Winning and Losing – Poles Apart

April 7, 2014 at 9:57 am Leave a comment

Sri Lankan cricketers finally managed to get the monkey of their back when they claimed the World T20 Championship last night. Sri Lanka were the beaten finalists last time round when they lost to the West Indies when they hosted the tournament. They were also beaten in the final of the last two 50-over World Cups, so this victory was a huge relief to their fans as well as the cash-strapped Sri Lanka Cricket Board(SLC).

Prior to the game the Sri Lankan Cricket Board opted to make a bold gesture to the team as they desperately needed them to be successful. The team were offered a million dollar bonus if they shed their reputation as chokers in the final against India. This in effect meant the they had trebled the money that they had initially promised the team if the returned home with the trophy.

Prior to the final the board issued the following statement, “The Executive Committee of SLC which met at an emergency meeting this morning and decided to offer $1.5 million (including the original fee of $500,000) to the national team players in the event that they win the final.”

The two heroes for Sri Lanka were Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, who will both now retire from the shortest form of the game; however captain Masinga’s final bowling spell was a key point in the game. The two retirees went out in style. Sangakkara, the veteran left-hander scored a 35-ball 52 not out to guide Sri Lanka’s run chase of India’s modest 131-run target. A Target they reached in 17.5 overs.

While celebrations broke out throughout Sri Lanka, the scenes in India the home of the losing finalists were very different, and were a reflection on how sport can sometimes be taken to extremes. Reports have emerged from India that irate fans have pelted Indian player Yuvraj Singh’s home with stones feeling that slow scoring of 11 runs from 21 balls was to blame for India’s loss. There was no doubt that Singh’s knock slowed the momentum that Virat Kohli had built up in India’s innings.

It is a great shame that athletes and they families should suffer for what is ultimately a game.

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