The ‘Cinderella Man’ and hope for the nation

When we idolize Masharafe as our celebrity cricket icon, should we cherish his hard working nature and iron like determination in life or our admirations are just rhetorical? Asks Enamul Haque.

 Just before the day, our legendary captain Mashrafee Mortaza announced his retirement from the twenty20 internationals cricket format, I was watching a movie named ‘Cinderella Man.’ The story of the movie was on the basis of the struggles and achievements of a former American Heavyweight Boxing Champion James J Braddock, who is popularly known as the ‘Cinderella Man’ since he succeeded to give hope to in a time of great austerity.

James also known as Jimmy, who seemed to be a legendary boxing player in his earlier part of career, had to face extreme level of hurdle to survive, as his right hand was broken during a match. Unfortunately, it was in the time of ‘great depression’ in America, and these two factors at a time had almost brought his career to an end. But after a huge struggle, by using his willpower he came back to the ring, and then began to get successive victories. Soon he became the World Heavyweight Champion and an iconic hero of America.

Having watched the movie, I thought of Mashrafe Mortaza. Our Mash also has been going through similar experiences in his career. Like Jimmy, Mash also has got some fitness challenges. Perhaps, all of the Mash fans know how many times he had to go to the operation theatre. His zeal for cricket, responsibility for the team, respect for the seniors and affection for the juniors on his ground are also well known to us.

In the last ODI series in Sri Lanka, every cricket lover perhaps had seen that he was playing with bandage on his right leg on TV screen and it really touched my heart and most probably all cricket loving people in the world. I believe the scene of the bandaged leg will never be rubbed out from the mind frame of the thousands of Mash fans.

Even his decision to quit T20 was for the betterment of the team. In a statement in his official Facebook page, he said ‘This is high time for me to say good-bye to T20 format so that many youngsters can get the opportunity to showcase their talent and thus Bangladesh Cricket Board can nurture them for the future.’

There is a huge controversy going on around his declaration to quit T20. Such as, whether he was forced to take the decision of retirement, why the legend cricketer like him would take this kind of big decision while he was still abroad but not at his home ground, and many more.

I would like to say, please take a look at the statement again, and see he leaves his place for the next generation which means today’s youth. Here, my point is, he left his place believing in the new generation. I think it is always the new generation of any country, who take the helm of the nation and anchor it to a safe destination, or create a memorable history whether it is cricket or any other sector.

With his word, it can be said that he set an example with his goodness of heart. I believe the Mash fans had no doubt about his skill to continue some more time, but he left it earlier for the sake of the team. Talent is a natural gift, but a beautiful mind is always hard to find. It is something that we have to keep neat and clean by our own will.

Typically, as a person I am an extrovert one. I love to meet people and so I have a lot of friends. Few of them are very hopeful and ambitious about their lives and future, but most are really frustrated and feel their lives are nothing but a curse for them.

mashAmong the hopeless ones, who are mostly young, I find, they are looking for shortcut way of earning huge amount of money. Some of them feel guilt for being born in a lower middle class family comparing their life style with their other friends, those who are lucky to be born in a relatively well to do family.

A few days ago, I read in a renowned Bangladeshi daily newspaper that the highest percentage of unemployed people in Bangladesh is higher educated people.

I have got some graduate friends who find big gap between expectations and achievements in life. They feel their friends who didn’t even seat for SSC exam, they went abroad to earn money; have already got a better life.

For my frustrated friends, I am not going to suggest anything that sounds like a lecture, but some words, which are really true. I want to ask them, have you tried for anything really my friends? Have you tried enough? I think one have to be honest to oneself what actually s/he wants to do. Surely, a person’s fight for his ground is never an easy task, because it is the competition not only against his opponents but against the dark side of his mind too.

Instead of comparing yourself with someone who is a victim of economic impoverishment or something similar that s/he has to drop out of school, you should look up to sports icons — Mash or James J Braddock and see how they have tackled hurdles in their lives. Think that are you faced with similar hurdle of an injured boxing player or an injured pace bowler. Isn’t it really great inspiration for us that one of us continuously doing his job ignoring such a physical pain on his leg. I am saying this because I got many of my friends always give excuses like that I can’t do this or that I get it physically hard.

Most of us in our generation are sports loving people; we almost worship our cricket icons. The street-side posters and banners that are hanging since the declaration quitting T20 proves how much young crowds idolises him. My question is, should we idolize them but not follow their vision of life and hard-working nature? Whenever we are faced with difficulty should we not think of him as our Cinderella Man?



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