Its not Cricket ! II

Team India played very well till the day of the final. While we can go ad nauseam speaking about the ‘ifs and buts’ of the match, we will do well to take notice of what we have lost besides cricket . Perhaps, even in its failure the way cricket was played it continues to ask questions to the powers that be. We seem to have lost several things along with the match. We seem to have lost the sporting spirit blinded by the reigning masculine nationalism.

How could our hearts be so small that we could not applaud the century of Travis Head. How could the so called Visv Guru put such a distasteful picture by walking away in an undignified manner by simply handing the world cup to the deserving captain. No one seems to bother why great players like Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni were not invited . It is said that Ganguly’s and Dhoni’s forceful no to their political launching by the BJP in West Bengal and Chhattisgarh was responsible for them being side-lined. Kapil’s support to the farmers and women wrestler agitations is said to be responsible for his non-invitation. We do not seem to ask why Ahmedabad of all venues was chosen to be the site of first match and the final match. No one seems to ask why the pitch in the Narenda Modi stadium was so dry. We seem to be least concerned why tickets worth Rs. 2000 were sold highly inflated prices.

It has been reported by Ravish Kumar that foreign journalists had to give an undertaking that they will only report cricket and nothing else. This is perhaps why one Australian journalist stated that India took the world out of the world cup. Ravish Kumar further asks why it took PM Modi to reach the stadium named after him little more than three hours while he had landed in Ahmedabad much earlier. Ravish appears to suggest that PM Modi delayed his coming to the finals because Indian team was struggling. It appears that everything was getting ready to milk cricket for politics, especially in the ongoing election season. It has been said that the BCCI had planned victory motorcades in four important cities. This is why even in its loss , team India continues to speak truth to the powers that be.

Cricket, therefore, won though India lost. Cricket resisted its politicisation. Where even the crowd seemed to have forgotten that it takes two teams to play cricket, the heart-breaking loss of India, reminds us that we have crossed the lines as fans and spectators. Sports seems to have been set aside and economics, politics and masculinist nationalism seem to have been given undue space. Hence, with the loss of the final match, we seem to have lost much which will take much time to recover. The team that played the best on a day won . But along with the world cup , we seem to have lost the ‘world’. But cricket is a great leveller. Cricket seem to have levelled down those who were using cricket for non-cricketing purpose . Thus truth in the words of is a kind of error that cannot be refuted .

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao