Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Dada's last stint in Bangalore

Head high, shoulders broad and he walked away- upto a staggering Bangalore crowd that assembled to bade the prince of Kolkata goodbye. Chinawasswamy stadium has bear witnesses to many a befitting cricketers farewell, and the unlucky 13 October witnessed one more.

The aggressive champion, spinners nightmare, darling of the crowds and a fighter played for the last time at Chinaswamy stadium. I was honored to be at the stadium when beloved 'Dada' said "Goodbye' to M Chinawawamy stadium.

It all started with a call from my friend, Sameer inviting me to watch the 1st Test between India and Australia. Though I like cricket, but offlate I've been a little reticent for the game.

I had become busy with my work and maybe don't have that patience of watching 11 cricketers playing for the 90 overs. But, sameer was like "let's go yaar".

The following day I found myself in the B gallery of Chinawaswamy stadium. MG Road bore a look of deserted folks as most of them had assembled to see India batting. Quick wickets of India fell down and it was left to the old horses to see India through. Ganguly and VVS saw that India does not lose the match in any fashion.

It was the day of Prince right from the word 'Go'. He played all around the shots in the book executing each and ever shot to perfection. His timing was impeccable. He even decided to entertain the crowd by dancing down the track and lifting spinners over the long-on area- a characteristic touch of the Sourav Ganguly. The crowd cheered along.

Ricky ponting was on a misson. He brought on Bret Lee and Shane Watson who tried to exploit Sourav's weakness against short-pitch bowling. Shane in particular was lethal when he got a ball to jack from the pitch and hit on Sourav's nose.

The red kerchief came along to wipe out the blood stains. There was a minute break before the match started again. Sourav had a quick chat with VVS and no matter what VVS said the next ball found itself in the gallery. SOurav like old times, had the last smile.

Banners and vendanas depicting Ganguly's portrait as a loved leader of the masses were seen everywhere. It could be nostalgic for him since this is the very venue where he got his previous score of 259. The electronic board had a banner of Sourav saying: DADA WILL NEVER RESIDE AWAY FROM OUR HEART.

He wouldn't for sure, since he is a kind of a player, who infused the fiery spirit in the Indian cricket team, a captain with brains who always instigated youth and played with that passion.

One of the controversial cricketers of the game who played the game. I am so happy to see him playing for the last time in Bangalore. The match ends in a draw, and DADA befittingly walks back.

Michael Hussey calls him to stop and shakes hands with him. VVS Lakshman has a quiet word with him. Off comes the helmet and bandana, and a rotation of hands.

There was little emotion somewhere lingering by. Perhaps, Dada knew and so do well. It was wonderful to see this great player walk away. Perhaps if he had touched the milestone of 7000, it would have another feather in his cap, but it was not to be.

The BCCI seats in the gallery were empty; some police officials were enjoying the view. I chose to speak a lot. Perhaps, Sourav wouldn't play anymore in Bangalore, but the fact is this aggressive cricketer would be missed in the years to game. Truly! the prince calls it a day.

No comments: