Reflections

Whistle Podu mamae!

I have been a proud Chennai Super Kings fan right from its inception and today, I shall continue to stand by my team. Despite the loss, the lions have shown the fight within them. Led by a warrior, CSK can count on the diehard patronage of crazy fans like me and many others. I have never been so pumped up by a cricket match and today proved to be an exception and I owe that adrenalin rush to a special incident in the penultimate over of CSK’s innings.

It was the 19th over and Kieran Pollard was being shown ‘what it takes to be a superking!’ Scenes of a bowler stopping mid-way through his stride are common but seldom do you find an apt reply given by the batsmen. The very next delivery, the batsman stepped aside prompting huge maniac cheers from the adoring fans. Only he could have managed to do that and get away. Immediately I realized why cricket is a religion in India. A game not that physical, seldom arouses passion but after I saw MSD showing Pollard his rightful place, I was convinced cricket indeed has a life! Mind you, he is no ordinary cricketer. He is the prince of Chennai, the adopted son of a city which just can’t get enough of him. The honorary first citizen of the city is a title awaiting Dhoni should he decide to relocate. Chennai is today home to thousands and thousands of professionals, workers from around the country but I have never seen anyone been so warmly accorded a special place in the hearts of Chennaiites as him. Chennai has another super hero right after its main deity. While the latter is a superstar par excellence, the former claims un-paralled fan following. So what if he was not born in Chennai, he is as much a Tamil as I am!

I am bound to mention the Chennai crowd. Hats off to you guys! You have truly made Chepauk a lion’s den from which, escape without a fight is impossible. I grew up listening to tales of the sporting crowd that graces matches in Chennai. The legendary standing ovation given to the Pakistan team after their victory over India in 1999 comes straight to my mind. I can confidently say no other crowd in India would applaud the rival team in the same way as did my Chennai crowd! Can you see the crowd in Delhi or Mumbai doing so? Not a chance in hell and that is what makes Chennai stand out. Even today, when the cricketing god Sachin Tendulkar entered the fray in an opponent jersey, he was warmly applauded. Respect shown to the opponents and the knowledge of the game is what makes Chennai crowd stand out for me.

So what if we are being owned by the BCCI president with allegations of undue advantage vested on the team? I know as a matter of fact, success breeds jealousy and I like the rest of the countless fans of CSK would like to reply to all critics with a single phrase. Get a life!

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