They stood patiently outside the stadium in the hunt for autographs, waiting for cricketers to finish practice. What, however, made them stand out in the crowd comprising essentially children and teenagers wasn’t just their age, but also their infectious cheer and the joy they seemed to derive out of watching cricket.
That’s the cricket-mad Kapp couple – Joseph Kapp (80) and Evan Kapp (67) – for you. They have been hooked to cricket for decades now and continue to enjoy it with childlike passion and enthusiasm. “The first autograph I took was that of former South African skipper Jackie McGlew when I was a schoolgirl and that got me hooked to cricket. My husband has been watching much longer than I have been,” said Evan, even as Joseph chipped in: “Well, I got started in 1949.”
And do they still enjoy it as much as they did then? “Of course. Perhaps a lot more. The player signs the autograph and goes his way, but he becomes personal to us. Whenever we see him on television or read about him the newspaper, we feel so happy for having known him,” said Evan. "Just glancing through the autographs we have collected over the years gives us so much pleasure for it takes us down memory lane and we relive those wonderful moments.”
And their favourite autograph? “Perhaps, it’s that of Jackie McGlew, for it got me started. Otherwise I don’t have favourites as such. I love them all, I enjoy them all as they play,” said Evan.
But what is it about cricket that has kept them hooked all these years? “Skill, excitement, it’s not a contact game like rugby, good game for children to start off and sit and watch for the old, it’s a gentlemen’s game, team game, team spirit, one of the cleaner games, character building for children…,” the couple rattled of seemingly endless reasons for loving the sport the way they do.
And as they were walking out of the stadium, holding their autograph book like a prized possession, they stopped to enquire which team was scheduled to practice the next day. More autographs in the offing, then.