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The tragedy of Test cricket – Part 2

Learn from cricket with Detachment

A sport teaches us exciting life lessons, but if you are attached to a particular cricket team or some players because they represent or bring glory to your country, an emotional roller coaster is guaranteed. If you see the match objectively, you could not only appreciate the English team but also learn how despite trailing in the first innings, and with older players, they fought back bravely.  This kind of vision infuses positive energy and keeps us emotionally vibrant and alert to learn and grow in life. But a terrible misconception of nationalistic pride and jingoistic propaganda takes us away from being positive in life. Would our nation’s pride grow if India wins in a sport that is played seriously by less than ten countries; or is it more honorable to strive to eliminate the country’s poverty and improve our education system? If we can’t guarantee safety to our women and children or encourage physical and emotional well-being of our citizens how could a win in a cricket series bring us fulfillment?

The long winding matches

The famous Irish Playwright of the nineteenth century, George Bernard Shaw, observed with his characteristic wit that cricket was invented by English to give them a sense of eternity, a feeling that goodness lasts forever, and they as a Nation are divine, playing and frolicking on the green grass doing nothing for over five days. Mercifully at least the game’s over now in five days; there was a time when a test match had no timeline- you played till it ended- and one game lasted eleven days and believe it or not, it was a draw because the England team had to rush back and their ship was leaving that evening! No wonder Shaw sarcastically remarked, “Cricket is a game played by twenty-two fools and seen by twenty-two thousand fools!”

There’s more to life than a game of cricket, yet just as everything in life can teach us lessons, even a humbling defeat in this game can help our souls evolve to great spiritual heights. But the vital question to ask: can we learn to practice detachment and thereby learn happy lessons? To the extent we are attached to the teams or even the sport of cricket, we’ll get emotional and fail to grow from their victory and defeat.

To be continued…

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