On Being A Sport-A-Holic




“I once met Sourav Ganguly.”

On being a Sportaholic

On being a Sportaholic

In fact, I didn’t even meet him, I just saw him.  So people who are looking for interesting tidbits from a conversation with him will be left disappointed.

It was a few years back under the Chappell era where he was unceremoniously thrown out of the team and was playing in the domestic circuit to force an improbable comeback. It was a Duleep Trophy match between Bengal and Mumbai played at the Gymkhana, Hyderabad. Gymkhana does play host to a lot of domestic matches but these matches usually go unnoticed.

Taking that into account, me and my friend decided to go watch Ganguly play and we reached the ground around 10 AM and ….

There were roars of Gaan-guly Gaan-guly Gaaan-guly!!

The attendance for the match was atleast 10,000 with atleast another 500 policemen and Gymkhana can hardly accommodate a 100 people. Then it struck me the magnitude of passionate cricket lovers in the country!!

I managed to squeeze through the crowd and find a place at the fine leg/long off boundary as I looked around to see all the big names that were on offer. Bengal were fielding. There was Deep Das Gupta, Laxmi Ratan Shukla and of course Dada while Wasim Jaffer was batting (Man, he is so tall!). Mumbai were going fairly well and Jaffer was scoring at a fair pace. That was until Sourav took the ball!

The Bengal tiger got rid of Jaffer right away (the crowd went berserk) and then came to fine leg to field as he looked at the crowd and couldn’t suppress a grin and that, my dear friends, was the closest brush I had with a superstar!!

Being a sportsperson, it would be difficult to explain to someone who isn’t why this is a big deal! Just like it would be difficult to explain why you wake up in the middle of the night to watch a battle between two clubs from a entirely different continent or why you would put an alarm to wake up at 5 AM to watch Rahul Dravid punch the first ball of the day through point to get to a double century. A non sports lover, no matter how well read or informed he may be, would not understand why you jump out of your seat when Rooney’s long range shot rattles the crossbar or why 22 men in white uniform play a game for five tiring days which might not even yield a result. It would be difficult to explain the agony when a Federer forehand is called long or the pain when India failed to make the second round in the 2007 World Cup.

Only an avid sports lover would have experienced inner peace when Dhoni hit that final six to seal the World Cup. Only an avid sportsperson would understand the trauma when Sachin gets dismissed in the nineties or use adjectives like magnificent, beautiful and satisfying to describe a perfect straight drive.

Click like if you are one of them!!

PS: I returned to watch Sourav bat on the second day and he made a hugely satisfying 73 and there was no happier person on the planet when he was recalled to don the Indian colours again..

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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