The Fifth Column

13th October 1996

Deserted in defeat

My Dear Arjuna,

I am writing to you because nobody appears to be singing your praises these days after that loss to Pakistan in Kenya, last week.

Why, the TV didn't show your arrival and there wasn't even a picture in the newspapers to let us know that you had returned with your boys, and all this because Chaminda Vaas couldn't get that one vital run.

You must be wondering where all those people who flocked to the airport, garlands in hand, to receive you when you returned from Lahore, have gone now.

Then, at that time, every Tom, Dick and Harry tried to get his (or her) name into the newspapers by sending you and the boys congratulatory messages. I guess no one is sending you any messages these days which is why I thought of writing to you.

Of course, Arjuna, I'm sure you know better than most of us that cricket teaches you not only how to win matches but also teaches you how to take defeat in its stride.

I, for one, know that our boys are still the best and just one bad day in Kenya will not lessen my admiration for all the great deeds you achieved with your team these last few months. So, just in case you have any doubts, do remember that there are still who believe in you.

By the way Arjuna where on earth is SB? That man behaved as if he single-handedly won the World Cup and the Singer Cup. I would have thought he would be by your side when you needed him most. But, I guess he must be busy checking Upali's qualifications!

Then, Arjuna, there is this other matter about Dave. We think he deserves better than this. I know it is none of your business, but if there is any way in which you can help, please do, and try to find a settlement to that issue

Give my regards to everyone else and tell Aravinda that everyone thinks he lost a bet in Kenya. We are still proud of you and we know you will do well in Sharjah next month.

Yours truly,

Punchi Putha.

PS - People are very fickle in their treatment of cricketers. One loss and everyone is a bad boy. If only we adopted the same attitude towards our politicians, we would have been better off. What do you think? And what will old Reggie say to that?Deserted in defeat>

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