Page 21 - IPL 2
P. 21


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              t was a bright sunny morning in Goa. Advertising bigwig Piyush Pandey sipped coffee on the terrace of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           his colonial bungalow, taking in the peace and quiet of the surrounding fields and the view of the river.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Just then, something in the middle of the field caught his eye. Goa is football land, what was a cricket net
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           doing in the middle of a cleared patch?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           He ran down, two steps at a time, sprinted through the field. He had been coming here for over 6 years,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           but never knew there was a cricket team in the quiet village that surrounded his holiday home. He felt a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           child like excitement, the same he felt when he walked out to bat for Hindu College all those years ago,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           or when he played his first Ranji trophy match. He was a successful corporate leader now, but if he could
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           lead a cricket team in his adopted village to greater heights, then he’d happily give up a bonus or two.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           The plan formed as he jogged the half-kilometer to the net. He would sponsor the team, get them new

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           gear, he could get his cricketer friends to come down and coach a bit. He’d take this tiny village team and

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           make them big. He’d make them fly. “In that short span of time I had already figured it all out.”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Huffing and puffing, he reached. There was no one there. He stood in the middle of this cleared patch,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           with a faded green mat, waiting to be rolled out. Old fishing nets cleverly recycled to form a crude but
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           effective cricket net. He could tell that it was in use, and that it was recent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A boy appeared, clutching a broken bat. “Oye, yeh net kiska hai? (Who does this net belong to?)”, “Noel ka”,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           bellowed the boy while swinging his bat in a perfect imaginary hook shot. “I’ll talk to Noel,” he thought,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           “I was so excited - I’d get these kids new kits, give their dreams some wings...” Piyush turned to the kid

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           again, “Tumhari koi team hai? (Do you have a team?) ” The boy swung his bat over his right shoulder,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           poised like a mythological warrior, turned to Piyush and with great confidence replied, “ Yes! INDIA!”

                                                                                12  HERE WE GO AGAIN...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          HERE WE GO AGAIN... 13
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