Recently read an interview of Mike Atherton, ex-captain of the English cricket team, where he said this : “It is time for Indian cricket supporters to grow up and accept defeat as an essential part of the game. Sport is not about winning; it is about losing. Trust me, we in English cricket know more about that than anyone. Indian supporters, the most immature in cricket, cannot seem to grasp this simple fact”
Case of sour grapes? I think so.
For one, when did sport become all about losing? It is as much about winning as it is about losing. Everyone, including the Indian cricket fans, acknowledges that for one team to win, the other has to lose. But no one wants to end up on the losing side. And what’s wrong with that?
At least Mike Atherton got one thing right – that the English cricket team would know more about losing than anyone else. Ha! When was the last time we saw them win a major cricket tournament? I haven’t seen it happen for as long as I can remember.
What Mike Atherton calls “immaturity” of the Indian cricket fans is in fact their unbridled passion for the game. We worship our cricketers to demi-God status when they bring laurels to our country. Surely they have to be prepared for the brick-bats to be unfurled with equal passion when they fail to perform? It's a zero-sum game, Mikey.
One of the biggest reasons why little boys from the sub-continent aspire to become cricketers when they grow up is the money that comes with it through sponsorships & endorsements. Play for the national side for a couple of years and you’re set for life!
Had the average Indian cricket fan been less passionate, or “mature” as Mike Atherton would have it, there would be no glory for cricketers. No money showers. No rags-to-riches stories either. Stadiums would be half-full during matches, cash registers would go cold, people would not be hooked to their television sets on match days, no mind-boggling advertising revenues, no sponsorships for the team, no mega endorsements for the cricketers….the list goes on.
So what would the Indian cricketers, most of whom come from middle-lower middle class backgrounds, rather have - glory & brick-bats that come with shit loads of $$$$$, or indifference & apathy?
It’s a choice they make and only they reap the fruits / pay the price for it. Fair enough?