How did Harsha Bhogle become Harsha Bhogle?

Have you ever seen Harsha Bhogle hit six sixes like Yuvraj Singh, hit a straight drive like the God of Cricket — Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, or bowl deadly inswinging yorkers like Wasim Akram?

I bet not. 

Then how exactly did Harsha Bhogle become the voice and face of world cricket?

Absence Speaks Louder Than Words

The Cricket World Cup fever is catching on.

Afghanistan just toppled England. The next day, the Dutch scored another World Cup win over in-form South Africa

The tournament’s entertainment value is increasing by the day, but this World Cup is still missing two things — a thriller & Harsha Bhogle’s voice. Unfortunately, Mr. Bhogle has caught another fever, dengue, and has had to subsequently miss a few matches.

It is the days that he is not present that you miss his voice the most.

Note: If you like to read on Medium, you can also read it there.

Where It All Began

Okay okay, I know I am deviating. Anyway, back on topic. Where were we again? 

Oh yes, how did Harsha Bhogle become Harsha Bhogle? 

Did he take voice coaching lessons? Did he get a PhD in phonetics & linguistics? No, no he did not. 

Harsha’s mother and uncle had arrived in India from Lahore on an army train right before the Partition in 1947.

He remarked in The Grade Cricketer’s podcast, “For my father’s generation, survival was important.” Just like many Indians in that generation, he grew up in a middle-class household. Both his parents were professors. So naturally, education was at the forefront of his upbringing.

Bhogle completed his undergraduate in chemical engineering and then went on to graduate from IIM Ahmedabad in 1985. He even worked in advertising for a couple of years after his education.

However, he did not forget his first love, cricket. 

He had played Division A level cricket in Hyderabad along with competing at Osmania Nizam University & company teams. In Hyderabad, he had played with the likes of Arshad Ayub and Mohammad Azharuddin, a cricketer he would later write a biography of. (As an aside, he was once offered the opportunity to bat at #3, but said no. He was eventually picked for the university team but unfortunately did not make the XI).

The Greatest Weapon

Harsha Bhogle’s greatest weapon is his voice. 

He found his voice during elocution & debate contests in high school. The ‘Eureka’ moment in his career came when he realized he could combine this gift with the love of cricket.

His broadcasting journey began with a 15-minute commentary stint during a Hyderabad vs Kerela Ranji Trophy match. Later in 1983, he took part in his first ODI broadcasting assignment on Doordarshan-Hyderabad.

By the time we arrived at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, Bhogle was recognized as the “sexiest voice on radio.” 

During a casual interview with Gaurav Kapur, Bhogle reflected,

“I didn’t look like a model, I didn’t play a 100 Test matches. There was lots of things I wasn’t. So, I didn’t have the option to say ‘No’ to anything…When you say ‘Yes,’ it’s a fantasy world. You don’t know where you will go when you say yes.”

From All India Radio & the BBC to Kutti Stories with Ravichandran Ashwin & Cricbuzz Live, Bhogle’s evolution is his mark of success. Sometimes he is having fun with Gaurav Kapur & Joy Bhattacharya, while at others, he is critically analyzing the state of world cricket with Ian Bishop, Nasser Hussain, and Mike Atherton.

To hone his skills and stay relevant in the broadcasting world, he did anything and everything. He has covered matches in makeshift commentary boxes in Hyderabad, written for several newspapers, transitioned to radio, become the face of cricket during live television, conducted quiz shows, talked about mental health, given inspirational speeches to the next generation, written books, interviewed the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, and has done a heck of a lot more. Bhogle’s multilingual background aided in his evolution as a broadcaster. He wrote magazine columns in Marathi, took broadcasting assignments in English, interviewed in Hindi, and joked in Hyderabadi.

Throughout his career, he has interviewed Sir Garfield Sobers, heard memorable stories from another great Indian commentator, AFS Talyarkhan, and possibly most importantly, covered the career of Sachin Tendulkar.

The Voice That Propelled Sachin Tendulkar

An article on Harsha Bhogle is incomplete without a mention of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. 

Even Ian Bishop took a step aside when Harsha concluded one of the great careers in one of the legendary segments of cricket commentary.

Only someone who had followed Tendulkar’s career since he was 14 years old could have delivered a perfect tribute to the legend.

“This is an indicator what one man meant to a nation. With Tendulkar, it was not just cricket…He’s been a good man, apart from being a great cricketer, Tendulkar…Tendulkar meant to India more than just the numbers. It’s as if Tendulkar was born to be great and everyone just looked after him. Everyone in Indian cricket, in Mumbai cricket, looked after him. Everyone will have their own Tendulkar story to tell…Those 22 yards made that little boy from Bandra the legend that he became.

Without the voice of Bhogle, Sachin’s shots might not have been heard around the world.

What Characteristics Makes Harsha Bhogle Good?

Bhogle often says that for broadcasting metrics, “Chappell is my guru for work ethic.”

He prepares for each interview, writes down notes, talks to Simon Taufel to understand the rulebook, and draws from the wisdom of other cricketers to understand how to analyze techniques and read the pitch conditions.

He continues to learn and innovate. Not many would have the courage to dive into the world of Twitter, YouTube, and podcasts. He keeps on learning. But that’s how he has managed to stay relevant in the industry for over four decades. Two of his own quotes describe him best, 

“The day you think you know everything in life, you’ve descended already. You’re gone.”

“Sometimes, we wait for the big things to happen in life…Be happy with small times….But don’t wait for the big thing to happen.”

Final Thoughts

When things are all said and done, what will I remember the most about Harsha Bhogle?

Along with the voice, came the infectious personality — the expressions, inflections in the voice, historical references, the smile, research into players’ backgrounds, and the contrast between serious bits & humor. He talks mostly about cricket but speaks with an open mind.

As cricket fans, we like to talk about our cricket heroes, the greatest Test match players, and the best World Cup finishes. 

Sometimes, we should sit back and appreciate the people who make the cricket community great — The commentators, the umpires, the ground staff, the security staff, administrators, and many other individuals behind the scenes.

I will leave you all with this quote by American poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

And Harsha Bhogle did exactly that. He provided us with the little moments of joy to live by.

Sources: Biography — Harsha Bhogle

If you like this content, check out some of our other articles on Cricket’s Life Lessons:

Harsha Bhogle – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where was Harsha Bhogle born?

Harsha Bhogle was born in Hyderabad, India.

What is Harsha Bhogle’s age?

Harsha Bhogle was born on 19 July 1961. He is currently 62 years old.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 10/17/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

John Urschel Mind and Matter Book Review: Life Lessons from a Mathematician & NFL Football Player

Imagine having the mind of Srinivasan Ramanujan, the athleticism of Jim Thorpe, the creativity of Albert Einstein, and diligence like no other.

