Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Little Master

Cricket is fantastic isn't it?

I mean this seriously.  It's just an amazing concept in our modern world.

We may be rushing about and in a constant hurry.  There may be a constant demand for things to be delivered immediately and for the latest trends to fervently adhered to.  Life seems to be rushed at an ever increasing rate.

Not with cricket though.  In this game from another era, a slower pace of life seems to take over.  A more ordered and refined approach towards sport that doesn't involve violence or injuries reigns supreme.

I was lucky enough to have landed some tickets to the 3rd day of the Sydney test match.

They weren't any ordinary tickets, they were highly sought after member's tickets.
I was also lucky enough to be there for Australia vs India.  Two cricketing power houses between whom no love was lost.
I didn't realise how lucky I was going to be though.

The 3rd day of the test was where I was going to see history unfolding.  The beginning of something enormous, and the end of the something even bigger.

Australia was still batting....

.... and they just kept batting.

Nothing was going to stop them.

So much so that Michael Clarke ended up with 329 not out.  A new personal best.  A new record knock at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

I've never been a fan of Michael Clarke, but this was an achievement that deserved a standing ovation.
With the end of the Australian inning, it was time for India to start.

The Indian batting had struggled on this tour and this day would be no different.

Within a short amount of time, the opening batsmen were walking back to the pavilion.

This gave me a chance to see two of the greatest cricket players of all time for the first, and more than likely, last time.

First the great Rahul Dravid arrived.  Famously known as "the Wall", he hadn't had a good tour of Australia and it was clear that time had ravaged his formerly daunting defences.  Holes had clearly begun to appear in the Wall....

Soon, the Wall fell over.

This gave me the chance to see one of the most famous cricket players of all time.  A man who is literally worshiped as a god in his home country.  Sachin Tendulkar was walking onto the SCG!
The entire crowd rose as one to applaud his entrance.

He was the opponent, he was the star, but it didn't matter.  His career was what was being honoured.  Everyone was clapping as a sign of respect and reverence.
Watching it all occur, it seemed like a throwback to the past.  Seeing Tendulkar confidently walking into the middle of the stadium to the standing clapping made him appear almost regal and chivalrous.  With gloves on and his bat under his arm, he was like a knight slowly walking off into his final joust.