I’ve had many such ones – but the one that came true on Tuesday 20th April probably took the cake.
I’ve followed his writings and commentary ever since I started watching cricket but never got a chance to meet him. It was my terrible luck that he could not make it as a judge to the “Harsha ki Khoj” auditions that were held in Mumbai. I remember being thrilled to have made it to the city rounds and disappointed at not meeting him at the same time.
We headed to the Dubai Sports City Cricket Stadium – a world class facility. We were taken to the Royal Box where it was the meet and greet program. The box carried clippings of some famous cricketing events – the famous Aus-SA 1999 WC semi-final. The entrance was adorned by the two greatest bowlers Murali and Warne and the two greatest batsmen – Sachin and Lara to have played this game. The walls carried bats signed by the Aus and Pak teams that played the inaugural T20 game here in 2009. The score sheets of the game were also placed beside them.
We then preceded to the cricket ground – it was the first time I had stepped into a stadium ground and gone anywhere close to the pitch! BLISS!
All of us took our places and Joy Bhattacharya came on as the host for the evening. After a few minutes Harsha took over and we do not know where the next 2 hours flew by.
Harsha started off narrating experiences from his cricketing career and sharing clippings with us. I’ll write about a few in short.
Harsha is right when he says that forget you and me, the one man who will be most unhappy when SRT calls it quits; will be SRT himself, cause he does not know what to do without his cricket.
Harsha Bhogle entertains with his intelligence and how rare it is to find that quality today where everyone is looking to score at any cost. The dignity and the cultured humour stands apart. There are no insults, there are no condescending talks, there is only humility and love for the game. He was asked his view on match-fixing in the IPL and he says I will not believe till evidence is produced, but till then lets us remember that 2 men of high integrity will walk on the pitch on 21st and that sight should restore our faith again in this game.
He liked the question I asked and here is what I won!
An opportunity of a lifetime, a memorable evening – thank you AR and thank you Harsha!
You wrote in my book “Have Fun”, well I always have, always do and I always will – Cricket pretty much takes care of that:-)