Success has 100 Fathers…

April 6, 2011

There has been an overdose of cricket in the media ever since India won the quarterfinals against Australia and the euphoria is understandable ever since the emphatic win in the finals against the mighty Lankans. After that victory against Australia in the quarterfinals, India’s hopes of regaining the cup were rekindled and finally India lifted the trophy in style. The reality is yet to sink in both among the players and among the fans in this cricket crazy country which is basking under the glory of that spectacular win. The lacklustre show by India in earlier matches losing to South Africa and a tie with England had disillusioned cricket fans to a great extent. The win against Australia undid that disenchantment.

After beating Australia there was only one hurdle in the way – the semi-final clash with traditional rivals Pakistan which was depicted almost like a war between the two countries by the media with the hype reaching unimaginable proportions. India crossed that hurdle too with élan, much to the relief of millions of cricket fans. A win against Pakistan was likened to winning the world cup finals. Though the match was not one of the best from team India, it was just the rehearsal that India needed to peak at the right time. The Mohali match did show that unlike the Indian team of yore, Dhoni’s men in blue did not cave in under pressure when playing against Pakistan even when wickets were falling intermittently.

An India-Pakistan match evokes strong sentiments and emotions run high and often go beyond mere cricket, so much so some fans even said the semi-final victory against Pakistan was almost like India winning the world cup. After that famous win, with India extending its unbeatable streak against Pakistan to five in world cup, the media went gaga discussing threadbare everything that came remotely near cricket and world cup, including individual players, the captains, their strategy, strengths and weaknesses. Luckily for India, Dhoni and his team sustained that momentum which finally culminated with India winning the coveted trophy.

While the joy of the players and the cricket fans is comprehensible, the media seems to be celebrating the win with gusto because fierce media competition ensures that they strike an upper hand. After India’s win there has been no stopping them from airing interviews with players, both present and past, their families, friends, coaches and cricket officials, terming every bite as ‘exclusive’, when actually it was not. Though viewers and readers are not complaining, now that India has won, it is pathetic to read and watch the media making news out of everything the players did or did not do either in the ground or in the dressing room.

The superstitious beliefs the players adhered to really makes surreal reading but it still makes news because a win and that too a cricket world cup triumph in a cricket crazy country is sure to mask any flaw or propel the silliest of the matter connected with cricket into big time news. Agreed! People don’t mind it till the winning feeling sinks in and it will take some more time to do that. The media blitzkrieg is sure to continue for another few days until it finds another topic to harp on. May be the election results of the 5 states going for polls this month will take the spotlight away from world cup win.

Nonetheless, some of the questions like whether Dhoni is greater than Kapil or whether he is the greatest captain ever, does not portend well for many reasons. At this stage I cannot but remember an old saying “victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan”. I am not a pessimist, nor am I trying to belittle India’s hard fought victory especially when the entire nation is rapturous having won the cup after a yawning gap of 28 long years. But I wonder whether Indians would have been decent if not magnanimous in their praise had the team failed at the last hurdle?

Indian captain Dhoni was candid when he said after the win, "May be I would have to answer many questions like why I chose Sreesanth (who proved to be costly) and not R Ashwin and why promote myself at number 5 instead of the in-form Yuvraj." If Dhoni and his team had fumbled at the last hurdles wouldn’t these same people who are now showering praises on Dhoni pilloried him? I think this fear did lurk in Dhoni’s mind even when he took these decisions but still he did what he felt was right. I think, even the fans would not have been fair to the men in blue, if the result was not in favour of India in the finals.

I think Indian fans can learn a lesson or two from the cricket fans of Sri Lanka and their President, who greeted their cricket stars at the airport with a hero’s welcome. The President presented them mementos and appreciated the efforts of the team in reaching the second consecutive finals. Sri Lankan cricket fans have taught us how to treat players whether they win or lose and I think, we Indians will do well to imbibe that kind of spirit in sports, win or lose. One of the fans of Sri Lanka said their players did give a good fight in the finals and the better team won. But we Indians lack that spirit of true sportsmanship. We are adept at showering praises and all sorts of appellations when the team wins and then boo or jeer them when they lose.

Can anyone forget the fact that Yuvaraj Singh was written off and he went through a rough patch, with the media stoking his woes linking him to every possible vice and women? Not even cricket god Sachin Tendulkar has been spared from some of the bizarre statements as “whenever Sachin hits a century India loses”. I really wonder how many cricket fans in India might have sighed with relief when Sachin was out for 85 against Pakistan and they must be now thanking the stars that he did not hit a century either in the finals. Suddenly, all his earlier knocks that brought victory to Indian team in a career spanning 22 years were belittled and forgotten once this theory began to do the rounds. And believe me it is the educated, highly qualified and well placed people and youngsters who believe it and even spread such canards. The same people, who are now doing a signature campaign, asking Sachin to continue playing in the next world cup, will not hesitate to tell him on his face or insinuate that it is time he hangs his boots if at all he might fail to deliver in one or two crucial matches.

All is well as of now and I do believe the team should be allowed to rest on its laurels at least for sometime rather than be bombarded with inane queries and silly questions just to fill in prime time slots.

By Florine Roche
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Comment on this article

  • Patrick, Honavar

    Mon, Apr 11 2011

    Whether this quest is going to be quenched... It goes on and on... We have won it this time, we shall head towards more needy issues of the country... Let BCCI say we are not representing team untill India fights for CORRUPTION and POVERTY of some of its citizens...

  • ruby malshe, mumbai

    Sat, Apr 09 2011

    I don't much enjoy the game. Not because I don't like it but all the sound and fury puts me off because ultimately it signifies nothing.I wonder if the players today even play the game with joy or the straineous fear of losing and the following criticism. Actually nothing is right or wrong but thinking makes it so but its time we start thinking about Indias starving children, maltreated women, ignored old.... much more than we already do than creating a total jam to watch cricketers at the stadium. It's in my plate, but I don't think I can digest it all.

  • Priya Das, Karkala / Mumbai

    Thu, Apr 07 2011

    Hats off to Florine Roche for the excellent article, as always. You are the Star ...

  • R.Bhandarkar, M'lore

    Thu, Apr 07 2011

    Spot on Mike, Mumbai. No need for pessimism here. Remember each player's outburst after the win?
    It could be done only because of the support they got from the 'whole country' as such and therefore rightly dedicated to the country-men. Nobody likes a loser and a bad one at that! Remember 2007!! Losing to Bangla and Zimbabwe of all countries!! Tough matches we understand but not complacency and irresponsibility. It is in this context the extremities should be understood. Sri Lankans and the Pakistani's did not surrender meekly and this should be understood in the first place.
    Really at 31 for 2 even Sachin could not watch leave alone the rest!! Let us still savour the moment which someone rightly said has come to replace the 1983 video clips!!

  • sana, manglore

    Thu, Apr 07 2011

    keep t up india chak de in da never forget this word

  • Guides, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Guys (Oswald?Roshan/Siddharth),

    ' Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan' is a Quote by John F. Kennedy.....
    I feel all this media hype is because we got this cup after a very long time, India being a country of 1.3 billion hard core cricket fans country managed to get the cup, This managed to quench the thirst of India who have been waiting since a long times, Well done team India ! Keep the good work going. India which is known to the world for its Democracy and strong economy should also focus equally on opportunities for sports other than cricket as well.....Again, We have won the prestigious cup. Good job, Nicely done !

  • geoffrey, hathill

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Resting on one's laurels doesn't mean that 'relaxing' as the writer's last sentence seems to imply, It means being complacent which I'm afraid no one wants our team to be. The phrase ' success has many parents and failure is an orphan' also is irrelavant here, as all team members in all their interviews admit that it was 100% teamwork and none claim credit for himself.

  • Judy, Dubai

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Pakistan, not India, defeated Australia.

