Cricket is often called the ‘Gentleman’s Game’. And that is said for a reason. In fact, after its invention, the sport was played on the basis that no cheating, sledging, temper tantrums, bodyline bowling or excessive appealing would occur. In those days as there was no facility of a 3rd umpire, players would voluntarily announce if they had edged the ball, or dropped a catch.
Quite so, unlike other sports, one would not find the concept of penalizing a player (with yellow or red cards) during a cricket match. As a result, it came to be known as the Gentleman’s Sport with players following the set rules with pure honesty and sportsman spirit.
Today, even though the same ethic is rarely seen due to growing competition and rivalries, the sport has sporting spirit at its core. Here are some of the life-lessons that Cricket teaches everyone.
#1. Believe in Miracles
The date was 15th March 2001. The temperatures were rising in an otherwise cool ground of the famous Eden Gardens. Australia, who had already thrashed India by 10 wickets in the first test, was again on the course of recording another easy win in Kolkata. At the back of 16 wins in a row, they had raced to 445 runs in their first innings before winding up Indians for just 171 in the following. Unsurprisingly, follow on was announced by the then captain Steve Waugh.
Considering the form of the visiting team, it felt that India had already lost this test as well. After all, only two teams had EVER managed to win from a follow-on in the sport’s history. However, what followed instead is considered as the greatest fightback in Test history.
Two batsmen, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid changed the course of the match. They effortlessly stood their ground for 104 overs. Laxman, who was a regular tormentor of Australia for a long time, dealt Warne’s spin threat with finesse.
The pair went on to help India post a total of 589/4 with a 315 lead. India consequently won the test match by 171 runs in the most stunning fashion.
Life Lessons Learnt:
- Always believe in miracles.
- Give your best without thinking too much about the past or the future.
- There are no lost causes.
#2. Obstacles Make You Stronger, Not Weaker
There are countless examples in cricket of how players came out stronger after a life-threatening injury or a bad incidence.
The first name that crops up is that of Yuvraj Singh. For an athlete who is declared to have cancer right at the peak of his/her career, it is very easy (and obvious) gut down to weaknesses. But that was not the case with Yuvraj Singh. Just a year after helping India to its second-ever World Cup trophy, Singh was diagnosed with a cancer tumour in lungs.
Nonetheless, the Punjab-based cricketer fought against the disease in a similar way as he hit boundaries against bowlers. Within months of his recovery, he was up and running for India. He was consequently picked up in the 15-member squad for the 2012 T20 World Cup, where he started his innings with a score of 34 runs from 26 balls.
Another such inspiration is South Africa’s, Graeme Smith. In a match against Australia, the batsman broke his arm and returned to the pavilion retired hurt. Having lost their captain, the side lost 9 wickets with Australia already celebrating their victory. However, the Aussies were in for a rude shock when Smith returned to the ground. Nursing a fractured hand, Smith went on to survive 20 more balls. The brave batsman almost took his team to a hard-fought draw, only for a Mitchell Johnson to dismiss him with only 11 balls to go. Nonetheless, the resilience and never-say-die attitude earned him a standing ovation even from the Australian side.
Life Lessons Learnt:
- Obstacles and pains are not only inevitable but necessary. They make you stronger.
- The more you bear the pain, sweeter will be the joy of victory.
#3. Always Expect The Unexpected
This is such an important phrase, not only in cricket but in a circus called life as well. One may not know what may come up the next instant. The best example of this would be the 1983 World Cup final between India and West Indies.
India was facing the most dominant side in the world (West Indies had won the World Cup back to back from 1975 and 1979).
The firm favourites for the trophy for a record third time wrapped up India for just 183 runs, a virtually indefensible total considering Windies had 60 overs (a standard at that time) and boasted of some of the best batsmen of the time (Viv Richards, Clive Lloyd, and Richie Richardson among others).
Kapil Dev famously said just one thing to the team, “If this is not a winning total it’s definitely a fighting total.”
Eventually, the Indian bowling exploited the weather and pitch conditions to their full extent.
Madan Lal and Amarnath took three wickets apiece while the most memorable moment of the match coming when captain Kapil Dev sprinting 18 m to take successfully take a catch and dismiss Richards, who had scored 33 from 28 balls.
They achieved the unexpected by bowling out the best batting lineup of the era for just 140 in 52 overs in return, winning by 43 runs in the process.
Even today, the epic win is considered as the biggest upsets in cricket history.
It doesn’t matter what you face compared to other, what matters is how you fight against what you get.
Life Lessons Learnt:
- Never expect things to go according to plan. As they say, ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst.’
- Never underestimate your opponent, no matter how strong your side may be.
- Life is a card of game where everyone gets different sets of cards. How you get the sets is not in hands. The one thing that is in your hand is to play them in the best possible manner, and that is what matters in the end.
For more interesting updates on Indian Sports, stay tuned with KreedOn.