Friday, July 26, 2013

Kambli The Mystery Bat

With apologies to Kambli, T.S. Eliot, Macavity and other feline

Kambli is the mystery bat,
    he's the new southpaw
for he is the master batsman,
    who can defy the law.

he's the bafflement of England,
    the Sri Lankan's despair.
but when they need the runs abroad,
    Kambli's not there!

Kambli, Kambli, there's no one like Kambli
    he's broken every batting law,
    his backlift defies gravity.
His craving for tons,
    would make Gavaskar stare
but when pace rips us apart,
    Kambli's not there!

You may seek him for style,
    you may search him for flair,
But I tell you once and once again,
    Kambli's not there!  

Kambli is not a ginger bat,
    not too tall or thin,
you'd know him, if you saw him,
    goldchains, he's draped in.

his eyes are deeply browed in thought,
    (probably they are loaned)
his bat is covered with dust from neglect,
    his hair is uncombed.
he sways his head from side to side,
    movements like a snake,
and when the trundlers think he's fast asleep,
    Kambli is wide awake!
Kambli, Kambli there is no one quite like Kambli,
    he is a fiend, a monster of mediocrity,
you may meet him in record books,
    you may see him in the square, 
but when a crisis is discovered
    Kambli's not there!

When the runs are needed quick,
    or the bowlers get on top, 
when India needs to save a test,
    or when a win hangs by the hair,  
that's the wonder of the whole thing -
    Kambli's not there!
Kambli Kambli there is no like Kambli,
    he's a genius, a monster of tenacity.
You may meet him in the record books,
    you may see him in the square
but when a crisis is discovered,
    Kambli's never there!
Also published on Cricinfo

Vishal Misra, 1995

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