Even though my dad and I rarely agree on anything cricket-related, he is the reason why I love cricket. When I was young he’d bowl at me in the backyard. That lasted as long as his cartilage-less knees did. Then we moved onto cricket theory – watching on TV, or at the ground – and for years after that he coached me in junior cricket.
It wasn’t just him. My whole family were cricket fundamentalists. Everyone had an opinion. Everyone played. Very few could bat. Everyone, though, had their own cricketing origin story. My grandpa had jumped the fence at the ‘G to see Bradman (only for the little Army Lieutenant of fitness to fail). My cousin Joel and I had backpacked across South Africa to see Australia win a World Cup, and got robbed in Durban along the way. And my father was paid to work in a bar at a match that wasn’t even a Test match.
It was 1972 and my dad was 25. He had a flock of hair, a nasty eye condition that kept him out of the army, an outswinger to die for, a suspect goatee, no high-school certificate, and a love of cricket. At school he was the fast-bowling athlete others wanted to be. He was also a rubbish student, so rubbish that he was asked to leave school, which partly explains why on the third day of that January he wasn’t relaxing on holidays but was instead working a second job: as a barman at the MCG, on the mezzanine level between the Olympic and Members’ stands.
When you ask my dad how it was to be a barman at the MCG, he only ever talks about this one day. It can’t, though, have been the very worst job he ever had. It got him free entry into one of the greatest meeting places on earth and, knowing my dad, the odd free drink. On the day my dad talks about, he was pouring the beers at a largely pointless match between the Australians, who were supposed to be playing South Africa before they were turfed out of official cricket, and a chucked-together World XI. How much the spectators cared for this match can be guessed by the gate attendance. On no day did more than 38,000 turn up.
As a cricket fan I find it strange that a contest boasting Gavaskar, two Pollocks, Zaheer, Bedi and Garry Sobers could not pull a bigger crowd. As a Melburnian I get it. This wasn’t a Test. It was a hastily added fixture featuring a few bonafide stars and a few John Benaud-types. Melbourne fans like their sport a bit gladiatorial. This was a beer match; it wasn’t life or death like MCG-goers want it. For the MCG is nothing if not Melbourne’s a***hole. People talk about Melbourne being the smart left-wing city with the cool art and the alternative vibe that makes it oh-so-liveable, but all that shit needs to be blown out somewhere and the ‘G is where it happens. The ‘G pulsates through big contests, yawns at small ones, rips people to shreds and makes heroes out of those who treat them to a show.
A non-Test match involving such names as Hylton Ackerman and Norman Gifford was never going to bring out that cauldron nature. It was far more likely that only the true cricket fans would turn out. For my dad this was a good thing. The fewer punters there were, the less beer he’d have to serve and the more time he’d have to watch the cricketers he loved.
Coming out to bat at the start of that day, day three, was Zaheer Abbas, and with him was Sunil Gavaskar. My dad always admired batsmen like Gavaskar and Geoff Boycott. When I was growing up, people would ask him if he wanted me to bat like Viv Richards. And instead of grinning and going along with them, he’d say: “No. I want him to put a price on his wicket like Boycott.”
So there might have been a bit of sadness in my dad when Gavaskar got out to Terry Jenner, who back then was just another Australian legspinner yet to taste the slammer or fly around the world trying to create another Shane Warne – although maybe my dad enjoyed the wicket anyway, because he also loved spinners and was forever going on about hacks no one had heard of, people like Peter Sleep and Ashley Mallett and Trevor Hohns. When I was nine my dad decided that since I was only average at wicketkeeping and bowled slower than any other kid my age, he’d make me into a spin bowler.
Not long after Gavaskar got out, Graeme Pollock followed. This brought Garry Sobers to the crease.
It was 13 years since Sobers had made his 365, and quite a few years since his six sixes in an over. It is probably harsh to say he was over the hill; even now he’d be a better batsman for the Windies than Kirk Edwards. But he hadn’t made a Test century in 23 months. Not that he was under pressure. This was a glorified exhibition match and he was Garry f***** Sobers. He was coming to the end of a special career and giving the ‘G one of its last glimpses of his magic.
When I ask my dad who else played in that World XI, he has no idea. He has no real memory of who was on either side. He thinks Dennis Lillee was there for Australia, along with Jenner or maybe Kerry O’Keeffe (actually they both played). He’s not sure if Barry Richards was in the World XI or not. Part of this is down to age. My old man is past 60. Partly it’s to do with the way Sobers has taken over that game in the memory of anyone who was there.
