I began my journey in the 1970s, the same era when He was born. Back then, people like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and Geoffrey Boycott used to bore crowds and put people to sleep by playing over after over, and I wondered what my purpose was. It was only when He started playing that I discovered myself. And yayyy, I even got people playing me in coloured uniforms, even though I never liked the Australian Yellow or the ridiculously red West Indian uniform.
But to heck with all of that, I was the in-thing and life was exciting, thanks to Him and His exploits on the field. As against paan-chewing office babus and enthusiastic young boys, even girls now came in throngs to watch me. How I blushed when they said they were “Cricket” lovers. Sigh, those were the days.
Like He did to millions in His country, He filled me also with great joy when he went berserk against the yellow yellow dirty fellow Australians in Sharjah. He also chose to save His best for my premier tournament: The World Cup. I will never forget the pride and gratitude I felt when everyone dedicated India’s victory in my 2011 World Cup to Him. Whom will India now dedicate its rare victories to, now that he is gone? Who will they play World Cups for? Virat Kohli, who always keeps on abusing me, despite the fame I have given him, or M S Dhoni, who is too fixated with pitches and curators to think about improving his skills to play me better?
Since yesterday, I am having bad dreams where Ravindra Jadeja and Piyush Chawla’s performances are being applauded and cheered. Moreover I also heard that Raju from Faridabad, Pappu from Bhopal and even Rosy from Mumbai will never watch me again. I will be played in empty stadiums and they will have no option but to show players scratching their crotches, as there will be no advertisements. Only DD-1 will telecast my matches because no one watches it anyway. No, I would rather face an honourable death of my own choosing than be insulted like that.
I would like to give my best to my older cousin, Test Cricket and my foster brother, the IPL, who will be lucky to be graced by His presence while I rot alone. Shahid Afridi has suggested that the first retirement is no fun, and that I should take at least 17 retirements before ending my career. But no yaar, I shall come back only when God’s own son, Arjun Tendulkar, decides to choose me as a career.
Thank you for all the good times, God!
Sincerely, ODI Cricket.