Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cricket Scandals: Or why I continue believing in sports

Hall of Shame
Sid & I returned from Italy yesterday to all the hullaboloo over the Pakistani Cricket scandal. My first thought, as I glanced at the Daily Mail front page in the airplane, was "Thank God, it was Pakistan and not India." For considering that corruption is a way of life in both countries, it could have just as well been. We too, after all, had a cricket captain Mohammed Azharduddin banned for life from playing the sport for admitting to having fixed three ODI matches. Today, he is an honourable member of the parliament in India.

I stopped watching cricket after it emerged that the South African captain Hansie Cronje and a few others had thrown matches against India in 2000. I had been one of those idiots who had emotionally invested herself heavily in one of those thrown matches, breathlessly hanging on to every ball as it was played. So  when it emerged that the match had been coldly fixed in advance, my relationship with the sport was forever broken. After that, no matter how hard I tried, I could never feel any emotional involvement with the game.

And yet, just as my cynicism towards sports in general was cementing with this lastest scandal, a fellow blogger posted a video on his latest entry that reminded me how - when played right - sports is the closest thing to transendence we will ever feel. With its mix of sweat, blood, talent, dreams, courage and imperceptable chance, it touches something so unbearably human inside us. And the video is not even about a win, it is about a tragic loss: that of the athlete Derek Redmond's in the 1992 Olympics.



Derek Redmond - May your tribe increase.

7 comments:

prerna said...

very very moving video. I really enjoy your blog an dnot because you are my sista ;)
completely in sync with your reaction after the hansi cronje scandal...
hey did you get my fixed landline number?
P

globalbabble said...

Glad you enjoy the blog, and not just because you are my sista ;-)

Yup - have the number.

C

The Shaolin said...

Well, I stopped watching cricket a LONG LONG time ago.
After the various match fixing scams came out, my interest in following and cheering etc. for any team or player in any competitive sports fell to negative 100! And rightly so, you can't put your heart into something/someone who sells out for the greed of money. I have ever since never felt sad or euphoric at the loss or victory of any team. Consider this: Where there is MONEY and POWER, Corruption invariably creeps in! And where you have a concoction of money & power, POLITICS is bound to be there. PERIOD!
There is simply no exception, be it India, Pak, or even US-of-A!

This coupled with Win-at-all costs attitude, only complicates the matter.
I have therefore shielded myself from proclaiming anyone as a Champion and-or a Loser. I believe that is the reason I do not enjoy watching any sport on the idiot-box (aka TV). I watch it only for moves and understanding tactics. This leaves MORE time for me to train and play! :)

As long as there will be money & fame in the game, wining-at-all costs will prevail.
As some GREAT philosopher has once said:
When Winning and Losing DON'T have any meaning, that is when the real game happens, play happens.
Otherwise it is war. War has a significance for Winning or Losing.
- Sri Sri

Ever since I have tried to assimilate the essence of this, I have continually tried to improve my performance and have enjoyed my training sessions MORE than any leagues and competitions!
On a related note, you might like a nice documentary-movie, Bigger Faster Stronger (link).

The Shaolin said...

Well, I stopped watching cricket a LONG LONG time ago.
After the various match fixing scams came out, my interest in following and cheering etc. for any team or player in any competitive sports fell to negative 100! And rightly so, you can't put your heart into something/someone who sells out for the greed of money. I have ever since never felt sad or euphoric at the loss or victory of any team. Consider this: Where there is MONEY and POWER, Corruption invariably creeps in! And where you have a concoction of money & power, POLITICS is bound to be there. PERIOD!
There is simply no exception, be it India, Pak, or even US-of-A!

This coupled with Win-at-all costs attitude, only complicates the matter.
I have therefore shielded myself from proclaiming anyone as a Champion and-or a Loser. I believe that is the reason I do not enjoy watching any sport on the idiot-box (aka TV). I watch it only for moves and understanding tactics. This leaves MORE time for me to train and play! :)

As long as there will be money & fame in the game, wining-at-all costs will prevail.
As some GREAT philosopher has once said:
When Winning and Losing DON'T have any meaning, that is when the real game happens, play happens.
Otherwise it is war. War has a significance for Winning or Losing.
- Sri Sri

Ever since I have tried to assimilate the essence of this, I have continually tried to improve my performance and have enjoyed my training sessions MORE than any leagues and competitions!
On a related note, you might like a nice documentary-movie, Bigger Faster Stronger (link).

globalbabble said...

Hi Shaolin,

There is a thrill to winning that I won't deny. When played correctly, competitive sports can be a joy to watch - and I think sportsmen can find a balance between money, power, politics and sports, provided they have the right attitude.

Isn't Lance Armstrong a hero? His story and achievements are an inspiration to so many. And of course, he is very competitive. He obviously cares about winning. But that doesn't make him corrupt.

Unfortunately, then there are the Salman Butts of the world to reckon with as well!

C

anonandon said...

Have you seen the Veena Malik interviews? Hilarious.

globalbabble said...

You mean, Mohammed Asif's girlfriend?

I saw a few. Any specific one, you mean?