The first thing my dad tells you about that day is the effect Sobers had on the bar. He emptied it, instantly, the moment he entered the ground. That was not so surprising. This was Sobers, world record-holder, suave strokemaker, ladies man, one of the finest cricketers ever. His charisma alone was probably worth 70 runs. You would leave your beer behind to watch him. Even if you only see a few balls, you’ve seen Sobers, perhaps for the last time, perhaps not, but why risk it?
Myself and Joel once had a similar experience at the ‘G. India were playing on Boxing Day and we hadn’t caught up in ages, so we decided to do something we never really did, which was to have a few drinks while the Test was underway. Early on it was easy, as Rahul Dravid and Wasim Jaffer played two of the most defensive innings of all time. Jaffer made 4 off 27. He looked like a man waiting to cross a busy road. Dravid was going through a career-defining crisis – namely, he’d forgotten how to score. His 5 off 66 balls (which oddly led to me getting married) was more painful than it sounds. He was dropped, mocked and booed. It was too much for Joel and me so we kept on drinking.
Dravid was out on lunch, a mercy kill, and we were humming. Three beers in the first session, a couple more that lunch break and we were off to the sort of flyer Rahul Dravid would have paid good money for. There was no doubt this was going to be a huge drinking day.
After lunch, Sachin changed that. We gave him a standing ovation and I nursed my next beer. Joel drank his straightaway, then didn’t ask for another, which wasn’t like him. All the talk went to Sachin. Randomly we struck up a conversation with a young Indian father who had brought his children along just so they could say they’d seen Sachin bat. That was the moment things changed for us. We realised that we had to focus on this innings. That this might be the last we’d see.
Sachin started scratchy, not scratchy like Dravid or Jaffer, but nervous-scratchy, as if even he knew he may not play again in Melbourne. He was not exactly out of form, or in any actual danger of being dropped, but his tennis elbow and his struggles to make consistently huge runs had him looking human, and this was the closest his career ever came to fading out. A few brave people were whispering retirement.
Sachin’s batting sobered us up. From a medical or blood-alcohol point of view I cannot explain it. But while Sachin was out there I noticed every tug of his pads, every ruffle of his gloves and readjustment of his helmet. Every little thing was important to me. I could not look away. Suddenly he began playing a shot a ball. His innings went from nervous-scratchy to frantic-nervous. Boundaries were coming. He was treating the spinner Brad Hogg like Hogg was something stuck in his teeth. For a second we thought we were about to see a Sachin hundred. Then Stuart Clark bowled and Sachin played on to his stumps. From that moment we got as drunk as we could.
So I understand why, on the day Sobers took hold of the ‘G, no one came in asking for a beer – although I always push my dad on this point. Surely, I say, someone came in? I mean, I understand cricket religious reverence, but it’s the ‘G. Also, this bar was just about right behind the bowler’s arm, up a few levels. And it had a balcony. If you are going to see Sobers, why not choose that outstanding location? And when you do push my dad on this, there was, it turns out, the odd person who came into that bar. Not many, though – because the barman was out on the balcony watching the game.
My dad’s favourite quote about that day is: “If my boss had come in I would’ve been in strife, but I would’ve said sack me, I’m watching the cricket.”
I am never sure whether to believe this or not. My old man might have been a big cricket fan but to give up guaranteed income from a second job is not in line with his devout working-class ethic. Still, he believes it, and he was the one watching Sobers and the one telling this story.
When you prod my dad for details of the innings, he finds that hard as well. It’s not so much because of his failing memory this time – it’s because of how much Sobers gave him. “Forwards, backwards, front foot, back foot, he had every shot in the book, he was just a genius, over the top, along the ground, he just did it. With grace.” He is not a man for detail at the best of times, my dad.
Yet when you really drill him on it, especially if he is sober in the retelling, he remembers cover drives off the leggie, and how Sobers played Lillee, the way he dismissed balls on his pads and the way the ground lifted every time he played a shot. Mostly my dad talks about how the bowlers looked like they were coming in to feed Sobers. It didn’t matter what they tried, Sobers could see what they were trying to do. He always had the answer before they’d finished working out the question.
