Monday, 25 November 2013

Cricket – me also retiring from national level

Cricket is not just a word for me . it is more than life. What! Is it sounds like some record holder speaking . no it is not exaggerated words , I admit this 100 percent. 

The passion for cricket in my age group is such , not just for me but for many,
I still remember how my cousin srikant Krishnamurthy longed to play for higher levels. I know classical sabapathy’s passion and committment behind the stumps , which is no way less than syed kirmani’s or jeff dujon. he is classical wicket-keeper cum 1 down batsman for arts college team during his days.
in the himalayan mountain steps 

But my first role model in bowling department  is my another cousin venkatesh . i think he represented for TNAU during his college days. His height is added his advantage of his pace bowling. 

For many of us the namakkal south school is not just one more school. These age people are the mentors in our town for many of us , by winning trophy's in tournament.

The vastness of this 100 year old school is set us sky as our limit. Yes not just we , from every near by village boys will assemble here with their “thooku boni full of butter milk rice and lemon pickle”. Yet we had an opportunity to be in ground for longer duration due to living just within boundary of  town limit.

These people few years elder to me are my mentor for cricket.  In shivaji’s house (venkatesh’s younger brother) they maintained a huge hand made note book. It’s not just book it is virtual library for all strokes to learn.

All the great personalities of  cricket  like malcom marshal, holding, zaheer abbhas , clive loyid , viv Richards , lory gomes, jeff dujon ,David gower , graham gooch, garner,  ian botham, imrankhan,  dilip mendis, yasphal Sharma, sunil gavaskar and kapil dev etc etc everybody lived in that pages. 

jeff dujon - WI - redefining wicket keeping

so I was introduce to the south school as a ball picking boy at the boundary line by their team at very young age, for my service I will get 10 to 12 deliveries to bat , of which accidentally few deliveries will touch my bat compassionately .

But mostly our cricket will happen either at the back yard of sabapathi's house or mine or raju anna's house front portion. it is biggest net practice for us , especially for me when i not even aware of those things.

Because you have to bowl from a open space to thru the door gate to the stumps. similarly if u hit wrongly the ball will bounce back ur head by the reflex from walls. that too we play with old cricket ball in the cement floor (at sababathi's house) . the left ramesh house back yard also has same kind of conditions but terrain is not cement floored. 

it also helped to face or read the ball with bat , never fear about breaking our bones . now if i look back how dangerously we played without know the dangers of consequences.

by playing in these world class grounds we acquire the quality of batting and bowling straightly to the wickets. the basic aspect of "V" area is very natural. that's why kannan was so strong in his defence.

in our house back yard the pitch conditions are so contra. uneven bounce and swing is always possible due to the small stones that occupied our pitch. but here we got good batting  practice for the spin.

Raju anna's house is totally opposite to all this - you have to play the game within 10 yard space. one who directly hit the wall (provided the fielder should not get u caught) will score - it helps you to play on drives and off drives

The team people impressed by my throwing ability and have enough trust on curd rice and dal rasam slowly asked me to thro few balls to the batsman . nothing know about line or length but just the force and unorthodox deliveries they will be more cautious as you seen in the movie “lagan”

That time the only college , normally in movies will be shown as only third grade students will study , unlike the movie in real life only best students reached that level of education. Because the very best will go for engg and medical etc etc.

So this college was  paradise for many many middle class that their younger generation is getting a degree. And hardly you need to go for classes because mostly it will be on strike for some reason which include from international issue of sri lankan tamils to the canteen's vada is not good today . so one can get plenty of time for net practice in the open grounds of south school or in college grounds. 

the college boys though they did not went for college never teach the younger generation such things. so if school is going on they play in college grounds itself.

Since all these people , many of them know each other’s potential and our cricket talent was sharpend by narasimman, his younger brother murali (off spinner), suresh anna , Raju anna , all of them are veteran cricketers played every ameature match continuously for more than 2 decades, this generation shined like Indian cricket’s trio era(sachin, dravid, ganguly) to our team .

Whether team stands for its name or not , the people who represented the team at their ages are really flying in colours today. So just by sheer strength of dal rasam and curd rice I was choosen and given training for becoming srinath .
On the other hand the cricket articles in the hindu magazine and its writer mohan enhanced my English reading skills. Slowly I started reading as public carrier instead of recognizing it as police carrier in the fast running lorries.

higher level of domestic cricket - present t20
Many times when I went for theatres I always thought why not they can put as way to pavilion instead of EXIT – how my mind struggles  to understand the meaning no one knows. Even today I have to check myself the difference between PULL AND PUSH written in doors.

This is simply because the game cricket has not used these words . but at the same time there is absolutely no issue to understand the English commentary . but I must thank the expert vallunar mani to invent new words which not only enrich the game but also makes us to enjoy the pongal holidays.

