The Rise Of South Africa and What It Means To Me

Siddharth GaneshCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2009

Australia has finally been dethroned!

They were beaten by a team that was more determined, more focused and perhaps a bit more talented.

South Africa's battle Down Under was so fascinating—it brought some of the most amazing cricketing moments, spectacular batting, awe-inspiring leadership and courage.

The tournament brought out everything that cricket, and sport in general, stands for.

I am really happy for South Africa, not just as a cricket fan.

In these troubled times of conflict and intolerance, the rise of South Africa led by men like JP Duminy and Hashim Amla is a welcome development. South Africa's victories in tests and ODIs are not merely in sports, but rather they are victories over their troubled history of apartheid and socio-cultural backwardness.

This same backwardness eventually led them to be banned, and as a result, the cricketing world was deprived of some of the cricketing greats such as Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock.

Today, South Africa have managed to shrug off their past and stride forward with great confidence and self-belief.

JP Duminy matured from a dashing young player to a cricketer marked for greatness.

Hashim Amla established himself further in international cricket.

South Africa's rise and success, coinciding with the rise of a man of African descent in the most powerful economy in the world, has a message of collective and tolerant existence.

The victories have only reiterated the fact that sports can dissolve the endless divisions that the world seems to create. Sports is a glue that will bring people together and foster peace and joy.

If only the politicians take notice.

If only the value of sports is recognised.

If only sports is allowed to bridge cultures and divided nations.

If only...