One man embodies all of these traits—John Urschel, a former NFL football player for the Baltimore Ravens and a renowned mathematician.

Join me on a journey of beautiful lessons in this book review of Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football by John Urschel and Louisa Thomas.

*For this book review, I read Urschel’s book, watched a couple of interviews, and perused through a few of his math papers.

Table of Contents

Mind and Matter Book Review – Quick Takeaways

  • Title: Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football
  • Authors: John Urschel and Louisa Thomas
  • Pages: 238
  • Chapters: 28
  • Publisher: Penguin Press, New York, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Mind and Matter Summary

This book is a goldmine for people who like mathematics, college football, sports, and reading in general.

For the mathematician, there are mentions of John von Neumann, Pascal, Fermat, Heisenberg, Bernoulli, Schrodinger, Kolmogorov, Leibniz, Newton, Godel, G.H. Hardy, Einstein and brief dives into the topics of probability, dynamical systems, Markov Chains, physics, measure theory, gambling, game theory, linear algebra, numerical analysis, set theory, and logic. For the football fan, there are references to locker room talks, deep friendships, training drills, college football season, tryouts, the NFL draft, CTE, concussions, injuries, and more.

Urschel reflects on the constant internal push and pull between doing mathematics and playing football. We learn how he developed these interests and navigated both spheres of his life without losing proficiency in either one. He ended up playing at the highest level in NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and completed his PhD in mathematics from MIT, specializing in linear algebra, graph theory, and numerical analysis. We also learn about important events that occurred during his education like the Jerry Sandusky scandal and how it impacted the Penn State community.

Quick Review

Two aspects that I really enjoyed were how (1) the writing style matched (2) the content of the book. The book seamlessly alternates between football and mathematics at different stages of his life. For example, he talks about Concussion in one chapter and moves on to Heisenberg’s Uncertainty principle in the next. The length of each chapter ranges from 4-15 pages, making it an accessible read.

I definitely recommend Mind and Matter for all ages looking to pick up a short, fun, and inspirational book.

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Also Read:

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Quotes from “Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football”: 5 Life Lessons We Can Learn from John Urschel


Let’s start with a little back story. My family gifted me this book on my birthday.

In my undergraduate years studying mathematics, Urschel’s poster hung outside the math department. For four years, I walked by it, the image slowly getting ingrained in the deep echelons of my memory. I always smiled when I saw it but did not give it much deep thought.

However, over the years, I have often been conflicted and never really come to terms with balancing my own interests, whether that is as a mathematician, sports enthusiast, programmer, teacher, writer, or as a violinist.

I am glad to have finally received the opportunity to read this book, which breathed life into Urschel’s poster and provided me with some topics of reflection. The perfect gift.

In any case, here are a few quotes and life lessons that stuck with me from John Urschel’s life.

1. “So often, people want to divide the world into two. Matter and energy. Wave and particle. Athlete and mathematician. Why can’t something (or someone) be both?”

At some point in our childhood, we have all been asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Humans are multi-dimensional creatures. Kids especially are innately curious and are fascinated by different sort of things like solving puzzles, running around, reading a book, etc.

But as we grow up, there is the societal narrative to pick a field, choose a profession, and sacrifice interests that will not result in monetary gain later on.

In a NFL Films interview, Urschel himself shuts this myth down perfectly, “Everyone makes me try to choose between football and math and who says I have to?”

Life Lesson 1: You can be a jack of many trades. You can be a master of one. Life is about choices and there really isn’t a right or wrong way. You can go the route of John Urschel, Justin Timberlake, Albert Einstein, Farhan Akhtar, Elon Musk or the way of Michael Phelps, Sachin Tendulkar, and John Nash. Be curious, be yourself. Why limit yourself to one sky when you can explore many galaxies?

2. “Nothing made me want to take that class more than being told that I couldn’t do it. That was my nature. If someone thought I wasn’t up for something, then I had to show them wrong.”

The only way to reach the peak is to overcome the struggle.

Stressing is bad, but struggling can be good.

Life Lesson 2: Challenges can be daunting, but they have the potential to mold you into the person you want to become. Take the extrinsic negative noise and convert it into positive intrinsic motivation. A ‘can do’ attitude is the way to go.

3. “I decided to stay. I did not know what would happen to the football team… But I loved Penn State, and I loved my teammates. I wasn’t going to walk away.”

I’ll jump directly into the life lesson on this one.

Life Lesson 3: Friendships and relationships are often the strongest bonds and the easiest ones to break. When someone close to you is in need, be there for them. Make time for your loved ones regardless of how busy you are. Send a quick text or give them a call.

4. “I wanted challenges. I liked the feeling of being tested—even if I disliked the tests we took at school.” Improvement did not always come easily. It took work. But there was nothing like realizing that what had seemed hard before now seemed easier, or that what I had done badly before I could now do well. Solving problems like the Einstein puzzle gave me satisfaction and clarity I rarely felt anywhere else. It gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me a sense of power.”

Similar to #2 but with a slight distinction.

Challenges are a common theme in Urschel’s journey, but here he stresses that these challenges came from within. Hence, overcoming them was more satisfying.

Life Lesson 4: If you do things that you enjoy, then even the greatest of challenges become child’s play.

5. “He was struck by the diligence and determination that brought to the work—or make me want to work even harder. ‘It is fascinating to see your progress and enthusiasm..'”

And finally, whatever you do, do it with a smile!

Life Lesson 5: Hardwork is good, but do you know what is even better? Hardwork plus enthusiasm. If you work with a smile, this will provide positive energy to those around you. A win-win situation.

Also, don’t forget to watch his football clips.

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Bonus: Relationship Between Math & Football by John Urschel

Here are a few quotes from John Urschel’s Path to Math & NFL film interviews that shed light into both of his topics of interest.

“Football helped my math career in a number of ways. In football, you’re constantly being challenged, every single day. You’re being knocked down and you have to get up, constantly fight back. Build this sense of resiliency. That has helped me in my math, the resiliency. Even when I try 99 things and I fail, I still try the 100th time. Stay curious.

“Math certainly defines football. Football is a game of numbers, and this governed by math. The physics going on, the forces, the momentums, the passes, the kicks, the catches, this is all mathematics….Every football player is just like a math formula in a way…My quantitative thinking is what helps me see what [the opposition does] and immediately know what I’m supposed to do.”

“The biggest similarity is intuition. In mathematics, intuition is a really strong thing that can help you. In football, you need instincts to make split second decisions.”

And finally, I am going to leave you with this one really cool fact: He wears #64 on the field, “a perfect square and perfect cube. A true mathematician’s number.”

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Final Thoughts: Read It or Skip It?

Definitely a must-read book for mathematicians, sports enthusiasts, and anyone who wishes to excel in two or more fields of their choice.

Urschel demonstrates that we can be both physically fit and mentally agile at the same time.

