Barely has the sweat dried on players’ brows from the Asia Cup, and they are plunged into the thick of action for the World T-20 cricket beginning today.
The nursery of Indian cricket, where love for the game is deep and abiding. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
Exam season may play party pooper for some city youngsters. who will have to ration their cricket watching time. Yash Jain (17) says he will check Twitter updates every few minutes on his phone, “but my HSC exams will end on March 11, thankfully in time for the India-Pak match. It has been very difficult to concentrate given the brilliant performance by the Indian team in the Asia Cup, updates for which I would get through my phone. My parents forbade me to take my phone, but who can resist cricket?” he asked.
Indian team is selfie sharp after the Asia Cup win. Pic/AFP
It is happy times though for Aaryaman Mishra and Dayne Dphena, Commerce students from St Andrew’s College, Bandra, whose exams are over, “I will watch all matches, and I am hoping to get tickets to watch one of the Mumbai matches at Wankhede Stadium,” adds Dphena, while Mishra, who has only one more paper to go is balancing studies and exams. “Mishra says, “I have only one paper left, which is post March 20. Till then, I can watch matches in the evening with family and friends, and study in the morning.”
Chris Mascharenhas, a class XII student, is going to make up for missed matches by watching the India-Pakistan match live in Dharamshala, which incidentally is currently under a cloud of controversy. “I have already bought an India jersey,” he says proudly.
It is not just students but aspiring cricketers that are juggling books ‘n’ some bat and ball action. For Bhayander college student Gagan Tripathi, the India-Pak match on March 19 will be extra special, because his exams end that day. Touting the common Indo-Pak match is war sentiment, Tripathi says there’s also some light-hearted betting between friends, “the loser has to carry my kit bag to practice, or treat winners to Chinese food!” Akshi Gurav (13) from Shardashram Vidyamandir, Dadar is gung ho about the tourney, but it is the Indo-Pak match that has the adrenalin pumping. Her colony residents congregate around a projector for the needle match and from then on it is a joint exercise in cheering when India plays well and jeering when Pak takes an India wicket! Sushant Kokate (22) who plays for Blue Star Club relives India clinching the one-day World Cup in 2011. He says, "My friends and I had booked a truck and took it around with the Indian flag flying high.” This time, Kokate says he picks an India-Australia final, but, of course, he would be happiest if India wins and the truck goes round again with the tri-colour flying high.