The IPL 6 is well and truly under way and I’d just like to draw your attention towards how this wonderful event brings together so many different personalities and in some cases eras.
One such personality is former Australian opening batsman David Boon, who was the match referee during our first game on Wednesday. I first saw him on the morning of the match. Guess it was around 6 or 7 am. As I drew the curtains aside and saw across the ponds of Hotel ITC Sonar, I noticed the famous walk of Mr Boon, loaded with its own version of swagger. A face decorated with a thick moustache in the happy company of a cigarette.
Seeing him my mind quickly raced back to the Justin Langer book “Australia, You Little Beauty” where Langer talks about David Boon, in the first chapter Songmaster. In the chapter ‘Kill Him, Bishy!’ Langer narrates that he was hit on the head by a bouncer and Boon, who was at the non-striking end, walked up to him and said “There are no heroes in Test cricket. Retire hurt, son.”
Langer was rightly distraught seeing his “tough” childhood hero urging him to retire hurt. I was glad to read on that Langer didn’t retire hurt and the rest is history. I’m generally not the first one to strike a conversation especially on a match day but that morning I was really tempted to ask Boon a bit more about that incident, the Australian team’s song tradition and a lot more. In sport you don’t need a designation to be a leader. Boon and Langer never captained Australia but both were leaders for their teammates and generations to follow, just by their deeds. I too believe in that.
My mantra to my team this year is “PLAY FEARLESS CRICKET” but before I expect them to do the same, I have to practice the same. That is why I came out all guns blazing in the first game from ball one itself. I wanted to set the pattern, set an example and thankfully, I succeeded in doing that. Aussies, Lankans, South Africans, West Indians, IPL presents all the colours and we have most of them in our dressing room. By the way, one of our security guys is from Nepal!!