Sports for peace and development

Devastating cricket fans across the country, South Africa beat Sri Lanka by six wickets at the T20 World Cup, on Monday (3).
It may be a cliche in the scorebook, but a famous saying lasts a lifetime. It goes like this: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, He writes, not that you won or lost, but how you played the Game.” Though often quoted, Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘If’ also applies to what we learn and what we should become through sports. Kipling’s poem goes like this: 

If you can keep your head when all about you   
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all people 
doubt you,
 But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
 Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
 And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
 If you can think—and not make thoughts 
your aim;   
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
 And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
 Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
 And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
 And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
 And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
 To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
 Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
 Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
 If all people count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
 With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
 And—which is more—you’ll be a human, 
my child!
(The poem has been edited to make it gender friendly)
In Sri Lanka, cricket is not only popular but an obsession among the people especially after the versatile Arjuna Ranatunga led us to victory in the world cup of 1996. 
Kerry Packer is the man responsible for World Series Cricket and the explosion of the one-day game. Packer, a media mogul billionaire, was behind the damaging split from the Australian Cricket Board in the late 1970s in a fight over television broadcasting rights, and when peace was achieved, his Channel 9 coverage led the way in innovation.
Before the enterprising, Packer’s intervention 5 day test matches were the focal point in cricket with the ‘Ashes’ series between England and Australia being the key event. That era also produced some great knights including Sir Donald Bradman and Sir Leonard Hutton, while in the bowling field legends like Frank Tyson and Harold Larwood, while in recent times there was a thunderbolt of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.
According to the United Nations, the international day for sports and development and Peace (IDSDP), which takes place annually presents an opportunity to recognize the positive role sport and physical activity play in communities and in people’s lives across the globe.

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