As seniors keep moving abroad (within the state to other cities) for their job opportunities I started filling the vaccum especially in opening the bowling on the other end. Because the first end was always reserved to our eternal team captain raju anna. i am sure even if we play today his line and length will be same as it was. i can guarantee you that.  He will not deliver much pace but he will use his height as biggest advantage which makes the batsman in all kinds of trouble.

namakkal south school -main entrance to vast grounds
 In that age itself me and my team members exposed to all kinds of innovative crickets. from T10 format to double wicket cricket , off side cricket , " V " area cricket (playing only straight -even if ball edged and goes to gully area you will be out) because of droughtness for players to assemble in  ground due to their family responsibilities or school responsibilities .

And we know how to milk the cost from the ball that very rarely we buy a new one only for a match. untill the ball gone into pieces we will not let it down. Many times our elders and veteran supporters like kalyanam anna will generously sponsor their team member ship fee of Rs. 5
old prayer hall -and 100 yrs old main bulding

But somehow all these people will join together and create a corpus fund , irrespective of whether they know the game or not, to buy and sponsor a new oil bat or BDM sticker bat. Sababathy is the man who will season the bat. because we believed the bat knows the game much better than us. it knows where to send the delivery . only thing you should do is somehow connect the ball. 

Though kannan always talks about straight drives whenever he tries to do most of the time it just become amaranth defense. He will be really amazing to see in ground, even for college team , he will anchor on one side by opening the innings.
Though he never played big innings but his presence and solid defence will give them a terror feeling that we not even make the opener out. I still remember sababathi’s classical fifty with a pull shot.
kapil- my fav cricketer

Just these peoples presence and arrival of channel 9 and tv’s in the streets , mainly the kapil’s devil team of winning 1983 world cup set up a fire in me. I was also improve well in my pace bowling department though I did not do much with bat.

As I become wicket taking bowler when the younger generation people like govinda and srikanth are started to join in our elite club.  but during our practice we can't (no one) take our people wicket so easily. because the batsman know the strength and weakness of bowler.

The family conditions, economy status of the club, drought for safety pads, somehow have to get a degree and a clerk job in life all networked together and made us not to work to become for a player of high caliber like tendulkar.

The bishop heber college grounds and exposure of trichy shaped my cricket life much better. The matches in EVR school grounds and on the banks of river kaveri earned me good recognition for my new ball bowling. Slowly I learned the technique of how to bowl the new ball though I don’t know how to read  the pitch conditions or dew factors.

When I get bank job it become more open space for my cricket because now no one can say i have to read and get good marks or i have to get a job for earning. The bank took me to “A” division matches and further high level trainings. The LMW venkatesh or their then team manager , the Ramakrishna college all took me to the heights of the game.
chinnaswamy stadium , bangaluru

First time in my life and me walked in the bangaluru chinnaswamy stadium. My team people the captain seetharaman, leg spinner selvaraj , medium pacer baskar gave me lot of input and shaped me well to play that high level(!) . The training camps also gave me good exposure to play with bat.

My strike rate with bat will also started increasing. Started to fly Pondicherry , Chennai and Bangalore. only when i search for new ways to keep my fitness and not to get more injury , yoga entered in my life by saying i can improve my playing skill and ability . so when i not get convinced to go for yoga , or to meet any sanyasi (thats my principle - that time -because of  kanchi periyava said , people listening my lectures but not applying in their life ) this aspect pulled me for yoga. And i lost my wicket on the first ball by him on 2nd august 1993. Joined in yoga class to sharpen my play skill and to move for company in sports quota.

These exposure and playing for the game and various good teams at various cities brought good offers from various companies including sankar cement, to join in their team for further training . they committed for higher level trainings and good income . already my book reading habit brought balakumaran in my life . now yoga added fuel to that fire.

Sadhguru’s presence and absence keep pulling me . some how my wicket taking interest has lost. I realized that I myself getting hit wicket in life. Above all also got opportunity to bowl for sadhguru which attracted more.

Very well remember the day in 2004 , after my parivarjaka life the first brahmacharies meet in ashram , somehow we played too many things to get the cricket match. We got one session for play. That time I was injured in my leg due to bike silencer. So every one started suggesting me not to play .
playing with sadhguru in a match -2004

But no one knows how I am passion for cricket except vasu (then swami badrabaghu) . inspite of lot of resistance from various circles he took me in his team and given me again opening bowling. i must thank for him to gave that moment in my life.

I never dreamed that I will get that chance again in my life to bowl opening spell in an match. Inspite of my leg burn injury, living out from ashram in parivarjaka days, that delivery gave all the meaning for my life.
my national carrier last innings at himalayas

The greatest of greatest player of the game is also not got such opportunity to bowl or play with sadhguru. Me not talking in the sense of game as number of runs , winning or loosing , advertisements, commentators etc etc but …. This could be feel only by those who have passion for something and love for him.

Even in my parivarjaka days , while walking on road side , never failed to wait and see somebody’s bowling or batting atleast for few minutes , no matter in how much distance they play.

My passion for cricket is well known in ashram residents. Though I had opportunity to play for many other games some how I like only this .

May be it relates life so easily as if the 11 people always waiting to make you out in life. They can’t unless you do the mistake or misjudge the time or misread the line of delivery. The 11 opponents are nothing but our own limitations and desires. the 5 gnanaindhiriyas and 5 karmendriyas and desire to do  always using the life to thro the unexpected deliveries. no matter how much past records you have , it will not help to handle this one new delivery. 

