April 21, 2008

Delhi in my belly!

Delhi in my belly!

“Next time you buy free tickets, take me also!”

That’s Vasudev, who turned seven in March, and an IPL backer in April.

I had every intention of taking him for Delhi Daredevils’ first game at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Fact is, I had every intention of taking a lot of people.

One guy backed out because he was watching soccer.

Others were either babysitting their kids or their wife’s guests.

Guess both take a lot of handling, and don’t come naturally to men.

Both cause a lot of men to miss a lot of games.

But not the guy who made it: he didn’t have any kids. He didn’t have any wife’s guests. Heck, he didn’t have any wife. Not yet.

Fits that his company is called Happily Unmarried then?

Anyway, the reason for inviting him was somewhat selfish. The three T20 games we had watched together (2 vs. Pak and 1 vs. Oz in the World Cup), we won. And the solitary T20 thrashing in Australia, we watched in isolation.

I assumed with master Happily Unmarried as company, the Delhi Daredevils would win too. I hadn’t realised that in the Rajasthan Royals, the IPL had the perfect ingredient for a successful tournament: a minnow.

First, everybody will bash the Royal’s up, and then almost Bangladesh like, they will upset all equations by beating the best team (as in the South Africa or chokers of the tournament). Imagine the surprise when Rajasthan Royals beat Kolkata Knight Riders. Where will Shah Rukh Khan and his wonderfully gifted entourage hide?

I looked for a red ‘n’ black tee. Not quite Delhi Daredevil gear; but then, I wasn’t prepared to invest in them as yet.

Of course that changed once I put on my red ’n’ black tee. I had taken the colour- combo oath – the full import of which kicks in when you’re on the ground. With McGrath, Sehwag and Vettori in the same colours.

They are one of you. You are one of them. It feels just fine. Put on a show for me - beat the hell out of royalty. Power to the masses!

But it’s a little more complicated. How do you reason Kaif being knocked over by a firang? Do you still think, a bad T20 club performance can effect his test chances? Or say, if Raina rocks, will he enhance his India chances?

Once the game starts though, you abandon all that muddled thought. You are sucked in by the partisan crowd, hell, you become the partisan crowd. You enjoy, for once, being just a face in the crowd. Being invisible in a metaphorical sea of red ‘n’ black. The red-black sea, eh?

The high point of the game is much delayed. It’s when Delhi’s icon player, Virender Sehwag takes strike – and blasts one straight over mid on. You realise, if you hadn’t before, you’re in Delhi. And Sehwag is Delhi, as Tendulkar is Mumbai, Ganguly is Calcutta, and Laxman is Hyderabad. Never mind about M.S. Dhoni and Shane Warne. They are something too: mercenaries?

Three balls and two more fours later Sehwag is out. Frankly felt like walking out then. But then, you don’t walk out on your team. No matter what.

So, I stuck it out. And though Delhi won handsomely, or rather, Rajasthan lost ugly, it wasn’t a great game to watch.

But then, when you watch 9 out of 10 games, prepare for the odd heartbreak, even when you win.

Later, long after the game, way past midnight, the Rajasthan Royal’s team bus was blocked off by an errant Delhiwallah’s badly parked car. After a bad evening, the Royals were now having a worse night.

Looks like we Delhiwallahs sure like to rub it in.


scorpicity said...

Delhiwallas rubbing it in... oh by the way which team gear did you like.

Naked Cricket said...

daredevils, knightriders. how about you?

John said...

What else do you expect in Delhi. Just because you're named Royals...

scorpicity said...

quite liked the knight riders outfit... cheezy but looked good under the lights.

Straight Point said...

i second scorpy...

NC, another foreplay innings from sehwag today or will he go all the way...?? ;-))

Naked Cricket said...

what was that John?

scorpi - wait for a day game to fully commit

Naked Cricket said...

SP - guess it's ok now, there are no expectations from Sehwag, or are there? I'd like to see Asif open with McGrath today - recall how he was vs Ind in the WC T20s?

Aashrey said...


Naked Cricket said...

Go Aashrey!

Straight Point said...

so NC, yesterday sehwag discovered the fun of going all the way ;-)

Naked Cricket said...

he went beyond all the way. but definitely not out of his way. even the crappy bowling couldn't spoil it. a whole lotta windies in him y'day - viru or viv?

Soulberry said...

3D are a team. Rajat Bhatia impressed me most of all. He's a guy who has been slogging away domestically...like the unhappily married clubber...and rarely ever got his due.

Naked Cricket said...

was watching the game with a rajat (the HU guy) - after his namesake's showing, he was set on a rajat bhatia t-shirt.
nike's not selling ipl apparel yet - claim the season's up too soon. imagine that.

Soulberry said...

I'm sticking with the team despite the loss to KXPs. They'll bounce back.

Strange about that Team gear and Nike...but since you raise the point of Delhiwallahs, someone in Gandhinagar must have already printed out replicas!

Naked Cricket said...

sb, thru thick n thin with 3d then.
But why bat first? for variety?

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