Where the Streets Are Kids' Playgrounds

Published: 22nd March 2014 08:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2014 10:17 PM   |  A+A-

T20Diary.JPGNo matter how barricaded or congested the pathway to Sher-e-Bangla Stadium is, you can’t keep street-children from playing cricket on it. Why not? When there isn’t any international fixture, these are, after all, their playing space, their only heaven.

So, a few boys, in torn, gr­ease-smeared shirts and di­rty shorts on bare feet, sne­a­ked into the main road, and began doing what they love doing the most — play cr­icket with wooden planks an­d ragged tennis ball. They ne­edn’t bother about the st­umps too, for the block-off ba­rs, though taller and br­oader than them, are more th­an adequate.  The strong­e­st one bullied himself to ba­tting first, but he plainly mi­ssed the first ball. The sm­­aller ones broke into unsullied giggles. It was a slig­ht at the bully’s ego and to restore his primacy he wafts one straight over the bowler’s head, only for it to roll onto a policeman’s notice.

He instantly whisked the ball and rebuked them, gesticulating to the direction of a crammed alley. Laying the bat on the barricade, they scampered to the policemen, gazing as though he was an stray intruder into their heaven.

The cop, though, is no mo­­od to oblige. They got qu­­ite nettlesome and one ev­­en went on to the extend of pulling the armed man’s u­niform, which annoyed hi­m even more. He hurled the ball at a distance, and to no­t lose th­eir precious ball — pe­rhaps their only — they pursued it.

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