Sportsman spirit is the core of any sports

Editorial Nov, 22 2023
Sportsman spirit is the core of any sports
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The Cricket World Cup competitions are watched with great interest all over the world, while in the participating countries including Pakistan, this event causes great emotional excitement at the national level.  This time the hosting of the World Cup came to India, the Indian team won in ten consecutive matches due to which the chances of its success in the final were considered very bright.  Due to this development, there were preparations to celebrate the victory all over India and the Indian Prime Minister was present in the Narendra Modi Stadium named after him in Ahmedabad.  However, after 2011, once again the Indian dream of ruling the world of cricket could not be fulfilled and thanks to the excellent and quality game, this honor went to Australia, which has won the World Cup five times before.

Thanks to brilliant bowling and Travis Head's match-winning century, Australia inflicted a humiliating six-wicket defeat on hosts India on their home soil. Due to Australia's excellent bowling and fielding, the Indian team could only give their opponent a target of 241 runs to win, which they achieved easily.  Travis Head scored 137 off 120 balls with the help of four sixes and 15 fours and Lebouchen scored 58 not out off 110 balls. Australia also won the World Test Championship in the same year which is definitely the result of the ideal training system and the encouragement of talent.  The most popular sport of Pakistan is also cricket, but our players are generally not able to perform a standard game.  This situation can be changed only by making cricket free from the politics of interests and personalities and by introducing merit and transparency at all levels. On the other hand, the Indian spectators sabotaged the sense of sportsman spirit by not cheering up for the opposite Australian ream. Things would have been different if the final was staged at Lahore because Pak cricket fans cheer for all players including those of the opponent teams when they perform.

If the final match of the Cricket World Cup was being held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore instead of the Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad, India, and surely this match would have been between Pakistan and Australia, then one can say this with full confidence. Maybe Australian bowlers take Pakistani batsmen's wickets or Australian batsmen hit Pakistan bowlers for a four or six, even when Australia beats Pakistan, Pakistani cricket fans in the stadium cheer for Australia and praise and applaud the opposite team members. However, this match was not in Lahore, but in the Indian city of Ahmedabad, Narendra Modi Stadium, which India calls the world's largest cricket stadium. The stadium was packed with blue-shirted Indian cricket fans, rather, it should be said, the Indian cricket team's supporters, who, despite the Australian team's excellent performance in both the batting and bowling fields, were hardly applauding the Aussies. There are also comments on the social media that the Indian Prime Minister very brazenly held the World Cup trophy to the Australian team in the stadium built in his name as if he was doing them a great favor.  In 1996, when Australia lost the final of the World Cricket Cup to Sri Lanka in Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, not only Pakistani fans cheered for both teams equally, but the Prime Minister of Pakistan at that time Ms. Benazir. Bhutto gave the Sri Lankan team the winning trophy and honored them. This behavior of India was not only seen in the final match but many incidents happened during the entire World Cup which proved that India is not a good host for the World Cup.

First, the visas of cricket fans, especially Pakistani fans, who wanted to go to India to watch the World Cup were unnecessarily delayed, then Pakistani fans were prevented from chanting "Pakistan Zindabad" during the Pakistan match at the stadium.  In a video that went viral on social media, which was made by a British fan, Indian fans were using bad words and bad language regarding Pakistan and Bangladesh.  And the Indian fans continued to shout hateful slogans in the stadiums. This is the reason why the fans on social media are addressing the International Cricket Council (ICC) and saying that the Indian Cricket Board, which calls itself the richest cricket board in the world, has no systematic arrangement for the World Cup. There are also allegations of giving wrong advantage to the Indian cricket board. A British cricket journalist, has also pointed out the Indian board's rules and other issues in the World Cup in the British newspaper.  Hosting a cricket or any global event does not mean that you only have to show the event to the fans of your country but it also means that fans from all over the world come to watch the event and cheer on their respective teams.  So that these competitions can be held in a good sportsman spirit. The British Journalist compared the Cricket World Cup to the Rugby World Cup, where fans from every country had complete freedom to come, fans from no country faced visa delays, to a stadium against a country or team. Hateful slogans were not used. World competitions of any sport must be held in such an atmosphere.

The World Cup 2023 was an opportunity for India to demonstrate its soft power around the world. It could have used this opportunity to promote tourism. Instead, India has not only lost the World Cup but also failed miserably in its mission.  The biggest evidence of this is found in the final match of the World Cup. According to Indian media, one hundred and twenty-four thousand fans watched the match in the stadium, in which only a few hundred Australians were present, while the rest of the stadium was full of Indian fans.  Watching the world stars of cricket and appreciating their good performance is the main part of the game. Wins and losses are part of the game but sportsmanship is the core of any sport which teaches us that every good athlete should be appreciated, encouraged and through sports not hatred but peace, love and harmony should be spread. On the other hand, after the victory, the captain of the Australian cricket team gave the trophy to the local support team of Australia, which consisted of Indian nationals, and then took pictures of them with his mobile phone. From which the Australian captain gave a positive message that It is not only the success of Australia's playing XI but the success of every individual who contributed to the victory of the Australian team.  On one side was the sportsman spirit of the Australian captain and on the other side was the Indian attitude which has been criticized by the cricket fans the world over.

Published in The Daily National Courier, November, 23 2023

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Daily National Courier is a leading morning English newspaper of twelve pages covering all international and national political developments on 24/7 basis.

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