This book inspired me. Hope it inspires you as well.


Here is a link to Mind and Matter: Amazon.com: Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football: Urschel, John, Thomas, Louisa

Facts About John Urschel

Here are some facts about John Urschel.

Urschel was born on June 24, 1991 in Winnipeg, Canada.

John Urschel is 6 ft 3 and 300 lbs. Apart from being a mathematician and a football player, he also enjoys playing chess.

John Urschel Education & Academic Appointments

  • Canisus High School
  • B.S. Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University (2009-2012)
  • M.A. Mathematics, Pennsylvania State University (2012-13)
  • Ph.D. Mathematics, Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT) (2016-2021)
  • Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (2021-22)
  • Harvard University, Junior Fellow (2022-23)
  • Assistant Professor, Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT) (Present)

Urchel’s Sports Journey

John started his football career as a late bloomer in 9th grade and never looked back.

Baltimore Ravens John Urschel

He was picked as the 175th draft pick in the 2014 NFL draft and played till 2017 before he retired to pursue mathematics and finish his PhD full-time.

He has played as center, guard, and other positions (to cover for immediate injuries).

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Urschel’s Mathematical Journey

Urschel’s research areas span (pun definitely intended) linear algebra, numerical analysis, theoretical machine learning, and dynamical systems.

John Urschel’s Math Papers

Here are some of his contributions to the mathematical world:

  • The Urschel-Zikatanov Theorem (Spectral Bisection of Graphs and Connectedness)
  • Maximum Spread of Graphs and Bipartite Graphs
  • Some New Results on the Maximum Growth Factor in Gaussian Elimination
  • Multidimensional Scaling: Approximation and Complexity
  • Learning Determinantal Point Processes with Moments and Cycles

Here is the complete list of Urschel’s publications, CV, and achievements.

If you liked this article, check out other articles in the Life Lessons and Inspirational Stories category:

John Urschel – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is John Urschel Famous For?

John Urschel is famous for simultaneously pursuing professional careers in football and mathematics. He went to the highest level with the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL an became a professor of mathematics.

How did John Urschel Contribute to Mathematics?

John Urschel’s contributions have been in spectral graph theory, linear algebra, and numerical analysis among others. The Spectral Bisection of Graphs and Connectedness is one of his searly significant mathematical contributions.

Why did John Urschel Retire?

John Urschel retired because he wanted to focus on mathematics full-time and give time to his daughter and family. There was also an additional layer of concern with concussion he had suffered earlier.

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 09/23/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Sachin Tendulkar Life Lessons: What Sachin Tendulkar God of Cricket Taught Me

What lessons can we learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life?

Today is a day of great reflection because today we celebrate the 50th birthday of the great Sachin Tendulkar.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, SRT, or the ‘God of Cricket’—regardless of how you referred to him, for most cricket fans between 1989 and 2013—the love of cricket coincided with the love of Sachin. He represented hope, excellence, and discipline for billions of people around the world.

Let’s reflect back on those 24 precious years and see what we can learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life. Or at least here is what Sachin Tendulkar taught me.

Also Read: What Rahul Dravid Taught Me, 155 Greatest Cricketers of All Time (Men’s)

7 Lessons We Can All Learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s Life

1. We Must Accept Finite Disappointment, but Never Lose Infinite Hope

  • Quote By: Martin Luther King Jr.

After Kapil Dev & his men lifted the 1983 Cricket World Cup trophy, playing cricket for India and lifting the World Cup became a dream for every schoolboy. Sachin was no different. Fast forward three years into his career, he was selected for the 1992 ODI World Cup.

First time, no luck. Then, 1996 semi-final happened. Sachin Tendulkar stumped. Eden Gardens stunned. India collapse—A common sight in the nineties. It was followed by 1999 hardships & disappointment, 2003 (Final – so close, yet so far), and last, but certainly not the least, the 2007 Cricket World Cup. India crashed out in the group stage. It seemed to be curtains on Sachin Tendulkar’s lifelong dream.

But then four years later,Dhoni finished it off in style and India lifted the World Cup after 28 years.” Broken Dreams No More. Tendulkar’s years of toil finally transformed into moments of pure joy that he had always dreamed about.

  • What Can We Learn?

Life Lesson 1: Disappointments are a part and parcel of life. The important thing is to never lose sight of the hope, dream, or end goal you have deep down. If you persevere and keep at it, who knows, maybe one day that dream may come true.

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2. Rest at the End, Not in the Middle

  • Quote By: Late American basketball legend Kobe Bryant (and quote from his English teacher, Mr. Fisk) while accepting the ESPY ICON AWARD

This speech is so beautiful, it is worth writing it in full here.

“We are not on this stage just due to talent or ability. We are up here because of 4 AM. We are up here because of two-a-days. Or five-a-days. We are up here because we had a dream and let nothing stand in our way. If anything tried to bring us down, we used it to get stronger. We were never satisfied. Never finished. We’ll never be retired. My high school English Teacher, Mr. Fisk. He had this beautiful quote, ‘Rest at the end. Not in the Middle.’ And I took that to heart. I believe there is time to rest at the end, but the time is not now.”

– Kobe BryanT

Just like Kobe Bryant and other legendary sports stars around the world, Tendulkar had to work hard for it.

Sachin Tendulkar was definitely a gifted a cricketer, but that alone did not make him great. Sure, he had natural timing and great hand-eye coordination, but he still had to put in the hard yards. Hours and hours in the nets, days and days in the Bombay Maidans under the sun, honing his technique slowly but surely. One day at a time, he got better. And he just never stopped.

Life Lesson 2: What differentiates excellence from just adequate performance is the work ethic. To achieve greatness in any field, the end result is directly proportional to the amount of work you put in.

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3. The Price of Anything is the Amount of Life You Exchange For It

  • Quote by: Henry David Thoreau, American philosopher and writer

From an outsider’s point of view, Sachin Tendulkar was a superstar and public figure. But this definitely came at a cost. Staying away from family for the better portion of two decades, always being under media pressure, recovering from career threatening injuries, and maintaining international level fitness would not have been easy.

Life Lesson 3: Sacrifice. Whether that is time, family, plans with friends, delicious food, sacrifice in some extent is necessary to progress to the next level.

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4. Sometimes It is the People No One Can Imagine of who do the Things No One Can Imagine

Quote By: Alan Turing, Father of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence

Who would have thought that a 5-foot four schoolboy from Mumbai become the first ODI double centurion, go on to score hundred 100s, and become the idol that would inspire a nation of a billion? And even after he debuted for India, not many could have imagined the scale at which Tendulkar was able to conquer the cricketing world. There have been many 16- & 17-year-old debutants in cricket, but none like Sachin.

Life Lesson 4: If you can put your mind to it and imagine the impossible, you can achieve the impossible. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you that cannot do something.

