It is nothing but perception that when we talk about a disease such as cancer, it sends shivers down our spine, but the next moment we take comfort in the line, "Come on, I am a sportsperson, I train every day of the week, eat healthy, don't drink or smoke, cancer can never hit me".
This week, it has hit two prominent former cricket captains, Martin Crowe and Tony Greig. Once again there were shivers and once again there was the same line, albeit emerging very briefly this time. Because, after seeing my very good friend and teammate, Yuvraj Singh, go through the same, I'd say, cancer doesn't have any biases. Some months back, Yuvi was undergoing chemo in the US. He was fighting on all fronts - physically, mentally and, most importantly, emotionally. So was his family, especially his mom. I'm yet to start a family, but having my cousins around I have some idea how tough it is for parents to see their child suffer. After all this, it is heartening to see him back on the cricket field and get a double hundred in a Duleep Trophy game. Well done, Yuvi!
I wish both Martin Crowe and Tony Greig too fight the disease out. I haven't seen much of Tony but saw Crowe bat during the 1992 World Cup on TV. With his Duncan Fearnley bat and DB Draught headband, he was quite a picture. Especially, his driving through the off-side was a treat. I thought he always had so much time against fast bowlers. I hope, this time too, his and Tony's disease has been detected in time.
When I come across such instances, I really feel that I have done the right thing by pledging my organs through the Gift A Life Foundation. Who knows, maybe, 100 years from now, someone somewhere will be running around with the Gautam Gambhir pair of lungs. Come to think of it, isn't it such a different feeling?
Also, the fact that we are in Cape Town for our last game and former South African all-rounder, Dave Callaghan, came from this part of the world is not lost on me. He too fought cancer at a young age. Honestly, when you see cases like these, lack of runs or winning and losing takes a back seat. Once again, perception takes over. Duck or a 100, boundary or a wicket, win or loss, no one dies. While it is important to be competing for the country, certain things are way beyond all that.
Therefore, adjusting perspective is extremely crucial when you are performing on a big stage. Well, we are in the final lap of our campaign. As I said yesterday, we'd like to finish on a high. But, after an indifferent showing, it will take a lot of mental toughness to do that. My team is up for it; hopefully, we can sign off in style. Here is praying for the speedy recovery of Crowe and Tony.
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The writer is the captain of KKR