Shakib & Eriksen: A tale of parallels in sports

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The sports world encountered different incidents in two of its exciting chapters, Cricket & Football. It was some two weeks ago not exactly the same time but near about. Both the incidents had left both the dimensions of sports in awestruck mood as both hit the viewers as well as followers of sports loud and clear. The contrasting incident happened some 7086 km as suggested by Google, which in itself is an unfolding of a tale happening, so far, yet taught us so many things.

The event that happened had a referee and an umpire in the middle who was the focal point of the incident. One stood as a hero for an entire panel to be proud of and the other got a nod even from the governing board for showing some sort of biasedness’. It involved two superstars of their respective country residing some 7000 km’s from each other and inspiring millions of people to play and make their respective nations proud.

It gives me extreme pleasure to make everybody puzzled(though the initial and final of their respective names are already mentioned in my heading above). Shakib Al Hasan, one of the gifted all-rounders in the world at the present era, and Christian Dannemann Eriksen, a free-kick maestro and one of the gifted footballers of this era for his nation.

These two names aren’t just names but an inspiration to millions of people and followers of cricket and football. The net worth of Shakib Al Hasan stood somewhere around 36 Million USD in 2018. You can check it out here: https://www.quora.com/How-much-is-the-net-worth-of-Shakib-Al-Hasan Similarly, Christian Eriksen has a net worth of 25 Million USD towards the second half of his football career. You can check it out here: https://exactnetworth.com/christian-eriksen-net-worth/

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The viewership of both Cricket and Football varies significantly as Football is the most reached game all over the world with its popularity and long history than Cricket. Hence, the viewership of the 2018 FIFA World Cup accumulated 1.1 Billion viewers while the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup attracted 15.4 Million Viewers. Although the short format of the game in cricket is attracting a lot of viewers still the awesome following for Football heads a mile away in comparison to cricket.

If we only compare the two of the most popular leagues in the world in terms of Cricket & Football respectively, The English Premier League and The Indian Premier League( Although the history of the English Premier League is quite old) we can see a whopping difference in numbers where Premier League reaches 4.7 Billion people in a season in comparison to 405 Million Viewers of the Indian Premier League in 2020 which is at it’s staggeringly high for the most loved short format of cricket in the world currently.

Why are we after these numbers? Actually, I want to show you all the people or the followers of the game and the inspirations they bring in their lives following these different dimensions of sports. Now, the astonishing part is Shakib Al Hasan has an outrageous 3.9 Million Followers on Instagram in comparison to 2.2 Million Followers of Christian Eriksen.

Now, the most intriguing part about the fanbase of Shakib is he has a mass of more than 14 million followers on his Facebook page while Christian Eriksen doesn’t have a page on Facebook. The plot of these two players might be different, the origin of the story has different twists as well as turns but the outcome is common and that is to inspire generations who follow them and their respective sporting forte.

Going back to the event, as I have mentioned earlier, it had a common focal point, a referee as well as an umpire in the game of Football and Cricket respectively. The First incident took place some 218 km far from Eriksen’s home in Denmark. It was the 42nd minutes of the game when Christian Eriksen was waiting for a throw-in from his partner and collapsed on the ground. Soon, the incident was addressed by the on-field referee Anthony Taylor who was officiating in his first major tournament. Taylor was quick to make a decision and called the medic team spontaneously that later became a life-saving act. The 42 years old English referee was praised for his timely action in the middle of all the chaos on the field.

You can read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2021/jun/20/the-day-denmark-stood-still-christian-eriksens-collapse-and-the-heroes-who-saved-him

The incident engulfed a lot of things about who Christian Eriksen was and how his football career has inspired a lot of young people in his country. He was offered an opponent team’s flag to cover up from the sidelines so that nobody would be able to see the traumatic scenes. The wise act of all Denmark players and the medical team got a tremendous amount of applauds from the entire world.

A lot of teams, individuals, and professionals dedicated their wins, goals for Eriksen, and the entire world stood together for him and his family. This incident brought the whole of the footballing community and the sports followers into a common ground. Hope, wish, and the act of humanity was well seen throughout the internet. The crowds paused the game with claps and banners with the slogan was written that” Denmark Loves you Christian” was seen all over the stadium with huge echoes and roars.

Image source: goal.com

Christian Eriksen was a childhood geek when it came to football. Eriksen was just 3 years old when his father noticed his unusual footballing skills when he dribbled the ball better than his neighbor, who was twice as much as his age. Similarly, by the tender age of 12 Eriksen with his mate Rasmus Flak, did the most incredible thing in a U-12 championship that featured the best clubs of Denmark. After being 4-0 by halftime, Rasmus and Eriksen passed, combined, and scored to bring back their club to victory out of nowhere. The important and valuable things to learn from an article decorated by Maximilian Schmeckel & Niklas Koning was an Eriksen’s Shirt adorn the club’s facilities, and his story has inspired countless young Danish talent to follow in his footsteps and push them to make their dreams come true as well.

