Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Pride and Shame

Two days with two emotions. Indian sports have just managed the same. Pride because the Indian cricket team won the first test in South Africa. Not pride actually, but some semblance of respect after the pathetic performance in the 50-50 format. But definitely pride for the compulsive cricket follower. The last cling-able strand of hope. Laxman has his feet moving, Dada had a good comeback, Tendulkar is back on the front foot (Seems to be in good nick. Just needs a big one). Bowlers are doing great. Zaheer has matured, Sreesanth has the aggression of the untamed and Kumble is the seasoned hunter. The optimists need no more reasons to remain interested in the rest of the test series. We do secretly believe that team India stands a chance in Caribbean 2007. But that is a secret, so sussssh!

Shame. If the cricket episode was shame converted into pride. Santhi’s failure to clear gender test was exactly the opposite. She (?) was the toast of Tamil Nadu as she won the 800m Silver medal at Doha. Apparently authorities at Indian Olympic Association (IOA) were in the know on this as Santhi had failed to satisfy the railways on this very issue. Interestingly, gender testing has been discontinued at International athletics. The test is conducted only if a fellow competitor complains of foul play. If someone who ran a race along with Santhi could sense this, how can Nagarajan, Santhi’s Coach at Prime Sports academy, claim innocence on this?

Anyway, Pride is a difficult emotion to come by in Indian sports. There are a lot of promising sportspersons but more often than not their sporting careers meet a sad end. Professionally, a clerical job with the railways or the Indian Airlines is not the best fallback option as well. I had set-out to cover one pride and one shame. With some more blabbering on Indian sports it would be one shame too many. Hence, the stop!

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