The Spark Within!

Success comes as a result of teamwork, whatever the field maybe. I have always admired and respected teamwork, which sadly is now being missed in many fields. I had this opinion until I got associated with ‘Theepori Brothers’ cricket team. ‘Theepori Brothers’ happens to be a high profile team in UCL (UST Cricket League). Many of you will be wondering what relation I have with a team in UST? Except a few close friends like PG (Anup), Sarath, Jeeth and Rohit (Mudi), the rest of the team members were strangers to me. However, it just took a game for me to get close to the team.

Jeeth, Rohit, Murali Bhai (Captain), Binu, Arun (Chandappy), Sibi (Kunthamuna), Serosh, Biswas, Pratheesh, Mhahesh, Abdu, Nikhil, Roshan (Sesky), Renjith, PG, Sarath (Physio/Psycho), Nibun, Dhanya, Lamya and Vidya are the proud members of this prolific team. The team was always in the limelight even before the start of the tournament, the main reason being our team was considered to be one of the strongest contenders for the cup. The performances in the initial matches seconded our contention for the glory. Our captain chose to chase in the two group matches. The opposition was restricted to a low score and we comfortably chased it down in a matter of few overs. Sibi, Binu and Serosh formed a formidable bowling unit with apt support from Mhahesh, Arun and Pratheesh. In batting, the opening pair of Jeeth and Rohit came up as the most dangerous one of the tournament. The entertainment factor was another thing why people turned out in a good number for our games. Literally, we lit the ground in fire as soon as we won the first game. So, everyone expected something from us while we were on the ground.

The knockout matches weren't difficult as expected. Round of 16 match wasn’t exciting as we thought. The opposition just scored 23 runs while chasing our total of 115 and that made the game really boring. That game took us to quarter final for a clash against the defending champions Super Kings, a game everyone was waiting for. Everyone believed they were the team to defeat us, but they couldn't even challenge us as we won the game convincingly. Chasing a total of 116, they fell short by over 50 runs. Thanks to Rohit’s spirited knock and our tidy bowlers. In the semis, we faced a spirited and determined Deccan. They succeeded in restricting us to 46 in first 8 overs, but lost the game as when Jeeth launched the attack in the last 4 overs. Finally, the team total showed 118 and we won the game by a margin of over 40 runs. Yes, we got into the finals! The knockout phase saw some of the finest batting performances of the tournament. Both came from our openers and remained not out throughout the innings. Rohit unleashed a ruthless assault on Super Kings on his way to 74, whereas Jeeth’s 70 against Deccan showed how a classy innings should be. The bowling department chipped in some splendid performances to support these knocks. Not to forget Lamya’s catch to dismiss the star batsman of Super Kings, which almost sealed their exit. Everyone in the team contributed in some way to win every game, that I believe is the reason for our success.

Soon after winning the quarter final, people started saying the cup was definitely our’s. More than winning, people were anxious to know what sort of entertainment was we planning to present them after winning! However, the final wasn't easy as expected. For the first time, our batting struggled in the tournament. But we were always sure of victory. 83 in 12 overs was not a total people expect from our team, but we knew that was enough for a great win. The asking run rate was not that big and the opposition had some batsmen to chase it down comfortably. However, we came to win and our bowlers started their job from the first over itself. Binu, Sibi, Arun and Serosh delivered the best bowling performance of the tournament, making it worse for the opposition. The fielding was spot on, so they had to work really hard for the runs. As a result, they required nearly 30 runs of the final over from Binu. We played with lot of confidence and snatched the victory by a margin of 28 runs. The spectators were presented with a fine display of teamwork. The whole team delivered their best performance to win the cup, but the special mention goes to Binu for a fine all around performance.

