Cricket has been his life. Right from his childhood, Dumeelkuppam vavvalu* wanted to be a cricketer; he dreamt about it every day and night; how awesome it’ll be if he were a cricketer; how he can win matches for his team Single handedly; how he’ll sign autographs for the young and send flying kisses to the girls. Perhaps, he just dreamt a lot and never did anything to become a cricketer.
Affected by Chikungunya at the age of 15, Vavvalu took up cricket seriously. Vavvalu ain’t his original name, but he asked everyone to call him so to infuse terror into the batsmen and make their legs shiver despite the Chennai heat. Batsmen laughed.
When young, Vavvalu never went to a cricket school. He never played with a cricket ball, but he’s a master of the gully cricket. With a lanky build, and a sharp eye he became a bowler. A furiously fast bowler who bowled wide and high. People started calling him Ajith Agarkar.
But all that has changed.
Vavvalu joined the local Dumeelkuppam team and became an integral part of it. After considerable wins, he became the lead bowler of their team. Despite the winning trend of his team, and his income through bet matches, Vavvalu was never satisfied. He wanted to achieve something big. HUGE!
And then the day came.
Dumeepkuppam’s neighborhood Kasimedu asked the Dumeelkuppam team for a bet match of 2000 bugs. Dumeelkuppam readily agreed, and on a Friday evening with the local ground not occupied, the two teams collided head on.
Dumeelkuppam’s batsmen had no clue against the Kasimedu Kakka’s ( That’s what they’re called ) bowlers and they managed just a meagre 100 runs in 20 overs.
In reply, Kasimedu Kakka’s really shivered against our Vavvalu. In his three overs, Vavvalu squared up the openers of the kakka’s- Annaatha’ Arumugam, and Gundappa Guna with a beautiful delivery and also picked up two more wickets.
After 19 overs, Kasimedu Kakka’s were 94/8 with just one recognised batsman left ( Kadaai’ Kanthan )
This is Vavvalu’s time!
He came in to the bowl the last over.
Vavvalu started up with a beautiful rising delivery that got the edge but didnt carry. Everyone screamed in agony.
The first four balls of the over went for 5 runs, mostly with miscued shots or thick edges off the bat.
Kasimedu Kakka’s needed 2 runs from 2 balls.
Vavvalu went to his run-up. He looked straight into the eyes of the batsman, Kadaai Kanthan. He saw something in there he always wanted to see. He saw something that pumped up the adrenaline in his blood. He saw fear.
Vavvalu came in with full speed and speared in the yorker which missed everything on its way, and stuck the wicketkeeper on his stomach as he howled in pain. Kakka’s didnt score a run.
Suddenly Dumeelkuppam XI seemed so ecstatic and pumped up as there is a possiblity of a victory. The wicketkeeper was changed, and Vavvalu prepared for his final delivery.
Vavvalu ran hard as he could, and bowled his final delivery. Everything seemed to freeze. Time froze. The scene was as if like someone reduced the temperature of the ground to -274 degrees. Vavvalu heard his heartbeat in his ears. He knew this is the moment!
This is the big moment that he has been waiting for! The moment to make it big! The moment is here for which he is born.
And suddenly with a roar, the ball richoted onto the middle stumps and at the same time, the leg umpire screamed “NO ball!!!”
Vavvalu stopped dead in his tracks.
The leg umpire screamed again ” No ball!! “
Vavvalu couldnt believe his ears!
Calmly, the leggie added, “The changed wicketkeeper didn’t tell his guard!”
And that moment, all ‘O’ words began flying as hell broke loose.
No one gave no one 2000 bugs.
The final delivery of the match was never bowled.