Victory of England - an example of diversity in the game of cricket

As England defeated New Zealand marginally in the 2019 world cup final, the social media got active with memes on how 'World XI' won the world cup. Here at ISC, let's have a look at it, from an angle different to what other cricket fans can see.

The game that unites

Cricket is a sport that unites people. We have heard this for some 1000 times already now. Let's take an example. Most of the Indians refer to themselves as Brahmins, Rajputs, Jats and what not. If you visit a state other than yours you would be referred by the name of your state at times (Like Bihari and all). There are a lot of divisions based on cast and creed in India even today but you can't ignore the fact that cricket unites everyone.

As an ex-cricketer I have had opportunities to share food and room not just with people of other states, casts and religions, but countries too. I still remember when I went to Nepal for a tournament and shared a room with a Pakistani guy only to realize it after two days. As a kid I was brought up in a society where Dalits were not even allowed to sit at a level of Kshatriya and Brahmins but it was cricket that taught me that all these things are nothing but just a mental barrier.

The game of cricket has shown the unmatched unity, be it via on field sportsmanship of players, off field friendships (Irrespective of cast, gender, religion or country) or unbelievable exhibition of humanity. Remember Phillip Hughes? The world got united, tributes poured in even from the countries that did not follow cricket (Just check the tweets of some baseball clubs post his death). The little family of Phillip Hughes got billions of shoulders to cry upon. It was cricket that united the world on that day and that's what cricket was made for maybe?

The Brits probably committed atrocities on many but that's a thing of past. People belonging to every community are living a prosperous life in England nowadays and they are getting equal opportunities in every field. They are not Bihari, Haryanvi, Marathi, Punjabi or South Indian. They all are British. So while we are making memes on the 'World XI', they have successfully hosted two world class events in a single day. Anyways, since we are talking about cricket and unity, let's stick to this topic for now.

England XI or World XI?

You can call it a World XI for sure. Their captain, Eoin Morgan made his debut for Ireland in International cricket and played over 30 games for them and that includes the 2007 world cup too. Their hero in the final, Ben Stokes was born in New Zealand; in fact his father was an elite Rugby player for New Zealand. Jason Roy was born in Durban, South Africa and moved to England at the age of 10. Moin Ali has his roots in India while Adil Rashid's parents moved to England from Pakistan. Jofra Archer, the super over hero of England was born in Bridgetown, Barbados and he qualified to play for England in 2019 itself.

The paragraph above is only about the players who made it to the squad of 15 for the world cup. There are hundreds of players in county cricket who are not originally born in England but are on the verge of making it to the England cricket team. Robson brothers, Sam Hain are some examples only, you'd find at least one such cricketer in every county team. There are hundreds who made a good county career and then returned back to the country of their origin, Anurag Singh is one such example. So what all these things prove? Shall we call England as World XI? For me, it doesn't matter what you call them. The fact is that England as a country has successfully implemented a culture where people from every community can grow together. Their cricket team is just an illustration of that. So in the end it doesn't matter whether they are World XI or England XI, they all are British (And now the world champions too!).

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