Sport mirrors so many aspects of life. To watch the scenes at the end of a very close game: to watch the winning teams’ supporters and the losing teams’ supporters. To watch the little kid, with his or her face painted, the huge cap covering their faces, tears streaming down, to watch the wise old person who has watched a lot of games put their arm gently around the little kid. A fan is a fan, 12 years old or 55, wise or otherwise and your team is your team. South Africa may have lost a close T-20 game to Australia but Kagiso Rabada is one of my favorite modern day cricketers.

Back home, the Irani Trophy game is unfolding. Jay Bista and Karun Nair batting so well. Bista seems like a throw back to a different era. Bespectacled, quiet and studious, quite a contrast to the present day cricketer of bulging muscles, flaunting tattoos and extremely well groomed beards etc; How nice it would have been if Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara and five strong wicket taking bowlers had played for Rest Of India. Would have been a really nice way to test the true strength of this present Mumbai team and to find out which players will make it to the next level.

Edit: (added after the completion of the Irani trophy game) What a beautiful game it turned out to be. After conceding a lead of more than 250 runs, Rest of India came back to win this game. It was truly beautiful. The fourth day provided a startling twist and the fifth day saw both teams in the hunt. Beautiful batting by Faiz Fazal, Karun Nair, Sudip Chaterjee and a lovely cameo by Stuart Binny took Rest of India home. Another beautiful part of sport, (life?) although this sounds cliched but is somehow true, is to perhaps keep hope right until the end.

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