Lahli bets big on maestro but Tendulkar disappoints
LAHLI (Haryana): With their television set on since 9 am, a group of villagers in this Haryana hinterland was eagerly waiting for Sachin Tendulkar to come out and bat. However, when Mumbai captain Zaheer Khan won the toss and elected to field, their disappointment was palpable. The television was switched off and prompt came a statement from a village man, “Gayi bhains paani mein (the plan is off).”
Exactly two hours after the morning incident, the television set was once again switched on as news spread that the Haryana team was bowled out cheaply and Mumbai will now bat. The eager-beavers were back, a round table was set with some 14-15 chairs around it with a hookah right in the middle.
The same village man, who was disappointed earlier in the day, said, “Mazaa aayega, asli khel ab yahan shuru hoga” (Now the real game will begin right here, it’ll be exciting).
The game, which the villager was talking about wasn’t about the Ranji Trophy match that was going on between Haryana and Mumbai here. It was related to it!
The villagers started playing a game of cards known as ‘teen patti’ in local parlance. The game involved monetary gains and soon bets were placed over a Sachin century in his last Ranji Trophy match.
Interestingly, the amount that the bets were placed went up to a mind-boggling Rs 50,000 and was set for a further increase. As Mumbai lost their openers — Wasim Jaffer and Kaustubh Pawar — the man these villagers were waiting for so long strutted out to bat.
Thereafter, Sachin hit a cracking straight drive and those who had placed bets on a Sachin century rejoiced as if Diwali had come a week before.
Meanwhile, those who had placed bets (of the same Rs 50,000) on Tendulkar getting out cheaply were dismayed, anticipating a masterly innings from the Master. The number of bets on Sachin getting a ton were far more than his failure.
However, there was an anti-climax in store. As soon as Sachin’s stumps were crashed by a Mohit Sharma delivery, a villager reacted, “Doob gayo maare paise” (My money went down the drain). Most of the men lost as they had bets in favour of a Sachin century. They now harbour hopes of the master scoring a ton in his second essay and help them recover the losses.
“Aaj to Sachin fail ho gaya, lekin hum sure hain ki who doosri paari mein century zaroor maarega. Hum log ek baar phir uss par paise lagayenge. Pehli paari mein jo paise doob gaye, ummeed hai ki woh wapas mil jaayega (Sachin failed in the first innings, but I am sure he won’t disappoint us and will hit a century in the second innings. We will once again place bets on him. I hope we’ll recover the money that we lost in the first innings),” Ravi Sharma, a resident of nearby Kalanaur village, reflected.