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5. Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go

Quote By: T.S. Eliot, American Poet

Tendulkar did not stop until he reached the height of individual excellence. Sunil Gavaskar, the original ‘Little Master’ had set the bar with 10,000 Test runs and 34 Test centuries. How far would Sachin go? 35? 50? Once he got past, he did not stop. 34,347 runs across formats, scoring hundred 100s and 164 fifties, he finally hung up his boots. But by the time he was done, he had expanded the horizons of what batting excellence looks like.

Life Lesson 5: Beware of complacency. Take some risks. How far can you push the barriers in your profession?

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6. Courage is Grace Under Pressure

Quote by: Ernest Hemingway, American Author

Sachin Tendulkar had the weight of a nation’s expectations but never showed it. He always carried himself with grace and did not let the public know about the stress and mental pressure he must have been going through. That, my friends, is courage.

Life Lesson 6: It is more important how you carry yourself rather than what you achieve.

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7. Without Continual Growth and Progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

Quote By: Benjamin Franklin, American writer, thinker, politician, scientist, diplomat, printer, publisher, everything.

With such a long career, ups and downs are bound to occur. Teams figured out some of his weaknesses, injuries occurred, and so did prolonged loss of form. What mattered was that Sachin continued to reinvent himself and bring out a new version to overcome certain obstacles. Prime examples are the 241* in Sydney when he famously gave up the cover drive & the second wind in 2010 (at the age of 37, he dominated the South African bowling attack, scored double centuries, and looked fluent as ever).

Life Lesson 7: Keep the curiosity alive and continue to learn. You can only make substantial progress if you struggle initially, experiment with possible solutions, and ultimately overcome the challenges. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

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Sachin Tendulkar Life Lessons – Final Thoughts

I will leave you with this final thought.

Sacrifice, patience, longevity, work ethic, reinvention, curiosity, grace. The list goes on. We can learn so much from Sachin Tendulkar, a cool head on broad shoulders that taught a country how to excel, win, and most importantly, dream.

What life lesson has Sachin instilled in you? What has he meant to you?

Other Articles on Cricket, Philosophy, and Life Lessons

If you liked this article, be sure to check these articles below on Cricket Life Lessons:

  1. Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience – Which One Is Your Favorite?
  2. Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket
  3. Cricket’s Reflections of Passion
  4. Rahul Dravid Biography: What Dravid Taught Me
  5. Lasith Malinga: The Slinga, Slayer, and SuperStar
  6. What Can Ellyse Perry Not Do?
  7. Nicholas Pooran, A Story of Pain, Hope, & Inspiration: The Next Big Thing of West Indies & World Cricket
  8. Dale Steyn, The Embodiment of Simplicity and Intensity
  9. Ross Taylor, An Underrated Cricketer Who Was A Giant Among New Zealand’s Greatest Generation
  10. 20 Years of Mithali Raj And Jhulan Goswami: Eternal Legends for Indian & Women Cricket
  11. The Magician With the Yorker – Umar Gul
  12. Faf du Plessis & AB De Villiers’ Friendship: Broken Dreams of Faf and ABD
  13. Dinesh Karthik and the Art of Self Correction
  14. MS Dhoni and SK Raina Retire: An End of An Era
  15. Dean Jones: A Celebration of Life

Frequently Asked Questions

What lessons can we learn from Sachin Tendukar’s life?

Some lessons we can learn from Sachin Tendulkar’s life are: Sacrifice, patience, longevity, work ethic, reinvention, curiosity, and grace.


© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, LLC 2023. Originally published on 04/24/2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

200th Article Special: 5 Things I have Learned From My Journey of Cricket Writing

Welcome fellow readers to the 200th Special!

This is going to be a different sort of article — No World T20 match reviews, not dissecting India’s disaster or praising Namibia’s story, no analysis or stats either, and surprisingly, not even any predictions. Just pure reflection with a hint of philosophy.

91 years after Don Bradman hit his first out of 12 Test double centuries, I finally have my first double as a writer. How did I get here? Why did I start this journey? What have I learned?

To give this article a twist, the theme of this article will rally around the lyrics of some pieces of music. I would highly encourage you to click on the song and give them a listen as well.

1. “It Means No Worries”

Song: Hakuna Matata – Lion King

Significant Quote:

“It means no worries for the rest of your days. It’s our problem-free philosophy…

Hakuna Matata!”

Situation: Finally starting this blog and website after England Vs West Indies 1st Test as cricket resumed post-COVID

What Is My Story?

I have been watching cricket for my whole existence, ever since the 2003 Cricket World Cup. My close ones tell me that I used to memorize the line ups of all the teams, from Australia to Zimbabwe, dragged my plastic bat around the house, and tried to copy actions of bowlers like Brett Lee, Harbhajan Singh, and Anil Kumble and the strokes of batters like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Sanath Jayasuriya, Rahul Dravid, and Mohammad Yousuf.

Not much has changed 18 years later. From Afghanistan to Papua New Guinea, I still memorize players’ names, follow most cricket, play cricket casually with my brother and friends, and try to copy mystery spinners like Ajantha Mendis and Theekshana (since Rashid Khan is too hard to emulate). Moreover, I now go into in-depth analysis before the game, after game, read articles on Cricinfo, watch CricBuzz Live, crunch up the numbers, and more.

You can say that I am obsessed with cricket. Not much has changed all these years…except that I talk a lot more now.

I was told I should start writing about cricket but for years, I never took that action. However, after Jason Holder & a hobbling Campbell secured a victory after Jermaine Blackwood’s counterattack, I was filled with emotion. In that moment, I realized what we had all missed during the sports break. A few minutes later, I began my journey as a cricket writer.

Life Lesson #1

From that moment, I changed my working philosophy—If you have any idea, take the action. Do not just play scenarios in your head or think what others would think of you or how you would be judged. Take your destiny in your own hands, channel your inner Timon & Pumba, and live a problem-free life just as you want.

2. Broken Cricket Dreams — Where Dreams Live

Song: Somewhere Over The Rainbow from the Wizard of Oz

Significant Quote:

“And the dreams that you dare to dream

Really do come true”

Situation: Cricket writing fulfilled a life long dream

What Was My Underlying Motivation?

Once this website opened, the natural question was what it going to be called? What was my motivation? Here is the story.

I dreamed of becoming a cricketer, as did billions of people around the globe. Staying till the end, winning matches for your team are moments I would visualize and imagine.

I finally got my opportunity and began playing school level cricket way back in third and fourth grades. A few months later, our school finally was invited for a knockout tournament. I was guaranteed a place in the second match. In the first match, we lost a last over thriller, and our team was knocked out. We moved, and little did I know that it would be my last game of cricket or sports.

Broken Cricket Dreams.

