Table Mountain, corruption, cheating and sport
Nestled at the feet of the magnificent Table Mountain in Cape Town are two well-known institutions. Parliament House has overseen the corrupt South African governments of Apartheid and, nowadays, has the ignominious reputation for overseeing a government that “is corrupt from top to bottom” (Business Leadership SA CEO Bonang Mohale speaking in October 2017).
Around the corner, some five kilometres away, up against the western foot of the mountain, sits one of the world’s most attractive cricket grounds – Newlands – in the press recently for all the wrong reasons of ‘ball tampering’.
If there is an energetic impress of Table Mountain, then it has some work to do……
The so-called world of the ‘gentleman’s’ game of cricket hit the headlines in March 2018: suffice to say, three members of the Australian cricket team – including the team captain – were rumbled for trying to cheat to gain an advantage during the Newlands test. It is not the first time there has been ball tampering by sides; it has happened quite often. The current South African captain Faf Du Plessis was caught not once, but twice doing something similar in prior years. Others have been caught on camera. However this instance had been premeditated and even agreed to by captain and vice-captain of the Australian team. A huge uproar followed, especially in Australia, and the culprits were suspended from playing the game for a year. The cornerstone sponsors for these players immediately tore up their contracts and the main sponsor for Cricket Australia walked away from a multi-year $20 million agreement. This is the biggest ‘redress’ of a cricketing scandal ever.
Redemption will follow. Time will somewhat heal. The game will go on. New sponsors will cautiously return one day and probably secure less expensive, more flexible deals. New players will take up the mantle.
There will be no lessons learnt because so far, no one has understood the big picture at play here.
Cricket, like most, if not all sports, has slowly developed a malaise, whereby win at all costs takes precedence. The team players are like gladiators, snarling, circling and seeking every advantage to make the kill. The crowds rally behind the aggression. It is a blood sport without too much blood being spilt, although an Australian player was killed in 2014 after having been felled by a ‘bouncer’.
The deterioration of the game has a direct correlation to the amount of money invested in it. The past 30 years and especially the past 15 years has seen the earnings of players grow exponentially – breathtakingly so. The introduction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2007 took remuneration of (International and Indian) players to new levels. Sponsorship deals followed and the best cricketers around the world started to take their places as top paid sports people.
To make the elite grade in the cricketing world now offers massive rewards – to miss out and be left in the maelstrom of the rest of the players meant ‘struggle street’ for the aspiring player. The stakes are very high and not many will get the cream of the spoils. Like golf, tennis, soccer, NFL, baseball, basketball and so on, only the top few make the uncountable sums and the numbers slip away quite quickly below the top 50 players of each sport. Like the world generally – the spoils of industry are in the hands of very few. We, the public, support this incredible anomaly by (in the case of sport) attending the games, watching the games on TV, betting on the games, supporting the sponsors and talking endlessly about sports trivia.
None of which helps for a better world.
What happened in Cape Town, whilst it cannot be condoned in any way, was an accident waiting to happen.
The energy of sport holds zero for the evolution of mankind. Sport is about separation, competition, conflict, advantage over others and inequality on a breathtaking scale. But we have been so indoctrinated by sports (and the supporting media) that we, seemingly unwittingly, support this energetic irresponsibility.
To play most sports at the highest levels, men develop their bodies to be as hard and as un-tender as possible. This sets them up to a level of insensitivity that can only lead to trouble on the field, in the home and for the respective player’s health. No other animal hardens up like sports people do. How can a man expect to take home tenderness, sensitivity and be vulnerable or even delicate after a game of sport played according to modern-day aggressive standards? It is not possible. That is why the ball tampering incidents are just simple but inevitable by-products of the energy of hate, separation and behaving as tough as nails.
The stakes are so high that the participants lose sight of true purpose. They are primed to eke out every advantage against the opponent, without regard for how that opponent may feel, or how far they transgress the bounds of decency and respect.
After the game they shake hands, mention the usual common courtesies and move on. But in truth their minds are turning to the next game and how to secure an even better advantage; the sponsorship dollars and performance bonuses beckon.
Energetically, there is nothing to support sports played in the current manner.
Until Cricket Australia and until the International Cricket Board understand that “Everything is energy, and everything is because of energy”, then faux pas such as the incident of ball tampering, cheating, corruption, aggro and the like will continue. The harming energy will spill over into the domestic homes of players and spectators alike. The negative effect will be everywhere. Ball tampering is a piffling matter set against the backdrop of the conflictive energy of separation.
Love, the highest form of intelligence, will continue to be shunted aside in pursuit of fame and fortune. Sport will remain purposeless – it offers nothing for the expansion of wisdom and wellbeing.
Sport is the opposite of Brotherhood. A one-ness of Communities will be separated by the colour of the flag or by the playing jersey. Incidents of breaking the rules, drug cheats, sporting drunks, rape and abuse by sportsmen, on and off the field, generally, will forever be part of the sporting circus. How many more apologies (for their unbecoming behaviour) from sporting greats will we have to endure? So many among us medicate our dissatisfaction with life by immersing ourselves in sport. Poor behaviour by the sporting elite has become normalised within society, and in too many cases promoted by savvy marketing. It seems that we, the spectators, happily swallow this behaviour as ‘just the way it is’. So, until sporting authorities understand the bigger energetic picture, these cycles will forever repeat.
By the way, has anyone noticed that women are now getting in on the act too? Cricket, rugby and football have joined the traditional female sports of netball and basketball. The crowds are growing, and their remuneration is becoming a ‘must have’. Women, ‘on the field’ are showing the same confrontational and aggressive behaviour as men have done for so long.
Throughout history, women have been the pathfinders of sacred movement – they are the pathfinders of evolutionary behaviour and the pathfinders of stillness.
What will happen when they too take on, in large numbers, the energy of separation, conflict, abusive behaviours and hard bodies through participating in modern day sport? What will be left for families and relationships?
Within the universal big picture and long term view, sport is irrelevant. However, for the foreseeable future, sport will play big in our lives – a canvas of how not to behave. Energetically it can never be right to confront, compete, create and feed off division in communities, whilst being aggressive.
Table Mountain, you have some work to do, but maybe focus on government leadership first – there is much more corruption at play there than a ball tampering incident.
Not just in the legislative halls of Cape Town, but throughout the world.