And as cricket our passionate, frenzied, national sport starts, I know soon there will be an Indo-Pak match to get all our Covid frustration anger out. To most fans, spectators and their countrymen, an Indo-Pak cricket game is like a war on the field. It’s not a cricket bat and ball both sides use, but deadly missiles, hurled at each other. “Men,” shouts the Captain-General of the Indian cricket team, “Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do and die!”
“Hurrah!” shout all his men, and the sound is deafening as the whole country picks it up and knows a battle is about to begin. In Pakistan, the Captain looks gloomily at his men, “Men if we don’t win on the battlefield we will die at home!”
“Yeah!” shout all his men as they call home and tell wives and children to shift to their parent’s houses, in case rampaging, vengeful mobs exact revenge.
“Let me see the ball!” says the Indian captain as he walks to the umpire, “Why, this is made in England!”
“So it is!” says the umpire, “All balls have always been made in balmy England!”
“We don’t trust the English,” says the Indian Captain, “We want Russian balls!”
“This is confusing!” says the irritated umpire, “The Pak’s want Chinese ones!”
A compromise is reached as they all decide to play with Sri Lankan balls.
“Let’s toss!” says the umpire and before an argument breaks out on which country’s coin is acceptable, the umpire produces a silver dollar, and both captains nod, as the last thing they want is to anger Trump and have visas cancelled and their countries blacklisted.
The Indian fielders gather round their captain, “Surgical strikes!” whispers the captain, “Pretend you are not interested in the game, then when their batsman is unaware bowl suddenly and take a wicket!”
The two Pak batsmen walk to their respective creases and stare fiercely at the fielders around. They get ready to face the first ball, not before the batsman raises his bat and shakes it at the bowler. The bowler not to be intimidated throws the ball to the ground in anger, “What’s happening?” asks the umpire on his phone to the third umpire.
“That’s what they do at the Wagah border,” says the voice on the phone, “both their border guards intimidate each other every evening at sunset. It’s a ritual!”
The match starts.
The match finishes.
Both teams walk back to the pavilion, “We’re having a party, you guys coming?” asks the Indian captain to his Pak counterpart. “Sure!” says the rival captain, “Let’s have some fun and renew old friendships, now that we are done performing for fans, spectators and countrymen!”
Like, I said, an Indo-Pak cricket game is like a war, but only on the field!
The tamasha game provided for our TV screens intentionally, makes us forget rising prices, unemployment, the handling of the Covid monster and all other real factors as we cheer and applaud make believe life and death situations..!
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