Respected Captain Cool,

I am a 19-year-old boy. A boy who has wished to see a cricket match live once in his life and hasn’t yet been able to complete that wish. Honestly, now I don’t want to. No, I am not being melodramatic here, so please give me a chance to explain.

For a kid aged 7, getting his TV time stolen was the biggest atrocity towards him. That too, for a stupid match?! It was the match in Johannesburg, the 2008 T20 world cup final. I was a stupid kid, I know. Because there was only one TV at our home, I was forced to see the entire match, not understanding anything except the smile on my not so expressive father’s face when he saw a guy with long hair lift up a trophy. That was my tryst with cricket.

For a kid aged 10, a world cup final was surely a big deal, but the gully cricket sessions were an even bigger deal. I was a stupid kid, I know. But when I saw my not so expressive father on the verge of crying because you had one of the most beautiful innings ever and you “finished off in style” (immortal words), I danced with all my life too. That date is etched in my mind. 2nd April 2011.

For that kid, cricket became a craze. Though I supported RCB in IPL (I’m sorry), I was completely awestruck by seeing you on the field. The reference for speed became your unbelievable stumping, the reference for a type of personality became “cool as Dhoni”, reference for hope & trust became “abhi Dhoni aayega yar”, the reference for surety became “Decision Review System nahin, woh Dhoni Review System hai… mahi ne bola hai, out hi hoga” and the reference for great leadership became you, as a captain. You are iconic for cricket sir.

To agar aapko puraane hindi gaano se express karna aata hai, to hum peechhe nahin hatenge. “Abhi na jao chhod kar, ke dil abhi bhara nahin”

If it was a cricket field, I’d shout “DHONI DHONI”

If it was a press conference, I’d shout, “O captain! My captain!”

As of 19:29 hours, 16th August, consider yourself immortal.

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