Life lessons from a game of sport

Anuradha C

“50-over cricket is so passe!”, “No way am I gonna watch one-day matches, spending an entire day on it,” Such were the comments doing the rounds before the Cricket World Cup 2023 began in right earnest about a month back. I must duly confess I was part of this brigade. But now, one month and nine consecutive wins (for India) later, I am back to being a believer – of the cricket mania.

By the time this story goes to print, the World Cup would have already reached its deserving winners. But for today, the tournament is adding zest and fervour to the Deepavali festivities across the nation.

Sports events are often considered extra-curricular in our education system. Something to be pursued during free hours for diversion. However, in order to succeed in sports, it takes a lot of hard work, grit, perseverance, positivity, and teamwork. Life skills which every student would do good to emulate in their academic and personal lives too. Let me pull out some notable moments from the world cup to illustrate this.

You can’t win by sprinting the marathon: Most challenges in life are not won by short bursts of brilliance. India is at the top of the points table and remains the only unbeaten team in the tournament. Such consistency can only be achieved by perseverance and long hours of dedicated efforts.

It ain’t over till it’s over: In one of the matches, Australia was down and out with over 200 runs to chase and just the three wickets remaining. But a valiant never-say-die knock of an unbeaten double century by one of the batters saved their day. A daunting opposition, physical exhaustion, injury – nothing stood in the way of his pursuit of victory.

Everyday is a new day: No one can afford to rest on their past laurels. Just because the Indian team has had a string of successes in the preliminary rounds, there is no guarantee of winning the next knockout match. Such are the vagaries of life. Success or failure, we mustn’t linger with either of them, just keep marching on. This too shall pass.

Shared joy is a double joy, shared sorrow is half a sorrow: In team sports such as cricket, the kinship among team members is a major source of strength. It can elevate ordinary people and help them perform extraordinary feats. When there are shared dreams and combined efforts, success or failure – both can be faced with equanimity and grace.

It takes just one win for an underdog to become a hero: Many a time, life throws up an unequal competition between strong and weak candidates – between the favourite and the underdog. The world cup kick-started to a lukewarm reception from the crowds in the first few matches when match outcomes were going largely as predicted. Until the underdog teams Netherlands and Afghanistan started causing major upsets and beating top rated teams. Suddenly, the tournament was wide open and the audience frenzy was back! All it took was the indomitable spirit of the underdog to surmount all odds and succeed.

Parallels are often drawn between life and sport. I’ve listed some of the life lessons that I could draw out of this cricket tournament.

Dear students and teachers, I am sure many such zippy one liners are buzzing in your head as you read through this piece. If you wish to share your thoughts and experiences with us do leave your comments on our website. The eye-catching ones will be featured in our subsequent Teacher Plus editions.

The author is an IT industry drop-out after several years of slogging and money-making. She is now working freelance as a corporate technical trainer and content writer. She is hoping to channelize her passion for writing into a satisfying experience for herself and a joyous experience for her readers. She can be reached at

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