It is always lurking in the background. It is constantly in the back of every Indian cricket fan’s head. And then once in a while when we witness a breathtaking game of cricket where fortunes turn in matters of minutes and someone pulls out victory from the jaws of defeat that thought comes back in full focus: “This cricket match is fixed!”
A human beings is molded by their past experiences and going by the past, every year since 2000, when Hansie Cronje admitted he had accepted money to throw matches, a new cricket fixing allegation has surfaced. This has meant cricket and its links to fixing have remained fresh in our memories. The ICC and BCCI have always responded in a tepid manner to these allegations in most cases completely disassociating themselves from “these few bad eggs”. Of course we’ll be suspicious. After all the joy in watching a sporting event lies in the drama that unfolds where both the actors and the audience do not know what will happen next.
But I am not here to argue about the rationale behind being suspicious instead I want to talk about the other side where we enjoy a game and are mesmerized by the sheer display of talent. Human ability that conquers all. No external actors. Just those athletes battling it out on the playing field to decide their own fortunes.
So every time there is a good game of cricket let us not use that F word….fixed. There is no greater curse word for an athlete. Having played junior competitive tennis myself, I know training to become an athlete is far from a walk in the park. You spend hours and hours working hard to perfect that one short so that years later, if you are lucky to play sports for a living, when the opportunity presents itself you can execute and take your team over the line. So when Corey Anderson dismembers a bowling line-up or when Tambe takes a hat-trick, appreciate the talent on display and don’t just question the integrity of the opposition.
Without integrity a sporting contest is nothing but then constantly being suspicious also kills that magic. One of my favorite childhood author’s Roald Dahl once said “Those who don't believe in magic will never find it”. I for one still believe in the magic of sport and the purity in its pursuit. I sincerely hope that there are others – players, coaches, administrators and fans who share my belief.
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Updated Date: Jun 02, 2014 17:45:36 IST