By Pankaj Vaidya
Please note this is a humour article – work of pure fiction
It has come to light that Tarun Tejpal’s infamous letter of contrition was a modified version of an earlier letter he had written by way of apology to Shoma Chaudhury for running out the non-striker. The occasion was the semi-finals of the JD Goenka Inter-Media Cricket Tournament featuring top media houses. Tehelka was playing against NDTV and it was the third day’s play. NDTV XI had declared after posting a mammoth 540, with skipper Sreenivasan Jain leading from the front with a magnificent, unbeaten 176, taking his aggregate in the tournament to 2002.
Tehelka fought tenaciously in reply and at 420 for six with skipper Tejpal still at the crease. The match was precariously poised when Tejpal, in a dash of madness, extreme idiocy, height of imbecility, apogee of lunacy, rush of adrenaline, call it what you will, scythed the ball straight to backward point and set out in a harebrained manner for a non-existent single only to turn around and scamper back to his crease, leaving non-striker, Aniruddha Bahal, stranded in the middle.
Vikram Chandra is not the quickest of fielders, but he displayed unusual agility in gathering the ball and, in the split of a second, throwing it to the non-striker’s end to run out Bahal. After the Cobrapost CEO had hissed and slithered away, a downcast Tejpal, during the subsequent drinks break, penned this letter to team manager Shoma, which would provide the template for the more famous letter he would release a few years later for an even more egregious offence.
Tarun Tejpal’s letter to Shoma Chaudhury:
My dear Shoma,
The last over have been most testing, and I take the blame for hitting the ball too squarely and directly into the hands of the fielder at backward point.
A bad lapse of judgment, an awful misreading of the situation, has led to an unfortunate run out which rails against all we believe in and bat for.
I have already unconditionally apologised for my misconduct to the concerned non striker but I feel impelled to atone further. Our score of 420 has been born and built, ball by ball, with my blood, toil, tears and sweat, and that of many other batsmen, against near-insurmountable bowling. Our batting has lived for and fought the bodyline bowling of the day, always on the side of the oppressed and the wronged, always on the side of equity and justice. Our fours and sixes have travelled the stands and changed spectator attitude and perceptions. Our style of batting has been a beacon for those who would do the right thing.
As the opening batsman, through bad and worse times, I have shielded the team and its batsmen from the opening bowlers and new ball and the inevitable bounce of the lush green wicket. I have always allowed every batsman’s natural game to flower and express itself. No one has ever been asked to do play in a way they don’t believe in.
I have always held that the team is infinitely more important than any of us batsmen. It is tragic, therefore, that in a lapse of judgment I have hurt our own high principles. Because it involves our team, and a sterling shared legacy of records, I feel atonement cannot be just words. I must do the penance that lacerates me. I am therefore offering to recuse myself from running between wickets for the next six overs.
You have always been a stellar coach and team manager, Shoma, and even as I apologise to you and all my other colleagues, for this unfortunate run out, I leave running between the wickets in your more than capable and safe hands.
(Pankaj Vaidya is passionate about reading, writing, computer programming, value investing, yoga, cycling and motorcycling. The above article is reproduced with permission from http://www.
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