Excerpts from a cricket diary I’ll never write. Part one – the Players.

  • Ricky Ponting.

Fierce. Aggressive. Frightening. Vocal. Loud. Opinionated. Outspoken. Competitive. Emotional. You’re all of these and many more.

You’re ‘the’ captain that everyone vows to have. You’re the yearning of every vulnerable mind. You’re hope. You’re the Venus in a moonless night. You’re the myriad of street lights at the end of a tunnel. You came. You conquered. You left. When the skies grew pale, and dusky red, you left. Oh! The one-down maestro of our generation. Oh! The conqueror of the world for 12 mammoth years. You left with pride. And never came back. You left. But, in a corner of my heart, for infinity and beyond it, long may you reign.

  • Chaminda Vaas

“Vaasy!” they clamoured. A brown-skinned guy with a cheeky grin, and the longest name to himself, ran in. He ran in. He delivered. “Bowled ‘em.” They rejoiced at his existence. But when the twilight came, they left him. They left him and, he was alone. He bid farewell, in a winning cause but not much to his name. A tear fell down. The earth mourned for him. With grief and anger.

Oh the humble swing sensation! Vaasy, you won many hearts.

  • Younis Khan

Pakistan are 18-3. Walks Younis Khan into the crease. He bats. He bats. He bats. And bats. 220-3. The day ends. You’re the crisis man. You’re the anchor of a sailing ship. You’re hope. You’re the silver lining of a dusky grey sky. You’re the music to ears at 2am. You’re those shared coffee cups in a rainy day evening. You’re words at 11pm. You’re the spilled ink in a hopeless day. You’re the cozy blanket made of cotton-wool for a lost wanderer in Istanbul streets. You’re handful of water to a Somali gypsy. You’re laughter in the feudal streets of Peshawar. You’re sunshine to a broken heart in gloomy days.

Never leave the world, YK! Never ever.

  • Mohammed Aamer

You’re the naive smile to a complete stranger. You’re those fallen leaves in an autumn evening. You’re the humming music in the background at the break of dawn. You’re a caged parrot in a peaceful residence. You’re those deadly spells in an English summer. You’re the plethora of books I yearn to read. You’re a finished cup of tea in a 1am study session. You’re the bumped path of a reindeer in the suburbs of Nottingham.

June 30, 2015. 7.27pm. A-five-year wait is nearing its end. I await. With peace and faith. And hopes for a better you. I’ve faith, in you, for a better you. I await. Come along! Come along, like you never went away.

  • Kumar Sangakkara

Once upon a time, there was a child. Lived in a village that no longer exists, in a house that no longer exists, on the edge of a field that no longer exists, where everything was discovered, and everything was possible. A willow could be a sword, a pebble on the dusty pitch could be a diamond, a pavilion, a castle. Once upon a time, there was a child who walked towards the field covered in lush green, to see a hero that no longer exists. The hero played a thousand games. In twilight, he played a cover drive to perfection. One by one, the Asgiriya scoreboard kept ticking. He collected the world in small handfuls, and when the sky grew dark, and dusky red, he forsook the green field as a crowned maestro.

Once upon a time, there was a child who loved a hero, and his melodic laughter was a question the child wanted to spend his whole life answering.

Thank you, legend!

  • Mohammad Rizwan

You’re those tatted clouds in a Manchester sky. You’re that one shining light in a Trincomalee evening. Eclipse came. And went away. A stranger passing down the streets smiled at me. Closed books. Opened wardrobe doors. I see my favourite Pakistani jersey in a corner of it. I pick it up. I wear it, with pride. The lost hopes returned. The sky sings its favourite tune. You’re a homeless puppy in Pettah streets covered with dirt. You’re a vintage book of mantra I yearn to open, yet afraid.

I’ve a question. To fall in love or to not?

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