It is sometimes surprising to see how quickly the intelligence travels. It is exciting, even intoxicating at times, when intelligence travels to and through the youngsters (compared to the older politicians we have, who are either incompetent or corrupt and sometimes both on the same day).
Yours truly was on the cricket ground to witness Nepal’s teenagers –this time, they say their age is actually Under-17 and not ‘thereabouts’, missing the mark by a small matter of 3-4 years – take on the mighty UAE (mighty might sometimes refer to the petro power too, not only the skills with red cherry and willowy staff) in the semi-final of what they term as the Elite Cup (the word ‘elite’ being the key, perhaps referring to so few teams participating and some pulling out).
And yours truly was glad, and sometimes elated, and sometimes both – not knowing which should have been preferred over other – so see the boys making huddle amidst the green to celebrate success. Give them a wicket – which sometimes rich kids from UAE resorted to – and they’d huddle to celebrate, enjoying and congratulating each others’ success. And the intelligence being spread is exactly that. An example of knowledge spreading through the idiot box… That too, at a time, when we complain that kids these days only learn how to swear through cricket on TV, while the international men in whites (these days, more in colours than the white flannel), indulge in the most dominant form of social interaction during the match – sledging the opponent and thereby improving upon already rich vocabulary of us Nepali nationals.
Not very long ago, yours truly was in his teens (well, give or take a few decades), and used to be involved with cricket (standing in the middle, raising his finger once in a while to point towards the rest room, while the people around yours truly used to jump in joy, and the helmet armed man with plasters around his legs and willow in hand walked away in disgust – sometimes saying the words yours truly could not comprehend, except that those generally started with the letter ‘F’). Those were the days, when celebrations were rare among teammates, except a glare or two shared with those on the opposing sides, apart from a few words expressed in appreciation of their efforts (wonder why they were said in a tone which had striking resemblance to the dialogues of Dharmendra, the actor, swearing at diminutive villains in those hindi cinemas).
Cut back to present: The scene at a cricket ground, which had been a regular pastime for yours truly once, was invigorating at its best. The intelligence, as said already, spreads fast, maybe at the speed of light, or maybe at the speed the television screen flickers. The best confirmation of the intelligence spread was the point, when Avinash Karn was bowling for his hat-trick, having taken two in previous two deliveries. With the crowd raising hell with noise reaching the crescendo, just before the delivery, Nepali close in fielders surrounded the hapless UAE batsman, just to earn the hat-trick for their bowler. The scene reminded yours truly of those great Test matches, where the tailenders were thrown bouncers, while the tall fieldsmen around him ready to gulp down a lollypop of a catch. Intelligence spreads fast – the point taken. The wicketkeeper in Akash Pariyar, and captain Prithu Baskota were evidently giving the television audience, if there were any, a show of how to marshal their resources and create pressure on the batsmen. A good example of how quickly lessons can be learnt, even by watching. There were flaws, failures in ground fielding, dropped catches, clueless bowling at times, but the unit looked well-oiled, throwing away the negativity. Where else, can they be learnt? By watching TV? Maybe, but only if you’re a keen watcher.
Post match, yours truly had a small chat with the eternal coach of the Nepali side, Roy Dias. As yours truly asked, “Disappointed with the team’s fielding?”
He retorted, “Yep, also the batting.” It’s impossible to please everyone…
Should it be mentioned that UAE opener, R. Abraham nearly won the match single handedly with 59 runs, and mostly during his stay threatening to take away the match from the home team. That, after Nepal had teetered to 144 – which was defendable eventually – in the semi-final.
Disclaimer: The picture has been stolen from a news portal that is being managed by a friend of yours truly… Having friends at right places truly works…