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Sport – The second inning in life

Sport, just like life always offers us a second chance; a second innings to play out each time. You look at an athlete who has come back after an injury and you can’t help but appreciate their resilience. No one can understand this concept better than a sportsperson. They make mistakes, even fail, but comeback at every step of the game.
There’s nothing as exciting as a comeback – seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance. Shelly-Ann Fraiser Price recently won her fourth world title in the 100m category at the World Championships held in Doha. That was a record fourth title as no athlete across the 100m category, male or female, has won those many titles. What’s astonishing is the fact that she was making a comeback after almost 3 years. She had to stop competing when she was delivering her baby. She gave birth to a boy and decided to take some time off the track to raise her son. On her return to the track and field event, she defended her title in the very first attempt.
Yuvraj Singh, one of the best cricketers our country has produced, went through a terrible tragedy at the peak of his career, when he was detected with cancer. Yet, he battled his way through cancer and made a comeback to the Indian team after a gap of almost 2 years. He could have easily given up on the hope to play for the team again, but when life gave him his second chance by making him a cancer survivor, he made the most of it. On his comeback, he continued to win matches for India just as he used to do before. Similarly, we may have met with a similar horrible tragedy in life, it is up to us on how soon we are ready to bounce back from it and pounce on the opportunities that life has provides us with.
With the score tied at 1-1, Bayern Munich as handed a penalty in extra time against Chelsea in the UEFA Championships League 2012 final. Arjen Robben stepped in to take it for his team. Had he scored; it would have probably altered the balance of the game in Bayern’s favour. But Robben missed it. The outcome was Chelsea going on to become the champions by winning on penalties. Robben was blamed for his team’s loss and he bore the brunt of the media that year. After a bad experience, Robben was handed a second chance when his team qualified for the Champions League final again the following year. He went on to win the final by scoring the winning goal. He redeemed himself and proved his worth by utilising his second chance. What needs to be learnt is that when a setback of such sorts strikes, one must hold their horses and remain calm.
In 1958, the Munich Air disaster took place. On the plane was the Manchester United football team, nicknamed the “Busby Babes”, along with supporters and journalists. Twenty of the 44 on the aircraft died at the scene. The injured, some unconscious, were taken to the Rechts der Isar Hospital in Munich where three more died, resulting in 23 fatalities with 21 survivors. Out of those 21 survivors, there was one 19-year-old player who escaped death narrowly.
After the incident, Charlton was shaken mentally and gave up on playing football. He was although convinced by the then coach Jimmy Murphy to join the United team as part of a revamping process that had to be executed for Manchester United to carry on competing. Today, that player is known as Sir Bobby Charlton, who eventually played over 600 games for Manchester United, captained England to World Cup glory and has many more laurels to his name. He played the entirety of his career as a second innings which was presented to him by fate as he survived the air crash.
There are plenty of examples to look at from different walks of life where people have optimised an opportunity the second time after failing to do so in the first attempt. What’s necessary is to never give up. An opportunity will present itself. We must all do right by ourselves and others, stay determined in achieving our targets, stay patient and calm in our failures and the time will come where one can redeem their failures.

Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.

The author, Sanjeev Anand, is Country Head – Commercial, Rural & Inclusive Banking and in-charge of Sports Vertical, IndusInd Bank. He is an avid sports enthusiast.

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