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Friday, April 12, 2024
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The international matches are keenly contested. It is good to see evenly balanced teams contesting hard to play for a win, but what disturbs me is the over reaction to the outcome of the matches. The India Australia series, better known as the Border Gavaskar Trophy, have brought to light some issues that need to be addressed urgently. We are forgetting all thoughts of playing for the glory of sport and the thoughts like “It is not the win or loss that is important, but the participation that is more important.” Is the present thought of winning doing any good for the sport or sportsmanship? It needs to be thought over seriously to protect the game.

When India lost to Australia last year, there were all sorts of reactions to the Indian team such as the Tigers at home and leopards abroad. The press crosses its limits in over reporting and over reacting. This builds an opinion that creates a hype that is difficult to handle. We forget that sportsmen like us, are human beings who may not perform at same levels all the time and in every match. A sportsman who is good one day is suddenly painted as the worst the very next day? It seems that the game is not played by human bodies, but by the machines who have to roll out same product every time.

Now, the Aussies have lost four test matches in a row. When Australians lost the second one, the Australia’s press did not hesitate to say that their team is dead. This is the worst remark that any press in the world can make. Why did you forget that Australians have performed very well consistently in the past? They have ruled over the world cricket along with the past West Indies side when Viv Richards, Clive Llyod, Gordon Greenidge, Holding, Marshal and Garner were there on their side. What is the Australian press expecting from their boys and why is the Australian public not supporting their players by accepting that it is a part and parcel of the game? If Indian press was wrong in the earlier series, then the Australian press too is wrong now. Both are reducing their heroes to zeroes.

The professionalism has added to the woes of the players and support staff. Everyone accepts nothing less than a win. This affects the morale and bonding of the teams. The players also overreact at times. They worry too much about their egos. This leads to incidents like Shane Watson and his teammates leaving their teammates to fight it alone with their opponents. This too can be termed as childish behaviour where some words affect you so much personally that you leave the team and go back to Australia.

I appreciate the Indian skipper Dhoni’s post match statement where he refused to term his team’s win as a revenge. He was right that in sports there is no room for revenge. Here, the ex- cricketers, press commentators, TV and Radio commentators and the press reporters have a big role to play. They can make the game keenly contested yet more sporting. It is not wise to make unnecessary and avoidable comments on a player and team’s performance. The public should realize that the players too cannot perform at the same levels at all times. Give them your support and help them live up to your expectations. Never publicize the games as Ashes (series between England and Australia) and as a war to settle scores between Indian and Pakistan teams just to cater to commercial interests. This way you do more harm than the money you collect. The money you can count, but remember you cannot assess the amount of harm you do. Let the sport be played in the right spirit.

I just wish and pray that we keep enjoying the good games. We love to go out to see keenly contested matches where the winners and losers share a drink after the match.

Source by Bakshinder Singh


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