“They answered the cricket fanatics who had been aligned to the fact that England would win rather convincingly, but more importantly, they answered the dreamers by carving out a way towards glory, even while the world seems to have other intentions”
Follow your dreams; live the life that you have imagined. Be fearless in your pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. Ambitions. Passions. Adventures. Hobbies. Dreams. Dreams. Dreams.
All around, right from the very beginning, we get revved up for a fairy-tale ending. An ending with happiness all around. An ending where nothing but joy prevails. An ending of satisfaction. Of fulfilment and of achievement.
As a group of cricketers soaked up the revelries of a historical win at a quaint little town in Edinburgh, therein lay the ideal example of how dreams turn into reality. A country of 53 lakh citizens, that had hardly ever been discussed as a cricketing nation, had caused one of the greatest upsets in the world of cricket, akin to 1990 upset on the wrestling mat when Buster Douglas, coming into the fight with odds of 1-42, beat WBA Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson. It was momentous. It was significant.
One was a police officer; the other an architect. One ran his own little store of knacks and only a handful were professionals; cricketers. Yet, when the field of play came calling, the garb of distinctions all shrugged aside to unite 11 men as one. As Scotland Cricket.
In a nation where cricket is as significant as Biryani, who knows what it must have taken a Kyle Coetzer or Safyaan Sharif to dream of emulating Sachin Tendulkar or Wasim Akram, respectively. Maybe it was the rivalry with England, who were growing with each stride in the international circuit, or was it Sharif’s Asian genes that propelled him to follow the path towards cricket? Was it mere curiosity? Or was it something more? We shall never know.
But they stuck around. When funds were falling and when the future looked bleak, they never looked away. When a financially-viable offer came knocking, the sounds of the door crashing in front of it echoed loud and clear. The scenic grounds of Scotland, famed for the strolls undertaken by families in the evenings, had space for a bunch of hyper-excited kids timing the cherry with the willow. One barren, faraway patch of land, unknown and distant to humankind, bore the aspirations of a select few; the few who were soon to be enigmas in the world of cricket.
Not for their skills; neither for their unbeaten streak. Enigmas not because they had gained an indomitable aura around them. Neither did luxurious facilities engulf them. They hardly produced batsmen who could scare away the rivals with their big hits. Nor did they conceive bowlers who could rattle away the stumps with every ball that they bowled. It was, however, their eyes that remained ablaze and their nerves that reeked of an undefined emotion that set them apart. Eyes that narrowed down to that one goal; nerves that oozed out ounces and ounces of mania. All for the game of cricket.
Just when the bundle of desires had reached its zenith and the will to succeed had to remain undiminished after years of toiling and sweating, the International Cricket Council swooped away to end it all. Henceforth, the World Cup will be a 10-team affair, which only crudely signified that Scotland had a whisker’s chance of playing at the grand stage. Disappointment prevailed but the Qualifiers was resolutely fought. The career was on the line. The will to show the central board that small teams with big dreams COULD succeed was at stake. A spirited showing was what could convey to the ICC that teams with no competition to offer could spring up insane levels of aggression that could spring a surprise. And that is exactly what panned out.
However, the mortal human can only do as much and as the side haplessly watched the rain drowning away their dreams in the Qualifiers, a sense of dejection struck. A loss by 5 runs. A wrong decision that had pushed the D/L target beyond their grasp. No DRS. No extra day. No World Cup.
How would it ever feel to have the one thing that you have been desperately praying for evade your grasp? Things that you remain so passionate for but things you realise are never meant to be? It will sting. It will hurt. Heart-broken, you might even call it. Yet, the way of life is to stand back up tall and take on newer battles with as much of a fight. Society has no place for the brooders, and almost in an inhumane kind of a way, all downcast feelings are meant to be eradicated for challenges anew. Tough, isn’t it?
But as Scotland managed to wipe away all their tears to stage a ‘Wow! What was that?’ win against the numero uno ODI team England, they gave off a powerful message. They answered the ICC who refused to see their talent pool. They answered the cricket fanatics who had been aligned to the fact that England would win rather convincingly, but more importantly, they answered the dreamers by carving out a way towards glory, even while the world seems to have other intentions.