My name is Ambul Thiyal-Anga. As you would have guessed by now I'm a cricketer. More specifically an opener, by name, at times even by trade.
I have an extensive repertoire of strokes but only play few, that is how good I am. Lately though I have been handed the task of opening the batting for the A team. The selectors needed an experienced man to lead the charges and it was only natural the buck fell on the great Ambul.
Yes I was ready.
I briefly look at my reflection in the mirror prior to entering the field. The crowd outside I know are expectant. The self belief and confidence staring back at me through the mirror astounds even me. An echo of applause can be heard outside, gathering momentum.
I tell my self- I'm stronger, faster, well drilled like a finely tuned machine. All clock work like a fresh off the mill Swiss chronometer. Ambul Thiyal-Anga is about to grace this match.
I walk to the crease, assured, not a hair, a inner glove out of place. The opposition players seem to marvel at the elegance I exhume even in the mere act of walking to the crease. I take guard and signals to the bowler that I am ready.
The carnage that followed is, as they say, history. I breezed past the 50..then the 100 and then 150 ..as I and everybody else knew I would. Here I was again I thought to my self. Every ounce of me working coherently to produce the perfection that was beyond any ones belief.
With effortless ease I caressed the ball to the fence.. needled it around corners for two and threes. The bowlers were tired and I was just getting started.
The medium pacer ran in..it was wide the outside off stump, I could tell the bowler knew this was going to be divinely sent to the boundary before he was through with his run up. My feet found the path of the ball, the bat followed through , it was almost in slow motion, I closed by eyes to feel the full satisfaction of the ball hitting the middle of the bat yet again.
But then the ball landed, a puff of dust. It moved away ever so slightly, I had miscalculated. The bowler could not believe I had edged it, neither could the keeper. Bewildered, they stood there in silence for a minute, before a polite enquiry from the umpire. The finger slowly came up.
I am out.
I look directly at the umpire, who seems almost apologetic. I stare him down, then the bowler. I cast my bat under my arm and walk towards the umpire with the same assuredness I had when I walked in. “Are you sure you want to do this ?” I ask. The umpire cannot hold my gaze.
I stand there, bat in hand. Pin drop silence all around. I move back into my stance. Practice the perfect sensual shot that was meant to have been played.
But that I did not.