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Savour the good times while they last

It is that time of the year when the elements entice cricket lovers to laze under a benign sun and watch the men in white perform skillful tricks. Pradeep magazine writes

india Updated: Nov 13, 2010 02:43 IST
Pradeep magazine
Pradeep magazine
Hindustan Times

It is that time of the year when the elements entice cricket lovers to laze under a benign sun and watch the men in white perform skillful tricks. There is no mad rush to want the bat butcher the ball, no desire to scream oneself hoarse and neither is one in the mood to let the elemental fury get the better of one's aesthetic judgment.

It is that time of the year when a game of cricket is best enjoyed in slow fluid motion, frame by frame, without letting the mind get cluttered with images of ungainly slogs.

Some other day, some other time, I could have been accused of pining for a past long gone by when the world had not invented the mobile nor the IPL.

Not today, not in the cricket world where India are the number one team and continue to hold onto that ranking that speaks of their collective strength and not just individual performances.

It all appears to be a world conjured up in a fanciful dream, a throwback in time when Test cricket was the ultimate and the shortened format a silly distraction, needed to be pursued only as a money-making exercise.

For a dream, it must be to find India reschedule their calendar and make the team play Tests at the expense of the one-dayers.

A nation which gave the world the IPL and had in the past couple of years spent every ounce of energy in plotting the demise of the longer format, is today making an extra effort to nourish those roots, which had almost dried up for want of proper attention.

India's rise as a Test power has been epitomised in the last few matches where they have shown the steel and resolve to bounce back from messy situations, much like the invincible Australians used to.

Combine this new self-belief with the gripping contests they have been involved in, and we know why something we felt would soon become a fossil, is all of a sudden throbbing with life.

What a joy it is to watch Tendulkar's punches, Laxman's caresses or Sehwag's fatal blows contribute to a final frame of a winning team, unlike in the past where individuals created records but the team lost.

And, in acknowledgement of this ascent to the top, the Indian board has heeded the advice of all those who wanted Test match fees to be raised to a level much above the one-dayers.

The Board needs to be complimented for raising the match fee for a Test match to Rs 7 lakh, almost double that of what a player will get for playing a one-dayer and almost four times that of the T20.

It must be very gratifying for those who are primarily responsible for forcing this change, even though they may be in the twilight of their outstanding careers.

It is their skill and efforts that have blocked the storm threatening to change the old order. Enjoy it as long as it lasts, for dangers are lurking at every corner and the IPL blast may not be too far away.

First Published: Nov 12, 2010 23:46 IST