Not only a fine sportsperson on the verge of calling it a day; Sania Mirza is also a braveheart with a conscience who holds courage enough to call spade the spade and swim opposite the "mainstream"!
When ensuring a permanent eradication of battles, skirmishes and terror from the face of the globe remain the demand of the civilisation; our cricket “admirers”, advertisers and a section of the media are working all-out to convert an arena as noble as sports into a full-fledged theatre of “war”! Sportsman spirit indeed!
Amid this war-mongering environment, I remember Sania Mirza's bold tweet just prior to the India-Pakistan match in 2019 World Cup --- "It's only cricket for God's sake, and if you think it's any more than that then get a grip or get a life”.
In this age of supreme insanity prevailing almost throughout the world, it was indeed a relief to note that rational upright sensible persons like Sania Mirza are still making their presence felt through their liberal and logical thoughts!
Yes, Virat Kohli is an Indian and Mohammad Hafeez a Pakistani. But at the end of the day, the greatest truth lies in the fact that Kohli and Hafeez are tied by the common bond of brotherhood, both being all-time great cricketers of the same world and children of that supreme power or Almighty --- call it Lord, Allah, God, Ishvara or by any other name. So what prevents us from appreciating the skills and greatness of all sports persons irrespective of their nationality or passport? If our respective team or nation wins, well and good; but if not, then we should learn to applaud the opposition or better team of the day, be entertained by the spectacle and move on. This is civility. Why are we hell-bent on marching backwards in the direction of the dark age or dog-eat-dog world?
I vividly remember the last Test match of that great man from Pakistan named Asif Iqbal which he had played at Kolkata (January, 1980). And when Iqbal was returning to the pavilion after playing the last innings of his life, the whole Eden Gardens stood at their feet and continued clapping warmly and affectionately till the last glimpse of that Pakistani legend. Yes, humanity and sportsman spirit at its supreme best!
And do the zealous supporters, who character-assassinate the home cricketers if a match gets lost or attack their homes, reside above all faults and deficiencies in their personal and professional lives? Do they never commit any mistake by carelessness, incompetence or inadvertence? What is their accountability to society? On any given day, any cricketer, captain or the team as a whole can commit a mistake or the opposition might play better than the home team. Moreover, win and loss are part and parcel of any game. Instead of appreciating this hard reality, the cricket “enthusiasts” indulge in mindless violence! Instead of demanding accountability from the cricketers, why don’t the “sports lovers” indulge in a bit of introspection?
Again I salute my sister Sania Mirza for her sober, liberal, rational and civilised thoughts.