Monday was a rare rest day in the IPL. It was a disturbing lull after almost two months of non-stop action. IPL is like an addiction and I can never have enough of it. So a rest day is never welcomed, at least not for me.
I remember reading this tweet by Sony’s presenter Gaurav Kapoor: “Our hard-working studio crew get their 1st day off since the 9th of April. Bet they’ll be hearing ‘thoko band’ in their sleep.” Well, we can all agree to disagree.
Our Kolkata-Delhi flight on Monday was detoured to Jaipur due to bad weather in the Capital. As I sat in the aircraft at Jaipur airport, I was thinking about the times when cricket matches had rest days. I have always been a cricket tragic and rest days were never welcomed even when I was growing up. I just couldn’t understand why a good night’s sleep is not enough for my ‘macho’ knights in whites. Why would they need a full day off to refresh?
Besides, a rest day meant no cricket on TV. Without sounding primitive, let me tell young readers that the late 80s and early 90s was a pre-satellite TV, pre-internet, pre-Facebook/Twitter era. Yes, there was a world like that as well. The TV sets came to life only in the evenings. With all due respect to the national broadcaster, there was little for me to cling on to. Maybe there was a Spiderman, The Giant Robot or ‘The World This Week’ presented by a young and still bearded Dr Prannoy Roy. But with cricket on, TV and life had a whole new meaning.
What if a romantic proposed a rest day in modern-day Test cricket? I think someone from the broadcaster’s sales team will kill him or attempt suicide himself. Besides our wins and losses, there are sales targets too hinging on a game of cricket. Such is life.
Well, the day of break turned into a disaster for KKR with bad weather not letting us land in Delhi. I felt so sorry for the families of the players and the little ones. The Morkel family was the worst to suffer with their little boy who is also down with flu. We had late dinner in Jaipur and then started our road travel to Delhi. I reached Delhi in the morning and crashed into my hotel bed despite the fact that I was desperate to reach home. No energy. With a crucial game on Wednesday, it was not an ideal travel. But then there is little one can do.
Whenever I play a game in Delhi, I am often asked how it feels playing at home. Ever since I have moved to Kolkata Knight Riders from Delhi Daredevils, my reply to this question has been the same: When the IPL is on, my home is Kolkata and not Delhi. We also had some meaningful practice at Ferozeshah Kotla. Umesh Yadav is slowly coming back to full fitness. The weather was quite amiable and I hope it stays that way on Wednesday too. Otherwise it would be a forced ‘rest’ day in IPL. And we all hate that, don’t we?
(The writer is captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders)