Get some sporting spirit

Get some sporting spirit

Subbu watched the final of the cricket World Cup and was disappointed.

Subbu watched the final of the cricket World Cup and was disappointed.

'New Zealand has no sporting spirit,' he declared.

'What?' I said. 'I thought they displayed excellent sporting spirit. The way they behaved after losing the World Cup final was exemplary.'

'Haha,' he said. 'Maybe for weaklings like you. That's not called sporting sprit anymore. It may be sporting. But where is the spirit?'

'What are you saying?' I asked.

'I am saying that for sporting spirit you don't get anyone better than India,' he said. 'Now just imagine if India had been in the final against England instead of New Zealand. Boy you would have seen some spirit then.'

'What exactly do you mean?' I asked.

'To start with, the moment the ball touched Ben Stokes bat and went to the boundary as overthrows there would have been a half an hour stoppage in play. Our entire team would have surrounded the umpires and crowded them so the umpires cannot lift their hands or even their fingers to signal anything. Our captain would have been in their face, our vice-captain at some other part of their anatomy, and their respective relatives in the audience would have been giving suitable reactions.'

'Our boys show some spirit on the field I agree,' I said.

'Off the field too,' he said. 'Our coaches would be jumping out of their seats and rushing towards the ground, the manager would be on a hotline to whoever matters, commentators would bring up circumstances when India has been cheated in the past. As a nation we hate injustice. If it's just not just, we just change the rule.'

'Isn't that taking things too far?' I asked.

'We're just getting warmed up here…it's nothing compared to what our spirited fans at the ground would have done,' he said. 'The officials would have understood the hard way not to play with the fragile emotions of our fans. This is a statutory warning in India - if you mess with our emotions or our culture or cultural emotions or emotional cultures, we are not responsible for the consequences. Don't say we didn't warn you.'

'That's a bit too much,' I said.

'Then come the spirited Indian fans watching TV with mobile phones in their hands and free access to social media,' he smirked. 'They would have flooded the Internet with all sorts of comments, personal abuse and memes. They would have dug into the rules and would have found that the length of the bat was illegal, that the length of the player was illegal and that the player himself was illegal. Some may go to greater lengths - to the court of cricket of India - and get a stay before the next ball is bowled.'

'OMG,' I squeaked.

'Our cricket body would have constituted committees to find out why that particular fielder threw the ball in a manner that it hit the bat - and not miss it. They would have banned the player for his anti-national throws – maybe even jail for him. Since it is a matter of national pride, even the government would have got involved. Necessary committees would have been appointed with suitable judges and beurocrats to look into the issue and find a conspiracy theory - somewhere in the past 70 years where most conspiracies took place. In the end they would mostly likely ban that fielding position from where the fielder threw the ball - because that's the root of all the trouble.'

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