In my dad’s story, Sobers isn’t Sobers but Batman with Superman’s powers.
And of course once I’ve got those few details out of him, I can’t help myself: I mention to my dad that some people reckon Jacques Kallis to be the better allrounder. I don’t believe it myself. But I know it will get him upset. “Jacques Kallis,” says my dad, ‘is a great allrounder, but he wouldn’t even look up Sobers’ bum.”
Dad does not tell the story in chronological order. He does not fill in the gaps, such as whether Sobers started off strong and then consolidated before attacking the spinners later, or whether it happened the other way round. He doesn’t even distinguish between the two days, the one where Sobers made 139 and the other where he took it to 254 (or 252 as my dad tells it). He explains it more the way a born-again Christian describes their moment of conversion, as if the ground they were playing on was a pitch made of clouds.
It’s not anything like a match report, it’s all personal, like Sobers was there for his pleasure, all the stars aligned. My dad was at his ground, watching his favourite player, in an empty bar with a balcony just perfect for viewing. That’s why the detail is not important: he wants you to know how it feels.
My dad is not a big talker. I know nothing about the moment he met my mother or how he proposed. The story of my birth takes him only a few seconds. If you want to know something about him you have to get him drunk, or wait till he uses the information in a separate argument. Yet this Sobers story has been told to me a hundred times. Occasionally I prompt it, just because it’s been a while since I’ve heard it, and other times he segues into it like he’s moving into his comfy clothes before watching the Pies play on a Sunday afternoon. The details can change, depending on how drunk he is or the point he is trying to make, but he always tells it the same way, like he saw God.
The other thing that stays the same is the ending: “I got paid to watch one of the best innings of all time.”
And then he goes a bit quiet. You can see he is reliving it. But he looks frustrated, too, that he cannot articulate it better, as if the story is too much for him to ever get out. That’s he’s let me down by being vague and ethereal. He’s wrong, though. I know everything I need to know about that innings simply by looking at his face and listening to his voice.
Recently my dad found footage of the innings. He was desperate to show it to me. I held off for as long as I could, hoping he’d accidentally delete it from his DVR. I didn’t want to see it, because I thought it might ruin the memories that I had of him telling it to me. But one day, before I realised, he put it on. Even with the camera set up at one end of the ground, grainy footage, and a lack commenters telling you how special each shot was, Sobers’ 254 was one of the most amazing innings to watch. The innings that Bradman said was “probably the greatest exhibition of batting ever seen in Australia”. No matter how good he was through mid-on, or slashing through point, or the way he played every single ball from the spinners, it wasn’t the innings I remember hearing from my dad. This was Sobers’ 254.
The innings I’ll always remember was the Sobers’ 252, the one that belongs to my dad.
This is an edited extract of an article included in the book Australia: Story of a Cricket Country
There are many stories about Rahul Dravid flying around, most of them about his brilliant batting or down to earth gentleman like personality. And they are all right, the man is a gentleman superstar. It was an honour to ever see him bat, and an even more amazing honour to meet him. But my story is a little different.
Rahul Dravid is the reason my wife and I got married.
Before meeting me, my wife was a cricket-obsessed nerd just like we are, and one day when she was trawling the shit soaked anus of the interweb, she found her way here.
One day I wrote about a torturous innings when Rahul Dravid made 3 ones off a katrillion deliveries at the G while being dropped 48 times.
It was fucking painful to watch someone you admire so much fail in such a prolonged and awkward way.
Anyone who saw that would have thought some billionaire had cloned Dravid’s body and just walked onto the field.
He was essentially a dog that had been run over by a car who was just begging for another car to run him over.
I think Mitchell Johnson was the car that day.
At the end of the day’s play I wrote all about this episode.
“Dravid batted like a man who had just been gelded. It was ugly to watch, and the fact a batsman like that could be given a Bronx cheer for finally getting off the mark is horrible.
If Dravid was my dog, I’d take him out to the country and I’d take a shovel as well.”
I was pissed off he was opening, I was pissed off he was doing it badly, and mostly I was pissed off that I had to see him like this.
I’d always loved Dravid.
Before an Australia India series, Australians would all start talking up Tendulkar, and then VVS Laxman, but Dravid never really did it for them.
They liked a fighter, but he was the other guy to them, the boring one. Even when he was making double hundreds in Adelaide.
So to see him like this just left me cold.
