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The Match

May 23, 2013

ImageThe Batsman:

The batsman took guard. He knew exactly what he had to do. His team needed to score at a little more than 8 runs an over and depended on him to give a good start. He looked around the ground at the field setting. So, they have packed the off side, should not be tempted, he mused. He looked at the bowler, who was doing excessive stretching at the top of his run up. His in-swingers are dangerous, should be careful, he made a mental note.

The Bowler:

As he was warming up, the bowler sized up the batsman. He saw him take guard and look around the ground. He knew that the batsman was studying the field placement and the heavily packed off side. His cover drives were exquisite and no amount of cover was good enough for his scorching shots. Not that his shots on the leg side are any less. You have a big surprise, he chuckled at the thought of what he had planned to do.

The Game:

There was a huge roar as both the batsman and the bowler got ready to do their job. The bowler started running in from the top of his run up. Half way from the crease he stopped and turned back to his run up. The crowd let out a big boo. The bowler started running in again, and as he reached near the crease , the batsman raised his hand. He walked down the pitch, picked up something and threw it aside. He then banged the ground a couple of times with his bat as if leveling the ground. It was a classic case of gamesmanship. There was a muted boo this time from a section of the supporters of the bowler’s team. The bowler was visibly ruffled. He ran faster and bowled on the batsman’s legs. Clearly his line and length had gone for a toss. The ball rapped on the pads and was collected by the wicket keeper. There was an half hearted appeal from the wicket-keeper, but it was turned down The next ball was way over the off side. On any normal day the batsman would have carted it over the boundary. But today was no ordinary day. He swished wildly and all he could do was cut air as the ball landed in the wicket keeper’s gloves with a thud. The third ball was a juicy half volley and as he soon as he bowled it, the bowler expected it to be hit over his head into the sight screen. But all that the batsman do was hit it along the ground and the ball hit the non striker’s stumps. The next ball was a genuine bouncer. It flew a feet over the batsman, The wicket-keeper too couldn’t reach it and the ball rolled into the boundary. Promptly the umpire signaled a wide. 5 runs. The first runs came from extras. The bowler bowled a slower delivery next, the batsman square cut it straight to the fielder. The last ball was a full toss. The batsman stepped out of the crease and tried to work it on the on side. He missed the line completely and was bowled. There was dead silence in the stadium and then erupted with joy as they realized that the umpire had no-balled it. Replays showed that the bowler’s foot was a clear 3 inches outside the crease. The crowd roared with anticipation of a six in the resultant free hit. It was an anti-climax, as all the batsman could do was to hit it to the leg gully trying to paddle sweep the ball the bowler had bowled outside the leg stump.

 The End Game:

The batsman managed to score a century enabling his team to win the match with three balls to spare. The bowler didn’t do badly either. He just gave 16 runs in his 4 overs and managed to take a wicket as well.

The Post Match Presentation:

In his hotel room, the bowler  got a call which he dreaded.

“You didn’t keep your part of the deal”

“Bhai, let me explain……” blurted the bowler

“You said you will give 17 runs in an over and that the signal was that you will stop mid way of your run up. The syndicate has lost crores because you didn’t  kep up your promise”.

“I tried everything, I bowled him full tosses, half volleys everything I even bowled no ball and a wide,but it was strange that he didn’t score any runs”.

“You better give back the money you took from us”

“How can I? I have already spent some of it.

“I don’t know what you will do, you better come up with the money, by tomorrow morning if you want to live”

In another part of the hotel, the batsman also got a call. It was much happier conversation.

“That was brilliant. You scored a century. Your team won and now no one would suspect anything. Everything went as per plan , your signal by dabbing the pitch, no runs scored in that over. We made a killing and I think you deserve a bonus”

“Thanks”

“How about getting out in the first ball in the next match? For double the money”

“It is a deal”

Any resemblance to real incidences is purely intentional

Picture courtesy: nternet

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2013 23:38

    If all the games including Test matches and the ODI’s, the entire discussions later would be to decide the ONLY over which was played in a normal way. There would be betting on that also, if the over was the 8th or the 17th. Cricket is dead; Long Live Cricket!
    Gaurav

  2. May 24, 2013 10:11

    The husband: Why are you feeling so down, the whole game of IPL is a big drama where the players are just puppets.

    Me: But Dhoni is a good man.

    Husband: (Cynical laughter) There is nothing moral or amoral in today’s cricket. Everyone is part of the big gamble. Sreesanth was stupid and hence blew the lid.

    Me: (Completely horrified)

    Husband: IPL entertains us and we soaked in the entertainment completely. It is stupid to go beyond that and see the morality issues of match-fixing, spot-fixing and sex scandals. When you can accept that A player can be bought for such a ridiculous price and is kept in the team inspite of his under-performance, you better learn to accept that corruption also walks alongside. Better get over it.

    Me: (Speechless)

    Today’s news in the papers drove me crazy.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  3. May 25, 2013 18:08

    @ Babuman, and then we can bet on which of the overs was not fixed. I am thinking of starting a petition to legalize fixing. It will add to the thrill
    @ Susan, as someone famously said. ” behind every great fortune, there is a great crime.it is true of politics, corporate and now cricket.
    The fixing episode has made the game even more interesting, because now when we watch a match we also play ‘spot the fixer’. And it goes like this,Ah there he is scratching his head, he is a fixer, hey look at him picking his nose, I;ve found the fixer.

  4. May 25, 2013 19:59

    Govind, I had posted a status in FB suggesting Betting could be legalised as in Britain. Ladbrokes have 2400 branches in the U.K. and elsewhere. They take bets on anything, even who is likely to become the top scorer in the season and all that stuff. Gambling has been in our blood since the days of Mahabharata. Yuthishtra gambled away his wife Draupati. In fact, Chess originated in India in the form of gambling. Gaurav

  5. May 26, 2013 11:33

    As Mr. Gaurav Karunakar has said, “Cricket is Dead. Long live cricket. ”
    However there is always this feeling of being denied the absolute pleasure of a game well played. No one is ever going to take on trust even an honest players shots or his bowling, or his fielding, for that matter. Wasn’t that just too blithe? Or was it just an off day, or an on day? Well.
    The picture tells a tale too. The way it sparks and lights up … for all the wrong reasons.

  6. May 26, 2013 15:50

    Fixing is most unfortunate and should be rooted out, minimised by strict monitoring. Also the games administrators should take a look as to why players are tempted and try to make the system more just. Umpires’ cheating can be fixed by television replays. However we must be frank enough to see that the evil is not going to be rooted out completely because it is humans that are playing. Cheating in sports has been in existence since time immemorial. I have read somewhere that the statues of Gods erected outside the Olympic arena of ancient Greece were a contribution of the athletes who were caught cheating. The game is indeed bigger than some individuals and will survive.

    • June 22, 2013 18:45

      Thank you Vivek and sorry for the delay in acknowledging your comment. The game is certainly bigger for if you see all the comments, you will notice how passionate each of the commenters have felt about this episode and nothing about the ‘STORY’. 🙂 Not there is anything great in the story.

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