Silence of the Lambs

Bangalore's Siddharth Srivatsa sending a message to Michael Vaughan

Originally published in the Mirror Click here

The beauty of life is that it teaches you lessons from even the most meaningless of events, like the recently concluded India-England ODI series. As someone who followed every ball of it, here’s what I learnt from the series.

Lesson #1: Be careful of what you say…
Because it has a habit of coming back to boomerang you on your backside. One can hope that this is a lesson that Michael Vaughan would have learnt too.

During India’s disastrous English tour, Michael Vaughan had led the former England player pack in ridiculing the Indian team, including a bizarre suggestion that Laxman had used Vaseline on his bat to hide faint edges from hotspot. Throughout the tour, caustic, vitriolic and sardonic comments aimed at the Indian team kept coming from the former England captain through his commentary, tweets and newspaper columns.

While fans can be excused for resorting to jingoism, one doesn’t expect those who’ve played the sport at the highest level to stoop so low.

With each England defeat in this series, Vaughan found his twitter page flooded with diatribes from Indian cricket fans, most of them personal and abusive. The most hard hitting message, though, was delivered to Vaughan by a 14-year old Bangalorean through a picture inspired by Shoaib Akhtar’s autobiography’s cover page.

If even this doesn’t silence Vaughan, probably nothing will.

Lesson #2: It’s true that some wines improve with age…
But only if the grapes were good in the first place. In Tony Greig’s case, not only are the grapes bad, they are also sour.

For the last six months, every second sentence from Greig has had India in it. Starting with BCCI bashing on the use of technology issue, to Indian team bashing during the England series, to doom’s day prediction for cricket in the BCCI-led era. India is on his mind so much that one wouldn’t be surprised if he mutters the word in his sleep.

It’s common knowledge that Greig was deeply involved with the ICL and the BCCI-ban on ICL has affected him financially. From the looks of it, it has also affected him mentally.

Just yesterday, he tweeted urging the BCCI to think that ‘when making money is the ultimate ambition, you do things you shouldn’t’. Wise words from a man who not only quit England captaincy to join Kerry Packer, but was actively recruiting English players while he was still captain.

For Greig, one can safely say that one shouldn’t attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.

Lesson #3: ‘z’ is keeping your mouth shut
Albert Einstein had said that if ‘A’ is success in life, then A = x+y+z where ‘x’ is work, ‘y’ is play, and ‘z’ is keeping your mouth shut.

Throughout the English tour, MS Dhoni maintained a dignified silence, refusing to be provoked by what was being said about him and his team. He played hard, played fair, and called a spade a spade in his trademark casual style.

In the return tour, he refrained from the ‘payback’ or ‘revenge’ bellicosity, saying that sportsmen don’t exact revenge. And even after the convincing series win, he didn’t resort to chest thumping, preferring to talk about areas that the team needs to improve upon to win overseas.

In the colossal mass of off-field trash over the last few months, MS Dhoni stands tall and clean.

As an Indian, that’s what I am proud of, even more than the 5-0 win.

You can hear the Fake IPL Player’s live wacky cricket commentary during match hours on www.pitch-invasion.in

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