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Cricket The Gentleman's Game...
We take things for granted. Technology protects us, we drive it. The  bizarre episode of an Australian cricketer succumbing to injuries, hit by a hurtling delivery has shocked the entire world. What happened? He was wearing a helmet. Can helmets protect all kinds of injuries? His team mates have still not recovered from the shock. The moment technology drives us, results can be adverse, it is a double edged sword. After this episode veteran cricketers have questioned the imperatives of cricket, that it is still a risky game and that head gears are not infallible.

Doctors reported that it was a very freakish happening. Freak or no freak it cost a dear life, and left many tearful. Reports also say that the batsman was also wearing a less protective helmet. Why did this happen? Are cricketers also getting casual? After this incident there is also a fear that it could happen to anyone in the future with the ball being hurled at a batsmen speeding at 140 kmph.

Cricket is getting an increasingly competitive albeit belligerent game. It is no longer a gentleman's game. Exchange of angry words, use of abusive language and vulgar gestures characterize the game, especially in ' instant ' cricket. The shorter the version, the demand for results become a fetish- win at any cost. The bellicosity underlying the game becomes more and more apparent. This is what is ominous. The shorter the version of the game, the bigger are expectations! And, moreover added to it is lucre- money and more money.

The players are under pressure to win at any cost. So sledging and abusive language is the order of the day. And this gets reflected in attitude, batting, bowling and fielding. But one never thinks of death, once it comes then a person is reduced to a shattered, tearful human being. We mourn for a few days and then forget about it. That was why body-line bowling became such a raging controversy in the 1940s.Only the genius of Don Bradman could defy it, if not actually flout it. Apart from head injuries, there could be injuries as vulnerable elsewhere. Who will protect cricketers then? And to think of it beyond three decades back, when there was hardly any protective gear. Sunil Gavaskar wore only a skull cap !

The intrepidity of cricketers notwithstanding cricket is an increasingly risky game. Fielders in close positions are also in a vulnerable and susceptible position. One cannot forget Raman Lamba's death in Bangladesh. There is nothing more tragic than dying while playing.

Very few Indians remember how Nari Contractor the Indian captain was felled by a delivery in the West Indies in the 1960s, recovered miraculously, but had to retire from active cricket. Let cricketing memories not be short, as the rising delivery or the bouncer threatens the life of cricketers. Technology at its worst is a cipher, and so are players in the face of the lethal red cherry.

You did your best Hughes. Now we should do ours...

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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