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Cricket was initially played in England, by the Englishmen. They had colonies throughout the world and hence were introduced to other countries and became widely popular all over the world. Initially the matches would last for five days and sometimes the result would end in a draw. They were called TEST MATCHES. Sometime in 1977 it was decided to have tournaments and therefore they agreed on a ONE day match with limited batting and bowling. They are now known as ONE DAY INTERNATIONAL MATCHES and the result is inevitable. In rare cases a tie would occur when both teams made equal number of runs. This was popular since the time it was cut down to 1 day instead of 5 days. In the present day context, even in 1 day match, interest seemed to wane, as viewers and fans became impatient.
The latest format of cricket has been recently added – T-20, earlier called twenty 20. It has caught on actively. I had an opportunity to witness a T-20 match played at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai along with my friend, Gauravi and my dad in November 2007. Australia and India were the teams. I along with Gauravi and my dad were seated well in advance and we bought ample water and cold drink. The 2 captains entered the stadium along with the 2 umpires to greet the TOSS. The Australians were lucky; they won the toss and elected to bat. And the game began, the Indian fielders in right earnest, attacked the Australian batsmen.
The Indian bowlers bowled with a good line and length. Each ball had to be played so as to avoid being bowled out. And the bowling attack was a joy to be seen. I was lucky that day to witness the splendid bowling, complemented by the excellent fielders. With missionary zeal, the fielders went all out to save every single run. Sometimes they would dive and defy human capabilities just to save that single run. Oh! Such team spirit in the Indian cricket was never there before. When a wicket fell – there was so much joy and cheering in the stadium. Some spectators like myself, had painted their faces with the Indian tricolors, and were waving the tricolors. Such excitement, and so much euphoria. At the end of the 20 overs the Australians could manage only 126 runs on the scoreboard.
During the short break, my neighbour who was disappointed, as the Australians made a big score, had a grumpy behavior and was mumbling India will lose. I retorted angrily and said India will win. We have a very good team and the spirits was high and above all, they will be batting in front of home crowd. Then I chatted with Gauravi and sipped our drinks as we were all very thirsty by the cheering. Then there was a loud cheer as I turned and saw that the umpires followed by the Australian fielders and the 2 opening batsmen – Gautam Gambhir and Sehwag. The loud cheer was to be felt and experienced. Everybody including myself was screaming and cheering the Indian batsmen.
The first ball was hit strongly and the ball went straight to the boundary. The applause was deafening. Within the next 5 balls 6 more runs were added making a total of 10 runs in 1 over. Gambhir hit the second ball of the second over for a 4. The crowd was in delirium. And a few balls later, Sehwag was caught attempting to hit a sixer. There was shock and silence in the stadium, for the star opening batsman. However, we cheered the next batsman in. The scoring rate had slowed down but well within control. Gambhir batted sensibly and kept the run rate going. Then the public started screaming in unision -WE WANT SIX, WE WANT SIX. And soon the next ball was hit hard by Gambhir and the ball tossed for a six. And the crowd was ecstatic with joy. And the run rate was then comfortable. Soon India’s victory was announced… “India had won the match!”
1) Zeal – full of enthusiasm
2) Euphoria – exhilaration
3) Delirium – frenzied excitement
4) Ecstatic – emotional excitement