I hope everyone has had a good break over the holiday period.
Our experience over the summer months is in marked contrast with what has been happening elsewhere in the world. In this respect, one of the more positive byproducts of the last 12 months has been that people have got to see more of their local area, as well as of the country as a whole. This certainly makes you appreciate what we have in NZ and on the Hibiscus Coast in particular. So does the increased international awareness brought about by the pandemic – a useful yardstick when it comes to striking a balanced view of things.
One international example that stood out for me was the recent cricket test series between India and Australia. Against all odds, the Indians beat the Australians in Australia.
What made this all the more remarkable was that in the first test, India was thrashed. In fact, they were bowled out for a humiliating 36 in their second innings, their lowest score ever in test cricket. At that point they also lost their inspirational captain and best player, who had to return home for the birth of his first child.
At that stage most cricketing pundits were expecting the Indian team to fall apart, especially given they were up against the cock-a-hoop Aussies who have the most potent fast bowling attack in the world. This view was only reinforced when India lost a further five of their top line players to injury.
Instead of falling apart, however, the Indian team stepped up to the mark – big time. Their young, inexperienced replacements showed no fear and were not overawed by their far more illustrious opponents. Their few remaining senior players took on more responsibility and contributed some outstanding individual performances.
As the series progressed, India went on to win one improbable victory after another. What became apparent to anyone watching was the quiet confidence and determination of the underdogs, perhaps best exemplified by their new captain, Ajinkya Rahane, a humble and unassuming-looking man.
For me, it was one of those inspirational sporting events that comes along every so often. This sort of inspiration, however, is not just confined to international sporting teams – I see it around the Coast in local clubs, organisations and workplaces, where people help to lift others up, instill self-belief and achieve some incredible results, often against the odds. In 2021, let’s hope we continue to see more examples of this – locally, nationally and internationally.