Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Same Old... Same Old

My previous post ended with me waiting for the answer with bated breath, and the reply was heartbreaking one more time, "Not this time either!" said destiny . The Proteas have yet again failed to deliver when it mattered the most. Yet again. And this time, it was even more humiliating, falling prey to the rejuvenated Englishmen who did seem to be Men on a mission.  All my dreams and hope seemed to come crashing down on me when Smith departed after playing one of his best one day knocks, Alas! he had to end on the losing side, and I have to bear the ignominy of the Proteas being labelled "Chokers" yet again by people who knew nothing about the word "Chokers". The loss was quite hard to handle, especially when you were quite certain that this was the team that has the potential to go all the way, accepting the fact that you were beaten by a bunch of no- hopers was even hard , South Africa is finding new ways of humiliating itself.

Sleep was hard to come by on Sunday night, by the time Smith was declined a runner my temper soared to new heights, the levels of profanity was reaching dizzying levels, from the umpires to Andrew Strauss(England's Captain) who refused to provide a runner for the struggling Smith, they all were the victims of my venomous tongue which changed dialects between English to Hindi to Tamil (my native tongue) to again English as easily as changing gears. By the time the game had ended, I had exhausted all the abuses from my Vocabulary of Filth. Crushed bottles lay around me, TV remotes lay elsewhere, and my specs fell somewhere my hands could not reach. Sleep came at 4am and the mind shut out, and my heart went to rest hoping all this was a bad dream. When I woke up, that sinking feeling crept into the pit of stomach, getting up from bed was an ordeal in itself, I wished I could bury myself in the mattress, unable to read what the newspapers had to say, unwilling to switch on the TV.

Having been a Proteas fan since time immemorial, one has to learn to accept failures, they have always stuck with us like a dark shadow in every showcase event. It is as if a crime for us to dare to dream, for our dreams will be shattered with complete ruthlessness. Many times after such shameful exits(and match fixing scandals) I have always reasoned with myself on why should I lose my sleep over a bunch of guys whose victory or loss would not matter anything to me? Why should I keep supporting the most ridiculed team on the planet? Why should I vent my fury here at Chennai over what is happening miles away in Cape Town? Those guys don't even know me, they wont even care if there is one less guy from their fan base. Many times I have said to myself "Thats it!! No more watching these chokers play". But trashing them away as if nothing has happened is not easy, especially since "Jonty Rhodes" was the first name you came to know in Cricket and not a "Sachin Tendulkar".

I have been their fan for nearly two decades, I have seen them drop catches which cost them the World Cup, I have seen them mess- up taking singles which could have won them games, I have seen Hansie cry on TV admitting to match fixing allegations, I have seen them collapse like a pack of cards from being in strong positions, I have seen them misread calculations from a piece of paper, I have seen them numerous times being tormented, humiliated and ridiculed by our old foes from Down Under. And I've cried like I lost my best friend in my arms (which btw I haven't done since 2002). And yet I remember Hansie lifting the inaugural Champion's trophy in Dhaka, I remember Jonty's numerous catches and runouts, I remember those swinging deliveries that Donald served at will,  I remember those countless knocks Klusener played in WC99 snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, I remember Pollock bowl with ruthless precision, I remember Kallis clinging on to those catches at slip with his huge bucket hands, I remember Gibbs' epic knock at that Game, and I remember Boucher finishing it off in style in that Game, I remember Smith's brave knock at Edgbaston that handed us that monumental series victory in England, and I remember young JP and AB create history by chasing a mammoth fourth innings target at Perth. Those were the moments they have given me to cherish and there were many more.

AB may have said "This is our time" at the start of the season, he may have been proven wrong, but our best time is yet to come, and I shall dare to dream one more time, and I shall live long enough to see the Proteas wrap their hands on an ICC trophy, the time may not be now, but the time will come!

1 comment:

$heriff said...

Very nice dude...you've encapsulated every South African's emotions in this post. We're all also very frustrated, but...as I said on my blog...I have a good feeling about our chances at this WC.

Thanks for your feedback and I'll be sure to follow Raag's Random Reflections.