Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Comeback king

During India’s memorable tour of Australia in 2003, the great commentator Harsha Bhogle made a very interesting statement. “The door of opportunity will never close on you if you keep pushing it”, he said. He was then referring to Andy Bichel who had bowled and batted brilliantly throughout 2003. One glance around the sporting world and you will notice a lot more sportsman who justified this statement.

My favorite cricketer Mohd Azaruddin was one who always came back from the dead. Every time someone wrote that he was finished, he would come back with vengeance. It happened in Lahore in 1989, at Calcutta in 1992, and many times post 1996. That was perhaps one of the thrills of watching Azza.

Tennis great Boris Becker was similar in nature. Who can forget Wimbeldon 1994 and his semifinal against the then World number 2 Andre Agassi. Becker lost the first set and was two breaks down, before he staged a magnificent come back to win in four. Such tales of comebacks are not rare on the Tennis circuit. Ivan Lendl was down two sets and a break in the 1981 French open final against John Mcnore. Two and a half hours later he was a proud champion a Rolond Garros.

This week saw another great man coming back from the dead. After Germany 2006 everybody including the English Manager said that David Beckham was over. Fabio Capello his manager at Real also thought the same and off went David to the US of A. Everybody heavily criticized this move. The English press laughed at him (Richard Keys of Sky was particularly harsh) when he said that he still hoped to play for England.

How things have changed. Beckham has played magnificently over the last few weeks. Not only has he earned a England recall but he has also ensured that Real Madrid will win their first league title in four years. One of his manager (read Mclaren) had a chance to rectify his mistake. The other (Read Capello) unfortunately can’t.

There is something about great sportsmen, that incredible quality to bounce back just when we think they are finished. That’s why perhaps they are great. ……actually that’s why they are great.

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