Yesterday, when Shoaib Akhtar got Mahela Jayawardene neck and crop sending back his middle stump with a high 80 miles in-dipper, something transpired in me. Now you would be thinking I will be simply saying I had an orgasm (going by the topic of this post) and taking the piss on me which I'd understand since it won't make much sense of me putting up such a cliche; so no, I won't say that. But what I will try to put through you is that something inside me got completed; as a cricket fanatic, as a fuckin' wannabee tearaway quick. That sight of the timber being knocked backwards wreaked a tense feel through my body's neuromuscular set-up that had parallels with the ones I've been blessed by watching the very man and the few other showmen over the years.
Much on the Rawalpindi express (who is in its archaic days, yet still got enough steam to do its designated stations) later in the post, let's get down to what exactly are we talking about. A fast bowling orgasm? Seriously, yes. Its neither your conventional cricket term nor for which you'll find a definition in MCC manuals, Wisden Almanacks or any cricket books. However, I'll try to put my peace of mind through here in the best way possible.
Jarrod Kimber once gave a mighty fine description of what a female orgasm is like in cricketing sense or how it can be circumscribed in its proximal best with fast bowling.
Jump straight to 03:43 in the video and concentrate till 05:21 (You really don't need to care about the rest of the video). And try to get what he's on about.
You get him? He talks about a feel, the very moment when everything related to is perfect. Get your cricketing grey cells switched on and you'll connect with whatever he said there.
If you're a fast bowler or anywhere close to its definition, you'll know what it is like to do your perfect delivery. Its a dream, a utopian one which you want to actuate in the match. You can do hours and hours in nets perfecting it but when the stage arrives to execute it, it needs way more than a bucket load of iron wits, venomous mastery and balls of steel. All that to bring about the phase where you feel your genitalia moving and when you're at the peak of delivery, you feel it and you know, its done. Once it gets absorbed, you get into one of the most sublime refractory periods experienced and you don't feel the need for more stimulation. It is the purpose of your life.
"It gets your blood going, the adrenaline is pumping, you're in a fight. To me that's what cricket is all about." - Shoaib Akhtar
In the words of James Hatfield, its about riding the lightning and as Kings of Leon put it, its sex on fire.
|Yo bitches, I got my own swagger|
He is all about being the cocky show-stopper, enough to have your box office tickets bloody well worth.
|Royal Rumble - Come to mama!|
Apart from this being his last World Cup, it may very well be his last ODI series; hence a swan song worth living through. This is to the 35 year old superhuman amalgamated with the hyper-extensive anatomy, plethora of controversies and endless medical anecdotes for some of the visceral fast bowling orgasms that he has made the world experience over a decade and a half.
I may not do full justice here but some of the selections are as dear as anything in cricket for me and are at times, the best remedy for depression (also if wasting nights for these YouTube clips, saving photos on your hard drive, air-bowling in his style and then doing it in nets can be termed as part of being a fan). Note that this can hardly be called a tribute of any form to this enigmatic specie of world cricket. And for an intimate piece of writing that could be honest to him, one would need to do countless nights and eat up all the light years. Also, here its more of a focus on the mastery and art that he has displayed over the years rather than the morbid missiles which knock the face off his preys and have them bleeding. Yes, shattered timbers and the sight which a fast bowling addict dies for, is what we'll concentrate and waste ourselves here on.
My top 5 picks are Sachin 99', Ponting 02', Kallis 03', Trott 10' and yesterday's Mahela. And I proudly call this the Hall of shame. All have either their middle stump pinged back or lying on the floor. Above all, the first 3 are undoubtedly the greatest batters of their era with the other two being world-class performers too.
Special mentions to Boucher 98', Laxman 99' & 04', Steve Waugh 99', Flintoff 05', Dravid's 07'.
Let's get wasted!
Let's get wasted!
I. Rahul Dravid's leg stump and Sachin Tendulkar's middle, Kolkata '99
First ball, base of middle stump, culminating in the first and the only golden duck of Sachin. The deafening welcome and the bullring noise of Calcutta turned into the endless moments of pin-drop silence. The birth of Shoaib Akhtar.
This is where it all started, in actuality. A hot blistering day, with India in charge at 147-1, he came up with arguably two of the greatest consecutive deliveries bowled in the game's history. As much as the banana-shaped one which got Dravid is an eternal ripper, the one to the batting god of his time is which basically has all this talk based on and which initiated a love story so passionate that even God hasn't had enough of it after more than a decade of break ups, fuckalls, disasters and whatever tragedy you can associate it with.
II. Jacques Kallis, Faisalabad '03
Four years later in October heat of 2003, he gave the doze to another great of his era, bending the white ball with divine touch, brutal force and classic execution.
III. Ponting knocked over by a rippa! - Melbourne (Docklands) '02
Don't want to spoil this for you since Bill Lawry's reaction should be enough. This man was at his prime then, nothing was impossible for him. Ended up with 5-25 in one of the best ever spells seen in modern ODI history.
IV. Jonathan Trott, Rose Bowl (Southampton) '10
If his latest comeback could be summarized in any better dismissal than this, do let me know since this is where he personified what his post June-2010 resurgence has been all about. Playing in 18 ODIs (and counting) and more than a dozen T20s, all without breaking down; with a stamping attitude of a shrewd fox and a senior statesman of the team. Stats may not do full justice to this return in the colored flannels but plays like this scream of his box office aura that is still there.
V. Mahela Jayawardene, Colombo '11
This just happened yesterday, so it couldn't be anymore fresh than this. This was special, really was.
Picture this - Brought back in his 2nd spell in need of a desperate breakthrough with two of the world's best batsmen at the crease (Mahela & Sangakkara), he produces a masterclass. Sets him up with a slower cutter, then a bouncer outside off, then this length in-dipper. Perfect foreplay and immaculate execution. Talk about telling who still is the boss out there.
- Rahul Dravid, Delhi '07
In the fading end of his test career and his last series vs India in 2007-08 season, he once again produced a corker. Pitching on length around off, jagging back and getting through the gate of arguably the best copy-book batsman of his era, Rahul Dravid The Wall. Though it didn't exactly knock back the middle stump, however the mastery of his producing it with the end result makes it worth to remember.
And the rest are all yours (Tried putting them in order of his career timeline).
- First 5 wicket haul (4 bowled, 1 LBW) at Durban, '98. Boucher one is special. 'Nuff said.
- VVS Laxman, Kolkata '99
- Russel Arnold, Dhaka '99
- Steve Waugh, Headingley WC '99
- Stephen Fleming, Old Trafford WC '99
- Nathan Astle, Old Trafford WC '99
- 6-11 against New Zealand, Lahore '02
5 clean bowleds. Richardson, Fleming and Martin with middle stump uprooted, Harris and Horne with their off stump done with. Does it get any more breath-taking than this?
- Adam Gilchrist, Colombo '02
- Mark Boucher, Faisalabad '03
- Mark Boucher, Lahore '03
- Virender Sehwag, Rawalpindi '04
- VVS Laxman, Lahore '04
- Marcus Trescothick, Faisalabad '05
- Freddie Flintoff, Faisalabad '05
- Ashley Giles, Multan '05
- Marcus Trescothick, Rose Bowl (Southampton) '06
- Darren Gough, Lord's '06
And what would this post mean without few of his stills.