It’s been a long time since Kerala produced a good cricketer.
I used to live pretty close to the border in Tamilnadu when the first ever selection to the national team from Kerala happened – a bloke called Tinu Yohanan, a pace bowler was picked for the national squad. I recall the amount of celebration that this news created in the local community that I lived in ( there was a huge migrant population from there and we all used to watch the cricket on a large screen on our club then). Every other person I bumped into had that name on his lip and was so proud that someone from there made the cut!
Fast forward time and Sreesanth probably became the second to make the cut (I am sincerely hoping that I didn’t miss anyone else). I moved away to live in Bangalore, but am sure that the community back in where I lived would have erupted in joy again. The joy this time, much more long lived than Tinu’s.
To his credit, he’s a bowler who is very passionate about his game. With a belief that he is the best and a fierce desire to compete and win, he gives it his all on the cricket field. Reading interviews that most cricketers give, it is very difficult to spot someone who is not passionate about the sport. Bhajji’s spoken about this time and again, Sachin is a living example to passion for the sport.
If this is the scene locally, the international players are no different. The Aussies love their cricket and hate losing, the Kiwis are fighters and so too are the South Africans. The neighboring Lankans are no different and at the expense of loathing Pakistan and wishing they weren’t our neighbors, they love their sport too.
In a sport filled with passion, one is certainly bound to see a few characters. Top of my mind come the Aussie, Greg Matthews (the spinner who used to wear a cap and bowl spin, he played the famous tied test), Pakistan’s Abdul Quadir and Javed Miandad. If these were characters on the field, there are a ton of off field ones too. From Andrew Symonds to Shane Warne, the list is endless. I am sure there is one for every character between B & R. Fair enough – in sport you will find them and cricket is no different!
The IPL’s been witness to an Indian character who’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Being laid off for an injury, someone comes into bowl and gets caught in this hurricane called Mathew Hayden who seems to be whacking everything in his sight out of the park. After being hit for 24 runs in an over – 4,6,4,2,4, 4, any bowler in his senses would have walked away with his tail tucked between his legs. It’s not my day and these things happen in sport are the way they would be thinking. It’s happened to the greatest of bowlers, Shane Warne included and they have always said that.
Our friend walks across and abuses the batsmen without a second thought. The man he is attempting to abuse is twice his size and in form that no money can stop. This isn’t the first time he’s run into an altercation with him – there’s legacy and we know it all. If this is a here and now thing that comes out of pride, one can certainly understand. This was just needless and absolutely stupid, and for people following him, a repetitive disease! How else can you explain someone sledging Sachin Tendulkar (the god of Indian cricket) in India? Sachin apparently told him “Don’t ever get this close to me ever!”. Slap gate, when he got on Bhajji’s nerve and got slapped does not seem to have thought him a lesson either.
Listen dude, you are not the sharpest tool in the toolkit to be doing what you are doing. Playing a few tests, taking a world cup winning catch and getting a few ODI wickets is all good – but the path to the summit is a long way away. It’s an arduous one that needs a lot more heavy lifting. Merely dressing like a tiger and acting like one won’t get you there. You are making a fool of yourself and being called Appam C*%$&%. The first name will fade away and the last name will just stick on should you continue your on-field antics. I still believe it’s not late to out up your best behavior. It’s in your hands to change the Appam C*%$&% to Appam Champion! What do you want to do mate?
Image Credit: Srini G
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