Sunday, March 18, 2007
Cricketers cracking under pressure
In 2004, we got to know a term called 'tsunami'. Yesterday, a lot of us kept hearing the term 'minnows'.
The defeat of Pakistan and India in the Caribbean World Cup yesterday by Ireland and Bangladesh was nothing short of a complete shock. Worse, Pakistan is out of the competition just four days after the 40-day tournament began. The Pak team has been in a mess for some time. But never one imagined they would plummet to this extent, beaten by Ireland.
Skipper Rahul Dravid kept saying after the match, "We should have batted better." Wasn't that obvious? He should have told us why the team couldn't bat better.
There are no cricketing reasons for India's defeat. There's too much hype around, not cricket, but cricketers, leading to extreme psychological pressure on the team members. It may be worthwhile recalling what Rahul said before leaving India: "The World Cup is a big event. I do not think that you base your career and everything on the fact of winning a World Cup..."
Those words spoke a lot. A good amount of reason for India's performance is hidden in that statement. It indicated the amount of pressure the team is under. The Irish or Canadian or Bangladesh team captain wouldn't have said like that. The team needs a break; a real good break.
Yes, cricket is a passion in India; it's one unifying factor in a highly divisive country like ours; a huge economy is riding on cricketers' adverts and match telecasts.... but the bottomline is cricket is just a game... subjected to all uncertainties like any other game.
Things have really crossed all limits if people are worshipping cricketers and sinking thousands of rupees for rituals in temples for the team's victory. What has been happening today in various parts of the country -- the violence and threats of violence against cricketers -- is only making matters worse.
(Photo of Rahul Dravid from Indiatimes)