It was a hot summer afternoon in New York, most people preferred to stay indoors but school students had no other choice and had to attend their regular classes. Not many schools have all the sports facilities and cricket was not a very well recognised sport in New York. A school named SVB mid had the facilities for cricket. The school cricket team was led by Alex Parker who hated attending school but still did for the sake of sports. He entered into the cricket team of his school in the first year junior league.
Alex stumbled on this sport while switching channels on TV in his childhood. He started watching the legends play the game. With rising interest in cricket, his performance started declining in academics.
In New York there was only one school which encouraged cricket, It was SVB mid school. But the school takes in students based on their merit. After knowing this fact, Alex started focusing on his studies but never stopped practising cricket. He started improving his academic scores and made it into the SVB mid school.
"Alex!", Shouted the maths teacher. "What are you dreaming about?", she questioned. Without hesitation, Alex replied "I'm sorry ma'am, It's too hot in the class and I am unable to focus." His reply annoyed her and she dismissed him from the class.
Alex did not seem troubled by the dismissal, instead he took this as an opportunity to practice cricket. It was 2 o' clock in the afternoon and it was really hot. The heat didn't stop Alex from practising cricket, he practised till the classes got over.
Everyone started coming out of the classes to get back home, Alex did not bother any of this and kept practising . The maths teacher approached him and asked him," Is it cool outside?" and left immediately without even waiting for a reply.
The next day, Alex was called to the principal's office. "Mr. Parker, I have received many complaints on your activities recently. Do you have anything to say about it?". The principal Mr. Wilson was a humble man and always respected everyone's opinion. He never judged students without proper interrogation.
Alex did not want to tell the truth but couldn't come up with any other excuse. He stood there silently. The principal then stood up and said," You are the captain of SVB's cricket team, you are the leader, come on give me an answer."
After a few seconds Alex decided to speak up, "I am not really a bright student sir, when I was five years old I found cricket by chance and fell in love with it. I started playing cricket everyday and started losing my track on academics. But when I knew that SVB was the only school which encouraged cricket, I started to work hard and began scoring better. I successfully joined the school and made it into the cricket team, I want to build up my skills in my area of interest sir. I am sorry for what I have done, This will not happen again and I will concentrate in the class."
The maths teacher was standing by the side and was waiting for Alex to be shouted at. But instead of that, the principal said," From now on, I will coach you and you will have to attend the coaching whenever I call you. It will mostly be during your maths periods, I will take care on your maths during the coaching itself."
Alex almost jumped in joy, he couldn't resist his happiness and on the other hand the maths teacher was really angry on the response given by the principal.
Alex was trained by the principal every evening and helped him with maths. To keep up his expectations Alex started putting in more efforts in academics too. He started doing well in both cricket and academics.
Later that month, there was a cricket tournament and Alex was assigned to lead a team of fifteen including the stand-ins. With all the training he received, he had gained enough confidence in himself. The team won the Junior league. This was the first time that a school team has won the junior league.
The principal was really happy to see his school team perform so well in cricket. Even after the tournament ended, he didn't stop training Alex. He showed real passion in training the whole team. Seeing his dedication, Alex was keen to know about the principal's interest in cricket. He started enquiring about it, weeks passed by and he couldn't find anything. he decided to ask his mentor.
"Sir! Can you tell me about how you learnt cricket?" asked Alex. After a moment of silence, The principal replied," I was ten when I first got to know about cricket, I wasn't in New York back then. I was in England and this game originated from that country. I developed an interest to the game and started playing whenever I had time. I started declining in my academics and cricket wasn't a good reason for bad performance back then in my days. Only the rich children had the chance to play cricket, so I couldn't really get a chance to improve myself in the sport. I tried improving my skills all by myself and join a team, but by doing so I just created chaos in my academic schedule. I started failing in subjects which were easy. No one really encouraged cricket as a career in that timeline."
The principal paused for a moment to drink water as his throat was all dried up after the training session and the talk. Alex started to realise that he is in a better situation than his mentor ever was. The principal continued," I always wanted to become a cricketer but never had the platform to improve myself. The current scenario in England is great for cricket, but here it's just starting. No one would want others to suffer from the same problem which they faced. I had the chance to create a platform, I did. I saw myself in you while you were training alone in the ground that evening when you were dismissed from the maths class. I am happy to see you do something of your interest." Alex was almost crying, he couldn't stop himself and he hugged principal with tears in his eyes.
The next day, Alex wrote an article about his mentor's cricket history. It was published on the weekly school magazine and every reader who read it was emotionally moved and almost all the boys in the school joined the cricket club with interest. The school started to gain attention for its services in cricket.
Alex took over as the student mentor as the Principal returned to his full time duty as the principal. Alex realised that everything is possible with a spark of motivation. The article which Alex wrote created that spark in every student of the school. The students started prioritizing based on their interests and not based on the peer pressure.
Even fuel needs a spark to burn, likewise budding talents need the spark of motivation!