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Good Bye Old Friends! You'll be missed!!


I'm only 23!

Some of the greats of cricket are just starting out, while some others are at their peak. But for someone who's grown up watching and loving cricket for most part of those 23 years...I feel a sense of void now!

Most of the greats I grew up watching - Shane Warne, Brian Lara, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram, Glenn McGrath, Anil Kumble, Muttiah Muralitharan, Jonty Rhodes, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Pollock, Sanath Jayasuriya, Alan Donald, Andy Flower, Adam Gilchrist - (to name a few) have all retired in the last few years. And with VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Brett Lee, Mark Boucher and now Ricky Ponting, all retiring this year, cricket is never going to be the same.

With all the greats bowing out, with all of them retiring, part of me and my cricket also retires. In the past, every year, some legend would bow out of the game and with them, a part of cricket. But with as many as 5 legends retiring this season, that golden era of cricket is coming to its "fag end".

What will I remember the most

Of the many legends I grew up watching, only Jacques Kallis, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Sachin Tendulkar are still playing. But for how long? Some want the "old hogs" to retire now, while some don’t. People say that if these legends prolong their careers it'll be a pity as their (poor) performances towards the end might overshadow their prime. This, to me personally, is not true.

I know I won't remember Ponting for just the 8 he scored in his final innings or for his struggle in the last few matches. Instead I will always remember him for his pulls, his captaincy and his swagger. I won't remember Ganguly for the duck he scored in his last Test inning, but I will remember him for his captaincy and for giving us some of the greats of modern day cricket. I'm definitely not going to remember Tendulkar for his slow feet movement at 39, but for the joy he's given me and the whole nation for 23 years. And we all know what Rahul Dravid is always going to be remembered for.

The point I'm making today is, for the few of that era who are still playing, only a few matches, only a few wickets, only a few runs are left to be played, taken and scored. So please let them score those runs, play those matches and take those wickets. Enjoy their last few matches. Because for when they are gone, the only way to see them play will be through some old footages!

On a missing note

I don't want to wake up to a day where all these cricketers, who've come to be more as my childhood friends (so to speak) as we've grown together, no longer take the field. But I know I'll have to. The inevitable is near.

I’m never going to be able to see Warnie v Tendulkar again.
I’m never going to see the solid defence, back foot square cuts of Dravid again.
I'm never going to see Akram steaming in, swinging the ball both ways.
And I'm never going to see Lara's shuffle and his trademark pull.
So, soak in the sunshine for as long as it lasts, for the darkest night is upon us.

A final tribute

Legends come and go. And sure, more will be born and made. I, for one will not stop watching it and cricket won't stop amazing and entertaining us. Someone new will always step up and make it count. But for me, it has been an honour to have been born in an era in which I had the privilege of watching the true legends of the game. Something, the newer generation will never be able to boast off!

Like I said, I'm only 23 and not in my mid or late 30s like these stalwarts. I have my whole life ahead of me! I have a lot to do in life. I have to travel, get a job, get a car, learn and do many more important and unimportant things. I still have a lot of cricket left to watch and play. I have a lot of new journeys to embark on. But, I already feel I've been a part of their journeys. I feel I have aged a bit with them. And now, with my heroes retiring, a part of me is also retiring!

Good Bye Old Friends! You'll be missed!!

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