Guess what? There are numerous other fans with similar stories. And that is why we created this platform. You can share your own pain and share your joy from cricket. Here, dreams come true. Little did I imagine that people would appreciate my content, I would get a chance to interact with some of my favorite players, journalists, writers, and love the game even more from the outside.

Life Lesson #2

Always expect the unexpected. Life may not go to plan, but whatever comes your way might be a blessing in disguise as writing was for me. Don’t have regrets, smile, enjoy your journey, celebrate the struggle, dream big, follow your passion, appreciate the small things in life, and things will be good.

3. “But I am Not The Only One”

Song: Imagine by John Lennon

Significant Quote:

“You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one…:

Situation: Cricket Twitter

Sharing Is Caring

Living in a non-cricket playing nation, it was difficult to find people to talk to with whom I could share this passion for cricket. Before I started this website, I used to talk in-depth about each and every cricket match with my family and a couple of close friends. Since I had no other outlets, I used to chew their brains off.

What I have realized since the inception of this website 15 months ago is that even though I am a dreamer and live in my own cricket bubble….I am not the only cricket fan on Earth. In fact there are more like me. There are fans of the game who go to even more of an extent for the love of the game. Fans with a greater sense of loss or broken dreams.

The other, more darker aspect of Twitter and social media in general is the divisiveness. When things are going well, social media is usually a nice happy place. However, fan wars, cancel culture, trolling, tagging cricket players themselves, abusing their families take away from the game.

Life Lesson #3

Loving one country does not mean detesting the opposition. You can have too different views without contradicting each other. Spread Love. Sharing is Caring, Shouting is Not. Man has created boundaries. Cricket can unite the broken world. This is where the final line of John Lennon’s song comes in.

I hope someday you will join us, and the world will live as one”

4. “I Did It My Way”

Song: My Way by Frank Sinatra

Significant Quote:

“When there was doubt, I ate it up and spit it out.

I faced it all, and I stood tall,

And I did it my way.”

Situation: Trying to be me

Thinking Outside The Box

One of my main goals when starting this project was to do things differently from a normal cricket or news site. There are several better platforms for that.

I have tried to make content unique by embedding my personality via life lessons, philosophy, and cultural references or by experimenting with different styles and formats (A Shakespearean play, The Comedy of Overs, for example). Everything has not worked. I have struggled, doubted myself, overworked, but in the end, I learned, improved, changed things, and progressed further.

Life Lesson #4

There are millions of ways to manifest your love for something. I choose to portray my love of cricket via writing. Yours might be different. There is no one right or wrong answer. You can express your love or admiration for anything in numerous ways. Just whatever you do, give it your all and do it YOUR way. Be honest. Be yourself.

Life is a game. You win some, you lose some. Sportsmanship make your life easier. You become a better human being when not bogged down by failures. Learn from failures, work hard, and rise again. Any setbacks just make you stronger.

5. “Time To Say Goodbye”

Song: Time to Say Goodbye by Sarah Brightman & Andrea Boceli

Situation: Thank You to everyone out there reading this

Thank You

Okay, this is not really a goodbye. I just love this piece of music. This is just the beginning of my writing journey, but I wanted I want to end this article with a Thank You. Thank you for all my readers and all the followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as well. I love the engagement and learning from y’all. Friendly banter, memes, stories, art make my day. Hoping for many more years of conversation ahead!

Life Lesson #5

Be grateful. For everything and everyone. Hug your family. Keep in touch with your friends. Make that call you have been waiting for. Reach out if there are any mental health struggles. Appreciate one another. This pandemic has taught us some harsh lessons. Cherish every moment. To be human is to be grateful.

If you like this content on Dinesh Karthik, please subscribe and follow us on our social media accounts.

Follow us here if you are on Medium or Bloglovin‘.

If you are one of my new followers, I will leave you with some of my best writing and featured articles.

Featured Articles

I. My Favorite Cricket Heroes and What We Can Learn From Them?

My cricket writing journey began with a tribute to Rahul Dravid. Since then, I have written about some of my other favorite players—Dale Steyn, Ellyse Perry, Ross Taylor, Faf Du Plessis & AB De Villiers, Umar Gul, Nicholas Pooran, Dinesh Karthik, Lasith Malinga, Joe Denly, Sam Curran, Dean Jones, the Bangladesh Fab Five, and the duo of Suresh Raina & MS Dhoni.

Just swipe the photos for more articles in each category.

II. World XIs With Twists

Have you ever tried to compile an XI of South African born players playing for other countries? Or wondered what the most beautiful stadiums in the world are? Here is some of my lists—Players who retired too early, most underrated cricketers, unluckiest XI, commentators XI, most stylish, etc.

III. How Can We Improve Test Cricket and the World Test Championship?

IV. Life Lessons

V. Cricket Analysis

VI. Experimental Interviews & Articles

© Copyright @Nitesh Mathur and Broken Cricket Dreams, 2021. Originally published on 11/01/2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Broken Cricket Dreams with appropriate and specific direction to the original content (i.e. linked to the exact post/article).

Top 10 Life Lessons From India Vs Australia 2020: Courage, Character, Resilience – Which One Is Your Favorite?

India Vs Australia 2020, a series to cherish forever.

In the time of COVID and hardship, this is exactly what was needed. Not only did this series entertain, it also taught us valuable life lessons as well.

Earlier we did a similar piece on 10 Life Lessons from IPL 2020:

  1. Soil Fertile Elsewhere
  2. The Audacity of Hope
  3. Rise Like a Phoenix
  4. Make Most of Your Opportunities
  5. Synergy Above All
  6. Small Hole Can Sink a Ship
  7. Carry Old Baggage At Your Own Risk
  8. When One Era Closes, Another Opens
  9. Fix Roof When Sun Is Shining
  10. Sportsmanship & Passion For the Game

Today we will add more 10 life lessons from cricket we can apply to our lives.

Table of Contents

*Note: Underlined & Bolded links are videos. Underlined without bold are links to other articles.

Also Read: Cricket’s Reflections of Passion, Prediction Results, Life Lessons From Joe Biden & Joe Denly

The Life Lessons

India Vs Australia 2020 Edition

1. Resilience & Courage

Moment: The entire series.

The series can be summed up by Nelson Mandela’s quote, “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Whenever India looked like they were gone, they found a way to get back up.

36/9 in Adelaide and without Virat Kohli at Melbourne. Surely India cannot recover at the Boxing Day Test? Well exactly the opposite happened as India achieved a memorable victory. The entire team rose to the occasion & Rahane, the stand-in captain, stood up with a magnificent century.


Injuries to fast bowlers of the Class of 2018. Before the series, No Ishant, no Bhuvi. Midway through the series, Shami, Umesh, and Bumrah out. By the end, Ashwin, Jadeja, & Vihari are done. Battered & bruised, they draw the third test.

