The T20 World Cup is going to the Caribbean. Whether Carlos Brathwaite won the match in the last over,or Ben Stokes lost it, are just two different ways of looking at the same event.
I was chatting over whatsapp with S, a college mate ,a star batting opener, someone who is a good thinker of the game .
S-“Once it happened to Broad ,and now there is Ben Stokes – another addition to a long list of shamed Ingliss bowlers.This is all he would be remembered for- 6666 off the last over .” Now, Yours truly tends to like Stuart Broad a bit . I have seen him turn many a matches on their heads quite single-handedly .On his day, when it is slightly overcast, and he is in good rhythm ,Broadie becomes unplayable. I stoutly defended the lad.
Me-“But if Stokes can manage to do what Broadie has done in his career, it would be quite an achievement.Broad is the best bowler in Test cricket today ,not to mention that he has been quite consistent for long now .” I know that S does not watch any serious cricket .His interest is confined to IPL , and international matches featuring India. Hence it was futile to enumerate numerous match-winning spells, and hauls of Broad .
S-“he might be no.1, I concede , but people would forever remember him for that over in T20 when Yuvi thrashed him for 666666 .”
Me-“Indians maybe,but not everyone . Ozzies and Poms shall never forget his 8/19 at Trent Bridge .In his last test against the Proteas, he took 6/17 in the second innings at Wanderers, and single-handedly won them the test.” All this fell on deaf ears,or blind eyes- it being a whatsapp conversation.
S-“Poor Stokes .He been has branded for life. Brathwaite has turned him into an object of ridicule .” S was having fun at Stokes’ cost , while sipping beer in a Chicago bar. Samuels was having a go at Stokes at the post-match Press Conference in Kolkata . Life is cruel,as it is. A Sportsman’s life has more vicissitudes than a common man’s. Forgotten in less than four months was Stokes’ magnificent double century in 167 balls versus the South Africans .
Next Freddy Flintoff ! Who?
Ian Botham! My bottom !
I tried to hold my own in this minor skirmish,”history remembers people for their best performances ,dude.”
S-“Do you remember Chetan Sharma?”
The debate was now sealed .Like that Miandad six which sealed our fate in the final in Sharjah ,my arguments had been hurled over the ropes .I meekly suggested, “people remember him for his hattrick as well .”
Triumphant in his head,S, had moved on to discuss his latest fad, Indian classical music,and his rather dull sex life ! That is whatsapp for you. Your sparring partner need not wait for your reply. You can bowl googlies , and he might refuse to even pad up.
Did someone mention ‘chat protocol ’ ?
Post script- The above discussion remained incomplete. I have always had immense love for and faith in Ben Stokes. His bar brawl was disappointing. His rehabilitation has been slow. But cometh the hour, riseth the phoenix . Ben , the Man, has now won the World Cup for the Pommies. I wonder if S still be remembers him for those four sixes , or rather for the match-winning innings he played versus Kiwis in the final?
#benstokes #stuartbroad #YuvarajSingh #CarlosBraithwaite #england #westindies #worldcupT20 #T20 #sixsixes
#foursixes #edengarden #kolkata