2013 has been a tough year for cricketers with spot- and match-fixing controversies taking center-stage. The careers of some promising players have come to an abrupt end. And like in the past, the difficult time has brought these cricketers closer to god.
India pacer S Sreesanth was handed life ban by the BCCI on Friday for his alleged nexus with bookies. A deeply religious man, he had in June prayed at the Sabarimala shrine after being released from the Tihar jail on bail. The Kerala cricketer apparently took a vow to visit the shrine when he was in jail. Sreesanth walked the 5-km stretch from the Pamba river, carrying the pooja items on his head before performing the rituals. He also gave an offering of plantains equal to his body weight (Thulabaram) at another Kerala temple.
Similarly, Bangladesh cricketer Mohammad Ashraful, who was banned from all forms of cricket after admitting to fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League, left for Saudi Arabia on Saturday on Haj.
Even former South Africa captain, the late Hansie Cronje, who professed to be a religious man, had confessed to Johannesburg evangelist Ray McCauley that he had taken his ‘eyes off Jesus when tempted by Satan’ before appearing before the King Commission to face charges of match-fixing.
While it’s impossible to measure the benefits an individual could get by seeking divine help it’s not hard to understand that going religious at least helps the person in distress find peace.