Thursday, September 22, 2005

Let's give the Devil it's Due.

As expected, India wrapped up the series with ultimate ease. There was no resistance from Zimbabwe. And where is their future heading, no one knows.

But spare a few thoughts for Heath Streak and Tadenda Taib, probably the only world class players Zimbabwe has.

Cricket is not the number one game in Zimbabwe. Even in mid and late 90s, when Zimbabwe cricket was seeing its best days, they were selecting their player from a limited bunch of cricketers. Fending a sponsor was a problem even them. Playing for Zimbabwe not being a lucrative career option forced many key players like Neil Johnson to move out of the country. To make the matters worse, Mugabe appeared with his political theories. Whether they were right or wrong, they did hit their cricket badly. With in next few years, they lost most of their stars of 1999 world cup. Age, fitness reasons and politics deprived them off the talents like Flower brothers, Whittel, Johnson, Olonga and many more. These names may not be world record holders, but they are good enough to make any side a competent one.

All black policy brought Taibu as the captain of Zimbabwe. And he has been a real star for them. No team can expect anything extra from a player. Zimbabwe’s attack has been kind enough in allowing opposition to pile on runs and runs. Taibu keeps wickets for all that time. Only help he gets from his talented (???) bowlers is the rate at which opposition is allowed to score. So if with a normal team he would have kept for 100 overs for a certain score, his bowlers don’t let him keep more than 80 overs for same score. Then he has to bat as a pseudo opener. He is generally in within a few overs. If that is not enough, he has to roll his arm over to break partnerships.

Now Heath Streak. The guy is a good enough all-rounder to get a chance in any of the English counties or in Australian or South African domestic cricket. But he refuses to do so. I do not know about his bank balance, but he is definitely missing on some extremely good opportunities abroad. He is their best bowler by far, best fielder and apart from Taibu, only BATSMAN in the side. Just imagine the amount of hard work he needs to put in to keep him fit. Without Heath Streak, Zimbabwe’s attack is not even club level.

I salute to the grit and determination of these two cricketers. Wonder where they get the motivation to get them going. Especially if they do not get the respect and recognition they deserve.

It is easy to call Shane Warne the best leg spinner so far and spend rims of papers writing about him or about Shachin Tendulkar or Brian Lara or any other cricketing legend. No denying their talents, but they always got enough rewards and claps to keep them going. And there is no better motivation than your hard work being recognized.

But as per two Zimbabwe players, there is no external motivation. They have to generate it from within.

And why should there be any external motivation? Bottom line is, there team is a failure, and so are their efforts.

It’s so typical of human nature. Success has many fathers, failure dies as an orphan.

Be it cricket or life, success is always a result of an equation which contains four letter word called luck. If Taibu was born in the poverty of Zimbabwe and not India, it is not his fault. There is nothing he could have done about it. And if Shane Warne was born in the affluence of Australia and not in Zimbabwe, there is nothing he has done in it. Luck ends there, it’s your hard work, grit, determination, mental toughness and achievements what make or break a person. All these are purely in his/her hands. And if the person has been honest enough to acquire all these, give the bloody respect he/she deserves.

On these parameters, Streak and Taibu are no smaller players than any of the big names. But a four letter word has handicapped their efforts forever.We never do it, even though we all fall prey to this trait.

Sometimes human nature becomes the most fetid creature on this planet. It skinks only when the pain is in our own hearts.

No comments: