It was the seventh day of October, 2012, when West Indies were ready to take on Sri Lanka in their own backyard- Colombo on the eve of T20 World Cup Final, 2012. West Indies won the toss and elected to bat with a hope that the greatest T20 player of all time, as the world calls him- THE BOSS, Christopher Henry Gayle would bamboozle Sri Lankan bowling attack. One hour into the innings and after 12 overs West Indies were 48 for the loss of two wickets and their hero- Chris Gayle is back in the pavilion for 3 runs. It was just a matter of time, for Sri Lanka to wrap up the remaining wickets and give themselves a target of less than 100 to lift the World cup.
According to a Chinese saying “When the disaster strikes and hopes are shattered, the nature throws a savior for the rescue”. Players on the ground, thousands of spectators watching live and millions of people all over the world believed that Sri Lanka would win expect one person- Marlon Samuels. That day, Marlon Samuels came to bat in the first over and played one of the greatest innings of all time in T20 cricket. He believed that someone’s opinion is not his reality. He didn’t give up, he didn’t give in and he believed that his burning desire to win would outweigh millions of people’s judgment. There is an old proverb which said “The wolf on the hill is never as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill”. That day Marlon Samuels looked like a hungry wolf climbing the hill. Marlon Samuels scored 78 runs; West Indies ended up scoring 137 and won the world cup by 36 runs. The difference between a Champion and someone who is forgotten is that when the difficulty arises the champion shows up. He knows that the star shines the brightest when the night is the darkest. This innings by Marlon Samuels will be remembered forever in the history of world cricket.
It is not always legends who create history. I don’t know how many people remember Buster Douglas. Buster Douglas was responsible for creating one of the greatest upset in sports history. He took on Mike Tyson in the boxing ring on February 11, 1990. Within the last 10 seconds of the 8th round Mike Tyson had knocked down Buster Douglas but he got up after 9 seconds and then “Ting Ting Ting”, he was saved by the bell. Nobody has ever got knocked down by Mike Tyson and ever got up. Everyone was certain that Mike Tyson was going to end the fight in the next round. As expected Tyson landed punch after another into Buster Douglas ribs and held him up against the rope. Another 30 seconds of this brutality, Buster Douglas was done and dusted.
But that’s not what has happened. One thing that no one has noticed including Mike Tyson was that, Douglas’s burning desire to win is hitting him harder from the inside than Mike Tyson’s punch. Buster Douglas was knocked down for probably the second and final time but he got up again and when asked why won’t he give up and end this beating from Mike Tyson he said “Before my mother died she told the whole world that I was going to beat Mike Tyson”. Two days before the fight Buster Douglas mother died. He was left with two choices, either to give up the fight letting his mother’s dream die along with her or he can wake up and live his mother’s dream. In the 10th round, against all odds Buster Douglas has knocked out Mike Tyson.
How could an underdog like Buster Douglas knock out Mike Tyson.? What gave him the confidence and strength to knock out a heavy weight world champion? A simple answer- because his motive to win is greater than that punch, his motive to win is greater than the defeat and his motive to win is greater than his life. Marlon Samuels and Buster Douglas were never considered as greatest in their territory or the best, but still history remembers them. Tragedy and trials come to everybody, but only the strong survive. When life got them down, they got up and proved everyone wrong. A true hunter’s goal is not the prize; a true hunter’s goal is to hunt.
Edgar Guest once said
“Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried”.