|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Fantasy||Mobile|
A brattish upstart brings the tone of Lord's down a notch or two
August 30, 2009
London, 13 July 2002
I remember it vividly. Mum was woken from her sleep, dad was going ballistic in his rocking chair, and I was prancing between hall, kitchen and mid-air. All of a sudden, one glance at the television and there was Sourav Ganguly baring his torso, swinging his India shirt, hurling invective, making quite a spectacle of himself.
The camera moved to Freddie Flintoff, a destroyed bowler, squatting on the pitch after conceding the winning run. The same Flintoff who'd charged topless around the Wankhede Stadium a few months earlier. Ganguly, standing on the Lord's balcony, was delivering the mother of all tit-for-tats, and it took some time before we could grasp the enormity of the defiance. Headquarters of cricket, the MCC's sanctum sanctorum, egg-and-bacon ties… and here was a scene out of Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium after a local derby.
An extraordinary match got its perfect climax - hero extracting revenge and indulging in a war dance. The Wankhede and Lord's would be treated equally. We needed no further vindication that this Indian team was playing an inspired brand of cricket, not only with bat and ball but also with the head, and that it would wear its heart on its sleeve.
Dad, who grew up on tales of Ken Barrington, was a little shocked when he witnessed the scenes, and we ended up having a silly argument over the "spirit of the game". I simply loved it, mostly because it was the one moment where the essence of Ganguly was plain to see, the one moment we related perfectly to. Dada taught us several things on the cricket field; that day, he taught us how to celebrate.
Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo MagazineFeeds: Siddhartha Vaidyanathan
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ian Chappell: It's clear that for the ICC votes mean more than results
Tony Cozier: While the 375 had a sense of inevitability to it, the 400 came amid a backdrop of strikes and the threat of a whitewash
Rewind: Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it
Review: Gideon Haigh comes out with another set of essays that sound uncannily prescient about the way the game is headed
Hassan Cheema: The Emirates have been Pakistan's home away from home for three decades. To see the IPL being played there must feel like betrayal
ESPNcricinfo picks five players for whom this IPL is of bigger significance
The Plays of the day from the match between Kolkata and Mumbai, in Abu Dhabi
The Plays of the day from the match between Chennai and Punjab in Abu Dhabi