Why do Cricket continue to fascinate us ? Inspite of the crass commercialisation and the overkill by the media and the greedy Boards. What still make us believe in the greatness of the game inspite of the scams and match fixing scandals ?
Its the glorious uncertainty of the game and the romance of the unknown where heroes emerge from the depths of desperation and neglect, solely by their talent and determination. Its the story of life which is replicated on the fields . Its not only about the superstars and their exploits. Its not only the records being made and broken. Its not about winning and losing. It is the story of talents going astray, its the sad tale of potentials not realised, its about the neglect of talented players, its about chances not given to the deserving, its about players rising above themselves to answer all the injustice against them.
Laxmi Ratan Shukla never got a proper look by the selectors and lacked the backing of his own state association throughout his career. He was identified as a potential allrounder very early in life but the lack of grooming and focus made him fade out of reckoning from the national side.Off and on his name cropped up during the last decade but more often than not it was as an example of a talent which got wasted, more on the lines of Vinod Kambli ,Sadanand Vishwanath, L Sivaramakrishnan or Narendra Hirwani. In spite of everything he did, he was fated to be in the shadows, on the sideline , aperipheral player.
But today , it was his day. He singlehandedly turned the final of Vijay Hazare trophy into an affirmation of his talent and left his indelible mark in the most authoratative manner. His 106 runs in 90 balls and 4 wickets to humble the mighty Mumbai team provided one of the greatest moments in the history of Bengal cricket team in the recent years .No words of praise is enough to congratulate him , his team and and above all his captain , Sourav Ganguly who his still continues with his Dadagiri as a captain. Both of them had a point to prove and how emphatically they have done it !
Laxmi or Lokkhi as his name is pronounced in Bengali still has enough cricket in him to get a recall in the team . He would surely not be much worse than Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan or Ravinder Jadeja in the. I know many would be thinking that I am carrying things too far. But just compare Laxmi's career record with these fellows and you will see my point in that statement.
I have my best wishes for Laxmi and hope he continues to use the bat and ball on the field to answer all the injustice meted out to him , real or imaginary. Give it back to them, mate, Give it back to them with all you have. Your story today is the story of all underdogs . Its about rising to the call of your own self and showing the world what you are capable of. Maybe you have not got your dues from the world but leave your stamp on the scene before fading away. Let us live once and life will take care of the rest.