By Pratik Mantri:
Cricket is not just a sport in our country, it has been termed as a ‘religion’. Every other day, the performance of the Indian team is judged by millions of fans. Some of our cricketers are eulogized while others are constantly criticized. The sport itself has upgraded the living standards of many players who have been from humble backgrounds; it has given them everything. For fans, the sheer joy of seeing your own fellow countrymen succeed gives the feeling of togetherness. I have been tracking this game very closely for the last 10 years and I can vouch for this. But most of the fans only watch the game and do not observe the minutest details attached to it. They may be the biggest supporters of team but you need to understand the game very carefully to learn some of the things which are part of this game. Cricket can teach you many things which will help even in our routine life.
One of the aspects which I learned very early from this game is that it teaches you to share your success unlike tennis which kind of promotes individualism (though doubles can be an exception). This is very important for anyone who watches cricket to learn and inculcate in life. Sharing your success with everyone who has contributed even in a smallest possible way gives you a sense of satisfaction. This trait will help immensely in life for it gives you some moments to rejoice. It will also make a person more humble and level headed. Team sport; be it Cricket, Hockey or Football, teach you this. While other games like tennis or snooker give rise to a more individual centric environment which I personally don’t like.
Another remarkable thing which cricket teaches you is the leadership qualities. The cricketing world has seen some of the most spectacular leaders. The way they handle their resources could easily draw applause from management experts. The times of adversity are a true test of any captain/leader. The leadership styles and patterns are also very different. Sourav Ganguly was a dynamic leader; full of aggression and a will to fight back while Rahul Dravid was more of a ‘leadership by example’ type. This may sound more like a management article but fact of the matter is having good leadership skills always reap good results.
Also, cricket, in many ways, is as unpredictable as life. The constant need to innovate and improvise is an important ingredient for any business to succeed and similar is the case with cricket. How teams respond when they have their backs against the wall is a case study in itself. It can motivate any one to go all out after your dreams to achieve success. It has also shown us that success and failures are twoÂ impostorsÂ in life for they rarely show the true picture.
To tackle different opponents, teams often plan very meticulously; strategizing the strengths and weaknesses etc. This, in itself, is a very interesting exercise as it makes you observe the weaknesses and plan about the downfall of your opponent and then execute the plans. It involves a lot of mental work which would shape any individual provided he has a sharp observation.
But, one of the significant learning from this game is, that it creates a feeling of oneness and togetherness amongst all of us. If the team does well, then it instantly lifts your mood. It binds us together, be it at high end restaurants or at pan parlors. This emotional attachment with the game gives us the message that we are with our country come what may. Also, since it is the team game, the message which it spreads is that to achieve big we need to build teams and not individuals.