But, it wasn’t the first time Dravid had dragged his carcass around the crease like this.
And at one of the other times in the UK, my future wife had been there, and lived the same sort of horror I had. You know the horror, that it’s funny, but you wish it wasn’t happening to Dravid.
Seeing my words about Dravid meant she wrote a comment, and we bonded over seeing Dravid at his worst.
Later on we’d get married and she’d slip a ring on my left hand, which is very similar to my right hand that years later shook Dravid’s right hand.
Our wedding was at the Oval, the place of Rahul Dravid’s last overseas Test century.
At the reception the tables were named after cricket grounds. One was the MCG, and we used this photo.
Yes, that’s Rahul Dravid just a couple of days before he would set into motion a series of events that would lead my wife and I to marry.
So, when I say “thanks, Rahul”, I fucken mean it.
Rahul Dravid is revolutionizing batsmanship
There was a time when Rahul Dravid’s batting was so technically correct that old men wept tears of blood into their wisdens as he played a forward defence of such straightness that Christian fundamentalists couldn’t question it.
All of his shots seemed epicly correct.
He left the ball like it was meant to be left.
A cover drive looked like he was posing for an artist.
His pull shot was tight, contained and morally acceptable.
And his clip off the pads easy, and relaxed, like he was thinking of something else and could play it blindfolded.
Now he’s changed.
Dravid now plays every innings like he’s trying to survive an alien attack.
He seems to play almost every ball through third man, often unintentionally, and he looks hurried and worried most of the time.
But it’s the humble block, Dravid’s best friend, where it’s changed the most.
Dravid now blocks the ball like his shoes just caught fire. His hands just drop straight down in a panic just as the ball turns up.
They probably turn the stump mic down as it happens so we don’t get the excitable scream as he realises that yet again he has barely got away with keeping his wicket.
It’s not pretty, but it is stoic and egoless, like you would expect from Dravid.
Dravid is basically rebuilding his batting the way a newly limbless man would teach themselves how to swim.
And if you can’t respect that, well that’s fair enough, but I think it’s pretty cool.
There is a alternate universe where Rahul Dravid walks around pimped up, sort of like a slim Biggie Smalls. In that world everything he does or says is gospel. He is not God, but actual life. When he bats the whole world stops and sighs. His forward defence was the sole reason for world peace. It was as if before him there was no reason to live. It is every young girl and boys ambition to satisfy every whim of Rahul Dravid. Laws are re-written for him, ice cream is named after him, and when he finally retires from cricket he takes over the whole world. In this world, there is no Sachin Tendulkar.
Yet again I was invited to the MCC’s world committee (MCCWC from now on) meeting.
Last year I had a run in with Steve Waugh that resulted in me being mentally disintegrated.
This year I had no idea what would come of the whole trip, would Rahul Dravid bitch slap me, would Shaun Pollock and I get caught up in a coversaation about the Pixies, the possibilities were endless.
If you have never been to a cricket ground the day before an international match, I recommend you do. Lord’s is a great one, because much of it is so open and there is just heaps of shit going on. I saw KP giving batting tips, Derek Pringle ushering young kids around, Grand Master Mushtaq ushering kids around and Majid Khan helping Barry Richards opening a window.
Come on, that is a good afternoon.
Then for the press conference, which seemed drier than last year, perhaps because there was no Boycott.
It started with Zimbabwe, the MCCWC want a fact finding trip there, I almost suggested John Howard be sent there, but I held my tongue. The MCCWC – led by Shaun Pollock, Barry Richards and Andy Flower by the look of it – want test cricket back in Zimbabwe. I inquired if it was wise to give test cricket to a team with no fast bowlers, but the general consensus was to give them a go.
Then it was about pink balls. The MCC and the MCCWC love pink balls. John Stephenson loves pink balls more than any man alive. Pause. Well, he does. He also talked about Kookaburras new G3 ball which is a cricket ball that stays whiter for longer because it is dyed better. Maybe Stephenson doesn’t love pink balls as much as he likes balls that will last. Either way, there was plenty of talk about balls and day night tests.
Then there was Rahul and his talk about the IPL. Twice now I’ve seen him at the MCCWC pressers, and both times his performance has assured me that he will never be a regular on panels at comic cons. He just doesn’t seem to like doing it at all, his tie was all slanted, he was slumped over his notes for most of it and answered each question with a sombre nervousness of a geeky teen talking to a milf he is desperately trying not to look at the cleavage of. He said very little about anything.
