A lesson for our rulers | Daily News

A lesson for our rulers


Where the country’s rulers have abjectly failed it was left to our National cricketers to bring the smiles and cheer back on the faces of a hitherto miserable and oppressed public, with their cliff hanger win over the much fancied Aussies at the R. Premadasa Stadium, on Tuesday night, while also going onto clinch the five match One Day series against the Kangaroos after a lapse of thirty years on Lankan soil. Admittedly, the victory was not greeted with the usual firecracker bursts and vehicle parades late into the night, as before, perhaps in deference to the public mood in general, but there was no denying the relief and jubilation on the faces of the spectators leaving the venue and certainly the millions of Lankans here and around the world who watched the Live broadcast of the game.

Sri Lanka has little to celebrate in these harsh times with the public enduring untold hardships brought about by the runaway Cost of Living and chronic shortage of all essential items including life saving drugs and medicines. But the cricket fans did not let this dampen their enthusiasm in backing the Lankan Lions to the hilt in the field of play dancing in isles and cheering wildly every stroke from the bat, every opposition wicket to fall and every gallant save made by the fielders. It was as if the Nation had momentarily come to a standstill with all woes, travails and traumas put on the back-burner for this single moment to celebrate the success of Dasun Shanaka and his boys that brought pride and glory to an otherwise battered and bruised Motherland. The game of cricket has always brought all Lankans together and Tuesday night’s victory was no exception, whatever the circumstances, reminiscent of the days when Master Blaster Sana Boy set the field ablaze keeping all members of the Lankan public glued to their TV sets their troubles momentarily forgotten.

On paper the Australians looked the better side on all counts, from the point of view of the Big names in the side, experience and the reputation coming into the series (the Kangaroos were also five times World Cup Champions in this format of the game). Not much chance was given to our lads even by the most incurable optimist among the Lankan cricket fans. But they pulled off the impossible, defying all odds and predictions, which all commentators put down to unity and teamwork. This trait of unity and teamwork was also very much evident in Arjuna Ranatunga’s World Cup winning side 26 years ago, when, on that night in Lahore, it turned the tables on the mighty Aussies, playing with limited resources. Like today, on that occasion too, the Lankan team faced the challenge of bringing cheer, solace and jubilation to a people who were living amidst the spectre of death brought about by a deadly civil war with suicide bombers mowing down civilians at random in every nook and corner of the country. Today’s task too was similar - bringing cheer to a people weighed by untold suffering and oppression in the midst of attempts to conquer an economic war. Like Arjuna did in 1996, Dasun Shanaka and his boys too showed the nation what unity and teamwork could do in achieving success. Hopefully, the country’s rulers and all political parties in general would follow in the footsteps of the victorious Lankan team and at least even at this late stage shed all parochial differences and unite as a team to forge ahead in winning the economic war and salvaging the country for the future generations.

For, as our victorious cricket team demonstrated on Tuesday all is not lost for Sri Lanka. There are countries which rose from the ashes from far worse calamities than what we are undergoing today. Japan, which was completely reduced to rubble during the Second World War, is a classic case of countries rising phoenix-like from the ashes - ending up today as a world economic power. The secret as always lay in unity and an iron will to succeed. Sri Lanka’s rulers and political establishment as a whole too should take a leaf from our cricketers and cultivate this iron will. As already mentioned, Sri Lanka can still do it and adversity should make all concerned to put behind the past and rally round to pick up the pieces and forge ahead. Our cricketers have shown the way in this respect. This is no time for finger pointing and engaging in blame games. It is also not the time for the boycott of Parliamentary sessions and walkouts staged by the Opposition. For all keen observers of the game our team played as a single unit with no hint of enmity or one-upmanship by any member of the side. All the catches presented by the opposition were duly held and no deliberate attempts were made even by a single member of the team to stand out and shine on his own.

Why cannot our politicians act similarly? After all what is at stake is not a game of cricket but the future of a Nation. They (our cricketers) have shown us the way. What is left for all concerned, including the opposition camp, is to play with a straight bat. No one should trip any political adversary on the way while making the forward journey. This country has suffered enough. What is needed is a new beginning- a system change which has become a by word today. And unity, for which Cricket Luverly Cricket has set the stage.



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