Cricket is our religion; Sachin is our God
Ever since the summer of 1996 , my addiction to cricket and the world cup has remained; a lot less fanatic, but subtlety consistent zeal still drives me to unconsciously mutter a prayer or two for the players out at the field who are trying to keep up the expectations of a billion fans like me and make this game of cricket an engaging sport.
It comes as no surprise to me that a new comic is being published n India, which features Sachin Tendulkar as a super-hero, only next to superman and the like. I often wonder for those few hours we watch them on the screens smashing balls, grabbing wickets, diving for catches how is it that they feel being demi-gods to the public? I am reminded of the dialogue from the movie spider-man “With great power comes great responsibility”. It suits the responsibility we usher upon those eleven players, to win a match, that has now become more detrimental than life itself!
This fact has only been furthered by the incidents of last week, when hell had broken loose after India was defeated by Bangladesh and the Pakis didn’t make it to the super-8. I had sat saddling with disappointment at the edge of the couch watching one wicket after another fall, mouthing many grumps. End of the day only two questions remained in my mind – 1. Which player’s house will be vandalized in India? 2. Which player will be vandalized in Pakistan?
Has the Gentleman’s game gone out of hands, is a topic still in debate and will continue to be for decades to come. We often hear about the extremes of fad that drives fans to kill themselves after a defeat. Fans destroy homes of the cricketers. Fans burn effigies of their heroes. End of the immediate uproar and anxiety a defeat brings to the nation, rage dies out and the zealousness continues. Can anyone forget the unsettling era of Ganguly’s captaincy?? Amidst this clamor, the country and its media forgets those eleven players who are mere mortals like any of us with emotions and problems and not consistent machines that are being threatened and pushed to perform like gods.
It is often sad to see the extent to which a public reaction torments these players, which is evident from the recent developments of a series of resignations in the Pakistan team and board, not to forget Woolmer’s unfortunate demise. Nevertheless to say as an ardent fan of cricket itself, one will miss the Pakistan team with entertaining fast bowlers like shoiab and hitters like Afridi. May be I can never understand the extremist view of the cricketing world and the players who are the scapegoats of the unforgiving cricket-buffs.
At such moments I reluctantly recall G B Shaw for his definition of cricket as a fool’s game and soon decidedly ignore it when I look forward to the next match with absolute gung-ho. And this time it is the deciding match of tomorrow. Ho Hail The Indian Cricket Team!