Thursday, February 19, 2009

The nap that made history

This appeared in today's paper [19th February, 2009] and I was astonished by this news that took my memories whirling back to 1983.

I was vying for a place in the Mysore Zone ‘Under-25’ Cricket team. Sharp drizzle forced the selection trials at the Maharaja's College grounds to stop mid-way through the morning session. As the pitch became wet, it was decided to continue at 2 p.m.

After a peaceful lunch at my half-a-mile-near-home I thought of wakeful resting for a while. In a relaxed posture, I laid my back to the rolled-up bed on my cot.

When my eyes opened, the clock was showing 2.15. Shock! One full hour had passed in a jiffy. Hurriedly put on my cricket shoes - already in cricket attire - and sped on my Robin Hood bicycle to the venue in a double quick time only to find an empty ground! Puzzled, I looked around and lo, they were already playing in the adjacent ground where a club's practice wicket was. That was found to be drier and not much affected by the shower. Sheepishly, I reported and explained my late coming, in truth, to the selector who fortunately allowed me to join play, though late by about 20 minutes.

Later, to my great joy, my bowling talent had made it to the final team, for the third and last year. Good performances and luck esp. in the semi-final [toss of coin] had taken us through to the final for the first time against yet another first-time finalist, Dharwar Zone. We were soon standing with our backs to the wall, still needing 35 runs to take the vital lead when no.11 M.S.Ravindra joined me at No.10, both of us on zero. The target was overhauled, run by run, but not without hiccups. Our last wicket partnership had led us to a historic, maiden Shield-victory!

As it proved in the very end, selector Maj. Hemachandar’s decision to allow me late for the trials foiled Dharwar bowler Hemachandra’s victory bid - he had skittled seven of us but not me as I got run out but by then we had taken that vital lead that clinched the match.

Had that siesta stretched any longer, I would not have been able to savour that sweet victory-moment, leave alone get selected! Since then, I have never dared to attempt even a catnap before any engagement, esp. after a luncheon. It can really make us drowse if we do nothing!

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