Rock stars of the pitch

Rock stars of the pitch

From the albums

Rock stars of the pitch
This picture was taken in 1998 during the ‘Arokiaswamy Memorial Tournament’ for the Under 14 Cricket team.

I studied at St Joseph’s Indian High School and I was the team captain. Cricket matches were always an exciting event as after each victory, everyone would go to Pizza Corner, our match sponsors, and have unlimited pizzas and drinks. It was the first time many were having pizza.

As ironic as it may sound, I was a very quiet kid in school. I was the observant kind. Even when I was made the captain of the cricket team, I was always the calm and composed one.

We cricketers were considered the rock stars of school. If we had to attend any meeting between classes, we would walk out like royalty and make everyone jealous. We were the cool kids they wanted to be.

Then again, it was very hectic. We had to be at school  at 6.30 am for our practice sessions every day. We would then attend the classes and practice more after school. Summer vacations were also all about cricket. My grandmother used to always complain that I was becoming tanned due to playing in the sun.

Looking back at the picture, I’m happy to say that I am still in touch with my schoolmates. Kiran Uppar was the vice-captain and my best friend. We were known as the Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar of our school as we always opened the batting. He is now working as an investment banker.

Niranjan is an engineer in Japan now. He was a left-handed batsman and we all called him ‘the frog’ for having poppy eyes. He was cool about it though. Jackson was the fastest bowler on the team but a great manipulator when it came to scores. Apart from that, he was also the most fun one to hang out with. Srinath was nicknamed ‘batte’ as his last name was Bhat. He was the wicket keeper. We would often go to his father’s restaurant on Palace Ground and enjoy all the free food.

Today, we have a WhatsApp group with about 40 members called ‘Joseph's 5 C’. We keep in touch as often as we can but now, instead of playing cricket, we prefer playing football!

Studying in a boy's high school had its own pros and cons. There was no subtle way of saying things, there were a lot of blows and punches but we came together when needed. We often looked forward to fests for students, especially girls, to come to our school. I’m glad I went through whatever ups and downs I did back then. It has made me who I am today.

Sriram Sulli
Radio Jockey
(As told to Anila Kurian)