Life is unpredictable as we tend to encounter unexpected circumstances that take away our confidence and motivation. How we walk this uncertain path either makes or breaks us as we struggle to accept the realities of life. Cricketers also give us an insight into such realities and how to deal with them. What transpired on November 7, 2023, in the thirty-ninth match between Australia and Afghanistan of the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup was nothing short of an extraordinary feat of sportsmanship and determination of the highest order.
Australia’s Glenn James Maxwell played one of the best innings in the history of ODI cricket. This was not extraordinary because he did not score 201 runs (128). There were multiple reasons that pointed to the true potential of the human spirit. Maxwell came out to bat when his team were 49/4 in 8.2 overs as they chased Afghanistan’s target of 292. Australia needed 243 with six wickets in hand.
Maxwell fell to the ground while making his 147th run. The problem was with his hamstring and that did not bode well for Australia. While the physiotherapist was taking care of Maxwell, Adam Zampa entered the field as it was obvious that Maxwell was going to leave the field. Maxwell made the most unwise decision; at least for the team, the fans or those watching at home. Instead of giving up, he decided to follow his will and heart, and not give in to the pain his mind recorded.
Buying one or two was out of the question. He couldn’t run, let alone stand on two legs. He continued to draw boundaries and did the unthinkable in the process. He decided to stand still to play the game; not to win or score 201, but to keep playing because that’s what he has to do.
Maxwell could have scored two tons without getting injured and that would have been a huge accomplishment. But with one leg not functioning optimally, completing 200 runs, hitting 21 fours and 10 sixes at a strike rate of 157, is a Herculean task indeed.
Maxwell had the option of returning to the pavilion. He didn’t. He chose the alternative path. What if it wasn’t possible to get singles and doubles? It was possible to hit boundaries and sixes. Maxwell’s determined stance showed us the mental acumen and resilience of the Australian cricket team. Australia’s Steve Waugh showed similar resilience in the Super Six match against South Africa at the 1999 Cricket World Cup. He came out to bat at 48/3 in 11.3 overs as his team chased 271. Waugh scored 120 runs (110 deliveries), including 10 fours and two sixes.
There are some life lessons we learned that night watching Maxwell play against Afghanistan.
First, Maxwell’s determination to continue playing despite his injury shows the importance of determination in overcoming obstacles and the willpower we must always display.
Second, Maxwell made the well-calculated, sound decision to stay on the field and accept the situation as it was.
Third, Maxwell showed resilience by continuing to play despite his injury.
Fourth, Maxwell’s dedication to playing the game demonstrates the importance of making meaningful decisions.
Fifth, Maxwell willingly adapted to the situation and accepted an alternative plan when the expected game plan was not available.
Sixth, Maxwell’s innings encouraged us to believe in our abilities, especially when we face setbacks. Seventh, Maxwell’s performance highlights the mental strength and endurance individuals must channel to achieve their goals.
news source (thefinancialdaily.com)