Virat Kolhi, Jurgen Klopp and Sourav Ganguly Photograph:( AFP )
This is the time to fall back on that thing we call hope and what better way if Sourav’s BCCI and Virat’s Team India decide to hold a fun match to lift a nation down in spirits.
India loves its cricketers, after all, they give us joy and make us feel like... well... “Indian” but that is usually when all things are bright and shiny, but these are not normal times.
The German Bundesliga opened last month, Liverpool has already won the English Premier League even as Europe battles the virus.
The ‘reopening’ of sports lifts spirits, after all at least till April the European continent was the hardest hit with the deadly virus- but when a person watches Ronaldo, Messi or Klopp on the field it gives them one thing which we all crave for in these difficult times- hope.
In India, as the virus continues to make inroads it has pegged us back on several fronts. The county’s morale is low and uncertainty prevails. This is the time to fall back on that thing we call hope and what better way if Sourav’s BCCI and Virat’s Team India decide to hold a fun match- not IPL - to lift a nation down in spirits.
All we want is our “entertainers” to put their hands up and be counted because once this is all over we will remember who stood up for us and those who stayed home. India needs true heroes and not paper tigers but the big question is: are the big boys of Indian cricket ready to bat for the country?
It is not as if Indian cricketers earlier haven't set a precedent. The great Sachin Tendulkar had dedicated his ton in the Chennai Test to the country after the horrific Mumbai attack in 2008 - the true Mumbaikar cried for his city. Indian cricketers back in the 80s had played a cricket match for drought relief, then there are of course innumerable examples of individual "care and giving" by our role models.
However, this time it is different. The pandemic has hit us hard with nowhere to run, most of all it has taken us by surprise like most nations and it has meant we have had to give up all the things we love for better days ahead but the heart yearns for the "good, old days" when all was great - we could watch our idols on television or walk down to the stadium to see them in the flesh that day will be back but India like the rest of the world will count the cost of loss, destruction and countless stories of valour and greatness of our COVID-19 warriors.
We want our cricketers to also be in that "elite list" not of moneymakers, A-listers and highest taxpayers but of those who showed us the way in a year of gloom. We want them to be corona warriors feted by the country and looked upon as true idols.
We just want one match to feel “normal”, will Sourav and Virat hear our call?
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)