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'We just could not sleep last night'
Basharat Peer in New Delhi |
February 27, 2003 16:06 IST
For the Nehra family in Delhi, it's been a roller coaster ride from ecstasy to agony to ecstasy -- all in the space of four days.
The ecstasy was to watch Ashish Nehra open the bowling against Namibia at the Pietermartizburg Oval with Javagal Srinath. The pace that the Delhi bowler had generated in his previous match seemed to have paid off big time. But it took just one ball for agony to follow. Nehra slipped and fell near the crease after bowling the first ball. And his parents in Sadar Bazaar watched him hobble off the ground, with a sprain in the ankle.
For the next two days, Ashish's father Diwan Singh Nehra and mother, Sumitra, wondered anxiously whether the left arm seamer would make it to Wednesday's crucial match against England.
"Ashish called us on the day he was injured. He said there were still two days left for the match and that even if half the pain went away, he would play," says Nehra senior.
The Nehras, like the rest of the team, hoped for Ashish's quick recovery. His mother, who had broken down seeing his injury, had a prayer on her lips and then called Ashish again as he was leaving for the fitness test before the match at the Kingsmead in Durban.
"He had taken proper care and applied all the required medication to get better. He said the pain had gone away but everything depended on the nets. I told him you are the best judge," the father added.
A manager in a Delhi government corporation, DS Nehra left for work Wednesday morning and did not even know till the match began whether Ashish was playing. Back home he got the good news. The Nehras were glued to their television as India rolled over England easily, thanks to Ashish's match-winning haul of six wickets.
By the time India won, it was around 2 am, IST, but the Nehras were wide awake, brimming with pride. Ashish had taken six wickets. Their neighbours descended on their household in a southern corner of Delhi in hordes.
"We did not sleep last night. Just could not. We were worried but he did us proud," Ashish's father said, as the telephone calls continued to pour.
Ecstasy to agony to ecstasy, all in the space of four days.
Also read: I just bowled a good line and length: Nehra