Did the Indian team decide to give up at any point in time? Does India play for the draw in the 4th test? No & No. They go for the win. And they indeed win.


Life Lesson 1: It is okay to make mistakes. You will suffer setbacks. The important part is to regroup, learn from these initial setbacks & mistakes, and find your feet again. Keep working. Keep going. Just never give up.

2. Just Be Yourself

Moment: Pant-Pujara Partnership

Oh he plays too slow! No intent shown….Oh he is too reckless. Gets out against the run of play.

This is not a description about one player but a paraphrasing of criticism for two different players, Pujara and Pant.

Balance is important. Criticize these two at your own peril.

Pujara scored his slowest fifty in the first innings of the 3rd Test. He followed it up by his 3rd slowest in the second innings. He went to break his own slowest 50th at the historic Gabba chase.

Pant ‘throws it away’ in the 2019 World Cup Semi-Final. Pant has ‘thrown it away’ several times before. In the third test, he plays a ‘rash’ shot at 97. Hopes of India’s win diminish, but the fact India had hope in the first place is due to Pant. Fortune favors the brave.

Pujara ended the series with a strike rate of 29.2. Pant with 69.89. Neither got a century, yet the partnerships of 148 (265) in Sydney and 61 (141) at Brisbane were monumental in India’s victory.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant. Chalk and cheese. Yin and Yang.

Life Lesson 2: Adapting to different situations & circumstances in life is important but not at the expense of your innate being. Always learn from others, listen, take their advice, but at the end of the day, you are unique, and that is good enough. Never change who you are for others, and never forget where you came from.

3. Character & Determination

Moment: Hanuma Vihari & R Ashwin in the 3rd Test

Hanuma Vihari had a disastrous series till Day 5 of the 3rd Test. In his 5 innings, he scored 16 & 8, 21, and 4 & 23*. By the 4th day, he had run himself out after looking uncomfortable with a 4 (38), dropped a couple of crucial chances, and had been hit numerous times at forward short leg.

When Pujara & Pant depart on Day 5, Vihari has only scored 3*(31) with a session & a half to go. Just to put salt on the wound, Vihari suffers a hamstring injury. His new partner, R Ashwin, neither has form on his side nor a functioning back.

But boy, does he have spine? Post tea, he gets battered with short deliveries and gets hit on the ribs & shoulders.

Response? They pull off one of the major heists in recent Test cricketing memory. Vihari 23*(161) with over 4 and a half hours of batting & 39*(128) in 3 hours for Ashwin. Partnership of 62*(259).

If this is not one of the greatest displays of character & determination, I just don’t know what is.

Life Lesson 3: Sometimes things are in your favor. At other times, they are not. Vihari could have easily retired hurt and cared for his place in the 4th Test. These moments are what life is all about. Even when you are not 100% physically or mentally, stay in the moment & give it your all.

Don’t retire hurt and sell yourself short.

4. Fearlessness

Moments: India’s youngsters rise to the occasion. Pant’s 97 & 89*, Sundar 62, Thakur 67 & 7 wickets, Siraj’s 5-for, & Shubman Gill’s 91.

Mark Twain is credited to have said, “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.”

The embodiment of fearlessness was displayed by India’s youth in this tour—Debutants Shubman Gill, Mohammad Siraj, Washington Sundar, (almost debutant) Shardul Thakur, and none more so than the experienced Rishabh Pant.

Gill’s backfoot punches are a thing of beauty. Beauty + Consistency + Positive Approach = Brilliance of Shubman Gill. Scores of 45, 35*, 50, 31, 7, and the 91 that gave India belief in Brisbane.

Thakur & Sundar did not fear against Starc-Cummins-Hazlewood. Neither did they blindly hit. They played proper cricketing shots & dominated. On Day 5 and near victory, Sundar pulled dangerous Cummins for six, Pant paddle swept Lyon, & Sundar got out playing a reverse sweep. Fearless stuff.

Life Lesson 4: You will face challenges and difficulties, whether that is related to school or work. Next time you fear how hard the upcoming exam is or if you have self-doubts about completing a project, take a deep breath and invoke your inner Rishabh Pant.

Spiderman, Spiderman,…

5. The Whole Is Greater Than Sum of The Parts

Moment: India Maximize Available Resource

Luck is when opportunity meets preparation. The youngsters, reserves, & stalwarts of India were prepared when this opportunity came.

Although Rahane’s century was the highlight of Melbourne’s victory, Bumrah and Ashwin were among the wickets, Shubman Gill contributed with a 45 & 35*, & ever dependable Jadeja made a steady 57 along with his fielding efforts.

The Sydney draw was masterminded by Pant-Pujara & Ashwin-Vihari partnerships, but also had key contributions from Gill-Sharma & Jadeja again. In the final Test, the improbable counterattack by Thakur-Sundar, Siraj’s 5-for, & Gill-Pujara-Pant-Sundar took India to victory.

India utilized 20 squad members, Pant was the highest score with only 274 runs, & Siraj the highest wicket taker with 13 wickets. It was a truly a team effort from India’s point of view. Australia had more centuries, highest wicket taker, & most run scorer (since they played all 4 matches).

Life Lesson 5: Learn to work with others. The more diverse the ideas, the better. Individual excellence along with the greater good is the best way forward. Bring others along with you.

If you like this content about India Vs Australia 2020, feel free to subscribe above for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts. We discuss regularly about cricket on our Twitter platform, but also have Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest Accounts. ALSO TWEET AHEAD AND SHARE!

Embed from Getty Images

6. Be Like Pat Cummins

Moment: Pat Cummins bowls his heart out

So why does Cummins get a special mention? Because he was the highest wicket taker at 21 wickets and player of the series? No.

Pat Cummins bowled 162.1 overs, the most by a pacer in this Test series (Lyon with 187). Hazlewood was next with 144.4. This is an amazing feat considering Cummins was marred by injuries in his early career (Test debut in 2011, but did not play any tests between 2012-16).

He was just as intense on Day 1 of the first Test as he was on Day 5 of the 4th. In the final hour of the series, if there was one bowler who Tim Paine could depend on, it was Pat Cummins. Still bowling at 140 clicks, hitting the perfect line & length (Spooky pitch map by the way).

Accuracy, Consistency, Intensity. That’s Pat Cummins for you.

Pujara and the rest of the Indian batsmen had drained the Australian bowling unit. Cummins must have been out of energy. He must have tired, but it did not show. Bowled his heart out.

Life Lesson 6: Success comes before work only in dictionary. If you want to pursue any field, be like Pat Cummins. Give it your 100%. Work hard, play hard, fail, learn, cherish moments of glory, repeat.

7. Fine Line Between Banter & Abuse

Moments: Ashwin-Paine Banter, Mohammad Siraj Racial Abuse

The heat of the moment got to Tim Paine in the 3rd Test match with his banter against Ashwin. It came back to bite him since Australia lost their fortress after 33 years, the Gabbatoir. Paine later came back for an emergency press conference to address the issues. At other times in the series, commentators were guilty of making derogatory remarks against Marnus Labuschagne.

