Monday, July 10, 2006


The great ‘game’ of cricket has us all enthralled in its captivity. To the extent that one time fans and long time connoisseurs of the game, have turned into fanatics of the sport. This is hard to deny especially after some Zealots gave vent to their feelings at the Indian cricket team’s poor performance, at the world cup by breaking the windows of cricketer’s houses and indulging in such barbaric atrocities. Things reached such a stage where the team was publicly castigated in the parliament by our honorable ministers.

That was definitely the height of ludicrousness. The cricketers were even threatened with dire consequences if they lost the World cup match to Pakistan. It is perhaps a sad reflection of our times that a Majority of the public couldn’t care less if India lost the world cup final to Australia as long as they thrashed Pakistan. The fanatics act as if the team Commit sacrilege by losing to Pakistan. For a true blue fan of the game like me it is certainly a deplorable situation that the game nowadays finds itself in, Especially in India.

Moreover the Indian team is praised sky high if it wins by every Tom, Dick and Harry but castigated too by all and sundry if it loses a match. Things need to be put into perspective here. Nobody is perfect in this world, the man who came closest; the great Don Bradman was dismissed in his last test innings for a duck. No team can win every match. Even the Australians lose from time to time. The spectators need to be broad minded for the good of the game at large. There exists a wafer thin line between fans and fanatics nowadays and it is too easily crossed by those who watch the game.

Even experienced, retired professional cricketers commenting on the game get carried away and become highly critical of their team when it loses. They blast the team in public and this sometimes leads to a lot of unnecessary bad blood between the players and the retired stars which must be avoided for the robust health of the game at large. The players are of the opinion that they appreciate criticism but sometimes when it is exaggerated and unjustified, they feel let down and hurt. Frankly tell me, does a team need the backing of its supporters when it is doing well and on top or when it is at its lowest ebb? It should be the latter, but unfortunately the contrary happens.

The team is derided by the so called loyal supporters when it loses. It doesn’t matter if the team fights bravely and loses a match by 3 runs or if it fails to put up any semblance of a fight and gets thrashed by 100 runs. In the case of the former,(the fans if they can be called so) claim the team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, while in case of the latter they claim the team is soulless and is not interested in playing for the country and are more concerned about their bank balance and their commercial ventures. Nothing could be more grossly unfair to the players.

When the same team wins and performs magnificently, they are hailed as world beaters though the players never think along such lines. A pragmatic approach is required at this point of time. Sachin Tendulkar never declared he will score a century each time he walks out to bat. He can only try to achieve it .It is only we who expect it of him. Hats off to Tendulkar for having delivered consistently all these years despite the enormous burden he has to shoulder every time he plays for the nation. Still we are insatiated.Our expectations increase manifold each passing day. The fans bay for his blood even if he fails in a couple of innings ignoring what he has achieved in 15 years of international cricket. I can only pity the man and his profession. To err is human, but to forgive is divine.

But the paying public is not prepared to yield even an inch let alone forgive the team for losing which is a sad reflection of our times. We all fail to appreciate the fact that the 'gentleman's game' implies that not only the players but also the spectators and those connected with the game too should behave like gentlemen. We have allowed the great game to reduce us to fanatics which doesn’t augur well for the future of the game. It is an irony that if the same fervour, unity, commitment and loyalty exhibited towards cricket in India were shown in all other walks of life, we would have become a world superpower a long time back.

** This article was purely and entirely written by my brother and I take no credit for it……it was written a year back…

blogger templates | Make Money Online