Cricket, rugby and a Fender!

Music director and guitarist Ehsaan Noorani (of the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy trio) remembers India’s World Cup win in 1983 for colour television and firecrackers:

There is, of course, a similarity between music and sports. A lot of cricketers, like musicians, are creative in their own way. Sachin Tendulkar, in his playing days, used to come up with shots that nobody ever played before. He had his own style. Some of them (like Brett Lee, Shane Watson and A.B. de Villiers) also play the guitar. But the physicality of sports is a different game altogether.

I have a couple of memorable moments in cricket and rugby. The first one would be the Indian cricket team’s maiden World Cup win (1983) at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. The tournament also happened at a time when colour television came to India. It was just something else. We were watching it at home and I remember the firecrackers going off everywhere. That was quite an experience actually.

Secondly, I was a rugby player in school. I was quite heavy and ideal for the sport. Though I wasn’t much of an athletic or a macho guy, I had fun playing rugby because it used to be in the rain. We used to slide in the mud to get dirty.

At one point in life, I also watched a lot of tennis. Now I don’t watch it anymore as I get too brain-dead by the weekend; I would rather watch something else. But I used to love watching Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. They were all dramatic players with respect to the fight they had on court. Even today’s guys are all fantastic, but there was a certain sense of rawness in the older game, before the high-tech racquets came in. Earlier, they played with wooden racquets.

As told to Wriddhaayan Bhattacharyya