Sarfaraz Khan to Rajat Patidar, a slow googly towards the off-stump. Patidar played a cut shot, took a single, and sealed the game against the giants of Ranji, Mumbai. The MP camp came running towards the pitch. There were loud cheers, celebrations, players jumping on each other, and all of that.
But, there was a man walking towards the pitch, his eyes moist, hands folded, head high. His entire body language wore a look that spoke of emotions way louder than all the celebrations around him. After all, what had happened wasn't just a season in the making. For Chandrakant Pandit, it was something he would have thought of every day for the last 23 years.
It was 1998 - Chinnaswamy Stadium, Madhya Pradesh Vs Karnataka, the final of the Ranji Trophy. Chandrakant Pandit, who is now the coach of MP, was the captain of the team back then. The dream that got shattered in 1998 came full circle to meet its destiny 23 years later in 2022.
MP defeated Mumbai by six wickets to win the final of the Ranji Trophy.
Pundit, who was slowly walking out to his players, got a little fast, joined the team huddle, stood in between and cheered like there was no tomorrow. Joy, tears, excitement - Chandrakant's face had everything.
The MP players gathered together, deservedly pulled Chandrakant up on their shoulders, and walked around the ground.
'I had left something 23 years back, and God willingly brought me back to the same state', said an emotional Pandit after the match. 'It is a great memory that I had left 23 years back, and it is a blessing that I come back here, and winning this trophy was fabulous. It is emotional because I missed out as captain on the same ground.'
Fair to say. they don't write better scripts up there.