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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

from Butterfly to Wadsworth (no spelling mistake this !)

What a take !! (pic credit cricinfo)

                                  திக்குத் தெரியாத காட்டில்-உன்னைத் தேடித் தேடி இளைத்தேனே..  is one of the many songs of the great Tamil Poet Subrahmanya Barathiyar. ‘Thikku Theriyatha kattil’ (in a forest lost in directions) was also the name of a hit movie released in 1972 starring Muthuraman and Lakshmi … a song ‘பூப்பூவா பறந்து போகும் பட்டுப்பூச்சி அக்கா - நீ
பளபளன்னு போட்டிருப்பது யாரு கொடுத்த சொக்கா’ – a child asking the butterfuly as to who gave it such a beautiful shirt ! – was a grand hit of yesteryears.

Our school days were lost without our understanding many things – remember this English poem of William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850), an English romantic poet whose magnum opus is considered to be ‘the Prelude’ : this was ‘butterfly’

I'VE watched you now a full half-hour;
Self-poised upon that yellow flower
.. .. .. ..
I know not if you sleep or feed.
How motionless!--not frozen seas

The opening lines  reveals his apparent entrancement.  It  perhaps was no poem on a simple butterfly, but more of what it could represent ! It's fragile, delicate, short lifespan and every moment could be it's last, with all the "predators" out there.  Though we take solace planning longer things, our life too is fragile…   William Wordsworth   was an English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication Lyrical Ballads (1798).  Wordsworth was Britain's poet laureate from 1843 until his death.

In Nov 1992 the New Zealanders had been in Colombo 11 hours after a 40-hour journey from Zimbabwe when, on the eve of their first game, a suicide bomber crashed his motorcycle into a car outside their team hotel containing a Sri Lankan vice admiral, killing the two of them as well as three of the admiral's aides. Many of the New Zealanders were sitting outside on their hotel balconies when the bomb went off while Ken Rutherford, eating inside, recalled the blast knocked his breakfast tray off his bed. Warren Lees, in an adjoining room, had his balcony doors blown open.

Remember seeing this stylish Warren Lees play at Chepauk in Dec 1976 when India beat NZ by 216 runs.  Venkat scoring 64 with a six of Peter Petherick who had had a great debut months earlier at Lahore taking a hattrick on debut.  He debuted alongside Javed Miandad, Robert Anderson & wicket keeper Warren Lees.  Despite that great start, he played in only 6 tests.

The butterfly – leading to Wordsworth to Warren Lees sounded something and made me search in google – for I remembered hearing the name of another wicket keeper Wadsworth when India toured New Zealand in 1976.

In the 1st Test at Auckland in Jan 1976, India made history on NZ soil beating them by 8 wickets.  Dilip Vengsarkar, Surinder Amarnath & Syed Kirmani made their debuts -  the wicketkeeper for Kiwis was Ken Wadsworth – little did I realize the reason why he was not playing at Chepauk in that test in Dec 1976.  Ken Wadsworth was the first wicket-keeper to hit a century in One Day.  He scored 104 off 98 at Christchurch in Mar 1976 in ODI 11 against Australia, but NZ lost that match.  But sadly, at a very young age of 29, Ken passed away in Aug 1976 – Lees had replaced him for that NZ tour to Pak/India in late 1976. 

At the time, wicketkeeping was largely considered to be a specialist’s job. But, by wielding the willow at the domestic level, Wadsworth challenged that notion. It was for this reason he replaced Barry Milburn — a wicketkeeper of modest batting ability — during the aforesaid tour of England.  Kenneth John Wadsworth, died in Nelson, New Zealand,  aged 29. He had been New Zealand's regular keeper since 1969, playing in thirty-three Tests, the last of them against India at Wellington in February 1976: in these he dismissed 95 batsmen and made over a thousand runs.

That brilliant take at the start is NZ present day keeper batsman Bradley John Watling who played against India in Test no. 2387 that ended on Mar 2020 – and Cricket World is waiting for long for the next test

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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