Crackers were lit all around the ground as soon as we became the champions. It lasted till the presentation ceremony got over. Jeeth was awarded the best batsman trophy, whereas Binu walked away with best bowler and man of the final trophies. Rohit was the third leading run scorer of the tournament. The celebrations were at the peak when Murali Bhai lifted the coveted UCL trophy. The credit of this victory goes to everyone who supported this team. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team manager PG, who was really the striding force of our team. Myself, Sarath and Nibun were lucky to be associated with such a great team. Not to forget the wonderful parties after the matches, thanks to onsite friends for the kind funding. Special thanks to Liju Bhai, Praveen, Ajith, Ashwin and Aslam for the immense support and thanks to whoever supported our team. Lastly, I would love to congratulate all Theepori members on my behalf and thank you all for presenting me with a wonderful experience.

It will be unfair if I conclude this blog without introducing the Theepori team to you all. Starting with Abdu, the ‘glamour’ boy of team. He was totally busy with his phone during the finals. Team management still probing whether he was giving live commentary or talking to some gal. Even though our captain Murali Bhai (M bhai) was criticized for many of his decisions, he led the team greatly. Got high chance of fever during pressure matches. Widely appreciated for the bond he shares with Jeeth! Arun, one of the senior most players of the team also had the additional charge of team photo shoot. But he went through a tough time when Theepori sisters Dhanya and Lamya went on a personal photo shoot spree, finally he had to hide the camera to escape. Binu was undoubtedly the best bowler of the tournament. However, he was the only player in the whole tournament to be run out by a ‘gal’! Biswas would have definitely won a gold medal in Olympics if he was sent for walking competition. I have never seen him sit anywhere or without being tensed. Sibi suffers from multiple personality. The calm,cool person off the ground can’t be seen on the ground. He plays with an utter serious attitude and aims at getting Guinness record for shortest over (Time). Mhahesh happens to be a replica of Sreesanth. However, his attitude was always an asset to the team. The seriousness in the face can’t be seen in the character of Serosh. He bowls with a great pace such that even the wicket keeper finds it difficult to catch. Nikhil will be reading this from America. It was sad that he couldn't see our winning moments. Our team will be always thankful to him for the way he charged up Sibi in the quarter finals. Sibi really showed the spirit of ‘Napoleon’ on the ground. To locate Pratheesh is the easiest thing ever. He loves to hang out at a hot spot opposite Technopark. The latest news reports that he has demanded for a rope way from his office to that spot! Roshan was always missing from the ground and that really was a luck factor in our win. Renjith was the most silent person in the team but  later learned it was for the good of the team.. whatever he said the opposite always happened. Nibun always came to the ground with his ‘mandrake’ coin. The match for which it was used as a toss coin saw some injuries and 2 wickets in first over of both innings. Ajith was initially a member of the team, but due to unavoidable circumstances he had to join another team BUt as Chanakya said.. Theepori inside Heart never dies.. Ajith Came bck to theepori team and was a Big support. Sarath’s position was changed from Team Physio to Team Psycho in the first match itself. He always had a dedication towards other teams, supplying water and other stuffs for them. Rohit banned prematch parties because of him alone. Rohit was really the ‘showman’ of our team. People inside the team made stories that he can only bat on the leg side, but proved it  right with his knock of 74 with all shots on leg side. On a lighter note, after scoring 74 he revealed the secret of his MUDI which is famous across the universe..Daily   bath three times with Ultra;). Rohit was always under the scanner for manipulating the previous year statistics to improve his record. Jeeth is a terrific cricketer. But he always choose to field at long on only. It’s just because there’s a shade there. While all others get burned under the hot sun, he relaxes under the shade and have a cool time! I can’t say about PG in two or three lines. For that, I will write a separate blog. For the time being, I can say that he is the main story maker of our team. He has always made controversial stories about innocent people. He’s the only person who advised me not to love a HR employee. Theepori sisters Dhanya, Lamya and Vidya gave ample support for our team. Only Arun had a tough time dealing their photo shoot.

From my experience, I know many of them really wanted us to lose. It’s just because they knew we were the team to beat. But we came to win and we did it. We played in the right spirits and presented everyone with great entertainment. It’s sad that the tournament has come to an end now. I know everyone will be waiting anxiously for next Theepori show even I’m waiting. I really hope this team stays as it is of now and the friendship which paved our success!

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