Meeting a Champion
It is always a great pleasure to meet those people who made a mark in an industry. It is an amazing opportunity to interact with them and ask them their success mantra. It is like a dream come true to meet these big celebrities.
Cricket India Academy gave me such an opportunity to meet a legendary Aussie fast bowler – Brett Lee.
Brett Lee has been an idol for fast bowlers all around the globe for a long period of time. During his playing days, he was indeed one of the fastest bowlers in the world bowling at 150 km/hr regularly. The energy and zeal with which he bowled was phenomenal. He was capable of producing some lightning spells. Many people think that fast bowling is easy and involves only running in and bowling fast. But it requires a lot of physical strength. Just bowling fast does not get you wickets. Moving the ball around is also a skill. Many cricketers praised how Lee dealt with so many setbacks and bowled through so much pain. He had to retire eventually as his body was wrecked by years of feet pounding into the ground and arms slinging balls.
He suffered five ankle operations, a couple of bouts of surgery on his right elbow , back stress fractures , side strains and stomach tears along with the other daily aches. He endured a lot. His career showed that a lot goes into making a champion. His mental strength to come out of such injuries was commendable.
When he was retiring he said- “Cricket has given me so many memories, so many great opportunities. I have been lucky enough to play for 20 years whereas most people might get a year or two. To play for two decades at the top level, I am really happy.”
I had completed 6 years with the Academy and was the first one to do so along with my fellow mate Parth. We had been in the Academy since the first year and we had grown year by year due the efforts of the Academy coaches. I enjoyed every bit of those 6 years. Cricket India Academy had given me number of opportunities to develop and I am thankful to them for doing so. The Academy was going to reward us with certificates for are achievements and we were informed that the certificates was going to be given by Brett Lee. It was a proud moment for me.
We met Brett Lee at St. Regis Hotel in Mumbai on 4th April, 2016. He had come to India to give commentary for the ICC World T20. Unlike most of the celebrities, he was indeed very friendly and shook hands and spoke with everybody. I just loved the fact that he wanted to greet everyone present there rather than just give the certificates and run away.
He interacted with Parth and me for quite some time. He asked me one question- “What is the most important thing Cricket?’’.I was dumbstruck seeing him in front of me and I just could not think. I kept staring at his face until finally I answered “To Win”. I knew I was wrong. Brett answered that the most important thing was to enjoy the game. Winning and Losing are part of the game. Until one does not enjoy the game, one can never win. The satisfaction can only be achieved through this enjoyment. He congratulated us on our success and wished us good luck for the future. He emphasized the need to train hard if we ever dreamt to play for India. I even got an autograph on a small souvenir bat.
It was great meeting him and from that day onwards, whenever I played cricket in the building with my friends, I made it a point to enjoy the game. I stopped worrying and thinking only about wining and it really worked. I felt satisfied after each match even after losing and I understood the value of his words. I thank him for that and I am really grateful for CIA for arranging such a meeting with a legendary player like him.
“DJ Brett lee,
DJ Brett Lee,
Everybody knows Brett Lee is a champion”