I remember the watching cricket at the Marina grounds. The high profile boys from MCC came in cars, beer and the lunch arrived from The Taj. And these guys from ICF team landed up in buses carrying lunch packed in banana leaf and secured with the newspaper. On the field they matched each other and most of the times ICF won the game ( I would like to believe ). Post lunch the beer and the Taj food never really helped the MCC guys.
I remember the Indian team, my friend’s Dad who was chosen to play for India, way back in the 40s had to haggle with his dad to pay him the train fair to reach the test venue. Now I remember this cricketer Sudhir Naik who was caught shop lifting socks in Marks & Spencers and the entire team had to face humiliation.
Not too many years ago, I remember the Indian team looked very impoverished and laid low with the likes of Imran, Javed, Akram, and the likes walking the pitch as models walking the ramp. The Indians were short and puny and definitely had a complex, till some guys like L Balaji, Sehwag and Dhoni came out from nowhere to take Pak to the dryers.
Its a lot different story today. The Pakistan team is in the wrong end of relative deprivation. They have to go beyond regular cricket to match the neighbouring Joneses next door. The mammoth population that India boasts, cricket crazy nation is funding these cricketers big time. And Pakistan can never come anywhere near. Yesterday the show stopper of the day was Dhoni in his new car Hummar.
We have come a long way. Sooner or later India will dominate the scene. Is it good? Certainly not. This just a trivia, there was the time of Maharajas when India toured England for the first time in 1932. Although there were not many runs to write home about, it is said that the Maharaja of Porbandar collected more Rolls Royces than runs during the tour. The Maharaja, of course, was the skipper too. India is sure on the road to regain past glory in some way.
Suddenly I have started liking the Australians. They play dirty on the pitch but they come clean. They seem to scorn the ones who are making obscene money through the game. I will rather change my loyalties for cricket sake and support the Aussies. Yay yay Aussies you guys are future of the game. Lick all these guys like crazy. . White wash, black wash whatever but clean up the game mites. Only you guys can do it