No matter if India and Afghanistan lost matches against Pakistan, their skippers, however, played well off the field. And they won hearts, millions of hearts.
Now, sportsmen have to play both on and off the field.
Both fields are equally tough. This stands for all sports – soccer, cricket, hockey and so on. Every game is a challenging sport demanding talent, energy, dedication, power, and luck – again both on and off the field.
On the field, players are to put in their best to clinch the game. Off the field, they are to put in their best to not lose their image.
After every match, there is a press talk, where players of either side face tough and soft questions.
The importance of addressing the media skillfully and without losing ground is gaining attention for team managers, athletes and players. But they need to learn extra skills to face the journalists in our part of the world.
They must know that most of the South Asian journalists are all about spice masala.
Everywhere they go they want to stir in a bit of sweet and sour sauce. However, everyone does not enjoy their antics and neither are they bound to tolerate this.
A recent encounter between a Pakistani journalist and the captain of the Afghan cricket team, depicted this unhealthy relationship of South Asian journalists with controversy aptly.
After the match, Afghanistan cricket team captain Mohammad Nabi was asked a valley of ridiculous questions by a Pakistani journalist. The composed captain of the losing team, however, faced the questions with grit and reason.
Well played, Nabi.
This was also seen at the press conference after the India-Pakistan match in which Virat Kohli resorted to using words like ‘unbelievable’ for the question asked by a Pakistani journalist. He also stated that if the journalist was trying to get him to say a controversial statement, he should have said so earlier so that the captain could have played along.
So sorry, Mr Kohli.
This need for stirring controversies is not entirely the journalists’ fault as people, over the time, have become addicted to the aforementioned masala. Media houses and newspapers are also inclined towards providing such news, which turns out to be click bait as it gains more clicks and views. However, the essence of journalism has been sucked out by these vampirish, money-making practices that do not care about ethics at all anymore.
However, the need to ask stupid questions does not limit itself to this industry.
Every now and then one gets to hear a soul-crushingly dumb question at school or work and even at home. Mothers answer their children’s idiotic questions throughout the day, most of the times without losing their cool. But everyone does not have the patience that mothers have.
In the real world, people lose their cool, as they should, because some questions are not worth their time or energy. Therefore, there is an incessant need for people to learn that not everyone will answer their stupid questions like their dear mother used to.
This fact must especially be learned by journalists who seek controversies. They need to learn that Arnab Goswami is not the man to look up to. I realise this is my third back-to-back piece on the issues stemming from the cricket field. And the topics are necessarily linked to the media as well. Sports and media are increasingly becoming inseparable, both on and off the field.
Both fields are interesting to watch. But what to do of these stupid questions? Journalists should learn to ask the right people the right questions at the right time. That is the only way to remain in the game. Otherwise, the media will lose the game.