burning of Surav Gangulay's picture and the vandalizing
of Mohammed Khaif's house were done by people who adore
these players and happen to be ardent lovers of cricket.
I cannot resist pointing out that both hatred and love -
hatred leading to anger and love leading to frustration
- have managed to induce very similar acts of destruction.
I am not going to philosophize on how much better it would
be if only we could constructively channelize our anger
too enjoy cricket very much and always try to find time
to watch it, particularly if India is doing well! Like most
Indians I too am very disheartened with our team's performance.
But after every such disappointing performance I have learnt
to look at the positive side - " now we can get more
work done in our offices!"
aside - let's remember one thing. Most of these players
are practically kids. The average age of the team must be
around 25 years. There is bound to be some unpredictability
and inconsistency. And this could very easily be aggravated
by lavish praise and uncontrolled adulation. Excessive limelight
and fabulous rewards at such an early age easily lead to
complacency, blunting the hunger for success and quest for
excellence. In earlier days our sportspersons were not given
much recognition and many great heroes lived in ignominy
and poverty. Now the pendulum has swung to the other extreme.
important to have perspective and not allow the players
to lose a sense of balance - about their own performance,
their position in India and on the world stage. Instead
of condemning them for a few failures, maybe we should introspect
and acknowledge that with excessive praise and extravagant
rewards for modest successes we did more damage than good.
And now with excessive criticism and mindless anger and
abuse, we are doing even greater harm by demoralizing them.
Only a thin line divides success and failure at the top
level. In world sport, there are scores of persons with
comparable talent. What distinguishes a champion from the
also-rans is grit and determination, and character. Ultimately
success is a matter of the mind. By violent and unwarranted
attacks on our cricket heroes we are severely undermining
their confidence and increasing the chances of failure.
long years of training does make sportspersons tough and
perseverant. In the face of severe criticism and in spite
of their own disappointment - they managed to pull themselves
together and secured the much needed victory over the Zimbabwe
team. They now have a chance of moving up to the Big Six.
Let us learn to relish their victories, and understand their
shortcomings. But no matter what, let us have some patience
and charity. Above all, let us exercise restraint in victory
and exhibit dignity in defeat.