Yes, any game becomes meaningless without a win or a loss. However, the cost at which the result is obtained is imperative for any sport. Nevertheless, cricket too is about chasing the victory, but the ways and means to attain the goal is paramount as the sports itself is apparently with loopholes that can hook players any time. Cases of questioning Umpires' decision, Bowlers intentionally delivering bounces, the notorious 'Mankads' and the grave incidences of match fixing are emerging as alarming propositions for the sport. Following such rows, the conscious cricket community has been raising red flags. But, such farces have become a routine ordeal in the game.
Direct involvement of players in match fixing that maneuvers them through a previously fixed performance at the play are rare in other forms for sports. In the last couple of decades, match fixing came out as a scare in face of cricket. After strict vigilance and disciplinary actions against cricketers involved in such shams, lately, cases of match fixing are not upfront. The episode seems to have ended with some players banned for life, while some others returning amidst huge fuss. The community has still embraced such tainted players amidst them offering a second chance to their careers. It is now up to such players to keep up with the esteem of this Gentlemen's Game.
The conduct of cricketers on field is the backbone of cricket. Herein comes the priority of following the stature of respected players over taking mean and deceitful approaches to win a match. Cricket is about coordination not only between players of the same team, but also among players of the opposition. While facing a pace delivery the batsmen will have to be confident enough that he or she is not facing a lifelong enemy, whose intension is more than just hitting the stumps. There are instances in cricket history when batsmen had to face pacers who deliberately aimed to hit their body. Even players like Sachin Tendulkar was victim of such contretemps right before the global fraternity. While, there was none to raise a voice, simply because there are no rules to restrict such immoral conducts.
Modern players, especially the younger generation should take inspirations from great cricketers of the time. The question they should seek the answer to is what actually makes cricketers great. When players like Victor Trumper, Sachin Tendulkar and lately, Brandon McCullum were bid adios from ODI or cricket, the whole community felt the gap that followed their retirements. They become exemplary in the sport because these players were successful to keep alive the "Spirit of Cricket." Their scores and records are held secondary to their grandiose conduct in cricket. Young cricketers, to follow their footprints, should understand that cricket is much about the play as it is about winning a match.
Cricket is convoluted with the idea of its "Spirit" as it is with its rules. The game is ingrained with such multifarious aspects that it is quite difficult to bring each of them under the ambit of rules and regulations. Thus, cricketers play matches with this spirit of honesty and forthright values. It is these facets that make cricket a beautiful game. Young cricketers should understand the essence of this sport and pledge to keep it clean. The recent instances of mankad in Under 19 World Cup was unfortunate. This brings into light the need to coach junior cricketers on the role of values involved in the game. They will be the ones to hold the cricket baton in coming times and expecting a beautiful game is the right of every cricket fan.
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