Hope comes in all forms and all norms.
On Sunday the 03rd of April, it came to a team considered the under dogs in a hotly contested cricket tournament that had millions glued to their TV screens throughout the cricket mad world.
Darren Sammy who led the team from the Caribbean to the Finals against England, held in Eden Garden Stadium Kolkata, proved to the world that he was a man of his word. He believed in a victory when others doubted their ability to win cricket’s most prestigious crown currently. He believed in God – a devout Christian like most of his team mates, a fact he was proud to declare following their stunning win over England. He had nothing but praise for the boys who made it all possible. He had hope – not just a flicker, but the kind of hope that brims over and infects others around him.
Darren Sammy showed the world that nothing is hopeless until and unless you have taken it head on. Hope is what drives us human beings to achieve stellar success – it is the essential ingredient that keeps human spirit going even when everything else around you, as the poet said, is ready to quit.In the case of the men from the Caribbean, they had plenty of it going around. They never vacated their posts at being masters of hope. And it paid off.
The West Indian team also championed a greater cause. They were the happy-go-lucky team, always smiling, sharing a close sense of camaraderie all around. In a sense, they had perfected the art of having fun despite all the seriousness of winning cricket’s coveted title. They replaced the fun factor that seemed to have gone out from the game, with big bucks taking over and more and more strategic moves wrought with seriousness that belies the joy of playing a sport for the love of it.
Darren and the boys also gave a master lesson in humility that night. They were not just the unexpected champions but they were also humble as they dedicated their win to their fans back home. The cricket pundits had not expected them to rise up to the challenge of entering the Finals and stand tall enough to win. As Darren himself told the world in a speech packed with emotion, they were called no brainers at one stage – they had a point to prove. They knew they were champions inside. The world got to see it at the right time, the right way. When you know and believe that you have within you what it takes to be a champion, not even the world’s biggest and the best heavyweights can stand in your way.
The West Indies cricket team inspired us all with their win. Their victory affirmed that it is not always the most expected, the most favoured, the most likely that win. That there is always room, just enough, for hope to triumph amidst adversity. That tomorrow belongs to those who believe in their ability to rise above the tide.
May Darren and his team go on to inspire hundreds of youth in the Caribbean and elsewhere to give their very best.