The tensions came to a boil when spectators racially abused Mohammad Siraj on multiple days. Siraj reported the incident to the umpire. Several ex-players, including Justin Langer have come out against it. As Bharat Sundaresan wrote, “Siraj is the hero we need to be.” Bharat also speaks about it here.

Life Lesson 7: Racism is not acceptable in any form. Speak up if you are a victim or a by-stander. Try to learn from other cultures. If you are not sure about a cultural reference or how to pronounce a name, just ask. Don’t Assume. Embrace diversity. Be nice.

8. Walk the Talk: Performance Matters

Moments: Tim Paine & Matthew Wade’s Performances

Tim Paine had a decent series with the bat, especially the counter attacking Player of the Match 73* at Adelaide. The rest of his performance though was below par.

Dropped catches at Sydney & Brisbane, missed DRS reviews, useless banter, & fielding placements. He needs to walk the talk with his captaincy.

The other keeper in the XI, Matthew Wade also needs to walk the talk. He has done a great job plugging holes in Australia’s line up as a middle order, opening batsman, and taking hits from Neil Wagner. In this India Vs Australia 2020 series, he has managed to get out with a soft dismissal on 3-4 occasions.

Life Lesson 8: Words need to be accompanied with actions to have any meaning. Walk the talk & never take anything for granted. When you are doing well, make the most out of your opportunity because the good times can end very quickly.

9. Leadership Matters

Moments: Siraj leads the attack, Rahane consoles Jadeja after Run Out

If I had to remember this series by one story alone, it would be Mohammad Siraj. Siraj comes from a humble background, was in bereavement of his father’s loss, and was racially abused. Bumrah gets injured, and India play the Brisbane Test with a total of 4 Test matches among the 5 bowlers, with Rohit Sharma being the most experienced bowler.

Siraj becomes the leader of the attack, gives advice to Saini, Natarajan, & Thakur, and takes a well deserved 5-fer. It has been a great boon to Indian cricket that the transition from Zaheer Khan to Ishant Sharma, Ishant Sharma to Bumrah, and Bumrah to Siraj has been smooth. Arms around shoulders.

Speaking of leadership, Rahane’s captaincy & calm demeanor (the Jadeja moment & reaction after series victory) were central to India’s win. In addition, the physio’s efforts during this injury-marred series, and support staff’s influence with Bharat Arun & Ravi Shastri cannot be understated.

Life Lesson 9: Be the leader you want others to be. Lead with humility and vision. Take responsibility. Guide others. Sharing is caring. Creating other leaders is the most significant sign of leadership.

10. Do Not Get Ahead of Yourself

Moments: The Gabba Fortress Breached

The pre-series talk included several predictions of Australia sweeping 4-0 and even after Sydney, Gabba’s statistics were the talk of the town. We all know what happened.

India needs to be warned as well. This was an expected surreal win, but the Indian team should not get ahead of themselves. If India gets complacent, who knows, England might provide India a taste of their own medicine later this year.

Life Lesson 10: Pride and ego can lead to positive growth if utilized correctly. Hubris and arrogance, on the other hand, will certainly bring your downfall.

11. Bonus Story: Superstitions For The Win

This is a fun personal story.

I have always enjoyed underdog stories. I mean, this entire blog is about “Broken Cricket Dreams.” One of the Test matches I have always waited for is a 5th Day hard fought draw.

Due to time zones, I had missed Faf’s Adelaide debut & a similar New Zealand-England match earlier in the decade. The 2015 South Africa blockathon (143 runs in 143.1 overs) resulted in a narrow defeat. The end of the decade, I thought my dream would come true with the Azhar Ali-Fawad Alam-Rizwan effort. It was not to be.

I am also known for my jinx ability & superstitions (just for the fun of it). So 3rd Test Day 5, I had been asked by my friend and family to not tweet a thing. I went one step ahead and decided to not speak either for the day.

After almost 9 and a half hours, the dream finally came true. India had saved the Test match. And guess what? It was a kind of peaceful exercise, not being on social medial 24-7. Anyway…

India Vs Australia 2020 Legacy

Surely this is a tour that Allan Border & Sunil Gavaskar would be proud of.

For a generation or two, the 1999 World Cup Semi-Final, 2005 Ashes, 2001 Laxman’s 281, Belinda Clarke’s 229* were the moments to cherish. In the last 5 years, cricket has rejuvenated itself. All formats with memorable moments.

  1. T20 World Cup – Remember The Name
  2. Women’s World Cup 2017, WT20 2020 – 86,000 spectators
  3. ODI World Cup Final 2019
  4. Stokes Headingly 2019, Perera 153*
  5. India Vs Australia 2020

So, India Vs Australia – who won?

Here is one of our tweets that made it after the 36/9 in Adelaide.

If you like these philosophy bits, go check these two featured articles below.

Also Read: Top 10 Life Lessons from IPL 2020, Cricket’s Reflections of Passion

If you like this content about India Vs Australia 2020, feel free to subscribe above for FREE and follow us on our social media accounts. We discuss regularly about cricket on our Twitter platform, but also have Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest Accounts

Copyright – @Nitesh Mathur, aka Nit-X – bcd@brokokencricketdreams.com

Sources: goodreads.com, Brainy Quote

Image Courtesy: Anand Anil, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Life Lessons From IPL: Beauty of Cricket

What is life without its beautiful life lessons?

As nineteenth-century philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.”

In this age of fast-paced technology and instant gratification, we sometimes focus too much on day-to-day activities and forget to appreciate life at the fullest. Here at Broken Cricket Dreams, we seek inspiration in our lives from cricketing events, relive childhood memories, and share our broken dreams.

Earlier, we did a piece on Cricket’s Reflections of Passion, where we discussed how each and every cricket is motivational in their own right, whether they have played 100 tests or just one. Similarly, today we discuss the life lessons from from IPL 2020.

IPL is a tournament where dreams come true. T. Natarajan, Mohammad Siraj, Yashasvi Jaiswal, the Afghan duo of Rashid and Nabi, and architect Varun Chakravarthy are just few of the countless examples. Their journeys are already so inspirational, even before taking the IPL in consideration.

This year has been different though due to the pandemic. IPL 2020 has provided the fans an ounce of relief that was needed. Here are 10 life lessons that IPL 2020 has provided us.

Table of Contents

The Life Lessons

1. Soil Fertile Elsewhere

Moment: IPL moving to the UAE

With the growing pandemic situation in India, it was never feasible to hold a full-fledged IPL there. The BCCI took the bold decision and moved it to UAE, putting all the safety precautions in place. Hats off to all the organizers, staff, commentators, and players for making this happen.