The MCCWC’s world test championship was talked about again, I wondered if the viability of the championship game would really grab people’s imagination if it was just one test and the home ground produced a road, then Barry Richards suggested a 6 day test championship. Nice.
Then after a brief period of talking about boundary ropes and big bats (Courtney Walsh just wanted fast pitches to batsmen couldn’t carry heavy bats) they talked about how poorly test cricket is marketed compared to IPL and T20 cricket.
I suggested that the reason could be that T20 is a rather simple format to market and that marketing test cricket is harder because of the nuance.
Now here is my mistake, or not, no one jumped in to answer it straight away, so I continued, I then said that T20 is like ‘Dude, where’s my car’, whereas test matches are more like art films. I framed the question to Shaun Pollock, but Sam Stow, of all out cricket, was watching Steve Waugh whose face drew a complete blank. I’m sure Tony Lewis’ did as well.
After the press conference finished I went up to the front to pick up my phone and Steve Waugh had questions for me.
“Dude, Where’s my car, never seen that film, mate, what’s it like anyway?”
This time I didn’t freeze like I did a year earlier. I wasn’t going to be intimidated by him twice in a row, so I fired back.
“It’s a good one, I’d think you’d like it”.
He laughed and said.
“You guys must be young, I’ve never heard of it.”
Never heard of ‘Dude, where’s my car’, how is that possible?
So this is for Steve and all you who have never seen the film that is allegedly one of Kim Jong-Il’s favourites.
Just some quick things I forgot to mention, check out the next podcast and you can hear Steve ask about the film, Barry Richards and Majid Khan opened the window without grace or style and would you let KP coach your kids?
I’ve decided to pick a team of football from what cricket has to offer. It wouldn’t win the world cup, but I think I’d enjoy watching them play.
Sachin– sure he is not gifted with the most athletic frame, but like a non mental Diego Maradonna more than makes up with it with the ability to score at will and carry a team. Has had some pretty handy world cups already.
Pollard – big strong and has great club form, picked for his ability to turn only a few opportunities into goals. People worry that he has never done anything at international level to justify his millionaire status. He doesn’t seem to mind. Probably not adverse to the odd dive and handy with headers.
Sulieman Benn – Occasional brilliance is often overshadowed by talk of his height and temper. Only player to be sent off by his own captain after a bad tackle and bad attitude. It is never clear if he ever tries to actually hit the ball in a tackle.
Ponting– Scores more than most, but is still a very heavy handed defender. Is quick, plays well of both feet, is a winner, but can lose his temper at times. Has won at the top level a few times before. Doesn’t like being substituted.
Mark Boucher – A tough team player. Like a rugged family sedan, once you have him there you’d know that spot was well taken care of. Yet you’d still drop him from time to time to see if you have someone younger or flashier. He might misread how much injury time is left in big games.
Paul Collingwood – Often thought of as nothing more than a defender who plays midfield, yet he can score on occasions and is always important at the end of matches. Only has a right foot, and this often makes his ungainly style look even uglier than it would normally.
Ray Price – Hard as nails, ready to hack you just for fun, always slower than the men he is defending. No one ever gets past him with the ball and their shins.
Charl Langeveldt – Steady, consistent, easily droppable, and dependable. He will have been in and out of the team for years. The sort of defender that gets no headlines but does the job when you can’t find anyone better.
Kumar – Silky smooth defender that makes the opposition strikers feel ungainly in comparison. Always takes a piece of the ball, is the captain, penalty taker, and pin up boy of the team. Also the most likely to put off the opposition when they’re taking a penalty.
Harbhajan Singh – An attacking insane defender who loves to take free kicks from 40 yards believing that he can score a goal. Mostly he’ll miss by a mile, but every now and then he’ll score. Will also be red carded for the occasional slap.
Rahul Dravid – Nothing gets past Rahul. Sure there are times he is less animated than an East German goal keeper, but would you ever back yourself to get through him?
Jamie Siddons – All the best managers have trouble keeping their emotions in check, Siddonds fits this well. With him in full view of the cameras you can really see the veins almost explode in his head as the other team score.
Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid have played international cricket with each other for over 14 years.
They probably know what each other likes for breakfast, what they clothing they sleep in and what kind of dirty films they like to watch.
