Cricket must go on…


Cricket is a game that is in the heartbeat of most Indians. Cricket must continue in India — better, bigger and bolder. And through it India and Indians must demonstrate to those that matter that India lives. India must live again.

The Taj Mahal Hotel... burning

The Taj Mahal Hotel… burning

The terrorist attacks at The Taj, The Oberoi and at Nariman House in Mumbai have left us totally numb and shocked. Like many others, we sat in our homes and hotel rooms, glued to the TV set for news of the ongoing attack on freedom. Innocence was lost in India at 9.00pm on Wednesday 26 November 2008.

For long, Mumbai has represented the nerve centre of India; the throbbing hub; the sign of her progress; the stamp of her tryst with aspiration and ambition; the symbol of opportunity, resilience and freedom. We would often joke amongst each other that if anyone can survive suburban life in Mumbai — its hustle, bustle, dust, chaos and urgency — and make the most of the many opportunities that the city offers you, then one can survive anywhere in the world.

That nerve centre and that symbol of opportunity, resilience and aspiration was savagely dented on Wednesday 26 November 2008 through a dastardly terrorist siege. The Taj was an important link between Mumbai’s past and its future aspirations. It opulence represented a history and a tradition. Its vivaciousness and energy represented the irrepressible and bustling aspirations of Mumbaikars.

This compelling concoction of innocence, tradition and aspiration was crushed by automatic-weapon-toting men who had no place in their heart for concern, apathy or dignity, nor did they have a sense of an individuals’ right to freedom. They had in their hearts nothing but a hatred so vile and contemptuous that they snatched away human dignity and freedom of not just the 150 people that they killed, but many many more.

One has felt an anger, a bitterness and a helplessness in the recent past. One probably felt these emotions on that fateful day that has been now termed “9/11”. We felt it again on 26/11/2008.

At a time like this, cricket is so utterly inconsequential.

But then, it so is

Dreams cannot be shattered. Aspirations are important. Terrorists cannot dictate the collective vision of a country that is built on the bed-rock of a deep culture and is constantly fuelled by a strong sense of urgency, ambition, happiness, peace, freedom and pride.

We cannot buckle down to terror for that is exactly what the terrorists would want us to do. Life must go on. Indeed, life must go on in a more compelling manner. We must learn from this. And get stronger. In India, cricket is so intertwined with life. So, by extension, cricket too must go on. Of course, one cannot and should not endanger the safety of players and spectators. But this must be a lesson to everyone running the country (and the game) here in India. Are you looking for phen375 reviews?

Innocence has been lost. Of that, there can’t be much doubt. The remainder of an ODI tour has been cancelled. The Champions League tournament has been cancelled. These were necessary measures that had to be taken.

Several marriages have been cancelled in Mumbai. There is no mood currently to celebrate. The environment is one of shock and numbness. It would be insensitive to celebrate. It would be inappropriate to even watch a game of cricket.

But once the numbness, the shock, the anger, the frustration and the bitterness has dissipated, what must emerge is greater understanding and greater resilience. This is a time for the world itself to renew and rebound.

Cricket is but a game. In this environment, to talk of the future of cricket in India may sound trivial and even disrespectful to the many people that lost their lives. The topic itself may seem utterly insensitive to the thousands of people that have been affected by this dastardly and cowardly act of terrorism. But cricket is a game that is in the heartbeat of most Indians. Cricket must continue in India — better, bigger and bolder. And through it India and Indians must demonstrate to those that matter that India lives. India must live again.

We here at i3j3Cricket have been as stunned as anyone else that saw the horrific scenes of terror engulfing Mumbai. Our hearts go out to the people that were killed and to the many that were affected. But life must go on. We must learn and grow. While innocence may be lost, hopes and aspirations cannot be lost. And we must not give in to the terrorists. Most Indians would understand if England do not wish to come back for the Test series, but taking this easy option would signal a victory to the terrorists whose sole agenda is to disrupt normalcy.

Terror should never win. Terror can never be allowed to win…

— Mohan, Mahesh, Paddy, Srikanth and Vish

PS:
We at i3j3Cricket do not usually moderate comments. But in this instance any anti-religious, nationalistic, or hate-fuelled comments will be deleted. While we understand the hurt, anger, frustration and helplessness that we may all feel, please keep your comments as clean and as healthy as you possibly can.

