‘Mein Khelega’

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18th Nov, 2023

 This Indian cricket team is special, not just for the runs they have scored or the wickets they have taken, but for the quality of their wins.

Every time they have been challenged; a team member has raised his hand to be counted.

I rank this team very high not for their 10/10 enroute to the finals but for the sense of pride they have instilled in an entire nation, allowing us all to believe that we can take on the world—and win.

They deserve credit for the sheer joy they have provided to every cricket fan in the world at large with their masterly performance, fighting spirit and mental strength.

This fighting spirit and mental strength were best epitomized in December 1989, at Sialkot, Pakistan during the fourth Test match of the India–Pakistan series and just the fourth Test of Sachin Tendulkar’s career in Sialkot.

In a Test match India was fighting to save, he got hit on the nose by a bouncer from Waqar Younis.

When the non-striker, Navjot Singh Sidhu, and the team physio advised that he retire hurt, Tendulkar dismissed their suggestion with those magical words: ‘Main khelega!’ ‘I’ll play,’ he said. Nay, he said, ‘I’ll fight!’

Those two words verbalized the fierce determination of a young man who wasn’t going to quit.

Sachin went on to score 57 runs and shared in the match-saving 101-run partnership with Sidhu.

With two words—’Mein khelega’—talent transformed into genius, that day in Sialkot.

It’s always like that, what separates champions from mere mortals is not just talent, It’s attitude, It’s mental strength, It’s the willingness to fight when the chips are down.

It’s the ‘Mein khelega’ spirit.

The spirit that puts the team’s need ahead of one’s own interest. ‘Mein khelega’ says it’s not just about me, it’s about my team.

There are times in our lives when the pressure mounts and we feel like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. That’s just the time when you need to put your hand up and be counted.

Come on Team India, it’s time to say ‘Mein khelega’ and to put on sublime effort for the final heave and take the trophy.

In this cricket crazy weekend, Let’s pray for Team India along with a Billion others, and stay blessed forever.