“On a sporting field all are equals” – Bishan Singh Bedi puzzled over obsession with modest back stories of cricketers

Bishan Singh Bedi

Team India after beating Australia 2-1 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Former India spinner Bishan Singh Bedi is baffled by the obsession with modest back stories of cricketers in the wake of Team India’s historic triumph Down Under.

According to the 74-year-old, although the references to cricketers’ backgrounds are made with honest intentions, they end up seeming like slurs. In a column for Indian Express, Bishan Singh Bedi wrote:

“I don’t quite get the need to overemphasise the modest back stories of players. Someone being a rickshaw driver’s son has nothing to do with his cricket. On a sporting field all are equals. Those adjectives, intended praise perhaps, seem like slurs.”

Bishan Singh Bedi questioned the need to indulge in pity of any sort when youngsters are competing on equal terms. He further wrote:

“I get that the people want to highlight the hardships involved in the journey to the Indian team for inspiration. But the way it plays out on social media and WhatsApp forwards, it’s stripped off those nuances and comes across as insensitive.”

Mohammed Siraj is the son of an auto driver. His father passed away just a few days after the fast bowler arrived in Australia. Also, left-arm pacer T Natarajan’s mother ran a street-side shop, while his father worked as a porter at a railway station.

Bishan Singh Bedi is also disappointed with the “the greatest win ever” tag floating around in the wake of India’s latest triumph Down Under. According to the former India captain, such labels reduce some of the truly great memories of the past as mere footnote-moments. He further wrote:

“I have tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon and have concluded that Mother Nature doesn’t allow us to keep our memory bank bursting with a distant past. Only recent memories stay alive and kicking. They call it recency bias. And a momentous event like the Gabba glory turns into instant gratification — the need to glorify the present ends up in erasure of the past.”

Despite embarrassingly losing the first Test and missing several key players over the course of the four-match series, Team India defied all odds to win 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

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