(i) Change will come with time-this is self evident especially if one
believes in evolution.
(ii) One cannot break the law – one only breaks oneself against the law –
example – the law of gravity – I can jump out the window from any height —
I will still fall at 32 ft/sec – I may break myself more if the window were
higher rather than lower.
(iii) I have choice– I can choose not to change.
So with the passage of time we are forced to change and I for one will hold
on to my memories of the Royal-Thomian and the Oval as I remember it. It
is in my mind’s eye and I have the ability to recreate it at will, including
the tents, the flags, the old crocks, and the bands that paraded around the
grounds. Those were the days of my youth and the wonderful rivalry as well
as the respect and appreciation that I had for the two institutions and the
people who represented them. These images connect me to my childhood
and bring back memories of getting colors and playing in the Big Match. But
I left that behind and walked away to seek another dream – but as I said I
can go back in time and recreate the images of youth and they still bring a
smile to my face – most times it is one of joy but at times sad -and longing
for another chance to do it all again. But… that time has passed and a new
dawn has broken and life has moved on and I have gotten older and even if I
may say so myself – wiser.
I watch cricket today and marvel at the changes that have taken place – the
athleticism of the players, their search for something different like the Dil
scoop, reverse sweeps, the doosra and the creativity of the modern game,
inclusive of what we termed chucking as normal today, making it possible for
lesser mortals to spin the ball like Kari on a turning wicket. But it has also
exacted a price – commercialization, money, match fixing, etc. I guess that is
what has changed the appearance of the Oval.
I watched a Royal-Thomian encounter a few years back at the SSC. It had
a different feel to me partly because I have lived away and had not been
exposed to the change more gradually. I dare say that perhaps some of the
change was driven by politics related to the civil war and the ownership of
the Oval. But this is all history now and change has taken place and I have
to accept the changes knowing that I can go back in time in my mind and
visualize Eardley and myself as we were in the late 60s – young, scrawny and
in love with a game called cricket and representing our respective schools.
1957 – 1969