21 July 2016

Cricket Tours to West Indies


The best part about cricket tours to West Indies is that the live telecast in India starts around late evenings. I still remember that during my school days I used to come home from school in the afternoon, take a bath, have my lunch and then go to sleep. I used to wake up late in the evening and then watch the cricket telecast with a cup of Chafee, which is a cup of tea with coffee mixed in it.

In the 90's the West Indies had a good team and there was good pace and bounce on the West Indian wickets. These days they only produce flat dead pitches. And they had Walsh and Ambrose. I faintly remember India's tour of West Indies in the 1996-1997 season. Abey Kuruvilla had made his debut. We were all impressed by his height but not that impressed with his bowling abilities. India lost that series. I still remember the episode when Kuruvilla was a guest at Shekhar Suman's 'Movers and Shakers'. Suman asked him, "Toh Upaar Mausam Kaisa Hai?". We all had a good laugh.   

I distinctly remember Australia's tour of West Indies in the 1998-1999 season. It was a tightly fought series between two good teams. It was a four match Test series and the series was drawn 2-2. I clearly remember Brian Lara's double hundred. He scored two more hundreds in that series. There was also crowd trouble in one of the matches. Someone from the crowd threw a glass bottle at Steve Waugh and it narrowly missed his forehead. The Australian Captain was very angry and he stood his ground and looked firmly at the crowd. I remember seeing Shane Warne running back to the pavilion hurriedly once the crowd trouble erupted. I just loved that series because it was so fiercely fought between the two teams. 

Then I remember India's tour to West Indies in the year 2002. India again lost that series. But there was one remarkable thing. Anil Kumble bowling with a broken jaw and a bandaged face. He even got the wicket of Brian Lara. I was in Class XII at that time. Simply loved those late evening live telecasts. Sometimes I used to have two cups of Chafee. I used to relax on the large sofa in our drawing room with the landline phone in hand, chatting with my then girlfriend, or with other friends, without a single care of this world. My mom used to ask me to study but I never listened to her. I used to be engrossed in the magic of Caribbean cricket...


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