A slow, painful death
Faisalabad Test: Stumps, Day 5: The first I saw of today’s play
was at roughly about half past three. I see Dhoni, or rather try to avoid seeing him, but can’t, he’s taking his pads and wicket keeping gloves off, and heading towards the umpire to give him his cap. In comes Dravid and hands him a brand new ball, then hushes away quickly to put on the pads.
Since I was expecting India being 5 down for 220, chasing 130 in the next 15 overs (just out of sheer Panglossian optimism really, nothing else), so this seemed like a bit of a shock. Worse still, I see that Younis Khan is batting in his 180s and partnering him is Abdul Razzaq. Inside me, I am getting an overwhelming urge to behave like a messed up fictional book character, a Becky Bloomwood or Bridget Jones, and break the TV and a few other things in sight. As I turn away from the TV screen in disgust, some of this fury recedes. This is when my sister (type c
) comes in and tells me about the ‘race’ some of the Indian players had around the tea break.
“A race, what do you mean ‘a race’?” I say trying to sound uninterested (when this is not really the case). “They had a sprint around the ground, Yuvraj won by a mile, Dhoni was second, the turban guy [Harbajjan obviously] came third and Dravid, poor guy, finished last”. “I see…was there any commentary too?” I ask as the field is being set. “Yes, it was that Aussie guy, what’s his name, Deanas or something…”. “Dean Jones” I reply in matter-of-factly tone. “Yeah, yeah, Deanas, as I said earlier, he was all excited, quite hyper actually, almost couldn’t help but join in race him self, he was quite annoying actually”.
As much as I hate to admit it now, watching Dhoni bowl that over, with his outrageous hair going all over the place, and a brand new ball in his hand, some how, this live cricket action, live India-Pakistan cricket action, some how this seemed way less interesting then listening to what a type C family member has miraculously remembered from the day’s cricket; some how, even the dry Bio-Chemistry lecture at my college earlier today seemed more interesting then this.
The 15,000 odd capacity crowd who turned up at the Iqbal Stadium though had much more patience then I did, not only did they not mind their home team eliminate whatever infinitesimal chance there was of the game reaching a conclusion, or in the least an exciting end, they also enjoyed this murder. I couldn’t. Shoaib Akhtar, who later refused to bowl on this surface in Indian 2nd innings, probably didn’t either. In fact, remove the probably. He categorically did not. No one did for that matter.
Not that killing is something nice, but it is allowed in case of retribution, or isn’t it? If you kill some one, then justice demands that you should be killed too. This test, today, died a slow, painful death. If not the Pakistani team think tank for batting on and on and on, and not even attempt to give our bowlers a go, if not the ground staff for preparing a pitch that gave nothing but false hopes of a result, if not them, then some one else, some one who caused this, in part of or in full, must be held accountable.Cross posted on Sundries