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Pre-game, foreplay

The relationship between sports and the sexual drive is an old one. They just needed ‘parental’ sanction.

india Updated: Sep 23, 2009 22:52 IST

Chuck the Kama Sutra in the dressing room laundry bag. If our cricketers really want their bang for their forward drive, they should underline and read coach Gary Kirsten and mental conditioning expert Paddy Upton’s document that stitches Sun Tzu’s 6th century BC masterpiece The Art of War with (William) Masters and (Virginia) Johnson’s 1966 classic Human Sexual Response. While Kirsten and Upton have advised members of the Indian team on many fronts — diet (‘don’t keep an empty stomach’), strategy (‘take preemptive action, not a belated response the way India has conducted warfare down its history’, and personal management (‘accept your flaws instead of blaming others’) — we focus on one issue that we consider to be of vital importance to our cricketers now in South Africa: sex.

You don’t have to be Attila the Hun to know that there’s a correlation between a man’s sex drive and his ability to wage war. The Mahabharata is littered with subtle references to guiding pre-battle hormones to their rightful destinations, while the Iliad, another ancient war epic, leaves the field (of the battle as well as of the bed) open for Achilles, the ideal warrior, to vent off and on the pitch. And for people looking for more practical role models in the world of cricket, there’s always arguably the greatest spin-bowler of them all, Shane Warne. Let’s just say he was no Mahatma Gandhi.

What makes the Kirsten-Upton manual such a noble guide is that it doesn’t shy away from the real world — where a touring cricketer can end up spending hours into the night before the Big Day trying to find a ‘sparring partner’ ready to be his ‘muse’. Some poor blokes, alas, simply end up alone. Which is where the two latter-day Dronacharyas have admirably suggested less lucky players to ‘go solo’ for the sake of the team. After that, “just roll over and go to sleep” in preparation of the Big Game the next day. Surely, Ramakant Achrekar would agree.