34 responses to “Cricket must go on…

  1. The security of the 50,000 people who are going to watch the cricket is of paramount importance as it is for the Englishmen who do not want to come back. Let us wait for the security agencies to give the go ahead.

  2. I agree with the basic thrust of this well-written piece. Life must go on. Cricket must go on. Of course, security is paramount. That is a no brainer. It is like saying, we have to breather tomorrow. But India cannot cower down. That would be as cowardly as the act of the terrorists. In a pragmatic manner, India and cricket in India must show these guys that we will not be beaten. Strangely, I feel that this will unite India more than ever before. We must never ever forget the three days from 26 Nov 2009 to 30 Nov 2009.

  3. I am sure you guys mean that cricket and EVERYTHING ELSE must go on. I have assumed that since this site concentrates on cricket, you have stated that cricket must go on. I agree with the authors and hope that everything in India — cricket, commerce, community — returns to normalcy in a stronger manner but that India does not forget.

  4. I think not playing sends a bad message to the perpetrators, and will encourage them. The % chance of anything happening is still lower than a car crash, just on cold hard stats

  5. I agree with Rob Enfield that cricket and everything else should go on.

    My blog is
    http://www.christopherdavid007.blogspot.com/

  6. Unfortunately, for our England team and ECB, cancellation of the test series will result in BCCI seeking millions of dollars from ECB in compensation–as BCCI has sold the TV rights to ESPN for $ 900 million. Somehow, I do not see the BCCI and / or ESPN letting ECB off the hook, if the test series is cancelled. And ICC will need to interven. Local cricket Associations may get some money, if they are insured. Otherwise, they will go to BCCI.

  7. Forgive, forget and move on – not sure this time around – AI plane hijack, Parliament attack, IISc bombing, numerous bombings all over India and now Mumbai attack. Can the families of the Police and the victims who lost near and dear ones move on so soon ? That too for a game ? There has to be a healing period.

    I can not understand this guy Modi asking England team to come immediately. It is easy to talk from the comfort of his home, sofa and mobile phone. Instead of words, these guys should show their bravery by taking up arms and participate in the commando operation at the Taj along with NSG.

    The consequences of this terror strike may have an impact on Indian economy. Obama has been talking about restricting the movement of jobs to India. We need a Ganguly like PM who can make firm decisions.

  8. I would rather not have any sport for a while than have another foreigner lose his life be it a cricketer or any sportsman.What has happened is already shameful enough for all of us Indians. Whoever we blame the fact is the foreigners(who died) were guests in this country and we failed to protect them.

  9. harinee

    So should we shut down everything and play into the hands of the perpetrators? Isn’t that exactly what these guys wanted? Did London stop after the bombings there? Did New York stop after 9/11?

  10. I am a Mumbaikar, presently in the US, I completely agree to what the blog suggest. The terrorists should never win, they should never be allowed to even think that they have been successful in disrupting the belief of the nation. While the “Spirit of Mumbai” and “Resilience” has been used more often than any cliche, but still, I feel that everyone in Mumbai more determined to return to normalcy sooner than ever. Everything, including cricket should go on, and I also feel that the venue for the second test should not have been moved.

  11. Cricket should NOT go on. Period.

    English crickets should NOT come to India. Period.

    Forget Cricket. 2011 World cup should be shifted out of the subcontinent and all Indian matches should be on tour.

    There is nothing like security in India and playing cricket is only going to delude and postpone what India should face TODAY.

    FIX the politicians, FIX the security. There is no escape

  12. We are all looking for normalcy to be restored. Needs time. London bombing was one isolated incident. India has been a target and has witnessed many attacks – AI Hijack, Parliament attack, multiple coordinated bombing all over India so on.

    Whatever one can say, George Bush had a firm response for the 9/11 incident. I was at NY at the time of 9/11. Some of the locals were fuming with anger. I could sense the patriotism; flags were hoisted in every house and people were wearing FDNY T-shits. NFL and Yankees games were canceled.

    As an aside : Carnatic musicians who were supposed to tour US canceled.

