Friday, August 26, 2011

Memorable Day of My life - from a Cricket Lover

It was a day off from work. I managed to push myself out of the bed at about 10 am. It was drizzling outside and I remembered about the game between Indians and Sussex to be played at Hove. The ground is just about 10 minutes walking distance from my home. Looking at the weather I was saying to myself there would be no play today. However, it did not stop my curiosity and so casually checked for the updates at cricinfo. Surprise… Surprise!!! The game started already.

I and my wife quickly got ready and rushed to the ground in no time.  The County staffs were selling the tickets everywhere. I found one guy selling at 20 pounds and another at 15. Successfully bargained and got the tickets at 10 pounds each from the 15 pounds seller.

Soon as I entered found Ashwin doing his duty near the boundary line and kids were around him just outside the rope. Realized time to put the camera at work as I never imagined I’m going to see cricketers at close proximity. Called out Ashwin to turn back and look at me with smile in Tamil. I’m sure he was surprised to hear his native tongue and gladly turned towards the direction of the voice with a cute smile. Click!!!

In a short while I started roaming around to capture more cricketers. I found Praveen standing in the Square Leg Boundary. I should say he was mostly tired signing the autographs and I would not be surprised if he had signed every audience there. A lovely bloke and the whole crowd loved him for his generosity. Since I did not have paper or a book, I got him to sign on my camera. Then I moved towards Long Off to find Suresh Raina. The guy was enthusiastic in the field and kindly obliged with a smile for our cameras.

And then I managed to the reach the player whom every cricket lover wants to meet once in life. I guess you have no problem in figuring who it is. It took a real effort to have him turn at me with a grin. And when he did I should say I’ve lived the moment of my life.

With respect to the game, there was nothing much happening. Some sect of the Indians abused the players for the poor performance of the tour. That was disappointing. Later the crowd did few Mexican waves. Towards the end there were some flurry of wickets and then came the lunch. During this time Dravid came out for a quick autograph session. The players were walking between café and gallery while I had my lunch too.

It was India’s turn to bat. Tendulkar and Parthiv came out. Should I say the whole crowd roared at the sight of Tendulkar coming out?

Virat Kohli was standing in the balcony.  People threw their T-Shirts to him for autographs. He signed it and fling back. Some people started tossing autograph books. I guess it must have hurt him. He left the balcony angry. Everyone was really upset as nobody had the intention to harm him. In a short while all those autograph books flew back with his signature.

After a while it was Gambir’s turn to visit the balcony. I asked him if he could take my camera inside the dressing room and take some pictures of the players. He politely declined. I tried to convince him showing the autograph of Praveen Kumar on the camera. I must say he got scared and fled from the scene.

Many of the Indian women were holding the national flag and painted themselves with tricolor to seek the attention of the camera man.

Once again Praveen Kumar turned to be the man of the moment. He collected the autograph bats from the crowd, took it to the dressing room, got the signature of other players and returned back. It was very generous of him and really moved every one of us.

Finally India won the game in style and registered their first victory of the tour. Much as usual a drunken fan ran into to field and danced in celebration.

After the game few players came out to cool down. Actually I should say it was a kind of practice. I got the chance to bowl and bat with some of them which I had never imagined in life. I bowled to Gambir while Praveen bowled to me and Parthiv kept wickets. Can you imagine? Unfortunately my camera died and I did not get a chance to click these moments.

I never knew this day is going to become such a memorable day of my life.

Raja Narayanswamy (aka) King

PS: More high resolution pictures are available for view in the Photos section of


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