Why is winning so important?

September 26, 2007 at 8:39 pm 7 comments

twenty20Our cricket team put on a good show, entertained the crowd – so what if we lost by 5 runs? Why is that the most important part of the game? Okay I would have been happy to see them win but remember one team always has to lose. It could so easily have been Team India instead of Team Pakistan that lost. Then there would have been over a billion broken hearts instead of 160 million. What is this madness on both sides of the border?

Everyone here is analysing the blasted game as if it were a scientific experiment. What could have been done differently? What if Misbah had played a more conservative shot, then the shoe would have been on the other foot. What if Imran Nazir hadn’t been run out? What if Shahid Afridi hadn’t been so careless with the first shot? Hafeez should have played his natural game.

Hey let us not assume to know what it’s like when the teams are out there taking part in a competitve sport. In a Twenty20 game especially, I think it has a lot to do with luck and how well you play under pressure. Let’s give them a break. They did well to get to the finals. They performed well against Australia and Sri Lanka. Let them enjoy the game and play it as a sport. As far as I am concerned, “cricket was the winner” in the finals because no one team dominated.

One can see what the pressure did to the players and especially to the young captain. It was bad enough that Shoaib Malik felt that he and the team had let the country down, but apologizing to all the Muslims across the globe for not winning the match was a bit much. So would that have included Irfan and Yusuf Pathan? That is an indication of how deeply the loss affected him.

Our team is full of talented youngsters and I think they would put on a much better performance if they were allowed to play the game and enjoy it. Yes they should be taught skill, technique, discipline and team spirit, and perhaps some communication skills would help as well … but then leave them alone to play the game of cricket!

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kinkminos  |  September 26, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    thankfully, a voice of reason. well put.

    i suspect one of the reasons the loss affected young shoaib (and the rest of the country) so much is that there is precious little we pakistanis have to pin our hopes on — and not just in the sports arena. in the immortal words of young people the world over we need to, collectively speaking, “get a life.”

  • 2. The Misbah Phenomenon « Techlahore’s Weblog  |  September 27, 2007 at 9:04 am

    […] pub note:] Also see Jehan Ara’s views on the T20 final. She raises an excellent point, but it just goes to show that if winning IS indeed […]

  • 3. Jehan  |  September 27, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I think you are both probably right about why the loss of the Twenty20 final seemed to spell doom and gloom throughout the country. I remember sitting and watching the Final and hoping with such intensity that we would win – not because winning should be the be-all and end-all of any sport, but because I knew that we needed something good to happen to cheer us all up as a nation. My point really was is it fair to put that burden on a young team that tried their best and entertained us through the series? Shouldn’t doing your best and enjoying it be the motto?

    As Kinkminos says, we should “get a life”, create more reasons for being happy as a nation than just a cricket match. I love cricket especially the ODIs and now the T20 format but I want to enjoy the matches without letting the result being the overall consideration.

  • 4. Vic  |  September 28, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    The reason so many of us were able to watch the match is partly the reason why the match itself is such an intense hype.

    When is the last time we dragged ourselves to a cricket stadium, or to any other sports meet for that matter?

    But in contrast, ask yourself: “when is the last time I saw gully cricket?”

    It is a great mistake to assume that televised stadium sports are ‘games’. They are not, they are simply business by other means. As in war, casualties and losses are common. Unlike war, the players have a decent chance to earn some big bucks, but the size of the prize (at an individual level) is commensurate with its rarity e.g. if we had 1,000 1st class cricket players, we would never dream of paying them crores for a month’s work.

    The most sports/business country in the world is the US, where they have THREE major national games (and of course each one has grandiloquent World Cups, even though the number of away teams can be counted on the fingers of one smashed up hand).

    The climb to the national level is long and hard, and many fall by the wayside, unheard and unsung, with a lifetime of regret, poor career prospects, and perhaps, no ‘life’ at all. The amount of money involved is humungous, and that places a stress on the sport that certainly lifts it very far from the concept of a fair game.

