It’s 4am and the alarm goes off in the Venkatraman household. Amma is the first to get up and vigorously wakes up Paddu. In half an hour, they are ready to go to the ground, no, not for a walk but Cricket Coaching.
This is a familiar scene in many households in Chennai and I am always fascinated to see that boy riding pillion on the scooter holding on to his cricket kit bag tightly as the father concentrates on the road! Many of them dream to hold the MRF bat like Sachin and Virat or a Spartan bat of MS Dhoni.
The parents walk on the side of the ground as their children take strike or get ready to bowl. It’s their love for cricket and the enthusiasm of the kids that make them take that extra effort to be on the ground, at times sleep deprived, buy those expensive kits, engage a personal coach, act as cheer leaders, make sure breakfast is ready, lunch box is ready and also manage the all-pervasive Homework along with their own office work.
The young cricketers on the other hand, work hard, put in all efforts to fulfill their dreams of lifting that Cup and acknowledging the cheer of millions of fans! Cricket is a religion in our country and every time there is a match, T20, Test match or the IPL, we have the whole nation united.
And it all starts here, in the ground, in the nukkad (corner), in the small gullies (alleys), where a future MS Dhoni, Virat kohli, Sachin, Krish Srikanth, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble is waiting to be discovered, waiting to wear the blue jersey. So, the next time you see a white set of uniform along with pads and cap drying in the balcony, stop for a minute, and wish that child all the very best. Who knows he might be India’s next skipper.