A Fixed Match Poem by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

A Fixed Match

Rating: 5.0

That hushed silence, that beating of the heart,
biting of the nails, and that racing of the blood
excitement in the stands, tension in the pavilion,
frenzied munching of popcorns in the galleries -

As the bowler thunders down that run up tarmac
eyes on fire, chest thumping, raw blood boiling
A single glare at the batsman, the batsman giving it back
with a whack down the pitch, ball flying past the infield
Fielders scattered all over, racing towards the boundary -
the palpitation, the frenzy, the nerve wracking suspense, oh!

Ah, ah, ah, they all know that it is a "fixed" match -
who's gonna win, who's gonna score how many runs
how many no balls, how many wide balls in each over
everything, everything is fixed - you don't believe?

Why it is as clear as the daylight, my sir!
The way that batsman edged it to the first slip
The way that bowler deliberately over-stepped
The way that fielder dropped that sitter -
my school going son would have grabbed that chance, sir!
And the way the umpire gave that "knowing" smile
The way they gossiped
The way they chuckled -
Ah, it w-a-s a fixed match.

And still they clapped, laughed and blew their bugles
And still they whistled, danced and beat their drums
they egged on the batsmen, pleaded with the bowlers
each leg glance relished, each stumping was cheered
and there was a collective sigh at each falling of wickets
and that funeral like silence when the home team lost.

This world is a stage, you are only an actor
When a match is played, the outcome is fixed
There will be only one winner, one - one only
How it matters if this team won or that team lost?

When a girl is wedded, her fate is fixed.
when a child is born, his stars are fixed
life is fixed, love is fixed, death is fixed -
And still there is joy and there is revelry
that bated breath, that secret excitement
when a girl is wedded, when a child is born

or a fixed match is played
to its rehearsed perfection.


(The poem was short-listed for the AIPC-2013 National Poetry Competition)

A Fixed Match
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Topic(s) of this poem: sports,cricket
The plethora of match fixing scandals in modern international cricket. Even World Cup matches, including final matches, appear to have been 'fixed' by bookies...
Patricia Grantham 21 October 2014

An excellent write on fixed matches. Everybody loses or everybody wins. It's how you play the game that really counts! Good and precise.

8 0 Reply
V P Mahur 14 April 2014

This world is a stage A well known expression from William Shakespeare. Nicely used. Thanks!

7 0 Reply
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Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
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