Play cricket for the sake of playing the game and entertain spectators

Baba batting (Near Satara)

Baba then related an incident from his own youth:

Play cricket for the sake of playing the game. Don’t think of victory or defeat, but, like a real sportsman, give pleasure to the spectators. If you play with all your heart to make the spectators happy, it is a great work done by you. But if you play with the thought of not getting out, you will make the spectators unhappy and you will have wasted their money. Do not make things boring for the spectators. After all they come with the hope of seeing some bright and good cricket. I give my blessings so that you may play the game for itself.

Once when I was a student at St. Vincent’s High School, we had a match with New High School. I was a good wicket-keeper as well as a good batsman. In that match, I was the opening batsman. I came back from the field not out while my whole team was out, but I had scored only 33 runs. When I came back to the pavilion, all the boys and spectators jeered and hooted at me. I did play steadily, but the spectators were unhappy.   So play the game in such a way that the spectators feel happy.

Footnote in LM: In his teenage years, as a cricket player, Baba was an outstanding athlete and leader of his high school team. He was usually a high-scorer, but not in that particular match, when he played too defensively., p5009
May, 1963; Guruprasad

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