9th March 1996…Another ordinary Saturday…. Or was it? I was eagerly awaiting the telecast of Vijay’s evergreen hit POOVE UNAKAGA… While the world around me was eagerly anticipating another big event, India Vs Pakistan World Cup Cricket Quarter Finals…
I was sitting blissfully unaware of what the hype was all about. I neither understood sports nor did I understand Cricket. What happened that particular evening changed my whole outlook on sports…It was around 1 PM that afternoon that my cousin brothers Marinstine Fernando and Sasitharan Alphonse came in for a visit. I sit studying in my room as they watch the initial stages of the match.
Slowly time passes it’s around 4 in the evening and time for my movie. The fight for the remote begins as I start sulking. My brothers and Dad try explaining to me the significance of the match but I do not listen. Me being the youngest in the house they eventually win me over. I have no other option but to sit along with them. As I watched the game along with them it amazed me to see how quickly I understood the nuances of Cricket. Jadeja’s hammering of Waquar Yunis…Aamir Shoail teasing Prasad and Prasad picking up his wicket the next ball…. Everything still fresh and vivid in my memory.
Since that evening cricket has been my favorite pastime and opened to me a whole new world- SPORTS! What followed was the India vs England test series in England… The arrival of Ganguly and Dravid… Sachin hitting a hundred in a losing cause… From then till now.. 16 years down the line it has been a wonderful journey.. A journey filled with nail-biting finishes and cherished memories….