Seeds need the right environment to grow, and sometimes the soil is fertile elsewhere. In this case, soil was literally fertile elsewhere. It is completely okay to acknowledge that and nurture the seed where it is best poised for growth. So how can we apply this in our lives?

Life Lesson 1: Spread goodness and good ideas. Recognize that you will not be the center of attention all the time. Sometimes just stepping aside, encouraging others, and lending them a hand is just as important.

2. The Audacity of Hope

Moment: Rahul Tewatia’s heroics

After struggling at 17 (23) in a mammoth chase of 226, Tewatia roared back with 5 sixes in an over against Sheldon Cottrell ending with 53 (31). The initial struggle even provoked the commentators to propose the ‘retire out’ option.

He battled and stayed in the game. Only someone with immense self-confidence and inner mental strength could overcome such pressure. This reminded me of Barack Obama’s iconic 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address:

“Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope.”

This is exactly what Rahul Tewatia has taught us this season.

Life Lesson 2: When life gives you lemons, weather the storm with the best of your abilities and come back with a bang. Hang in there. Before thinking of quitting, reflect on why we came into the profession in the first place.

3. Rise Like a Phoenix

Moment 1: KXIP need 1 off 3, Mayank Agarwal fails to close the chase after a brilliant 89. DC win the Super Over.

Moment 2: The Double Super Over – Agarwal comes in clutch with a brilliant save and hits the winning runs with 8* (2).

Although he could not take KXIP across the line in the first attempt, he learned from his mistakes and made amends the second time around.

One of the stories of IPL 2020 was Mayank Agarwal. His toil in domestic cricket is well recorded. After years of piling the runs without national selection, he finally made it to international cricket.

Life Lesson 3: It is not the end till the end. Disappointments will occur. The important thing is to learn from this setback, not drag on the disappointments, and come back stronger.

4. Make Most of Your Opportunities

Moment: Anukul Roy and J. Suchith, aka specialist substitute fielders of IPL 2020.

They both changed games themselves by taking diving catches at crucial junctures of the game. In Hindi, Anukul means favorable. Throughout the tournament, he did just that—made situations favorable for himself.

Life Lesson 4: It is easy to get disheartened when you are on the sidelines or not getting that promotion, but you never know. Always be prepared. When your opportunity arrives, cash in. This may be the moment you have prepared all your life.

5. Synergy Above All

Moment: Team spirit of SRH and MI pushes them to the the playoffs (and championship)

Synergy is defined as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of individual elements, contributions, etc” [1]. Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians were prime examples of this phenomenon in this tournament.

SRH were dealt with injury blows all throughout the tournament—Mitchell Marsh, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Kane Williamson on and off. Just take a look at SRH’s man of the match winners:

Rashid Khan, Priyam Garg, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Kane Williamson.

Notice something? David Warner, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad do not even feature in this list.

Similarly, MI had contributions from each team member. Even the little contributions from Jayant Yadav in the final and Suryakumar Yadav’s sacrificial run-out for the betterment of the team turned out to be momentous.

Life Lesson 5: Teamwork, harmony, unity is more important than just individual contributions. This can be applied to sports, work, or education. Invest in collaborative efforts.

Embed from Getty Images

6. Small Hole Can Sink a Ship

Moments: 5 Super Overs including 3 in one day

With plenty of Super Overs and Double Super Overs, this IPL was not short of excitement. Catches win matches, direct hits changes games. Still holds true. Given that the points table were extremely close at the end, these super overs may have changed some fates.

Life Lesson 6: Focus, Focus, Focus. Every moment matters, every detail matters. It is easy to be complacent and declare victory prematurely, but a small mistake can come back to haunt you.

7. Carry Old Baggage At Your Own Risk

Moment: Delhi Capitals and the Chennai Super Kings

Delhi Capitals were on a roll for the first half of the tournament, but they lost momentum drastically. Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis blew hot and cold, ranging from match winning contributions to absolutely nothing. Holding on to older performances may have hindered DC to rise to the next level.

Another team that held on too long? CSK. Their old stars carried the baggage and credentials for maybe one season too long.

Life Lesson 7: Keep on Improving. Holding on to past performances, and achievements may hinder your present. Stay in the present, and “keep it simple, stupid.”

8. When One Era Closes, Another Opens

Moment: Dale Steyn and CSK on the way out, Padikkal, Garg, Gaikwad, and co. come to the party

Sports can provide legendary status to some during their careers. Dale Steyn and MS Dhoni are legends and will always remain so. IPL 2020 confirmed that their careers were on the last lap, and honestly it was a sad sight.

On the other hand, the Indian youngsters showed promise. They were so good, we could even make an uncapped XI out of them.

Life Lesson 8: Transitions are a part and parcel of life. Sometimes it is hard to let go, but it is going to be okay. We can relieve the old memories, but moving on at the right time is crucial.

9. Fix Roof When Sun Is Shining

Moment: Warning to Indian cricket for the future

The talent emerging in Indian cricket is tremendous. With nurturing from U-19, India A, and IPL squads and mentorship with people like Rahul Dravid, these cricketers are already a ready, mature product.

Although we have to take care of these youngsters, both physically and mentally, the BCCI needs to make sure these talents do not go wasted.

Mayank Agarwal barely made it, talents like Manish Pandey and Rishabh Pant have been mishandled, and Suryakumar Yadav is in the danger of not being selected in his prime.

Indian cricket needs to take the right decisions when the time is good. Otherwise, semi-final losses will become an excruciating pattern…

Life Lesson 9: Make hay when the sun shines. Everyone goes through high and lows. Just make sure to capitalize when the going is good, because it will not remain so forever.

10. Sportsmanship and Passion for the Game

Moment: Harsha Bhogle’s quote of the IPL, “That is what sport should be about. There is humanity off the field; competition on it and the two are never at odds with each other”

Sport is tough and competitive in nature, but outside of the stadium, all the players are human. The T20 leagues have definitely helped in building relationships across boundaries, and it would be great if cricket is actually played like the ‘gentleman’s game.’

Finally, without spectators, the will of the players was on display in IPL 2020. They played for the love of the game. The players did their best and competed with complete energy even without any external applause.

Life Lesson 10: Internal Motivation vs External Motivators – One should always give their best without expecting in return. Just keep on improving, give it your all, and leave the rest.

If this happens with the sportsmanship, then we have a win-win situation here. I would like to leave you with:

What is life without cricket? What is cricket without the life lessons?

Let us know which life lessons were your favorite in the COMMENTS below.

Embed from Getty Images

Life Lessons Inspired by conversations with Dad

Sources: [1] Dictionary.com, [2] IPLT20.com, [3] Cricinfo
Image Courtesy: Sourav Ganguly.jpg: Hashir Milhanderivative work: Legolas2186, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons