Dear Kane Williamson,
This is a letter to you from your Indian fan who also happens to be the sports journalist. England may have won the World Cup 2019, but you and your team has won millions of hearts all across the globe. Well played mate. You and your team demonstrated the gentleman game of cricket at it's best.
You could not hold the world cup trophy. Your country will still be in search of your maiden cricket world cup. But you have taught us what it takes to be a sporting nation- in the letter and the spirit. There were unforgettable moments in yesterday's match to which we would have reacted differently?
1) How our captain Kohli would have reacted to an overthrow, kissing the opposition players bat and resulting in perhaps the costliest six runs? As the spill over to this we the media men would have pressurised our domineering cricket board and our government to register our protest in strongest of terms and even bordering to the absurdities like boycotting the prize distribution ceremony or using our powers to get the rules changed?
2) What would have been the potrayal of the fielder in the boundary, if he would have been an Indian and crossed the line trying to take the catch?
3) Two crucial matches, two days and two run out s? Dhoni's run out by Martin Guptil trying to get two runs! Martin Guptil run out himself trying to take world cup winning double runs! How our media would have reacted had it been Dhoni and not Guptil in the final match.
Like us, you play your cricket hard. You don't have the battery of superstars like us or England in your playing eleven. You try to save every run on the cricket field till the results come. You don't have the domineering cricket body with influence like us in the world cricket. Right from my childhood, I don't have a single memory of your cricketer unruly behavior with the match officials or the opposition players. And yet, in every ICC tournament, your team leaves a mark. Where does the answer lie?
Perhaps, in the sports culture of the country. The nation with the population far lesser than the Indian national capital region of Noida and the area which is twelve times smaller than Indian-culture as sports is embedded in your roots.You are fanatical about Rugby in particular and to any other sports in general which provides competition. Football is also hugely popular- both men and women. Your concept of new community Futsal League is unique. The northern federation football league emphasis on bringing in ethnic community members and newcomers. Netball is the most popular women sports- from the grass root level to the white ferns. Newzealand has got more golf per capita than anywhere else in the world. Newzealand has good track record in the Olympics sports. Your country has produced many great long distance runners in athletic.
In nutshell, everything boils down to your terrific sports culture. If anyone is serious about sports in your country, it's so easy to get training. You have great work life balance and sports accessible at every doorstep. Ours is great nation too. India has got the deep and ancient great civilizational connect with which we have finally started finding our connect after decades. We can co relate with this as our history is replete with such characters of substance and sacrifices of the highest orders. Our sages, philosophers and saints thrived on this. We have got the finest demographic dividend in the entire globe. Learning lessons from your sports culture, if are able to marriage the both- we can be the world leaders in true sense.
A proud Indian
(The author is a Channel Advisor at Prasar Bharati)