  13. Srikanth Mangalam

    gnbmdr,

    7 years later where has that anger taken the US as far as global support is concerned? 9/11 was a tragedy and so is 26/11, wearing NSG-shirts and canceling cricket games is not going to solve the problem, nor is a bunch of flags in every front yard. Politics, policies, and politicians have got us all in this mess. That has to be changed. If the Modis, Advanis of the world continue to dominate Indian politics, then the end is nowhere near. This tragedy does not require jingoism, what it requires is civil action, citizenry, and a public revolution that will bring the power back to the people. Politicians should fear the wrath of the people when they make decisions, they should respect public opinion and they should let their actions talk. We need another Gandhi today!

    Cricket is a wonderful medium for the people of India to reassemble, recover, and reenergize. It is just a game and more than just a game at the same time. It brings passion back into Indians in a positive way. It unites like nothing else does in India. However, a different form of the game is required now. Not the Lalit Modi kind where money talks, but the real thing. A game which is merely for the sake of playing, a game that the people of India have always loved even before the dancing girls on stage showed up.

  14. Srikanth Mangalam,

    Based on the kind of US response to 9/11 attack, any group would have learnt that they shall not mess with the US. If they do, they know fully well, that their nose will be bloodied beyond recognition. That is the message.

    I agree, Politicians are the problem for India – we have politicians who change dress 4 times a day on a day when terror strikes Delhi, politicians who promote a “secular !!” agenda, of congress and are willing to sell the country for vote bank politics.

  15. Another tidbit on the status of politics in India and supposedly the future of India ;-(

    http://indiatoday.digitaltoday.in/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=21442&sectionid=4&issueid=82&Itemid=1

  16. Pakistan legend Imran Khan believes that cricket will never be targetted by a terrorist in his country because in his opinion even terrorists are cricket fans and that is why he was critical of Australians refusing to travel to Pakistan.

    I wonder if that would reassure Harmison and Flintoff–or for that matter, the Indians who have to play in Pakistan in 4 or 5 months.

  17. Mohan, Mahesh, Paddy, Srikanth and Vish

    Thanks for the piece…Objective and sound. There is no doubt that the damage done to the psyche of the common man right across the world is immense.

    It has given rise to a backlash against the security forces as they have shown an inability to anticipate and prevent the brazen attack that took place. It has caused untold disruption mayhem and uncertainty in many a life.

    I pray for the families of the innocents that have lost lives or are recovering from injuries.

    What the terrorists want is clearly that normalcy is disrupted…temporarily they will have succeeded. Until now there terrorists have remained faceless and anonymous…now we have a face, a name. Hopefully, the nerve centre of the terrorist factory will be destroyed…wherever in the world it is.

    I agree with the sentiments expressed that indicate that cricket and everything else must go on. For the Australian fans…understanding terrorism is probably difficult. Shane Warne saw it from close quarters in Jaipur when he had to be part of a tough call…during the IPL. Unfortunately, the English are no strangers to it. The first to experience it in the world perhaps thanks to the IRA. However, it is understandable that angst that they felt (and the cancellation of the last 2 ODI’s) and the reluctance expressed in returning. However those that do show up to Mohali and Chennai will show solidarity with the world in blunting the intent of the terrorists.

    As my grand dad would have said…”May you all live in peace”

    Raj

  18. @Mohan
    I am not concerned with what US or london did and also it was localistes who were attacked there not foreigners like Mumbai
    No India should not stop running but cricket or any other sport is entertainment like Dhoni has said not a neccessity. And until we can guarantee the complete safety of anybody entering India we have no business inviting anybody.Jingoism and flag waving is all fine but fact is we failed in securing our ports and till we can clean up this mess making bravado statements will not help…
    Frankly the worst nightmare for Indian cricket would be to see any of these foreign cricketers killed in a similar kind of attack.

  19. Srikanth Mangalam

    gnbmdr,

    Actually from what I gather, the noses of those who masterminded the 9/11 attacks have not yet been bloodied, instead innocent faces (that could include yours and mine too) have been rearranged in places that had nothing to do with 9/11. Anyways, I digress from the purpose of this website….

  20. chris hutchinson

    condolensces to all who have suffered.

    to indians, rest assured your resoluteness will be rewarded.

    long live cricket.

  21. @harinee

    Why should I be ashamed of what happened? I am angry. I am hurt. I am depressed. But why should I be ashamed? The terrorists ought to be ashamed — they had place in their hearts for nothing other than a hatred so vile and contemptuous!

    If I were to be ashamed, yes, I’d stay at home, cowering under a blanket for the next 20 years to breathe in the air I exhale! I am not ashamed. But I do want to win. I can’t allow the unlicensed guns to win!

    Yes, we as a nation failed to protect the people (foreigners as well as Indians) who died in the attacks. We must learn from this and grow from this. Stronger. But I refuse to bow my head and bunker down. That is exactly what the unlicensed gun wants me to do.

    @gnbmdr:

    Which world have you been living in? In the world I have been living in, the “War on Terror” that commenced after 9/11 is still going on and most of the noses that have been bloodied have been of the wrong shape and have been attached to the wrong face!

  22. @mohankaus,

    The response I was talking about is not the Iraq war – everyone includes Bush would agree is a big blunder in the annals of history.

    After 9/11, within a week – F16 planes did carpet bombing of Afganistan – destroying the Al-queda bases. That was such a brutal attack with the full power of US on a poor country.

  23. I am glad that the England team didn’t have to play at gauhati–I just saw BBC report on the bombing in Assam yesterday

    May be this would make more players to rethink about coming for the two tests

    Especially after British High Commissioner’s warning re bombing expected next week as the anniversary of the destruction of a mosque by Hindus

  24. Cricket played with this level of security useful ?

    England expect ‘commando protection’

    England’s tour of India looks set to go ahead amid presidential levels of security, according to Sky Sports.

  25. @mohan
    Yes we should go on and keep running (as mentioned in my earlier comment) but fact is we are not secure and we have to work towards it before entertaining ourselves.This is not cowering down but accepting reality and acting on it.
    As for being ashamed or not its your choice but being ashamed does not necessarily mean cowering down it is accepting responsibility that we have allowed such utterly ineffective govts to flourish.

  26. Please note article from nytimes
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/opinion/01mon1.html?_r=1

    This was to me probably the most insensitive article and seemed more an attempt to project US interests in Pakistan and most of the comments seem to have the same opinion.

  27. @harinee

    This is less about “entertaining ourselves” and more about life itself. I would not mind it if Bollywood shuts down for a month. But as we said in the lead, cricket is an expression of life, its joys, its sorrows and its emotions in India. I am not actually sure if we can absolutely absolutely guarantee safety in India at ANY time — leave alone in a cricket match. At the best of times the nature of chaotic life in India means that there is a disaster waiting to happen anywhere! But there is an openness in the spirit of people here that would be sapped and destroyed if life itself is destroyed by these hoons. Life must go on.

    As for governments flourishing you are right. We are responsible for the governments we elect and deseve the governments we get!

  28. Harinee,

    NY times editorial is not far off the mark. From Nehru the Kashmiri to the present government in India, a solution for Kashmir hasn’t been worked out. Majority of Kashmiris are Muslims and hence, it should have been made part of Pakistan.

    Of course, US wants pakistan to secure its Western border and get rid of Taliban and al queda and not be distracted by the eastern neighbour, India.
    NY times admits that US doesn’t have all the answers and it only points out the poor equipment used by Indian soldiers. NY times doesn’t need to tell the Indians about something you already know.

  29. Rameez, when Pakistan kills its own muslim citizens like dogs (during the Bangladeshi war of independance), how can you say that Kashmir should have joined naPakistan?

  30. Rameez
    I completely disagree with you and I think you completely missed my point on NYTimes .
    I think a solution for Kashmir should be determined by Kashmiris neither by Pakistan nor India and last of all US.
    And I will not elaborate anymore as this is not the right forum for such a debate.

  31. From what my elders have said, Jinnah, Gandhi and the British made the biggest blunder by leaving Kashmir issue unresolved and agreed on West Pakistan and East Pakistan as one country, even though they were 2000 miles apart. We are all paying for their mistakes.

    Re Bangladesh atrocities

    It was done by the soldiers under instructions from the Militiary Ruler and not by innocent civilians.

  32. With what appears to have now happened in New Delhi, I can’t see how the cricket can continue.

  33. Jaz,

    You have become a victim to an elaborate hoax by the security officials!!

  34. Pingback: A sensational victory… « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s