The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, May 21, 2000

No more a gentleman’s game

"A TALE of decline: gentleman’s game, gentleman’s party" by L. H.Naqvi (April 30) made interesting reading. No doubt the news of cricketers fixing matches for money has destroyed the notion that cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties.

It was an honour to play cricket for one’s country. One can see people of every stratum playing cricket, emulating their heroes, and dreaming of playing like them. They pray for the victory of their team. A cricketer who falls out of favour with his fans is one thing, a hero who falls from grace after being accused of match-fixing is another.

The other reason why officials and, to a certain extent, followers of the game prefer to bury their heads in the sand is that the notion of bookies buying off cricketers challenges the fundamentals of cricket as a team game. Part of the jingoism and frenzy associated with cricket has to do with the fact that it is perceived as a game where 11 men are ready to bust their guts on the field to help their country win.

The idea that one or a few of these men can be bought for large sums of money to under play is something that all of us find difficult to accept. At some level we all believe in the romance of the sport; in the notion of the game being one of glorious uncertainties.

Betting scams destroy that notion. It cuts out the element of suddeness and surprise at a dropped catch or a run out, does away with the perception that individuals are not above or more important than the team. The whole sordid, messy affair demolishes whatever noble associations we still have with what once used to be called a "gentleman’s game".

It is gratifying to learn that the CBI will handle the current investigation. I don’t think that the BCCI was capable of handling it. If it is proved that some players, past or present, were involved in match-fixing, then the government should take severe action against them. If found guilty, all their privileges, earnings and performance records should be taken away.




The writer unfolds the state of health of international cricket in the light of the post-Cronje developments. The image of cricketers has suffered a great setback in the light of Hansie Cronje’s confession. It has set off a chain reaction of charges and counter-charges — the latest being the allegations of Bindra against Kapil Dev. Manoj Prabhakar is performing the role of suspense movie hero, hiding more than he is revealing. Cricket lovers are at loss as to whom to believe. In the past cricketers were perfect role models for children and grown-ups alike. Their conduct on and off the field was usually impeccable. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.


On books

This refers to I.M. Soni’s article titled "Bowled over by books" (April 30). This article contained educative and valuable suggestions for every reader and inspired them to adopt constructive reading habits.

I would like to add that a person who acquires the habit of reading books, secures a source of pleasure and information and never feels lonely. Books are faithful friends, and give us knowledge and help us improve our personalities.



Books help in shaping our personalities. Books are a great source of valuable information and knowledge. They inspire us to achieve greater success in life. They help us become better human beings. One should choose a book according to one’s taste. A well chosen book of our interest will fill our mind with joy and become a part of our personality. Books can change our lives. They are useful in understanding and exploring new ideas.


Loving ourselves

This is with reference to Taru Bahl’s article "Learning to love ourselves" (April 25). Life is the most beautiful gift given to us by God and thus we should love ourselves. When a person loves himself, he automatically starts loving mankind and the things around him. He never gets discouraged by his drawbacks and always tries to improve himself. He possesses a positive attitude towards life. He enjoys his success but never lets it go to his head.

Some people underestimate themselves. These are people with a low self-esteem who lack confidence and think that they do not deserve any of the good things of life. They often run from the bitter realities of life, which they find very difficult to overcome. Sometimes they turn to drug addiction, alcoholism and may even commit suicide. Such people should be helped to overcome their fears and should be taught how to love themselves and to develop a positive attitude towards life.

If they are able to do that, they would not run from difficulties. This would help them to live and love their lives. This would also make this world a better place to live in.



It is true that self love helps a person to adopt a more positive outlook towards life. People who love themselves have a healthy self-esteem. A person who knows himself can live a life of dignity.