Spirit of Cricket, or a Burden?

Dann KhanAnalyst IApril 5, 2009

Hey Mates,

This is my first my first article on Bleacher. But this is the 41st article under the name of Dann Khan.

I am an international cricketer who is using this forum to let out his frustration.

I will not tell you my name as I do not want to get into trouble with the ICC. Not that I might say something full of abuse, but still you never know what might anger the BCCI. After all ICC the biggest branch of the BCCI. This might seem funny but really, they take orders from the Indian Cricketing Board.

In any case that is not what I am here to discuss.

All I am here to say is that I am sick and tired of this talk of 'Spirit of Cricket'.

I mean how can you just go on with it. We are here to play cricket and win. Spirit of cricket intervenes with this victory.

How can someone be happy upholding the 'Spirit' at the cost of losing?

Gone are those days when Gavaskar, Vishvanath, Sobers, Lloyd and all used to play and play with spirit.

Cricket is now my profession and the only way I earn money unlike the old days when cricketers were also office workers.

Am I supposed to care for my earning or the stupid spirit?

'Spirit' has become a spirit that haunts the cricketers now.

And what are we calling spirit. Not walking? Not claiming a catch when we are not sure? Not appealing for LBW when the ball is pitched outside leg?

We are cricketers and we have to gain advantage in the game. Sometimes we have to use the "wrong" ways. I am not justifying myself but if we do not do all these things stated above then we can't do anything as most of the times we are ourselves not so sure about the results.

When we are sure we face another dilemma. If we do not show "spirit" the audience and media shows us in bad light. If we do show "spirit" we are criticised by the same for not looking to go on and win the match.

Even sledging is not tolerated.

Like any other profession even we feel the need to vent anger on the field and we sledge but then again we become a hazard to the game of cricket. No one is treated like this in any other occupation.

For me spirit is to play the game and look to win. To use slight tactics which are called "cheating" only to look for small advantages once in a while and not go against the rules so much that we actually become cheaters. That's how other professions work and so should cricket.

Don't get me wrong here guys but all I want to say is that such small things have to be a part of the game or it will not last. If we would have stuck very tightly to the rules the game would have never evolved.

There was a time when leg side play was not considered good by the Englishmen and ball on the legs were not clipped of but patted back to the bowler. This was a unwritten rule of cricket.

Ranjit Singhji started clipping the balls and many people claimed he went against the spirit.

These are the kind of tactics I am talking of and nothing else.

I also would like to ask the people watching to show some spirit by:

1) Not treating an umpire like dirt if he gives your favourite player out when he is not out and not minding when he raises his finger to send of a player of the opposite side to the country you support.

2) This is the more important one for me. When we win a game with a bit of luck and few decisions given not-out, please do not think it is only by that pure luck that we won. I feel so angry when our hard work is hidden behind the small luck we had.

This is because no one treats us with sympathy when we lose due to bad luck and a few decisions not going our way.  

That's all I want to say folks.

Seriously let the spirit live but not haunt us.

For that learn to forgive us. Of course it is a different matter if we get into a bad habit. Then it becomes your duty to complain.

Also if you want the spirit to last then be a part of the spirit and just don't talk about it.

We love you fans but don't make such an important thing a burden for us. We will keep it better if we are not forced to do so.

PS: Don't think I am an Aussie because I said "Mate".


Since the player will not give his name, you can send me, that is Dann Khan all your queries, doubts, comments and complements. I will make sure it reaches the cricketer.

Don't ask me who it is as I have vowed not to answer.


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