Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Though it's obscure to say things such as this,
but exceptions are made when such defining days
come in your life. Four years back 8th February
changed my life. Few steps on that day and a giant
leap in esprit!

The strangest thing about life is that, atypical things
occur with you when you least augur them- something which
in ancient greek was called as Heteroclite.
The careless steps taken on that late february evening,
unmindful of what was to unfurl-where Hampi welcomed me with
moist vapors in the wee hours of 8th February 2008. I've heard in
primeval times, monks and sages used to make their journeys along
high mountains of Himalayas; where confinement, solitariness and
isolation were profound. My pursuit commenced in the arid terrain ,
my atonement soared in the ruined empire, my reclamation articulated
with beatniks, my Salvation came in Hampi. If I've to divide my life I can
divide it before and after Hampi. The February air that I inhaled at Hampi
aerated cerebrations, unshrouded reflections, stirred wisdom to the point that
I could see myself naked; celebrating for the first time in the euphoria of

Coming back from Hampi I was - wiser!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Botham's Ashes, 1981.

                                            My list of greatest test series's of last 40 years-

1) 1981 Ashes- famously called as the 'Botham Ashes'. England captained by a young 24 year old Botham were 1-0 down when the third test at Headingly began. Beefy relinquished his captaincy. His form had dropped and according to David Gower when Beefy was out for naught in the second test at Lord's, almost sealing his fate as captain, even a hair strand dropping would have aroused them from the silence in the dressing room. English cricket had plummeted to a new low. Mike Bearley was appointed as the captain for the third test. England annihilated in the first innings, were asked to follow-on. At 130/7 with still some hundred runs short of making Aussies bat again, in a remarkable turn-around and back to the walls blitzkrieg, Botham and Graham Dilley added 130 odd for the 8th wicket. Bouncers from Lillee and co. were disdainfully smashed by the mercurial Botham to all corners on a cold July english afternoon. But even with such rear-guard action, all Australia required was 130 to win on the final day. By now clouds had given way to bright luminous sunshine. Sun-kissed bodies at Leed's ogled as Australia looked well on course at 56/1, when Mike Brearley in one stroke of brilliant astuteness changed Bob Willis's end and asked him to bowl down the hill. Result- Australia was bowled out for 111 and England had fashioned one of the most remarkable feats in cricketing history. 

With the momentum and impetus well rooted with the English, they went on to win the next test at Edbagston where Australia yet again failed to chase a low target. For now it was Botham's turn to light up the magic with the red cherry. In a hostile spell of fast bowling, Botham returned with figures of 5 for 1 and England went onto winning the test by 29 runs.

In the fifth test at Old Trafford Botham arguably hit the greatest century scored on English soil. Replete with marvelous square drives and swaggered hooks shots, Botham brought the Manchester crowd to its feet with a less than a ball century. England won the test and Ashes was regained with the final test at The Oval being a draw.

Thus 20th century's greatest test series came to an end giving Britain it's first sporting hero since Bobby Charlton, in Ian Terence Botham.

In continuation of the epic '81 Ashes, the moment which had perhaps historic consequences. Mike Brearley tosses the ball up to Bob Willis, on the final day at Headingley. Willis took 8 for 43!

Sir Vivian Issac Richards

The pompous walk to the middle, the swaggering gait, the arrogant brood - thy name Sir Issac Vivian Richards. Sportsmen like Viv are a rarity precisely because their mastery leaves an everlasting anamnesis. Ask Tony Greig, who foolishly made this comment in 1976 series that the English are going to make the West-Indians 'grovel'. Viv answered with a staggering run spree which amounted to more than 800 runs in the series including a career best 291 at The Oval. His on-field battles with Lillee and Thomson is akin to oral literature in cricketing world. The front foot pull is etched in every cricketing fan's memory. As a captain Viv never lost a test series. Indeed his domination was ruthless and complete from the moment he learnt to hold the cricketing bat. The Antiguan is simply incomparable.