George Bernard Shaw said “Cricket is a game played by 22 fools and followed by 22,000 fools”. If we consider the case of India, this number is not limited to 22,000 but is in millions. India has given birth to the great cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri ,Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar and now the likes of Virat Kohli and Yuvraj singh. They are applauded, worshiped, loved by the people when they bring back home trophies. They are ridiculed, their families are attacked with stones and houses smeared black when they lose. I do not remember a day when the same bunch of people who ridicule our cricketers, pelting stones or burning the effigy of a terrorist who attacked Mumbai or delhi or parliament of India. May be for them the game of cricket is much more important than the lives lost in terrorist attack.
Recently concluded T20 world cup in which India lost the finals to Sri lanka , which they should have, Sri Lankans outsmarted Indians in every way and they deserve to be applauded. Flashes of yuvraj’s face was on every Indian news channel – blaming him for this loss. He did not play well, we all agree to that and we are disappointed. Yes he was one of the factors which cost India the game. But it was only one factor. It was Dhoni’s responsibility to send someone like raina an expert in T20’s instead of yuvraj who was seen struggling throughout the tournament. Abuses, tantrums, funny pictures started flowing in the all the social media channels. The hero of 2007 T20 world cup, the master of six 6’s in an over, and player of 2011 world cup was ripped off and was shown no mercy.
With every bad performance of the Indian team in a major tournament an emotional fan comes for free. He is tormented that his team didn’t win the match. He keeps himself in a place where he thinks he is playing for India and he could have done better. Playing in front of 40,000 cheering and emotionally packed crowd is never easy. The same emotional fan if kept in front of a 40 forty odd people spectators and asked to play he may piss in his pants. The problem is that we can’t help it. We want results no matter how they are achieved. We forget too early the success of this team and take the loss to our heart. We are not able to accept the fact that the opposition was is better than us.
Instances of people getting a heart attack because he could not take his team’s loss, fans deliberately trying to end their life has always left me awestruck. I even heard once a Pakistani fan threw his TV out of the balcony when his team lost to India. I do not understand what the actual deal here is. Was he playing on the field and they lost because of him, that he reacted in this manner? Just think of it, if the players get to know about this that someone lost his life because they had lost a match, how difficult would it be for them to pick their gear and go out in the stadium and perform.
Someday they will lose and someday they will bask in the glory of triumphant. Sportsman spirit is not only for those who are on the field, for those too who are praying and cheering for them.