IPL, the T20 cricket carnival, is back. The COVID-19 pandemic may keep fans away from the stadium, but it cannot dampen the spirit of the cricket fans who will enjoy this 52-day long tournament on their TV and mobile screens.
While many will question the relevance of the tournament in these trying times, many of us believe that it couldn’t have come at a better time. We all can do with some cheer, some adrenaline rush, some celebrations and something that will keep people indoors.
But that’s not all this cricket bonanza offers. We can learn many life lessons from this sport that’s revered in the Indian sub-continent.
1. Inclusivity: The Indian Premier League is a perfect example of inclusivity. It allows cricketers from countries, regions and backgrounds to come together and play as a team. The only criteria to get selected is their skills. That’s how we should be in our lives, away from the cricket field. We should be inclusive of people and not discriminate them with our prejudices.
2. Be A Team Player: When you are working in a team, it is important to be selfless. When you focus on the success of your team, your performance will automatically go up by notches. It will also make you confident of making tough decisions, even if they involve you.
3. Know Your Strengths: Not everyone can be an all-rounder, and not all games can be won playing on the front foot. We all have our strengths and it is always better if we are aware of them. Our strengths, abilities and choices make us who we truly are. When we are aware, we are set on the right course.
4. Hold Your Nerves: Like cricket, life also throws us in pressure situations where we don’t know what will work. It is important to hold our nerves and analyse the situation. You can’t hit a Six in life if you are scared of getting caught on the boundary. Hold your nerves and rise to the occasion.
5. Believe In Yourself: Unless you believe in yourself, no one else will. The IPL tournament has given us many matchwinners since its inception, and the most common trait in these matchwinners is their self-belief. In life as well, you can win close contests if you believe in yourself.
6. Learn From Mistakes: Even the best cricketers in the world get out. Either they make mistakes or are outsmarted by the opponents. It’s no different from what we all experience in our lives. We all make mistakes or are outsmarted by the challenges thrown at us by our lives. It’s okay to make mistakes and learn from them. We don’t need to be harsh on ourselves.
7. Respect Every Individual: Every great cricketer was once a youngster in the team, and every great cricketer has to retire one day, that’s the reality of cricket. Similarly, we must remember nothing is permanent, and we should make hay while the sun shines. At the same time it is important we remain humble, modest and respectful toward others. People may remember you for your achievements, but they never forget how you made them feel.
8. No Wins Are Individual Achievements: In cricket, some performances stand out and some are not even noticed. But every small contribution matters for a team victory – every catch, every single saved, every runout. In life as well, our wins cannot be only ours. There are many others who have made contributions silently, selflessly. Shun arrogance and show gratitude.
9. Practice & Planning Are Key To Success: Each cricket match is different from the previous one and the strategy changes from one match to the other. The team that’s consistent becomes the winner and the players who are persistent shine over others. And the key to a winning streak is to be prepared for every possible match situation, which requires regular planning and practice. One cannot work without the other. In life as well we need to be prepared for possible challenges.
10. React According To The Situations: A cricketer can become a matchwinner for his team if he transforms his game according to a particular situation. If a match situation asks him to stick to the wicket, he does that, and if the situation demands him to slog, he plays big shots. That’s how we should be in our lives. React according to the situation and you will emerge victorious.