Guru's blessing and grace gives better vision to the life moment and makes you to respond at your best. inspite of his protections we might do errors  and loose our wicket. but if u keep your homework well you will be selected to play one more innings. may be one day you have to retire from high class game because you will understand none of these records, trophy's can't satisfy you anymore. you will move from playing for the team or match to just to play yourself. no more comparison with anyone else. you will become a player of your own calibre in your own world.
my bowling role model- alan donald (SA)

irrespective of your experience and technique still an young powerful opponent (death) with more life makes you to feel that your eyes getting aged. But heart is passionate for game and run , never willing to hang up the boots. the journey keep continous beyond the boundary line.

this makes the player so humble . i am sure not a single player of any game is not concern about his achievements or records . its all just social. they just workout them self keep  focused how to conquer  the  whole moment. he/she know his/her prime age is gone but not his /her passion for the game. 

The intial day injuries and other issues take a huge toll on body. After playing a match if I ride a bike I can’t put gear or press break properly . my hands and legs will not carry my instructions. But still the passion for game I am not able to give it up.

Whenever the talk of tendulkar retirement aired in the wind , it also remind that I also not yet hang up. But my heart still not able to give up. At last after tendulkar also announced i also have no choice .  That day is long day for me. when the moment came in the village niyasu , near rampur , i thought it will be appropriate to acknowledge all those who offered this passion.

I avoided to see his final moments and farewell speech. I don’t want to cry .but I was also in tears whenever i feel for him,  because my time also …….i have not build my carrier or life on cricket but still cricket played major part of life to get involve in many things. it taught me persiverance. it taught me to wait for my opportunity. it taught me team work. it taught me leading from front. it taught me how to acknowledge others. it taught me how to keep myself open in this moment by keeping aside of past. it taught me to work in passion and intensity. it taught me taste of failure and success. it taught me so many other things.

many many occasions i kept aside of my age and physical limitations only in cricket and for cricket.  It is not much important thing in my life now , as it was 25 yrs ago. But still the game kept me just as like a college boy. these days when people referring me, by saying that i am playing well , i am reminding all those who offered this to me with gratitude.

I know my running between wickets has become slow. I know my pace is not as it was. Like the life has many twists and turns my ball also changed to spin deliveries . my strike rate is still better. But still I have to end my carrier to make life to move out of boundary life on some day.
connecting the life and moment with my bat

The high peaks of Himalayas given me a chance to announce my carrier end at national level (pottukalame ) in peak . The visit to himalayn village niyasu formally become the last innings of ameture carrier.
i never dreamed to play for state or nation, but i dreamed to play just to play in my full potential. 

now i have left with one dream , which is just i wish ,i have to play atleast once , with my old flying colours team mates , at namakkal south school grounds. i know many many of my friends, colleagues have given up the game part in their life. for them and for the world i have something to convey. never give up the game and your effort , no matter how many fielders(life situations) make you out. 

only then when u turn back to pavilion for the last time in your life you can walk with pride and brave. when one innings come to end , we can wait for another innings at some other level. 

My last innings of ameture carrier also in same lines of with out pads, abdomen guards , with out scores, same 3 overs. But this time I had better run rate and strike rate unlike my debut in the game.

What a previlage to end up the carrier in the same starting point but in high altitude. The innings  is over but the game cricket still continues in life. Earlier I came as wicket taker , my strike rate is very low , never claim myself as batsman to defend my wicket.

But now I learned the art of defence . my strike rate also improved. Now I need to take my wickets in my come back carrier from kedarnath.
pitch is never a constrain for one who know how to play

i thank all my flying colours team members , whereever you are now to gave me such wonderful contribution in my life. i thank all my ex-bank collegues and the people who gave me trainings, people who offered me better job opportunities by acknowledging my game.

i thank aringer anna arts college team mates (though i have not played under the banner but i played with many of them in local teams) who set a standard in me to play the game with much dedication and passion. 

i thank my parents who never stopped me to play inspite of getting many many injuries , carrying the toll in my system.

i thank jack, swami nirvichara, vasu , sekhi, raja , dilip, swami aloka, and the beloved sadhguru to keep my cricket passion alive even after i moved from main stream of life who all played with me in the initial days and latter days of ashram.

i thank the home school pt teachers and boys, saravanan , kapil , swami bekura and swami amola, who understood my passion for cricket and encouraged me inspite of my physical limitations

may be one can think why this write up ? what i achieved in terms of game? yes i started the game as ordinary boy , played without training or any proper safety support. injured fingers, leg bones, back , eye etc the 22 yards given me lot and lot more than what i expected .

only because of cricket i came to yoga.and rest all followed. beware one day  i may rock with cricket with your neighbours son's  if i happened to be in your area. now i can also claim , i played cricket  from kanyakumari to kedarnath . what a wonderful feeling one to achieve in life. Thanks to all to give this in my life.

above all people may thing why i announcing my retirement from national level. it's simple logic i don't have teams to play , i don't need to play to win the game . i don't have any level's to represent. i can simply play just to be with my team mates.