MILAN CRICKET CLUB
Everything is subjective. So is this.
Telecom Italia Mobile Robinson is back! Lay out the Biriyani.
One hundred and ninety six.
I remember a time and year when One Hundred and Ninety Six runs scored over the entire season made you a serious contender, if not outright winner, of the 'best consistent performance in a batting capacity' award. But this year has been different. We have gone from being a team that would have, on most occasions, been quite content getting to a total around that mark to witnessing one batsman go on to make THAT score. Vikas' brutal Gibbs-esque innings in the finals of the Lombardy league will NOT be surpassed (and it does not take a brave man to say that). It will forever be remembered as THE defining innings in the collective consciousness of the club, if there is such a thing.
For those of you having trouble grasping the enormity of that score, it is tempting for me to offer up my personal best score of sixteen runs as a contrast, but I will refrain from doing so for no record of it exists (except perhaps anecdotal). You see, back then, as I presume it is now, when you played among friends out on the streets you didn't bother with score books and other accessories. However, I do have a less than flattering second best score of fourteen, a factual documented score unlike the first one, that will do quite well in bringing out the sheer impossibility of Vikas' score. Let us for a minute set aside the inherent fallibility of comparing two innings and look at our respective best scores for what they are. Vikas bettered my best attempt at the crease by a multiplicative factor of my best attempt at the crease. Pause, and reflect on that. My career, such as it may be, stands justified if only because I can supply you with some perspective on an outstanding achievement.
For most of us this year the only silverware we will get our hands on at the Annual Dinner will be the ones we will be dining with. Vikas is bound to, and rightly so, walk away with all the silverware there is. That innings deserves nothing less.
The end of an era (David/Mike).
You are given a shirt when you join the club and you are presented with one when you retire. Being Indian, and conditioned to think in a certain way, I can't help framing this as a manifestation of the cyclic karmic nature of life. The signatures scribbled on the gifted shirt are, with some imagination, a combination of life experiences, friends, and scars one has accumulated during the course of one's life. But being Indian does not obscure the irony of the second shirt, not paid for, rendered unwearable on account of the signatures. There is, after all, no such thing as a free lunch. Talking of lunch, we should have more 'B' (biriyani?) games for the 'Can't bat-Can't bowl-Can't field-Can eat biriyani' crowd to which I firmly belong to, if only to see the delight on William's face on getting his dad out. The pursuit of runs at all costs enshrined in the idea of the B game allows batsmen to swing away but also puts them at considerable risk of being 'Gauthamed' - a neologism unique to this form of the game; an unenviable distinction Jack almost managed with three dismissals in four balls.
The dance that launched a thousand smiles.
Of which I wrote about here.
My personal moment of glory.
Playing against CERN alongside Euratom, soon after winning the Lombardy league, with our reputations riding high and with us expected to lead the way, three of our best which included the likes of Sunil, Nand and Guru got out to a combined score of zero. Yes, zero. Padded to go in next with only a ball remaining in the game, with much at stake, including this paragraph, I scored a single. It was by far the most crucial single I had taken in all my playing career. I had, mind you, with that single, not only saved the honor of the club but had scored infinitely more than all the other three Milan players put together and I pulled it off at a healthy strike rate of 100. Very few, if at all, can boast such flattering statistics.
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