My First Cricket Test – Concluding Part

28 Dec

Continued from a previous post

I dont know if any writing can explain what it feels to “enter a stadium”. The feeling that you first get when you come up through a stairwell and see the playing field for the first time. It is an unbeleivable experience. Even to this day, it takes my breath away.

I still remember the first time I entered KSCA Stadium (Chinnaswamy Stadium now), the grass was green, and there was a full house at 8 in the morning. Once we found our seats (wooden chairs), we plonked all our belongings (large dabbas carrying our lunch for the day, binoculors, transistors etc), and while the adults “protected our territory” we went near the fences where the teams were practicing. Obviously there was confusion galore, duplicate tickets, same seats assigned to two people etc. So,in addition to the action on the field there was action in the stands as well.

The Windies were led by Clive Lloyd and had two youngsters were making their debut – Vivian Richards and Gordon Greenidge. Their team included Kallicharan, Andy Roberts, Vanburn Holder. We had never seen such big people before. Of course our heroes were there as well. G.R Vishwanath, Chandra, Gavaskar, Engineer. It was the first time we had seen some of the players in close quarters (other than the local Karnataka players).

The match started late because of rain. I still remember the first ball being bowled by Abid Ali (remember him?) to Gordon Greenidge. Straight Drive of the backfoot, behind the bowler for four. Monster shot! I vividly remember the excitement in the crowd when Chandra came on to bowl and the scream when the first West Indies wicket fell.

Among the debutants, Greenidge had a better one, making 93 and 107 (I remember this to this day because it added up to an even 200). Richards scored 4 in the first inings and 3 in the second. But he took a couple of super duper catches. Blinders both of them. I also remember Kallicharan’s classy 124 in the first inings, and Lloyed bludgeoning the Indian bowlers for 163 (in the second inings). That kind of power hitting was unheard of in those days. I still remember a boundary that Lloyed hit, there the ball hit the wall and then rebounded all the way back to the center of the pitch. It actually passed a fielder who was running to the boundary on its way back and he misfielded that as well… Brutal !!!

Anyway the Indians got beaten pretty badly in this test (they came back later in the series) but what stood out for me in the game was the sheer pace of Andy Roberts and Vanburn Holder and the “Rakshasa” hitting of Clive Lloyd. I still remember a guy called Hemant Kanitkar who made his debut in that test, trying to field Lloyd’s shots. The ball used to pitch in front of him and veer away.Of course the Indians were not known for their fielding those days.

For India Chandra was the fastest bowler :-)… those days, the so called medium pacers bowled 2-3 overs before the spinners came on.

Of course the best part of the whole thing was going to the game for the five days, and the camraderie. We actually came to know the people around us pretty well and even started sharing lunches together (more variety). I have since been to several other games since, none of them stand out in my memory as that wonderful first test in Bangalore. The five days (four and a half actually) of sheer excitement… and more importantly.. NO SCHOOL !!

CONCLUDED

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15 Responses to “My First Cricket Test – Concluding Part”

  1. rk December 28, 2006 at 10:17 am #

    vijay,
    reading the 2 post series, i felt as if i was sitting with you alongside watching those ‘rakshasa’ shots by Lloyd!
    loved every bit of it. thanks a lot.

  2. prashanth December 28, 2006 at 10:40 am #

    Same feelings as RK… nice narration…

    ps: thanks for the blogroll 🙂

  3. Diya December 28, 2006 at 11:55 am #

    Was waiting eagerly for this narration, since reading the first part 😉 Wonderful memories..Made me wish I’d been born earlier 😉 Thanx for helping me live a lil in that era 🙂

  4. praneshachar December 28, 2006 at 3:04 pm #

    yen sir ishtu chennagi nenpittu vivaravagi tilisiddiri
    wonderful yes these are the days test cricket was it at its best and what class players all whom you have mentioned
    Clive Lloyd never imagined that same indian team will deny them the hatrick of world cup victories. west indies ruled the game of cricket with their fast bowlers and super batsmans for a long today’s WI no way near that great team
    memories back to spin trio vishy farook not to forget kundaran etc.,
    wonderful post in two parts all are clean bowled vijay

  5. Vijay December 28, 2006 at 3:23 pm #

    RK, PM: Thanks..
    Diya: These days I wish I’d been born later 🙂
    Praneshachar: Some things you remember very vividly.. I can still sit back and think clearly of those 5 days… you are right.. it was only 9 years later that the same Windies team was defeated…

  6. some body December 29, 2006 at 4:04 am #

    “Diya: These days I wish I’d been born later”

    sometimes, i do too!

    – s.b.

  7. rk December 29, 2006 at 11:47 am #

    Vijay,
    Wish you and all my friends here a fantastic 2007!
    Cheers 🙂

  8. Srik December 29, 2006 at 12:00 pm #

    After reading these two parts, my new year resolution is changed : “WATCH A CRICKET MATCH LIVE” will be my new resolution 🙂

    Thanks a ton for the fantastic narration.

  9. Vijay December 29, 2006 at 5:42 pm #

    RK: Thanks….

    Srik: Definitely worth it if you go as a group…

  10. praneshachar December 29, 2006 at 11:10 pm #

    vijay
    wish you your family and all bloggers here a very happy prosperous helathy eventful 2007

    “watching cricket match live –definetely worth it if you go as a group” yes if you go alone it may be very difficult unless you form a group of like minded there in the pavilion itself

    all the best srik try madebidi

  11. Gangadhar December 30, 2006 at 5:51 am #

    And here are my hearty wishes,Vijay..

    A very happy new year to you and your family….

  12. travel plaza December 30, 2006 at 5:02 pm #

    WISHING YOU AND YOURS A VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR.

    Best regards,
    TP

  13. mouna December 31, 2006 at 2:53 am #

    interesting narration, vijay. 🙂 i was there for a few moments! btw, a happy new year to you and your family!

  14. Vijay December 31, 2006 at 6:13 am #

    TP, Mouna:Thanks. Wish you the same.

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