Two heroes

2 Mar

“The world loves talent, but pays off on character.”

― John W. Gardner

I had resolved not to do any posts on Cricket.  I do so one more as a metaphor for character. I ended up watching the ongoing Asia Cup 2016 cricket match between India and Pakistan on television. I was struck by the immensity of the moment. The skill and personality of two young people. Virat Kohli and Mohammad Amir.

The commentator said in a celebratory tone , “you can’t separate the skill and personality of player. Both are important”. Let’s just say skill and mental approach were of the highest order. Let’s not get into semantics of cricket. What struck me was their journey..

Both prodigiously talented and marked for great things early. One loses way and get’s tainted for life really. The other marches a fantastic swagger towards greatness. One hints at greatness already and the other’s redemption is complete and absolute. That day one saw both the personalities and thier talent at full display. Nothing to choose really. It’s just their journey.

I have always felt Indian cricket  nurtured and handled a young Virat Kohli well and Mohammad Amir perhaps did not have the same support system. Virat kohli is already a great cricketer and Mohammad Amir has just taken the right steps back to fulfill his equally shining destiny.

I was struck Virat’s post match words”Even if it is a defensive shot, the intent is positive. Even if it is to leave the ball, it is with positive intent. ” I think that’s the right mindset of a champion to do everything with a positive intent and without any half measures. He is a great cricketer already. He is amazing for one so young.

He was gracious too “I would like to complement Mohammad Amir for the way he bowled. I actually congratulated him while he was bowling. It was so happy to play such an amazing spell. He is a world class bowler and I wish him more success,”

I like the Mohammad Amir story. It is the harder story. Huge talent and  big blunder. To comeback from wilderness, ridicule and self doubt to performing at the world stage. I empathise with him totally. It must be very hard. The skill at display was the highest order.

“Kohli’s praise made my day. It was generous of him what he said for me. It’s the sort of encouragement that you need and when it comes from a super star like Virat, it means a lot. On the other hand, it’s a big challenge for me as well because it adds to my responsibility to prove that I am worth that praise. Even before the match, he used some good words for me. It was very kind of him” said Amir.

Virat is already a great cricketer. For his skill, personality and character. Amir will become a champion cricketer. He needs to build on this victory and remember the great American public servant and Stanford professor’s words ” The world loves talent but pays of on character.” The former is easy for some and later is hard for all. Both were stellar.

For match analysis and quotes: http://www.firstpost.com/sports/asia-cup-the-mohammad-amir-virat-kohli-show-lights-up-an-otherwise-dull-india-pakistan-clash-2646782.html

And: http://zeenews.india.com/sports/cricket/asia-cup-2016/mohammad-amir-superstar-virat-kohlis-praise-made-my-day_1860973.html

http://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/ind-vs-pak-india-vs-pakistan-mohammad-amir-virat-kohli-asia-cup-2016/

I  know ” How hard is to rebuild from one mistake.” I understand Mohammad Amir’s journey and am always inspired by a young  Virat kohli.

There is a Yuvraj Singh who has won a greater battle of all, may be one more post on cricket. If it were not for these personalities and displays of character, am done with cricket 🙂

This for today. Good night dear friends ! Character does trump Talent..

Love, Suresh

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