The Heavy Ball

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Dear diary

Diary of a certain somebody

You can't say anything about him, he's bored of saying the same old things in interviews, and he's not exactly controversial. Whoever could it be?

As discovered by Samantha Pendergrast

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A
Fans take in the first match in Guwahati for two years, India v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Guwahati, November 28, 2010
Eager fans camp outside the diarist's gym for a glimpse © AFP

December 10 Indian cricket fans are a scary bunch. You can't say anything bad about me without causing a riot. Hell, I can't say anything bad about me! I went to this cricket website (which shamelessly uses my name to get hits) and saw 377 comments by readers enraged that my name wasn't mentioned in an article... about Vanuatu's* qualification for World Cricket League Division 5.

December 11 Bhajji has given me a t-shirt that reads: "Bradman is Don but you are my bhai". He's a good lad.

December 12 Just got back from a BABE meeting. Set up in 1933 by the Don, BABE is an elite squad of batting geniuses (Gavaskar, Lara, Rahul, Kallis, Chanders are all members) who use their skills for the greater good. It stands for Batsmen Against Bowlers Etc. Our most recent success was the introduction of the batting Powerplay. I took Viru along for his induction, but it wasn't a successful one. At every point of discussion, he interrupted the speaker.

Jacques: I think the rule that if it pitches outside off but hits you in line with stumps while you didn't offer a shot is unfair.

(Murmurs of "Hear, hear")

Viru: Arre, what pitch witch? Just hit ball and no lbw happen only.

Jayawardene: Do you think we can get the front-foot no-ball law to be tweaked to front-half of front foot is a no-ball?

Viru: No, no, don't worry about bowler. You look ball and hit.

Very aggravating.

December 14 After 20 years of giving interviews to the media, I feel so bored. No one ever asks me anything new. It's all "Oh, you're such a legend, you're the greatest, I am in awe just standing next to you." Sometimes I hear so much that when I catch my reflection in the mirror, I rush to get an autograph. Why don't they ask me something interesting? Like what's my favourite TV show. With all the one-day series I've bunked this year, I have had lots of time on my hands. I'm hooked to Bigg Boss and totally rooting for the Great Khali. But I just don't understand why the lights in that house are so bright? And why was the fat lady so mean initially?

December 16 Rahul walked into my room chuckling. It seems a list of least controversial sportspersons was published recently and we are one and two. We've had a running battle about which of us leads a more colourful life. Well, if he had only waited a couple more balls in Multan... he'd be No. 1.

Still, the list makes it out to be that I am naturally dull. People don't understand how hard I have to work to be non-controversial. There was a time when the stock markets used to crash if I had indigestion. Oh, and that whole liberalisation thing. I was asked in an interview in 1991 about my favourite chocolates. I said I liked Hersheys and Mars and that since we didn't get them in India, I stocked up every time I went on tour. That night the PM called to apologise and the next day the government announced that Indian markets would be opened up to international trade.

December 20 Fifty centuries. I feel privileged to get there. Of course it doesn't mean I am the world's best batsman, but I'm glad that all the hard work I put in all these years paid off. And I didn't let down the faith that the people of our nation had in me.

So long Ricky. Sucker!

(*Remember to to check if Vanuatu's on the market. Will make a good anniversary present)

All quotes and facts in this article are fiction (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 26 
Posted by SebV on (January 3, 2011, 13:38 GMT)

@Advance-Australia-Fair: If you are referring to the author as 'sir', just so you know Samantha is a woman. Same @Paramjit Das, ur use of the word 'mate' is probably the first when addressing a woman. Some people take offense ... let's try not to offend them.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

I haven't had a laugh like the whole of last year and I am a regular for Andrew Hughes and Andy Zaltzman.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2011, 15:00 GMT)

@Shankar: perhaps u mean great batsman and a captain in case of ponting? If so, sachin was a captain too. But yeah, Ricky by no means was even a good captain. Mark Taylor was a great captain and so was Waugh to some extent for aus and ganguly for India and Vaughan for England . Ricky was and is a great player

Posted by vpk23 on (January 2, 2011, 14:50 GMT)

fantastic...esp the liberalisation part

Posted by skepticaloptimist on (January 2, 2011, 14:33 GMT)

A great read! Good job Samantha. The Vanuatu and Sehwag bits are pure gold. I absolutely loved this particular bit, "Arre, what pitch witch?" People, it's not mocking Sehwag's command over the English language. It's just meant to show Sehwag's usual panache; nothing wrong with that, I suppose. @Gurpreet: Indeed, every answer he gives sounds so hackneyed and banal. I love when people ask him about his retirement and he says, "you guys are in the wrong press conference."

Posted by   on (January 2, 2011, 12:02 GMT)

rajnikanth-esque ..... "the stock market crashes when i have indigestion" priceless

Posted by Advance-Australia-Fair on (January 2, 2011, 12:00 GMT)

Very well done, sir. And I know we're all laughing at the Sehwag bit (me included), but he's actually right. The batsmen souldn't worry about no-balls and all that jazz. If it's there to hit you hit it, if you need to block you block, if you need to let it go you let it go. Don't worry about whether the bowler's heel is a millimetre past the crease! Just bat!

Posted by SagirParkar on (January 2, 2011, 10:48 GMT)

nice one... loved it.. almost sounds genuine... the acronym BABE was a stroke of genius !!!

and i think it is important to point out that no one is making fun of Sehwag's language but the author is bringing his character to the fore in a manner that every one can identify with him.. he is such a natural genius that he doesnt bother too much about front-foot rules, back foot rules, line this, length this etc etc..

keep regaling us Samantha !

and Shankar > re: Ponting being a 'great' captain.. please.. it is because of his choice of certain players that the Aussies are where they are.. Ponting one when he did cos of proven performers.. dont get me wrong, i have always been an Aussie supporter, but Ponting inherited a good team, he is mediocre as a captain, at best. and Sachin was similar...

Posted by   on (January 2, 2011, 10:22 GMT)

The most outstanding parts weer about Sehwag, the chocolates and the 50 centuries!

Posted by   on (January 2, 2011, 9:54 GMT)

Actually i hope ponting gets his form back and scores a few centuries, he is a great batsman and captain (which sachin never was). Anyways i find the article very funny, good job.

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