200th Article Special: 5 Things I have Learned From My Journey of Cricket Writing
Welcome fellow readers to the 200th Special!
This is going to be a different sort of article — No World T20 match reviews, not dissecting India’s disaster or praising Namibia’s story, no analysis or stats either, and surprisingly, not even any predictions. Just pure reflection with a hint of philosophy.
91 years after Don Bradman hit his first out of 12 Test double centuries, I finally have my first double as a writer. How did I get here? Why did I start this journey? What have I learned?
To give this article a twist, the theme of this article will rally around the lyrics of some pieces of music. I would highly encourage you to click on the song and give them a listen as well.
1. “It Means No Worries”
Song: Hakuna Matata – Lion King
“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy…
Situation: Finally starting this blog and website after England Vs West Indies 1st Test as cricket resumed post-COVID
What Is My Story?
I have been watching cricket for my whole existence, ever since the 2003 Cricket World Cup. My close ones tell me that I used to memorize the line ups of all the teams, from Australia to Zimbabwe, dragged my plastic bat around the house, and tried to copy actions of bowlers like Brett Lee, Harbhajan Singh, and Anil Kumble and the strokes of batters like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Sanath Jayasuriya, Rahul Dravid, and Mohammad Yousuf.
Not much has changed 18 years later. From Afghanistan to Papua New Guinea, I still memorize players’ names, follow most cricket, play cricket casually with my brother and friends, and try to copy mystery spinners like Ajantha Mendis and Theekshana (since Rashid Khan is too hard to emulate). Moreover, I now go into in-depth analysis before the game, after game, read articles on Cricinfo, watch CricBuzz Live, crunch up the numbers, and more.
You can say that I am obsessed with cricket. Not much has changed all these years…except that I talk a lot more now.
I was told I should start writing about cricket but for years, I never took that action. However, after Jason Holder & a hobbling Campbell secured a victory after Jermaine Blackwood’s counterattack, I was filled with emotion. In that moment, I realized what we had all missed during the sports break. A few minutes later, I began my journey as a cricket writer.
Life Lesson #1
From that moment, I changed my working philosophy—If you have any idea, take the action. Do not just play scenarios in your head or think what others would think of you or how you would be judged. Take your destiny in your own hands, channel your inner Timon & Pumba, and live a problem-free life just as you want.
2. Broken Cricket Dreams — Where Dreams Live
Song: Somewhere Over The Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz
“And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true”
Situation: Cricket writing fulfilled a life long dream
What Was My Underlying Motivation?
Once this website opened, the natural question was what it going to be called? What was my motivation? Here is the story.
I dreamed of becoming a cricketer, as did billions of people around the globe. Staying till the end, winning matches for your team are moments I would visualize and imagine.
I finally got my opportunity and began playing school level cricket way back in third and fourth grades. A few months later, our school finally was invited for a knockout tournament. I was guaranteed a place in the second match. In the first match, we lost a last over thriller, and our team was knocked out. We moved, and little did I know that it would be my last game of cricket or sports.
Broken Cricket Dreams.
Guess what? There are numerous other fans with similar stories. And that is why we created this platform. You can share your own pain and share your joy from cricket. Here, dreams come true. Little did I imagine that people would appreciate my content, I would get a chance to interact with some of my favorite players, journalists, writers, and love the game even more from the outside.
Life Lesson #2
Always expect the unexpected. Life may not go to plan, but whatever comes your way might be a blessing in disguise as writing was for me. Don’t have regrets, smile, enjoy your journey, celebrate the struggle, dream big, follow your passion, appreciate the small things in life, and things will be good.
3. “But I am Not The Only One”
Song: Imagine by John Lennon
“You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one…:
Situation: Cricket Twitter
Sharing Is Caring
Living in a non-cricket playing nation, it was difficult to find people to talk to with whom I could share this passion for cricket. Before I started this website, I used to talk in-depth about each and every cricket match with my family and a couple of close friends. Since I had no other outlets, I used to chew their brains off.
What I have realized since the inception of this website 15 months ago is that even though I am a dreamer and live in my own cricket bubble….I am not the only cricket fan on Earth. In fact there are more like me. There are fans of the game who go to even more of an extent for the love of the game. Fans with a greater sense of loss or broken dreams.
The other, more darker aspect of Twitter and social media in general is the divisiveness. When things are going well, social media is usually a nice happy place. However, fan wars, cancel culture, trolling, tagging cricket players themselves, abusing their families take away from the game.
Life Lesson #3
Loving one country does not mean detesting the opposition. You can have too different views without contradicting each other. Spread Love. Sharing is Caring, Shouting is Not. Man has created boundaries. Cricket can unite the broken world. This is where the final line of John Lennon’s song comes in.
I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one”
4. “I Did It My Way”
Song: My Way by Frank Sinatra
“When there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out.
I faced it all, and I stood tall,
And I did it my way.”
Situation: Trying to be me
Thinking Outside The Box
One of my main goals when starting this project was to do things differently from a normal cricket or news site. There are several better platforms for that.
I have tried to make content unique by embedding my personality via life lessons, philosophy, and cultural references or by experimenting with different styles and formats (A Shakespearean play, The Comedy of Overs, for example). Everything has not worked. I have struggled, doubted myself, overworked, but in the end, I learned, improved, changed things, and progressed further.
Life Lesson #4
There are millions of ways to manifest your love for something. I choose to portray my love of cricket via writing. Yours might be different. There is no one right or wrong answer. You can express your love or admiration for anything in numerous ways. Just whatever you do, give it your all and do it YOUR way. Be honest. Be yourself.
Life is a game. You win some, you lose some. Sportsmanship make your life easier. You become a better human being when not bogged down by failures. Learn from failures, work hard, and rise again. Any setbacks just make you stronger.
5. “Time To Say Goodbye”
Song: Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Boceli
Situation: Thank You to everyone out there reading this
Okay, this is not really a goodbye. I just love this piece of music. This is just the beginning of my writing journey, but I wanted I want to end this article with a Thank You. Thank you for all my readers and all the followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well. I love the engagement and learning from y’all. Friendly banter, memes, stories, art make my day. Hoping for many more years of conversation ahead!
Life Lesson #5
Be grateful. For everything and everyone. Hug your family. Keep in touch with your friends. Make that call you have been waiting for. Reach out if there are any mental health struggles. Appreciate one another. This pandemic has taught us some harsh lessons. Cherish every moment. To be human is to be grateful.
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If you are one of my new followers, I will leave you with some of my best writing and featured articles.
I. My Favorite Cricket Heroes and What We Can Learn From Them?
My cricket writing journey began with a tribute to Rahul Dravid. Since then, I have written about some of my other favorite players—Dale Steyn, Ellyse Perry, Ross Taylor, Faf Du Plessis & AB De Villiers, Umar Gul, Nicholas Pooran, Dinesh Karthik, Lasith Malinga, Joe Denly, Sam Curran, Dean Jones, the Bangladesh Fab Five, and the duo of Suresh Raina & MS Dhoni.
Just swipe the photos for more articles in each category.
II. World XIs With Twists
Have you ever tried to compile an XI of South African born players playing for other countries? Or wondered what the most beautiful stadiums in the world are? Here is some of my lists—Players who retired too early, most underrated cricketers, unluckiest XI, commentators XI, most stylish, etc.
III. How Can We Improve Test Cricket and the World Test Championship?
IV. Life Lessons
V. Cricket Analysis
VI. Experimental Interviews & Articles
© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 11/01/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).