Dare go out and bat!

Illustration of cricketer batting

As my book Dare gets ready to be launched, I don’t miss an opportunity to go to book stores and see what the competition is like. “How’s the sale of your motivational books?” I ask a book seller.

“Sometimes beats fiction sales!” he says happily, making me also very happy and then I frown, “But then we should have a nation of successful people!” I think, “What then is wrong?”

And in my mind’s eye I see a young boy. “Listen young fellow, what have you been doing the last few days?” I ask the boy.

“Learning cricket from this bestseller!”

“That’s written by one of our greatest batsmen…” I tell him.

“Yes,” says the enthusiastic fellow, “I’ve read this book from cover to cover! See this picture, this is a square drive, can you see how the batsman has his feet on the ground and just look at his stance!”

“Yes!” I agree.

“See this is how you bowl a googly, and this is a Yorker. Now turn to page 52, there those are pictures of the world’s greatest catches…”

“Wonderful!” I tell him.

“I know every page of the book,” he tells me, “Ask me anything from it, ask how I should stand at slips, how to hit a ball to mid-off, and what a cover drive is.”

“You’ve really learnt a lot,” I tell him, “So with all this learning, what does that make you?”

“A test cricketer!” he shouts gleefully.

I turn away from the young hopeful and look at you, “Does that really make him a test cricketer? Does mastering a book on cricket make anybody a cricketer? Does reading how to hold a bat or bowl a ball, make him a future great in Indian cricket? A Virat Kohli in the making?”

No, it doesn’t.

So, what does?

Getting onto the field, into the hurly burly of the game, of running between wickets! Running after the ball, catching it, throwing it to the wicket keeper. That’s the only way, by strapping on his pads, or picking the ball and putting his book knowledge to use, right?”

Read all the books you want, but without practically using those facts all such knowledge is useless.

“You’ve got so many books on dieting?” somebody asks an overweight lady, but it doesn’t seem to have done much good. “No!” she says as she peels the wrapper of the next chocolate bar, “I know what to do, but don’t have the will to do it!”

“Come here!” I tell the little boy as I give him a bat, “Now let me bowl to you!”

And there as he faces the first ball and a thousand others, is the beginnings of a test cricketer, putting all his book theories into practice!

My book Dare will also be useless unless you go out and bat!

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Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com
Robert Clements

Latest posts by Robert Clements (see all)

Robert Clements

Robert Clements is a journalist and newspaper columnist. With an estimated 6 million readership, Bob’s Banter is published in over 30 newspapers and magazines in nearly every state in India, as well as in the top newspapers of Bangladesh, Dubai and Pakistan and is also translated into Hindi. He blogs at www.bobsbanter.com and can be reached at bobsbanter@gmail.com