Over 70.5 of England’s second innings, Yasir Shah to Jonny Bairstow: Bairstow is clean bowled after trying to work the shortish ball on the leg side. He was distraught with himself for playing that shot! After all, he, along with Chris Woakes, held fort for about 32 overs to stitch together a partnership of 56 runs for the 7th wicket. A look of anguish crossed Jonny’s face.
Move towards the other camp, the Pakistan players were ecstatic, their joy knew no bounds. They were running around and celebrating as they knew the floodgates were opened. Their efforts and perseverance has to be lauded, for they didn’t give up even when they encountered dodged resistance from Bairstow and Woakes. And when the action in the centre was such, the crowd couldn’t be far either. The England supporters couldn’t believe what they had just seen, while the Pakistan supporters were jubilant.
Once Pakistan were on the brink of victory, there were chants of “Amir, Amir…” in the ground. Mohammad Amir, who lost his reputation and his career, albeit briefly, at Lord’s cricket ground after a sting operation exposed his involvement in the spot fixing scandal in a match against England, made a comeback after 6 long years at the very place to, sort of, resurrect his career and win admirers and this is something that sport helps us witness. One had to see it to witness it. It was surreal to see the crowd behind a player not belonging to the home team! Sport is a great leveller.
Roll back to the night of 2nd April, 2011… Watching those anxious moments, watching Kulasekara run in to bowl to Dhoni, hearing Ravi Shastri commentate, “Dhoni, finishes off in style….” after that winning six…. All kinds of emotions in existence could be viewed then. These are those hair-raising experiences that sport evokes.
Messi, arguably one of the greatest to play the sport, shockingly announced his retirement from international football, after he could not stand the dejection of not being able to lead his team to the title. It was more of an emotional decision than anything else.
When the maestro, Sachin Tendulkar, played his last test innings, the whole cricketing world was moved. And the billions of fans couldn’t cork up their tears after listening to his farewell speech.
Other sports, too, would not be bereft of many such emotion-filled moments. These are the kind of emotions that sport brings to light. And more often than not, those who are able to control their emotions better and perform through them, triumph. It’s not only the players, but also the viewers who feel it. It’s not just feeling of patriotism or the joy of seeing one’s home team win or a favorite player perform, but it’s the satisfaction of watching a competitive match that makes us exult. After all, one does not chew off his/her fingernails for nothing!!