Sunday, March 18, 2007

A sad day for Cricket

It's just a game; Cricket is just a bloody game. Pakistan lost to Ireland and are out of the world cup, India lost to Bangladesh and they face an uphill task to stay in the tournament. Cricket fans (if you could call them that) in India and Pakistan have lost their minds like they usually do when their country fares poorly in a major Cricket game. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's half constructed house has been attacked and the senior Cricketers' families in India now have Police protection. Yesterday quite a few people in Pakistan were so enraged that they wanted Inzamam and Bob Woolmer arrested. This is no new scenario and the same thing happened in 2003 when India capsized against Australia in the preliminary stages of the World Cup. Today Bob Woolmer passed away and I am pretty certain that he could not handle the pressure anymore and just collapsed. It is a sad day for all true Cricket lovers. Woolmer was a wonderful coach, a coach who never gave up on the Pakistan Cricket Team despite the huge setbacks he encountered in terms of support from the Cricket administrators and even certain players of the team. It is often said that in the Indian subcontinent, the national Cricket team's Captain holds the second toughest job in the country (after the nation's Head of State). It may seem like an exaggeration but the pressure put on players and coaches to perform is just insane.

Burning effigies of players or stoning their houses just shows how poor sports we can be. Why is it that we turn from loyal fans to raging lunatics when we lose a game? Bangladesh and Ireland played better Cricket than they have ever played and were just clearly the better teams on the day. Restricting world Cricket's best batting line-up (on paper at least) to 191 is no mean task and Bangladesh bowled superbly. Ireland were an inspired outfit who clearly showed what fighting spirit is all about. Why can we not, as Cricket fans, understand that and give the opponent the credit they deserve and move on with our lives? Do we need to invest all of our energy and time in foolish acts that destroy our nation's reputation? When are we going to realize that Cricket is just a sport and that bad days happen for everyone? The people who went out on the streets and caused chaos after 11 of the nation's billion failed to beat a 'weaker' team have shamed the sport and their country. We have lost one of Cricket's greatest coaches and one of the best ambassadors for the sport because we care too much about the outcome of a Cricket game. It's just a game, and we failed to realize that.

May you rest in peace Bob, the Cricketing world miss you.