Friday, July 27, 2007

A Few Magical Moments

Now, the following isn’t a verbatim account. Yet, an attempt has been made to capture the magic that a cricket lover feels when watching a ‘true’ cricket broadcast.

Magic Moment No. 1

(The opening moments of the live coverage of the first day of the India vs. England Test match at Lord’s. Camera pans out from the pitch at the Lord’s cricket ground to show Harsha Bhogle standing at the boundary ropes.)

Harsha: “In 1932, it was this very turf on which C. K. Nayudu led out the first Indian cricket team to play a test match on English soil. Seven decades down the line, Rahul Dravid will lead out his team to play yet another fascinating Test match series against the English hosts. ~pause~ Welcome to the nPower India vs. England Test series, the first match of which will be played here at Lord’s."

Magic Moment No. 2

(India’s opening bowlers, Zaheer Khan and Sreesanth, have been bowling either too wide or too short at the England opening pair of Andrew Strauss and Alistair Cook. Even as the commentators are discussing this, the camera catches Richie Benaud and his wife sitting in the member's stand. Richie Benaud is animatedly speaking to his wife with his hands moving in what could only be a bowling action.)

Alan Wilkins: "Oh look, there's Mr. and Mrs. Richie Benaud. ~pause~ (impersonating Benaud) You see Daphne, they're bowling too short..."

Magic Moment No. 3

(Lunch session on first day and the commentary team in the media box are speculating exactly how much the slope of the turf at Lord's can help or unsettle a fast bowler. Ravi Shastri, Nasser Hussain and Harsha Bhogle are in the media centre while Ian Chappell is standing at the boundary line.

The commentators in the box have just educated the TV audience that the ground slopes downwards from the Pavilion End to the Nursery End. Therefore, a fast bowler bowling from the Pavilion End would send the ball down with greater force.)

Ravi Shastri: "Now Ian, you were the captain when Australia toured here in 1971, and you had Dennis Lillee bowling for you. Which end did he bowl from, the Nursery End or the Pavilion End?"

Ian Chappell: "Actually Ravi, it was 1972. And to take Dennis Lillee AWAY from the Pavilion End would be like taking away a bone from a bulldog..."

~Ravi Shastri and Harsha Bhogle can be heard chuckling~

Magic Moment No. 4

Harsha Bhogle (reading out a piece of cricketing trivia which has just popped up on screen): "Andrew Strauss was close to scoring a century in both innings of his first Test match. He scored a 100 in the first innings and was run out on 83 in the second innings by Nasser Hussain. ~turns towards Nasser Husssain, who is also commentating at the time, with a wide grin~ Why did you do that Nasser?

Nasser: "'Coz he threatened my position. So I said, 'Off you go, lad', and back he went to the pavilion after getting run out. And by then, I too realised that my end was near so I retired that very match and walked back into the pavilion and retired into the sunset."

Magic Moment No. 5

(Quite suddenly, Lord's is enveloped in one of those silences which recur with regularity at English cricket grounds.)

Harsha: It's all gone quiet out there....even behind the stumps.

~camera pans in to show Matt Prior~

Ravi Shastri: "Not for long, Harsha, not for long. Wicket-keepers around the world are notorious for being vociferous. Sangakarra in particular... he can get very noisy. How about you Graham?"

Graham Gooch: "I don't know about noisy.. but when I used to be batting in the Caribbean, I used to look back and there I would have Jeff Dujon just look at me and smile. I mean, he would just look at me and smile. ~pause~ And why not, he could afford to. When you have the top four most fearsome bowlers on the planet playing on your side, all you need to do is smile at the opposite team's batsman."

No comments: