Sunday 22 February 2009

Half(hearted)- spin


I have no qualms in admitting that I had a lonely childhood.In the early 90's was living in a place where my only company was Sports Star magazine.Every week used to eagerly wait for the poster that was given as a freebie along with the magazine.I vividly remember this particular poster of Anil Kumble at the point of delivering his trademark top spinner.It must ve been 1993 and he terrorized the visiting English batsmen along with Rajesh Chauhan and Venkatapathy "Muscles" Raju.
My grouse at that point of time [ very foolish ] was that Kumble was labelled a leg-spinner.I convinced myself that I could do a better job than this lanky fella. So after pestering my dad to get me a cricket ball.. Would be wheeling away all day at my terrace at Graham Gooch[ he was my hero back then]. Out of a million deliveries that I bowled, not a single one turned!!!
That 9 year old boy did not have the intelligence to realize that just by copying your favorite cricketer the ball does not automatically start turning.
To make matters worse I pestered my dad to join a cricket coaching clinic being conducted in my school.This used to be a hi-funda coaching clinic where they played videos of recent interesting matches.
It was here that I first got to see Shane Warne's ball of the century.The experience was totally bewitching.Further convinced that this was the action I was looking for to affirm my "I am better than Kumble" theory, started copying every mannerism of Warne.
The result was not much different from what happened at my terrace.The deliveries used to land after an eternity.It reached such appaling levels that certain batsman used to go for a smoke and finish their homework before dispatching my ball into outer space.
My coach figuring out that I had no future as a leg-spin bowler egged me to concentrate on my batting. My heart was never in it though..
All this trauma continued well into 1998 when Shane Warne visited India for the first time.India Today even published an article with illustrations on his different grips including a new one that he developed.. somethin called a "zooter".
I had shifted to a new neighbourhood by now and was quite regularly playin "under arms" cricket.Since these matches did not have a time limit, one was forced to come up with variations to try and get the batsman out.
Too lazy.. this was meant to be a massive post... ZZzzzzz

1 comment:

VJ said...

Interesting post , I hope you have time and energy to complete the thought that made you start it.
It stops when it gets most interesting ..talking about the grossly underrated art of underarm cricket :-) Would love to see how that ends .
Ah..yes the posters in Sportsstar ..one of the most coveted posessions for most boys growing up in the 90s . Back in the days I couldn't afford to buy Sportstar to get the poster , but luckily for me one of the girls in my class had a relative who worked for Hindu and had access to all the posters . I still remember waiting with bated breadth outside her house when she went into to get the poster of Agassi with his Wimbeldon trophy .One other poster I had for a long time was Brazil's World cup winning team of 94 . I also remeber buying old copies of SportStar for a buck or two in the used paper stores . Ah ..the good old days ...sigh !