Cricket is not merely a game of eleven individuals. It also embodies in letter and spirit all the moral principals that have the potential to shape an individual's character like no other sports can.
It is a proven fact that if character is lost, everything is lost.
Cricket promotes clean thinking. It teaches an individual to be unselfish. Selfish cricketers are often sorted out by the game itself.
Cricket encourages self-control. Until a couple of decades back, cricket was known as a gentleman's game and sledging was unknown. However, call it an over-emphasis on the game or the commercial stakes involved, cricketers have begun to indulge in this practice. This has tarnished the fair image of the game. Put simply, this is just not cricket.
Thankfully, saner counsel prevails. In the fitness of things, some legendary players and administrators have rightfully intervened and attempted to control it.
Modern-day cricket is fiercely competitive and offers great financial rewards. But not at the cost of decency and fair play. While aggression is certainly called for,there should be no place for indiscipline.
Discipline is an integral part of the game. On the field, a player is dutybound to obey his captain. Players must show sportsmanship and grace even in defeat. The umpire's decision, howsoever unfair on the face of it, should be accepted gracefully.
Initially a cricketer feels that this is a game of recreation. But then, he soon finds out how tough it can be to face a delivery thrown at him at 90 mph or to bowl at a top class batsman for hours on end on a placid wicket or to experience the frustration of a dropped chance. To be able to face these challenges, one has to be mentally and physically fit.
Perseverance and patience pay rich dividends in cricket. These two values are on test when one is tired and is asked to bowl or when one wants to curb his natural game and asked to hold fort.
A great cricketer must be modesty personified. 'I am the best' attitude does not help in the longer run. The game is afterall, a great leveller.
To play well, one has to have quick mind and sharp reflexes. There are instances when one has to decide and act at the same time.
Cricket has a great binding force. It unites millions and provides a common platform for enjoyment to those who watch it.
Prince Ranjitsinghji wrote:
Cricket is a game which keeps a boy out of mischief.
IT is a training of youth for a manly life.It makes lifelong friends.
Cricket, if played in the right spirit, is capable of developing man's finest qualities.
One time Governor of Bombay, Lord Harris wrote:
'You do well to love cricket, for it is freer from anything sordid, dishonorable than any game in the world, and to play it cleanly is a moral lesson. Foster it, my brother, so that it may attract all and protect it from those who would sully it, so it may grow in favour with all.'