Play for the Country: The Noble Intentions of our Cricketers

My South Indian friend Swami had just returned from Australia, and joined us directly over the weekend coffee, straight from the airport. My broker friend and I were discussing what’s in store for the markets, specially after this mass downgrade done by S&P to European nations, when Swami barged in. After a long time, Jigneshbhai was not in a good mood, and was telling me how Friday the 13th was turning out to be a bad omen for him. “First that S&P downgraded European nations and I don’t know what the impact on markets will be, and Second, look at what our cricket team is doing in Australia” he mused.

“They are playing for the country” said Swami.

“But that does not seem to work out. They are not winning anything. They are finishing test matches much before the five days end”, said Jigneshbhai in a caustic mood.

“Winning does not have anything to do with playing for the country”, Swami said.  Looking at our stunned faces, Swami went ahead explaining that his respect for India’s cricket team had gone up a few notches after he met them in Australia.

“I met the team at Perth just after the match got over, and passed on condolences for the defeat. But some of the players got angry at it. In fact, one of the newcomers – you know newcomers tend to be a bit raw in their reactions, I don’t remember his name now – told me that the entire country does not understand that each and every member of the Indian cricket team always puts the country before anything else, even more than the game itself.”

Continuing, Swami explained, “Apparently one of the seniors had told him that as a team, they are aware of the problems our country is currently facing, so they had decided as a team that stretching tests beyond Sundays back home does not make sense. Already we need our youth to keep working hard to get our economy back in shape, to generate employment and maintain growth rates. And if we make them bunk work in the hope of our wins on weekdays, wouldn’t it be harmful for the nation’s long-term economic story?”

“Also, our country faces such a major problem in the area of infrastructure and power. We already have power shortages back home. With so many TVs constantly on looking at our team, wouldn’t it add to the problem? People get on to our already choked roads to watch us and celebrate when we win. The team thought our country’s best interests would be served if lesser people watched them, and fewer people got an opportunity to come on the roads to celebrate. At least they will go down in history as the team that really helped the nation, albeit a little bit, in solving its power and infrastructure problems.”

“So look at it, employment, growth, power, infrastructure – the Indian cricket team is playing its part, giving a helping hand, really playing for the country. But you know what really raised my respect for them?” Swami asked, really inspired this time.

Having got no answer from any of us, he continued. “The biggest issue our country is currently facing is the problem of corruption. And the Indian cricket team has decided to join hands in that fight too.”

Looking at the surprised look on our faces, Swami continued, “They told me that they have decided not to win a single test, till Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal bill is passed. If that is not playing for the country, tell me what is? Is winning more important than the country?”

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2 Responses to Play for the Country: The Noble Intentions of our Cricketers

  1. Rangnath Kulkarni says:

    playing for country was really good. I liked it.

  2. Ranjit Kulkarni says:

    thanks a lot for the feedback

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