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Hemender Sharma
Monday , February 21, 2011 at 18 : 37

Victory best when opponent goes down fighting


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Indian cricket captain M S Dhoni wants to win the world cup for Sachin Tendulkar. Some ex-international cricketers, including world cup winning Australian Captain Steve Waugh, have advised Dhoni and his team to win the cup for India. Individuals come and go, they say.

Not Sachin Tendulkar.

He came at the age of 16. To stay. And will continue to stay and occupy a significant portion of the Indian mind space till all those who have seen him play and demolish, fade into oblivion. Beyond that, Sachin would always be there when comparisons between the best are made.

M S Dhoni has done what is expected from a true leader. He is a fighter and by making known his inspiration for winning the cup, he has not just united the entire team but also excited the young man who hops around at 37 to score a double ton in 50 overs. Surely age has nothing to do with defining success.

The world cup campaign has just about started. One bad day in the field can bring down all expectations. I hope that bad day does not come in this Indian world cup campaign. However, if it does, I also hope and pray that people will restrain from writing the obituary of Indian cricket. Sadly this restraint was not exercised when India crashed out of the last world cup under Rahul Dravid's leadership. The fun is in fighting. Victory and defeat are both inconsequential, they are two sides of the same coin. Victory is at its sweetest best when the opponent goes down fighting.

Victory to the Indian cricket team will certainly lead to hysteria. But the focus will have to return to the real issues. The scams that have been unearthed now and for which cover up is currently underway were conceived and executed even before Rahul Dravid and his men crashed out of the last world cup. I hope people would suddenly not start discovering the amount of money that our cricketers earn both on and off the field, if any such mishap happens this time around.

Money earned and money robbed will always remain at two opposite extremes even if there is nothing called black or white when it comes to distinguishing the color of money. The present Indian leadership has become color blind. The wizard of economics, to whom the entire world listens, has lost connect with his own masses.

There never was a connect, some might argue, but the abyss from where Dr Manmohan Singh first took off as finance minister under Narsimha Rao's leadership can not be forgotten. I wish Manmohan Singh, like Sachin Tendulkar, had concentrated on economics, the game that he plays best.

A live interaction with leading editors once in three years will not help in establishing the connect with the masses. Performance is what ultimately matters. The grades will be given by the voters. Astronomical sums of public money getting robbed from under the nose of an economic wizard will certainly not earn good grades from the discerning voter, even if there is no option before him.

The actions of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against these robbers of public money should ideally do the talking. The firmness in voice will automatically come. May be it is a huge thing to ask, particularly so because Mr Singh owes his position as Prime Minister to someone else.

From the way Mr Singh is trying to defend, it appears there will only be cosmetic action. The veneer will soon wither. Till that happens, here is wishing Dhoni and his men all success in the world cup. I wish they lift the cup.

For Sachin Tendulakar and for all Indians.


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More about Hemender Sharma

A chance reporter, reporting for CNN-IBN from Bhopal. Has reported for the Sun Magazine, Delhi MidDay, Hindustan Times, Asian Age and Sahara Samay in the past.
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