Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Time we change our sports?

I was sitting in my window last weekend, watching children play various sports in this huge ground opposite my building. I was following them, from cricket to football to volleyball and so on. And something struck. We have always believed that sports teach us stuff... but today, it was interesting to note how they teach us stuff that might mirror the society they originate from and those where they flourish.

Take cricket. There's one batsman and one bowler. Rest all are others. Their position may strategically have value but socially, in the structure of cricket, they are not as valuable as the role of a batsman, followed by the bowler. This is more apparent in gully cricket, where there's no team as such. Rather children take turns for batting. You ask a child who plays cricket, and 99% times you will hear that he prefers being a batsman. In fact I have seen insances where children cheat – they play their part of batting and then go home excusing themselves with “mummy is calling”. Everyone on the ground wishes to bowl the batsman, so that they can take his position. We know so many good batsmen or bowlers. Barring few exceptions, how many good fielders are remembered (and given a chance to endorse products)? Doesn't it in a way reflect the society where certain hierarchy is DNA-fied in the its structure? And where else this sport could have originated other the Great Britain, which has a history of hierarchical social setup? And where else could it gain such popularity other than India (and its neighbouring countries), which is so profoundly fixated with its love for class, caste and creed?

Well this is not about discussing how good or bad cricket is. The sport may have its own merits. However, I am more concerned about the lessons we are planning for our children on the field. All I am asking is, if we are really looking for solutions to such problems of social stratification, shall we not relook into what's going on in the schools (and not just classrooms) and streets and sports grounds? It has long been established that what's going on in the classrooms is not the most right thing that can happen to our children. Shall we also give a thought to what's going on with them on the field? And more so when The Great Britain itself has successfully shifted it's focus from cricket to football? Isn't it time we change or transform the sports we play?

P.S.: I am just thinking aloud. I may not be right in what I am proposing. It's just a point of view. I invite all the readers to post their views and have a good discussion here. And would really appreciate the cricket-lovers to give it an objective thought before presenting their views :)