Sunday, April 29, 2018

Sunday Cricket Lessons - Humility is the First Lesson!

While chatting with Baig sir this morning I was watching a side play going on. There is one youngster who about 25 year old who has played state cricket at a junior level - barely. He comes once in a while to seek some corrections. I have seen his growth over the years - from a confused lad to one who has played state cricket. However the success has not made a nicer person of him and I could see that the old earnestness, politeness has disappeared. These days he does not even bother to greet and acknowledge people - he just goes on with his job like a star. Naturally everyone leaves him alone.

But then, the side play happened. While we were busy discussing something, I saw that this boy was bullying the young batsman who was batting. 'Give me the ball,' he shouted at him when in fact there is no compulsion for any batsman to give the ball back to the bowler. In fact we are taught that the bowlers make all effort not to disturb batsmen and get out balls back from the net quietly. Sometimes the batsmen give the balls back to us if its within their reach. To this day I tell the batsmen to wait and go and pick up the ball from the net myself. So it was rather surprising to see this bully telling the young kid over the next few deliveries how he should throw the ball, once waiting in his place and telling the boy to give the ball when he was actually closer to the ball, once telling him not to act smart and on and on. I thought I would step in but then I also wanted the young kid to learn to stand up for himself and  he did a good job of it too. I also made my displeasure evident to the senior player - dressing him down in front of the others would also make no sense - so perhaps a word later.

The first thing that struck me was this. That humility  is the first thing for anyone to learn. Especially when you become successful and people look at you. It is then that you must behave the way people also want to behave - be a role model. This kid, with his modest achievement, already had so much arrogance and hubris that he could think he could do something like this. While coming back Ramaraju told me about his view of the incident - 'it was sickening to watch' he said.

It does make a lesser person of you if you help your team mate by picking up the ball, by bowling when others are tired, by letting everyone have a good net, by helping youngsters with a tip or two. If one has to learn one thing from the game - it better be humility. Because for me if you are not a good human, you can never be a good cricketer.

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