They’ve shared the highs of beating Australia in Australia and the low of playing with Agit Agarkar.
So when Rahul edges a ball to slip and Sachin claims the catch you expect nothing more than Rahul trudging off.
That didn’t happen.
Instead Rahul stood his ground.
It was a glorious moment.
As he stood his ground I felt bonded to Rahul, I believe walking is for people who don’t own cars to take through the drive-thru at Maccas.
And here was Rahul, doubting the word that many people count as the word of God in India.
That takes balls, but it also takes a certain amount of miss-trust.
If Rahul was Ricky Ponting and Sachin was Steve Waugh, you’d expect this type of miss-trust. Australians don’t walk when their mother tells them she has claimed the catch, especially our mothers.
This was India, and thusly, funny as hell.
Had Rahul been wrong, it might have not been as funny, but he was not wrong to stay at the crease.
It was one of “those” catches. The sort that Andrew Strauss and Ab DeVilliers have claimed only to look like dirty assed cheats later on. One that on the close in replay looked like there was more than a touch of grass on it.
Ofcourse all of these catches close to the ground are hard to take a firm stance on, the ball looked like it hit the ground, but it looked like from straight on, and they often do. From straight on the ground has no arch, and Sky tests have shown that balls that are caught clean can look like they hit the ground.
Who knows whether Sachin’s was a case of cheating or 2D trickery? I prefer to think of him as cheating, as that makes him more like me, and I like him more for that.
It was by far the most interesting part of the IPL semi final since no one turned up to cuff Modi.
It was also a lovely bit of unsporting Australian style cricket by two Indian legends.
I’ve never been prouder.
This was originally on cricinfo, but, even without swearing and perversions, I really liked it. for some reason I forgot to put it up before.
If the apocalypse were to come tomorrow, most of us would be dead. But if Hollywood has taught us anything it is that people always survive. While Kallis, Ponting and Dhoni wouldn’t make it, there would be cricketers who would. And it isn’t always the most popular or talented who survive the end times.
Nathan Hauritz cannot be killed by bombs or global pandemics. This is a man who couldn’t get picked for his state side, averaged over 50 with the ball in first-class cricket, and now averages 30 in Test cricket. There are no weapons that can keep him down. After the apocalypse he would just roam the earth with that sweet little boyish face of his.
Ashish Nehra went through a career apocalypse, but he is back. I wouldn’t bet on him struggling to survive a worldwide nuclear war. He’d still have that look on his face too, the one that makes you wonder if he has any joy in his life. He’d be in a group that lives in Euro Disney; his role would be of the angry one who doesn’t trust anyone, but he’d be rubbish at catching food.
Kumar Sangakkara would make it through. Then, after an appropriate period, he would take over the world. Artists would carve images of him, people would refer to him as King Kumar, and he would be a fair and just leader. His leadership does have problems, but his suaveness and massive intellect mean he would run the world for at least six years. Until he wants to relax and travel.
Ian Bell can never be killed. Regardless of an apocalypse he is going to be around forever. Still looking good and not making runs. In a dystopian wasteland he’d still manage to find his way into a well-stocked mansion, with others doing the work to make up for him. Even when the whole group dies of food poisoning, Bell survives. He is like a mythical creature that way.
Brendan Nash would not only survive an apocalypse, he’d prosper. Once the world had settled, Nash would move to a new location and just tell them he was always one of them. There would be hostility towards him at first, and mild curiosity, but eventually in this new and desperate land he would come in handy and people would even start to love having him around.
Paul Harris would survive. He might mutate a bit, but like a cockroach or a tax officer he cannot be eradicated. Harris will quickly improvise and become an expert scavenger and sell his goods at a reasonable price, considering the location he lives in.
The New Zealand cricket team would remain okay. They would be watching Eagle v Shark in Chris Martin’s basement when the flesh-eating disease spreads rapidly across the planet, killing everyone. Upon exiting the basement they would have some good times and some bad times, but basically they’d just survive. Even though 90% of the world’s population is dead, their crowd numbers in Test matches stay the same.
Rahul Dravid would never even notice the apocalypse. When the aliens came to kill everyone on the planet with their sonic weapons, he was batting. As we know, when Rahul is batting, nothing can stir him. Even two years after the apocalypse he is still out there, marking his guard, trying to get the sight screen to be moved and planning for what field the captain will set for the next ball.