Should cricketers adopt a more responsible behavior to keep the ‘gentleman’s game’ tag alive?
Passion aside, cricketers are also role models and should adapt to more responsible behavior, especially when it comes to someone like Virat Kohli or Ben Stokes, whom youngsters look up to and seek inspiration.
Kohli is a cricketer, who expresses his passion for the game through aggression, but at times creates negative effect with his ill-mannered gestures, which gets overlooked due to his sensational batting prowess. But it is not something which should be supported and given leverage.
Now consider this, a youngster who looks up to Kohli, sits in front of the television set to see the India captain bat and learn how to perfect his cover drive or get the timing right, but also ends up watching the 31-year-old use cuss words with ease. It might be on the young and innocent, who aspire to represent their country, to pick up only the positives from Kohli. But as fans, they might end up glorifying his behavior, in the long run.
Cricketers lead by example, but seldom some understand, it is also the behavior on the field which makes all the difference.
“My father gave me a simple advice ages ago, he said everything in life stays temporarily with you, the only thing which stays permanently is your nature, the person that you are. So that stays with you till your last breath, so try and be a nice person first and then you want to become a cricketer, lawyer or doctor or play hockey, whatever. But if you are a nice person everyone will like you,” Sachin Tendulkar once famously said.
In another case, Ben Stokes, might go down as England’s 2019 World Cup hero as far as history is concerned, but his foul-mouthed approach towards a middle-aged South African man at the Wanderes, might only brush aside his heroic image on and off the field.
As much as Stokes was applauded for his World Cup heroics, his apology after the incident in South Africa, did not go well as he was bashed by the cricketing fraternity for his ill-mannered approach.
It, however, remains to be seen how and if the modern day greats change their approach or the gentleman’s game continues to lose its sheen.