I have seen people crying over failed exams, lost love, betrayal, death, frustration, workload and sometimes even boredom. But never in my entire life have I seen someone cry during a game of cricket when a country loses (at least not in the screaming and kicking way crying). As I sat there at the edge of my sofa, while Mahendra Singh Dhoni faced yet another ball and hit it for a fabulous four, the camera just for a moment swept across the crowd and momentarily froze on to someone who seemed to be crying. Actually crying. Tears and everything. That wasn’t even a camera trick or a onetime thing. I saw that thrice. A Bangladeshi fan actually crying and screaming as Dhoni smashed a six to complete India’s victory lap.
It is one thing to be passionate and yet completely another to be a fanatic. No doubt, over the years cricket has constantly changed facets from being just a game of one country to being a geographically transcending sport, to being a profession and now absurdly, a religion. Still, at the end of the day it is a game. What happened to sportsman spirit? We don’t cry when we lose. We should not. Sure we won’t be happy, sure we will grieve over it a little, be a little frustrated too, but crying? Booing? Making insulting images with bloodshed and cut heads? What happened to being humble as a winner and graceful when you lose? A particular Bangladeshi fan had morphed an image of Taskin holding Dhoni’s bloodied severed head before the Asia cup final. We as Indians were outraged and angered to see that image. And after we won we did the same thing. That takes away from us, every right that we had to be indignant about the behavior of that fan, because we stooped to the very same level.
With match fixing and betting bringing in money and blood into it, it has lost a part of its soul and its spirit, which I personally feel sad about. It is a career for a lot of our fellowmen, a dream for a lot of our youth, a source of entertainment and bread for a lot of our countrymen, let us keep it clean. Let us not forget what the sport has to teach us- passion, dedication, strength, unity, team spirit and sportsmanship. Not jeering and mocking and certainly not sadism.