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It was a genuine pleasure to witness an excellent example of good sportsmanship during the most recent cricket Test match between England and India. Despite trailing – and during a crucial period in the game – India graciously agreed to withdraw an appeal for a run-out which they had every right to uphold. Although the laws of the game were adhered to, due to the nature of the dismissal the India captain MS Dhoni reversed his decision because he wanted to ensure the game was played in the right ‘spirit’.

Fairness and decency

Great sportsmanship such as this is a reminder that fairness and decency can still exist even during the most intense and high-pressure of sporting arenas. Cricket is like a religion in India, followed fanatically by its supporters who worship the team and its stars. But even against this backdrop of enormous weight and expectation, a gesture of sporting goodwill took place, setting an example not only for the millions of aspiring young cricketers throughout India and the world but other professionals, too.

Sportsmanship can exist anywhere

I believe that good sportsmanship can and should take place in every profession or industry. Honesty, fairness and sincerity should form the backdrop of any workplace – be it an office, factory, law firm or sports team. I don’t have a problem with playing hard in order to get where you want to and achieve your aims. But I also believe that this should be complemented with good manners, giving credit where it’s due and being up front and honest with others. I have no time for gossips and energy sappers. I like to work with people I can trust to work hard, show sincerity and demonstrate integrity in everything they do.

An example to us all

The Indian cricket team showed us all that sportsmanship can exist even in today’s increasingly cynical and fickle world. They may have lost to England in the end, but they won an awful lot of respect and admiration from many people both within and outside the world of cricket.

Do you have any inspiring stories of sportsmanship? What are your views on how one should conduct oneself in the workplace?

  • susanalexander

    I like this post, Gavin.  In every day life, we can show good sportsmanship just about anywhere, and most of the time it’s not even so difficult to see how to go about it.  You sum it up very well in your paragraph headed “Sportsmanship can exist anywhere.”

    And it’s not just about the other guy – it’s about us as well, because showing good sportsmanship makes us feel about ourselves. It’s a good thing to remember.

    Well done!

    • Gavin Llewellyn

      Susan, thank you very much for your comment.

      Everything you’ve said chimes with the thought process I was going through when I wrote this post. I appreciate you may not be all that familiar with cricket in New York City (although you might be!), but it was a very humbling moment in this particular cricket match that really resonated with me and seemingly millions of others watching the game. It could have happened in any sport and at any time, which is why I made parallels with other jobs, professions and industries outside of sport.

      You’re absolutely right to point out that showing good sportsmanship makes us feel better about ourselves. Ideally this should hopefully create a virtuous circle and a more productive environment all round. I appreciate that everyone’s situation is different but if we strive to live by certain values in our lives then maybe others will fall in line.