Thursday, 5 April 2012

I Will Not Bow

“All is lost again
But I'm not giving in

I will not bow, I will not break
I will shove the world away
I will not fall, I will not fade
I will take your breath away”

I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin

It’s well known I am a music fanatic. But I have another obsession which I hang onto during the summer and crave during the winter. I am a huge cricket fan. I love the Blackcaps - from Williamson to Hira to Taylor, the McCullum’s in between, and my favourite players, Southee, Watling and Guptill. You may think cricket and music don’t mix, but I believe I’ve found a way to marry the two through the message in I Will Not Bow.

I take I Will Not Bow as saying a person should not have to bow down when they are right or wrong, succeed or fail, or take on the world as they person they are, and this is the thought I kept in mind as I mused my way through this week’s cricket / music mash up blog post. 

Being a Blackcaps supporter means you have to take the good with the bad. New Zealand’s national cricket team doesn’t always rank highly and it’s a bit embarrassing when three players go for a duck in one batting innings. But I will stand by and respect the boys, even if South Africa is beating us by a landslide and the Blackcaps seem to be collapsing under pressure. As the pressure scale goes, I doubt it could get much higher than being a test match opening batsman, on debut, facing some of the world’s best bowlers, and your team mate at the other end of the crease has been topping most valuable player lists all season.

Rob Nicol showed some impressive performances in the limited over games and it was assumed he would do the same in the test whites. So when, after batting three innings and putting up subpar scores, Nicol stepped onto the crease for the third innings on the second test he would have wanted to do everything he could to put up a good number. Instead he had to watch in horror as the ball rolled slowly down his pads and casually towards the stumps with just enough force to knock the bails off. I sat with my hands covering my mouth, my heart going out to a player who so obviously wanted to do well for his team. But when Nicol walked away with one run to his name he did nothing more than simply walk back to the changing room. There were no angry, frustrated thumping’s of the bat, no swearing under the breath, and, most importantly, there was no head bowed down shame. I said before I respect the Blackcaps, and there has not been a time when I respected a Blackcap more than I respected Rob Nicol and the way he composed himself that day.

When something goes wrong we feel we should run away, hide, bow our heads in shame and not face the world. But, as Breaking Benjamin tells us, this is wrong. When all is lost, it does not mean we have to give in and bow down. In success, failure, and taking on the world as the individuals, we should be able to hold our heads up high.

And, Rob Nicol, if you ever read this, know you have a supporter who admires your courage and strength to persevere in cricket with your head held high.

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