  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Very aptly written article by Florine Roche.
    If we see just across in Sri Lanka what's happening .Everyone is sorrowfull and mourning. Captain Sangakara has quit . Here in India our Cricketers are getting sites whereas in Sri Lanka they are trying to be out of sight. Who said failures are stepping stones. Not Cricket lovers !

  • mike, mumbai

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    The tone of the complete narration of the Indian victory is too pessimistic. How many such moments come in our lives that the whole country is united as one single nation. Unfortunately very few. Rather than sulking it is high time we rejoice and bask in this moment of glory. Every sporting event has 2 distinct possibilities(forget the tie).The media will go berserk in any event.When the players reach the pinnacle of any event it is not due to their physical skills but the mental strength. Therefore it is said that it is better to have strong mind over weak shoulders rather than the reverse.Every cheer has a shelf time and this too will pass away and let us not complain and whine. Did anyone spare a thought to the vanquished and what their people are undergoing through? The pictures shown in the various print media and TV are a testimony for this. We have been fortunate that we are for a change are not on the other side of the vanquished. Take pride my friends and let us savour this moment till it lasts.

  • Siddharth c, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Oswald the maxim is 'success has 100 or many fathers and a defeat is an orphan" and it is right

  • Roshan, Mangalore

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Mr. Oswald...

    There is a saying that says "Success has many Fathers, but Failure is an orphan". Maybe we should cross check and verify our knowledge before we actually pen down...

  • John Castelino, Moodbidri/Kuwait

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Well written. I wish to address on three issues:
    1. In last but one para, it is stated 'and believe me it is the educated' - I suggest that can be presumed as literate for our elders were not having those degrees but they had worldly wisdom and that what I call 'educated'.
    2. Comapring two eras is often misleading for the factors are diffeent. Then (1983), we did not have that many camps, support staff etc but now we have plenty. Hence to compare a SSLC marks sheet of say 80s to current generation is not from same flatform.
    3. Both captains had their own traits in managing players and achieving results. Both were successful. I cannot think of ignoring Ajit Wadekar's team which achieved out of this world.
    Let us enjoy now let us not compare black and white era with digital color images.

  • Alban D Souza, Udyavara Mumbai Doha Qatar

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    India Cricket crazy nation ! Of course India are the champions of Cricket. everyone likes to win and nobody wants to loose. Articale very well written and it is surely India deserve victory in the final.Everyone says Mr. Dhoni is lucky, but it may be the whole team lucky and India because the semi-final match against arch-rivals Pakistan was the key one where luck was so much favoured for India as great Sachin got 4-5 lives. Any way Mr. Dhoni proved in the final wheather it is luck or courage as a leader. He won the match courageously at the end for India taking bold decisions by himself.


    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    My dear friend it is SUCCESS HAS 100
    FEATHERS not FATHERS as you mentioned.
    Sorry for my comment.

  • ponicpool,

    Wed, Apr 06 2011

    Very well written, as article of this nature is hard to find especially as our country is celebrating the deserved victory. Whether everyone appreciates what is written would be a big question. Reality always bites. Another important point everyone forgotten about is about sporting activities. Viswanathan Anand won chess world championship 4 times. It would have been a good gesture if he gets the same treatment from our esteemed personalities to give tea parties and other gifts or he was not given tea party because he doesn't drink tea or he doesn't accept gifts? Very strange!

  • Jimmy Noronha, Bellore,Kulshekar,Lucknow

    Tue, Apr 05 2011

    Thanks to Gary Kirsten and some consistent performance by the Indian team, we could see the smiles on millions of faces all over in India and abroad. But, it would have been a far cry to ever fathom that the very media and the public that gloat over the victory would ever have maintained any equanimity if India were to lose the final and worse still if the loss was against Pakistan. Now that the match is over and the victory is ours, is it necessary to gloat over the gain by the cricket pundits and the media for so long? Could any of us ever be able to pin point any one among our team doing a “La Sangakkara” if the final went the Lankan way?

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