December 15, 1997
|Sri Sathya Sai with renowned cricketers - Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Arjuna Ranatunga at the Hill View Stadium - Prasanthi Nilayam|
Swami came near the table tennis players and sports captains…
Swami : Table Tennis? Games are there on January 11th.
Students : Swami, today there is a table tennis match.
Swami : Table tennis…, I used to play.
Students : Swami, here is Your photograph. (They showed the card having a photo of Swami playing table tennis)
Swami : “Kahan Mila”? (Where did you get it from?) I played with a Colombo official in Loyala College and also with Krishnan. I won 3-0. When is your Table Tennis match?
Students : Swami, today at 7: 30 pm Swami, please come and Bless us.
Swami : (To a student, showing how to hold a table tennis bat) Grip should be like this and angle should be proper. (Swami showed the movement with His hand).
Students : Please give Padanamaskar.
Swami : Teesko (Take)
This afternoon Swami came to the ground with a devotee and showed him the pavilion. He then went to the Institute Conference Hall and spoke to the staff members about the forth-coming cricket match and sports meet programme…
Swami : What time is the cricket match starting?
V. C. : Swami, 8:30 am.
Swami : The match should begin by 9 am. Everything should be kept ready, nothing should be delayed. The Prime Minister is also coming and he will be hoisting the national flag.
Teacher : Swami, You should only hoist the flag.
Swami : No! Let him hoist the flag and I will light the torch. And as in sports meet, two students will hold the torch and send it up the hill. It should be checked up well. It will be a grand sight on that day. Immediately after the lighting of the torch, the match will start. Before this, all the players will go to the ground and will be introduced. The platform on which the Prime Minister will stand and hoist the flag should be firm. Prime Minister will be leaving the same evening at 4: 30 pm.
V.C. : Swami what about procession?
Swami : I will be coming in the sports car.
V.C. : : Swami, please come in chariot.
Swami : No, pulling the chariot will be difficult. I will come in the sports car, the roof can be opened, and all the devotees can see Me. Who are all the players?
Warden : Swami the same team that played in Sharjah, is coming.
Swami : When???
Warden : Swami yesterday in Sharjah, they won over India. Swami, the other team consists of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Swami, Ranatunga (from Sri Lanka) will lead the team.
Swami : Ranatunga came that day and he told Me that he didn’t want any other cup but this cup and he wanted to play at least one match on this ground.
Warden : Swami some veterans like Kapil Dev and David Boon are also coming,…
Swami : Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri came for Swami’s Darshan long ago. Sunil Gavaskar’s (Rohan Gavaskar) son is also coming on that day.
Warden : Swami, Jayasuriya (from Sri Lanka) is a very powerful player, he can hit the ball to Hanuman.
Swami : The match will get over before 4:30 pm. Gavaskar and Vishwanath (Gundappa Vishwanath, Indian cricket legend) told Me that they wanted to have the closing ceremony in the middle of the ground so that all can see well. We will set a trend to show how a match should be conducted, not like other matches where the players just shake hands and go away.
Brindavan Warden : Yes Swami, there are many statues of Gods, which will give Divine vibration.
Swami : A platform should be arranged in the middle of the ground where the Prime Minister will give away the cups to every player. During the lunch break, primary school children will perform some programme for half an hour. I have already told them to stick on to the time given to them. People can eat and watch the programme. It is of a unique type – no one has tried it anywhere outside. I have told them not to throw colours on the ground, because if the ball falls on the colours, the players’ clothes will get spoilt when they rub it on their pants. Bowlers should bowl straight to the wickets so that the batsmen are able to play it; instead they bowl all wides!
Warden : Swami, recently we lost to Pakistan in the Sharjah Cup. Swami, Pakistani players are very good. In this match, we have to face both Sri Lanka and Pakistan, which will be very difficult for us. Unless Your blessings are there with us, we cannot win the match.
Swami : They lost the game because they did not get the chance to win. If they get the chance, they can win.