    When this reality in international sport was recognised by the former USSR and China, both responded by treating their young people as cannon fodder, overtraining them to the max, ruining their bodies and lives with peculiar drugs and harsh discipline.

    I recall reading many articles in Western magazines whose tone could best be described as a holier-than-thou Tut! tut! Poor Nadia Comaneci! Poor this one, poor that one. What a fate to be born in those awful countries!

    But in our own, we look for ways to find even more ‘trained’ sportspeople, who can ‘win’ and bring glory to the country.

    In the case of cricket, we seem unable to differentiate between country and team. These ‘boys’ don’t play for the country, they play for a private club, and are paid accordingly. If the move for ICL succeeds (and it is the second or third such move in recent decades) our ‘national’ players will be playing for some other club.

    Whatever, they won’t be playing a sport, they will merely be employees (contractual, of course) whose career choice happens to let them be featured extensively on television.

    If one is looking for games that build character and physical ability, they certainly won’t be found anywhere near these hysterical ‘events’.

  • 5. Vic  |  September 28, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    And on a more humorous note (some enthusiastic emails floating around):

    The former President of India was a true visionary. He correctly predicted that India would be a superpower in 2020.

    In the post-match presentation, Ravi Shastri says to Dhoni, “Congratulations to you and the whole Indian team for winning this world cup. You guys have produced a great nail biting show… and deserve the cup. We welcome you to share the joy with us.”

    Dhoni answers, “Thanks Ravi, the match was a pretty close encounter between two great teams, and our guys held their nerve to win the game and cup.”

    Shastri asks, “Who was the main contributor to this thrilling victory?”

    Dhoni responds, “All of us played well, but I would say the main reason and person behind this great victory is Ajit Agarkar.”

    Shocked Shastri splutters, “Agarkar? How come Agarkar? he didn’t even play in the final.”

    Dhoni grins, “Yeah… That’s the reason we won this low scoring match.. if he had bowled in the final,
    Pakistan would have scored the winning runs from his 4 overs….”

    Shastri gasps, “OK… fine, then who do you want to thank for winning this final?”

    Dhoni says, “The team doctor deserves the credit… he helped us really prepare for the final…”

    Shastri scowls, “Is it? How did the doctor help the team prepare for the final? He is neither the coach nor the physical trainer…Dhoni. .. I am getting confused!”

    Dhoni explains, “Ravi… nothing to be confused about. He failed Sehwag in the fitness test, following our game plan, and we managed to pick a good playing team. Thus we weigh the doctor’s contribution as very high. In fact it is better than our team effort in the field. You see our game tactic worked well.”

    Shastri tries again, “To whom will you dedicate this World Cup?”

    Dhoni quickly declares, “The entire team including myself wants to dedicate this cup to Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly…”

    Shastri interrupts, “I really really appreciate you attitude: it’s good that you have so much respect for the seniors….especially when you ….”

    Dhoni breaks in: “Ravi, let me finish. India would have exited in the Group matches if Sachin, Dravid and Ganguly decided to play in the series… thank god they opted out and we managed to play cricket and won the cup..”

    Shastri gives it one last try, “The match was a thrilling encounter and concluded successfully for India due to a single mistake of Misbah.. Is that right?”

    Dhoni, “Yes you are absolutely right, Ravi. After lofting the ball, Misbah told me that he sent the ball to an empty section of the field….but he didn’t know that there is a Malayali in every corner of the world. This single mistake cost them the game and we won the cup.”

    Shastri faints and Dhoni receives the Cup, and thats the end of the great Twenty-20 world cup.

  • 6. The Misbah Phenomenon  |  December 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    […] pub note:] Also see Jehan Ara’s views on the T20 final. She raises an excellent point, but it just goes to show that if winning IS indeed […]

  • 7. Flen Black  |  January 7, 2013 at 12:16 am

    It is something that you enjoy doing. Being speical on a winning team


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