Humble England players impress all
The Indian team's no-show has become the talking point but there were other things too that stood out from the ICC awards function at London's Grosvenor hotel. Amrit Mathur reports.cricket Updated: Sep 15, 2011 00:42 IST
The Indian team's no-show has become the talking point but there were other things too that stood out from the ICC awards function at London's Grosvenor hotel. Except for the English players and umpire Aleem Dar, other winners did not show up.
So this was a party where the chief guests were missing.
While the evening lacked spark, there were some compelling moments. What stood out, for instance, was the extraordinary grace and dignity of Alan Davidson, and the energy and enthusiasm of Joel Garner, past legends inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Fortunately, the function had no lectures. Ravi Shastri, the MC, got down to business straightaway and all that he asked of the officials was to read out names of winners and then look at the big screen as video messages were played out.
In one such message, Kumar Sangakkara made a rather perceptive point. Besides the usual bit about cricket being a wonderful sport, the Sri Lankan captain, a lawyer by training, said he is honoured to be a representative of millions of cricket fans.
This is a unique thought because top stars normally take their elevated status as a perk and privilege, whereas being a representative shows there is an obligation and a responsibility attached to that role.
What some of English players said was down to earth. Asked to explain his recent superb form, Alistair Cook said he just got lucky to cash in, and that there is nothing he is doing different from the time he was struggling for runs.
This shows that sport, especially cricket, beyond a point is not a slave to reason. Nor is it a precise science.
Jonathan Trott was also equally honest and practical about his success. Both players remembered to profusely thank their teammates.
Normally these are politically correct things that are said (quite similar to the horrible cliché about retired players 'wanting to give back' to the game) but one got the impression this time the emotion was not fake. Maybe that is why the English team is where it is at the moment.