It was Sunday. 18-1-1998. But I don't remember exactly why we had school on that day. Next day (Monday) was declared holiday. As a 10 year old, those days I used to be a cricket crazy kid. On that day, the 3rd final of the Independence Cup was being played between India & Pakistan at Bangabandhu stadium in Dhaka. Since it was Sunday I was mentally not ready to go to school & was interested in watching the live telecast. But I was forced to attend class, so I went. But by the time it was afternoon (during lunch break), I started acting as if I had stomach ache & took permission from my class teacher & started marching towards home. As I was considered a bright student by the teachers, my class teacher never had any doubt on me & gave permission. On the way while passing nearby Akshaya medicals I saw that my friend's mother was standing there. So to show off that I was really struggling, I held my stomach & started walking slowly giving painful expressions. My friend's mother asked me "What happened? Please give your landline number. I will talk to your mother so that somebody will come & pick you up from here."
I said "No aunty. I will go by walk" & left. Then I reached home & switched on the TV. Pakistan had made 314/5 in 48 overs with Saeed Anwar & Ijaz Ahmed scoring hundreds (Match was reduced to 48 overs per side due to bad light). The Indian run chase had just begun. The great Sachin Tendulkar smashed 41 runs off 26 balls before getting out. Robin Singh came in as pinch hitter at no.3 to join Sourav Ganguly. Partnership grew & India were 250/1 at one stage. Those days it was very rare that a chasing side could do so well chasing a mammoth total. Robin Singh was out for 82. But India were always known for collapses after a great start. Same thing happened here too. As our captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja & Navjot Sidhu fell to Saqlain Mushtaq very cheaply. Sourav Ganguly departed for a well made 124. When Nayan Mongia was run out, India were 306/7 in 47 overs. 9 runs were required off the final over. Hrishikesh Kanitkar & Javagal Srinath were at the crease. Floodlights had taken full effect at the Bangabandhu stadium (due to bad light) making it look like a Day night encounter although it was a day match. With 3 needed off 2 balls, Hrishikesh Kanitkar hit Saqlain Mushtaq for a boundary & India had completed the record successful run chase in ODI history at that time. India won the Independence Cup & that moment still gives me goosebumps 😊🙂
Fake stomach ache to watch the final of Independence Cup live on TV is a thing from the past that I will never forget 😀
#childhoodmemories #crazycricket #fakestomachache #independencecupfinal