Beyond the Boundary and The Lillee Marsh Stand
This piece was originally published on Shikha Pandey’s blog, ‘accidentally cheeku’, on August 14, 2020.
For someone who is an absolute cricket nut, not going back and watching the T20 World Cup videos of my bowling/batting was difficult. After every tournament I play, I go back and watch all my videos for a good day or two. Yeah, I know, I am crazy.
But this time over it was different. I didn’t want to watch them partly because the heartbreak after the final was immense. I take a lot of pride in having represented my country in a sport that I have loved since I was five years old. Also, I have been fortunate to play two World Cup finals, and have learnt a lot on the way to these and even more from their results.
Cut to today, I watched the documentary on my cell phone, in about twenty minutes or so – I fast forwarded or skipped most of it. My parents are even bigger cricket lovers than me. Remember, I am their kid, so yeah. They kept nagging me to watch it along with them on television via the streaming service. I said no initially but then had to give in to their wish.
We started watching the documentary whilst having lunch. And I realised how well it was made. Kudos to ICC to even have thought on these lines. I had a smile on my face all along and I watched it till the end. My parents have always watched me playing live cricket on tv and they said for the first time ever they weren’t anxious and loved every minute of the documentary ( they even managed to locate me in there a fair bit of times).
Watching the documentary today was such a relief and the emotions found a way out. Just to reiterate the fact that cricket is a part of my life and it isn’t the other way around. I still have some work to do on that front and I am happy that I am getting better.
On the brighter side, I now am a part of a documentary on women’s cricket, that celebrates the Women’s T20 World Cup in the year 2020, which has been an absolute nightmare thus far due to COVID-19. I found something to smile about in these testing times whilst praying for and contributing whatever little I can towards the well-being of so many who are finding it difficult even to survive.
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Cricket has taken me to some amazing places and has let me make some wonderful friends for life. Also, who gets to meet global icons like Katy Perry and Billie Jean King in person and be part of a ‘once in a lifetime celebration of women’s cricket’ with 87,000 people (86,174 plus the ground staff, organising committee, volunteers, the teams players and support staff) in attendance at the G.
I have come a long way from being a brooding cricketer for whom perfection mattered the most. I have seen a lot of ups and downs in my cricket career. Now, I don’t repent anything that I have done or anything that has happened to me, good or bad, because that has helped shape me to be the person I am today. (I, still, am never happy with the LBW decisions off my bowling though.)
Believe me – the only thing I repent the most is not to have bowled a bouncer in the Bangladesh game when we were playing at WACA – a ground that has been my absolute favourite growing up, during any Australian home Test series. It’s a real shame that WACA has been relegated to the rear ranks and shall now become a community and sporting hub serving as a training base. To have been able to play on this ground, for sure, shall be one of my most cherished memories.
P.S. ‘Champions keep playing until they get it right’- This Billie Jean King quote is my favourite sports and my personal e-mail account’s signature.