Happy Birthday Sreesanth!!!

imagesCAL3CCZRLike a phoenix rises from the ashes, like the late Dev Anand kept returning as a protagonist singing songs with an actress seven decades younger than him, like Rakhi Sawant keeps returning to the breaking news with never imagined acts, he returns. Sreesanth returns.

So what is the big deal? Life is kind. Everyone gets a chance to make a comeback.

But Shanthakumaran Sreesanth’s is important. It is a big one. Comeback I mean.


That’s because Sree is an epitome of comebacks.

When Andre Nel tried to bounce him out and asked to show some heart, Sree danced his way back to glory after sending Nel into the stands.

When everyone thought that people would forget him after the slap which echoed more than Rana Vishwa Pratap Singh’s slap on Dr. Dang’s cheek, he made a comeback.

When everyone thought he would never get a chance in the World Cup 2011 after he lost it all in the opening match, he made a comeback in the final to lose it all, once again.

When everyone thought that he had played his last Test in Oval 2011, he is back in the reckoning.

Yes, he is comebacks personified with a personality classified.

I was really happy to see him being picked for the Irani trophy, which used to be a ticket to the national side. That’s how Anil Kumble made it to the side. I hope destiny sends Sree on the path where it sent Kumble almost twenty years back.

There are many reasons why we need Sree in back the side.

Let’s accept the fact – he is our only bowler who has not lost his speed or swing. He has still not lost that aggression. He has still not lost his agility. All he has lost, again and again over last few years, is his mind. Or maybe it was the insanity of his mind which has kept him away from the grave of many Indian fast bowlers – switching to line and length from pace and ending up losing both. Add the bounce to his bowling and he becomes absolutely lethal. Kallis will surely testify that.

For ages, Indians have been suffering at the hands of match referees. With his ability to be called by the referees at an alarming frequency, Sree’s charm might make at least one of the referees fall for him. This means we shall have one nemesis lesser. After all, this is how arranged marriages work, isn’t it? 15 years of seeing each other day in day out, two people finally fall in love.

Cricket is a spectator’s game. People need to be entertained. And Sree has the capacity to provide it in abundance – even if he is on bench. So what if he is not included in the final eleven – even as a drinks boy he can entertain us. Imagine him doing a moonwalk when he is asked to rush to the pitch with some juice/drinks/medical advice/ towel/ stretcher/ magic stick/ anything for that matter. When he carries drinks, the world will say with a gaping mouth “What an awesome talent”. That’s lot better than Rohit Sharma carrying drinks, as the world will say in his case, “What waste of a talent”.

With the much talked about razzmatazz of T20s, “I just get the feel that something is going to happen here” commentators, imported cheerleaders doing aerobics acts on the tunes of “Jaa Chudail”, every player playing every day in every colour’s t-shirts, Test cricket in whites does become boring. Appam will bring all the spices to test cricket. He will practice his dance. He will dance at the practice. And if by any chance, another pacer is batting at the nets – he will try to do what he does best. He will sledge him to injury. Once that pacer is gone, he will target another one. He just hates batsmen of lesser abilities. I am sure he doesn’t see himself in the mirror while honing his batting skills– something many batsmen do. Else, he would have killed himself by now.

He will bowl. He will bat. So what if he isn’t included in the 11. He can still do it in the dressing room when the camera is showing him on the big screen. After all, he will have to give a screen test in in a possible career option which can wait. He will at least carry drinks. He will laugh. He will cry. He will dance. He will freeze. He will sneeze too. He will speak. He will fart. Once Irani trophy is over, let’s hope he doesn’t depart into oblivion, and get a chance to play for India.

And we will keep wondering – how did God invent Sree? Or more importantly, why?

But I just get the feeling that God knows what the doctor ordered. That’s why his best chance to make a comeback starts on the day when Sree himself started his life – 6th February.  May this birthday bring him all that he needs.

If someone slaps you today, don’t slap him back. Don’t cry. Just howl.

Today, try inhaling as much oxygen as possible so that your nostrils become big enough for a Rolls Royce to be parked in.

If your boss taunts you for your incompetence, just break into a dance.

It is, ladies and gentlemen, the 6th of February. Let us all come together and wish him his birthday. More than that, let us wish him luck and peace of mind.

Because on a serious note, Sree does need a chance to play for the national side, but the national side needs him more.

We need Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.


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