The article featured a quote that absolutely brought goosebumps into my hands while typing it. “Nowadays the name Middelfart is important” the club’s president, Claus Hansen said to The Guardian. “The kids think: Christian Eriksen is from Middelfart and I want to play for Middelfart, too.” You can see more of it here: https://www.goal.com/story/christian-eriksen-king-of-denmark/index.html

This defines the stature and position of Christian Eriksen before falling down unconsciously in the ground in the 42nd minute of the game. He came through ranks, break down through Ajax and joined Tottenham Hotspur to be the most iconic as well as unfazed character of his country. A true superstar of his country who was shy to begin and reached the utmost level for his country inspiring millions to watch him play.

The next incident happened when the star Bangladeshi all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan uprooted all three stumps in a heated match that saw Shakib kicking off the stump earlier when Mushfiqur Rahim was not given out by the main umpire in the Dhaka Premier League match. The two incidents happened in the same match where a lot of youngsters were included with their idol in the same team. The whole incident is explained here: https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/cricket/shakib-al-hasan-kicks-uproots-stumps-argument-umpire-dhaka-t20-league-7354465/

If we go through Shakib’s story of the past, it was an umpire who was impressed by a young boy in the village who would be paid by most of his villages nearby to play the game of cricket at that young age. He was Introduced to the Islampur Para Club which was a part of the Magura Cricket League. During his net session, he batted aggressively and when he was picked for the team he took a wicket in his first ball. It was the first instance when Shakib Bowled with a proper cricket ball.

It was because of the umpire he was at a receiving end of all the praise which further helped him to escalate and reached the highest level of his game. On 12 January 2015, Shakib became the only cricketer to be the no.1 all-rounder in all three formats as ranked by ICC. The position which every all-rounder dreams to be placed at. Adding to his tally of records, he is the most wicket-taker in all formats of cricket for Bangladesh and is the third-highest run-getter in all formats for Bangladesh too.

His further records and achievements can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shakib_Al_Hasan. Shakib has been a role model in terms of his fierce batting and that was displayed in the grand tournament in the ICC Cricket World cup 2019. He averaged 86.57 with the bat in 8 innings with an extravagant 606 total runs tally. Add 11 wickets and the record that he was the first all-rounder to score 500 runs and take more than 10 wickets in a single edition of a world cup. He is undoubtedly a ridiculously talented as well as gifted allrounder ever produced by Bangladesh, to say the least.

But Shakib isn’t just limited with runs and wickets. His aggressive nature off the field comes along with the package too. He has this issue of losing his cool unlike Eriksen who is ever grounded and as seen in his many interviews he keeps things very simple. On the other hand, Shakib on his worst day can make everyone forget about the talent and skills he possesses in the cricket field. A role model to millions has repeatedly lost his cool along with some records by his name. Right from abusing the person behind the sightscreen to uprooting the stumps in the recent incident explained above, Shakib has been part of bad behavior which sometimes can be labeled as “Childish” for a man of his stature.

The whole story of Shakib’s misbehavior over the past 10 years can be studied here: https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/a-timeline-of-shakib-al-hasan-disciplinary-issues-1266153

I don’t want to glorify someone or defame others relating these events of two geniuses of their respective game. The point I want to put is people do follow them for every act they perform in their respective field. To put runs behind or goals behind their name is not just a moral responsibility they carry as a sportsperson.

For the young Danish girls and boys the love and respect that Eriksen and his family got from all the fans and followers of the game can bring a message to play sport and earn the highest degree of dignity and respect for the country. But for a Bangladeshi kid watching in the corner of his city or in a small village who wants to envy sports in order to carry the name of his country forward, Shakib set a very bad example.

For a superstar and a super talented person like him, the mannerism in which he must play the sports must not be explained by writers like us. He must learn to keep his calm as he is a public figure whose notion can be copied and made a trend by the modern gadget-friendly kids in the coming days which is a sign of an alarming clock for the whole sports fraternity. Shakib is more than a handy cricketer and his philanthropic work could be seen in his recent stint to help the COVID-19 patients. The cricketing world and the whole sports community would be blessed to witness a cool-minded Shakib Al Hasan inspiring lot of youngsters to carry sports as their dream and pursuit them.

We have been so fortunate to live in an era where Sports development and contest has been competitive. The digital, as well as economic advantage to youngsters and sports gigs all around the world, have inspired a generation to keep their passion alive. If Shakib Al Hasan has seen what happened at Copenhagen in the 42nd minute, with split seconds late, the sporting world could have lost a gem, he might have already learnt the value of calmness for that split second would help him carry the flag of his nation in the unconquered nations by the Bangladeshi tigers who have already shown their capacity, skills and talents in the field of cricket.

Eriksen & Shakib are the superstars of today, we are blessed to have them both as a part of our daily life with Euro on its way marching highly forward and ICC T20 world cup not far away. If Eriksen free kicks have echoed a voice of all young footballers of a small community, Shakib’s tight line with the ball and exquisite cover drive is a reflection of a small city of Bangladesh where dreams are seen to conquer.

Both the parallels of modern world sports give millions of children across the globe to pair symmetrically like wings of birds that help them to fly in a destined address in different corners of the world. The two parallels here help many unfolded and untold stories to be a part of people’s lives in the future.

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