Bullying a player to stardom: A military method
Coach: Why did you drop the catch soldier?
Player: Sorry sir.
Coach: Why are you apologizing? Is cricket something to feel guilty and remorseful about? Or are you using empty words?
Player: No sir.
Coach: No what? Speak up!
Player: Sorry sir, I said sorry.
Coach: What you trying to be funny now? Someone philosophizing about meta-sorry levels? This is no philosophy class, soldier. Go to a bleepin college if you want to pursue atlami.
Coach: Why aren't you talkin?
Player: It will not happen again sir.
Coach: Do you understand English? You still have not replied my question why the hell you dropped the bleepin ball?
Player: I...I...the sun sir, light hit my face plus I couldn't pred..
Coach: STFU. Did I ask for excuses?
Player: No sir.
Coach: So why did you drop it?
Player: It was a mistake sir, it won't happen again.
Coach: So basically, you think playing cricket especially fielding is a big joke and that you intend to keep making on mistakes as if it's a non-chalant thing?
Player: Sir, I am having a bad day. Both of my parents died in a railway accident last night. I am still reeling from the shock, so please pardon my pecadi..
Coach: Huh? You trying to be cocky soldier using college words? Are you trying to be arrogant? Showing off and acting superior over me?
Player: I SAID MY DAMNED PARENTS DIED LAST NIGHT!!!!
Room still and silent for a second.
Coach: What was that? What was that you yelling?
Player calms down.
Player: I am sorry sir, I apologiz.. I mean I am not sorry but I should not have yelled at you.
Coach: Is that it? "Damned" parents? So you blame your parents for the dirtbag you turned out to be? Is that what? You kept it all in your head so long?
Player: No sir.
Coach: No what solider! So you walk in and tell us a sob story and except us to cry and hug you, is that it?
Player breaking down internally. It's as if a whole ground has been shaken from underneath like an earthquake. He has tolerated enough. One more from this a---e, and that's it.
Coach continuing coolly.
Coach: Cricket is a tempermental game. If you cannot handle things like these, how will you handle pressure on field?
Coach: What's the matter? Can't you bloody hear me?
Burst of cries at the background.
Coach: The -- is that?
Player quiet. Then slowly begins.
Player: Sir, it's my new born three month baby daughter. Her name is...
Coach: So you want a feeder now? The hell I am gon do with her name, you douche.
Cries. And more cries at the background.
Player: I will immediately get to her. Sorry it happened.
Coach: So you plan to bring your family to work everyday, not bothering an iota that it will disturb the whole mood? Huh? What is this? Brady Bunch family show to you?
Player: I will..
Coach fishes out a switch blade.
Player :The HELL!
Coach: Go on..you will what? How about you take care of it immediate..
Player: Sir! Are you insane? Are you blo..
Coach: What is it soldier? You want to quit? Is this it? Quit now. You can either quit now or..
Player: Sir but this is just crazy.
Coach: If you don't do it, I will do it..
At this something takes over the player and quick as a lightning he bolts toward Coach, lunges upon him like a wounded Tigers, pins his hand and as he is about to stab the man, suddenly he catches himself. What is he doing? Oh my God! He says. And then suddenly both man bursts out laughing as the training knife falls on the ground making a clanking sound.
Three years later
The national team is about to face South Africa. There are about 30,000 men gathers at Gabba and each and every person present at the ground would have witnessed a marvel of a fielding display. Jamal was no longer Jamal that day, rather an upgraded version of Jonty. He was lithe, agile and quick on his feet. He anticipated every ball, never dozed off field, and would save about 40 runs just from boundary along. He was flying everywhere. Laterally. Towards the ball. Following the ball back. At slip, gully. He would go on to catch everyone off guard, distorting batsman's rhythm, creating situations. He would end up as the man of the match simply because of his fielding effort. All because of a simple training exercise where he lunged to his coach with every ounce of his strength focusing all his chi to a point and concentrating on the present moment.
Jamal walks towards the tour bus. As he opens the door, his jaw drops. There disguised as the bus driver is his dad. And right behind him in the seat is his mother.
The words of the coach slowly whispered in his mind. Remember son, when you sign up for this job, everything will be a training exercise.
"Be unforgettable." - Ian Pont