbursts from Players and spectators…on top of the blatant umpiring bias we had to contend with !….too many negative emotions pent up cross border…sad !…should not be so….