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Sunday, December 23, 2007 

Final Frontier

I have never been so excited to write a post I think. I am typing faster than I am thinking it seems. Every time I write a post I go through it many times in the head over several days before putting it on my laptop. But this one will just flow with my emotion. For a day has come but comes rarely in history. Probably a little over the top, but I am over the top today I guess. I hate to be sitting in my room right now typing out this post when I could have been there, right there where it happened. Fittingly right where we should have done it. People who know me people who don’t, I am thrilled to bits to tell you all that IIT Delhi won the Inter IIT Cricket Gold in Bombay. My hands shiver as I write this, because it always seemed only a distant dream.

I may not be a part of this team now but the tears are real. I may not have influenced this achievement one bit but the attachment is intense. Roushing Singh and a bunch of young talented boys have done it. I am so proud today. This post might give the feeling that I am taking credit for this, to hell with that I could never care. It is my team and I feel that I am still a part of it and a big part of me is still connected with it. Finally the clock has turned on this team and they have done what every team wishes to achieve. Invincibility.

2002 in Delhi was the only time we came close to winning the gold. We lost the final to Madras and the sight of my sulking captain who played out of his skin to try and win it, made me choke. The presence of his father on the field made it even more emotional. But having done my bit of sobbing in a match before I decided not shred that tear anymore, not when we lose.

2004 in Madras, we won both our league matches topped the pool. In the semi final against Madras, we batted first and were skittled for 65 on a dying pitch. We lost by 10 wickets. There was nothing to be said to each other just a walk back to our rooms, no one talked to each other. We played the 3-4 playoffs and lost again. The dream ended in a nightmare.

2005 in Roorkee, when I was the Captain, we won all three of our league matches including a smashing victory over Madras which my team brought as a personal gift for me. We batted first in the semi final were restricted to 109. This time we fought like tigers, defending a small target we got to 7 wickets and due to some bad luck lost again. One of the new boys in the team started crying on the field. He reminded me of the unfortunate final in 2002 and I almost choked, but helped the boy recollect himself and put his head up high. We played the 3-4 playoff and won handsomely to finish 3rd, redeem some pride. But the dream just couldn’t be the reality.

2006 in Guwahati, we probably had the best team on paper, with all 11 capable of batting. We won both our league matches by some distance and topped the pool. In the semi final we batted first and got out for 125, and were chased down with 4-5 wickets in hand. I had left the team the previous year, but the news of losing a third straight semi final was disheartening. We again finished 3rd and the dream made it clear that we have still not woken up.

In 2003 when the Inter IIT was played in Bombay, we probably played with the worst team I have been with – lead by an erratic captain, an influential non performer, an egoistic star, an ordinary batting order and of course an uninspiring vice captain (myself). We lost all our league matches. This included the one I described some time back in a post where I had to get 5 off the last 2 balls and I couldn’t put bat to ball. We went back humiliated and crushed, not just by our own expectations but also of the entire contingent of 120 fellows representing IIT Delhi.

In 2007 back in Bombay for the inter IIT, we won both our league matches and topped the pool. This time we chased in the semi final and won by 5 wickets. Two days ago at the same venue, the gymkhana sports complex in IIT Bombay, Roushan Singh and Arwinder Singh (VC) would have stood as the proud recipient of the winner’s trophy. Guess who we beat in the finals? Yes it was IIT Madras. My emotions get to my eyes even as I imagine the two boys going up to the dais to lift the trophy. The hooting, the cheering, the slogans of Delhi Delhi Delhi…I can almost hear them. The only place where we hadn’t won a single match during my 5 years in IIT is the most fitting arena to win the gold. This win is truly a tribute to Sandeep Chhokker, who made his debut for IIT Delhi at this ground in 2003, and came out as one of the few good performers (besides Amit Gupta and Balaji). As he finishes his Inter IIT stint this year, this is the befitting reward for his excellent service to the cricket team as a player, as an ex-captain and also his efforts as the General Secretary of the BSA IITD this year.

My heartiest congratulations to the entire team for this outstanding achievement. The dream is finally reality today. While most of the players must be new, those who I think were part of it – Roushan, Sandeep, Arwinder, Krishna, Randhawa, Siwach and one of my two most favourite Akshay. You all are champions; you always were, it was just about getting it all together.

While I almost envy these guys for getting this achievement without me, I am as I said before, thrilled to bits. I will miss those days, that passion and the excitement. It comes very rarely in life. The lesson to be learnt, is that it will always pass you by. The best way of enjoying it is living it in the moment and reminiscing it the rest of your life.


I wish I were there.......

I wish that too...

it just made me realise wot it wud have been like being part of a team at college..

Too good... it reminded me of the feeling of being part of any team that one build gradually which carry on the spirit even when one is not a part of it...but one can still relate to its successes.

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this trophy belong to to everyone who has been the part of IITD cricket team ever....specially ...our seniors coz from them we learnt how much value this trophy carry.
and how much it mean to us.
As a person and as a captain i have learned so much from you and sandy sir and i admire your character in and out of the field.
this trophy belong to you and sandy sir.

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