top of page
Reading Time: 4 minutes
“Spirit is life for all things alive. This is about spirit and higher consciousness for the game of cricket.” 

Few years ago, on July 14, 2019, a day it felt I had seen the finest cricket game of all time, deep within there was something that did not feel complete, it almost hurt. 


It was clear I was not the only one feeling the pain. The cricketing world spoke in unison, with fans, ex-players, media, probing the International Cricket Council about the England – New Zealand ODI World Cup Final. This was because our conscious does not pick sides, it feels, it knows. An intention to keep the voice alive inspired the No Boundaries Platform.


One may ask, why is the moment relevant? Have the fans not moved on? 


Moving on is part of life and this is only sport. But a sport is also meant to inspire, and the word inspiration comes from the phrase ‘in spirit’. When the spirit weakens, inspiration and love for the game fades, and the sport begins to weaken. 


In essence, ‘Hello ICC’ presentation is about ‘spirit’ and general health of the game. 


On the podcast at No Boundaries, initially when people started bringing up integrity and faith in reference to the final, I felt a bit uncomfortable, because I had never seen the game through that lens. 


I grew up admiring and supporting the Indian cricket team of the 90s and the 2000s, giving cricket a special place in my heart. My biggest moment of watching cricket remains India winning the 2011 ODI World Cup and saddest when Sachin Tendulkar stopped playing. Controversies have risen before, but 2019 felt different. This was common-sense, influenced the outcome at cricket’s biggest event, and touched a chord within despite not involving India. 


But why even care about spirit?

My mind goes back to stories of 1983 ODI final at Lords Cricket Ground, same venue as the 2019 final, which inspired and set off game’s mass following over the next generation. Spirit is subtle. It is felt and works in its own gentle ways. Spirit is what runs through the fans and energizes the game. I feel that 2019 may be one subtle yet pivotal moment, much like 1983, that sets a direction ahead for the game for this era.

A moment of reflection over a short period since, shows increased instances of self-interest around tours and schedules by cricket boards, often done freely and openly without much reservations, and more frequent controversies on the field.   


What is the simplest, most human thing for the ICC to do? 


The final landed in an extremely rare outcome with unforeseen circumstances towards the end. So, address the result based on where the game ended, a tie, twice. Hold integrity and spirit above all, consider a simple after-the-fact declaration for joint winners. It was an opportunity to make this a moment of sporting inspiration for generations to come. However, in times ahead, the path ICC chose was quite opposite to that natural path. 


On a trip to New Zealand, I was once asked why a person of Indian origin is involved in this?


I remember answering that India can not be alienated from any cricket matter, being the financial and emotional powerhouse of the game. Today, after time and opportunity to create Hello ICC, I firmly believe that this moment is infact India’s responsibility, as the leader of the game, and more as a spiritual and moral compass for the world. In times ahead, we don’t know what formats of the game will remain, or what will be the structure of international cricket, but we know that India will be at its core.


Most importantly, what cricket becomes and inspires through this era will be India’s legacy as a nation and a leader. 


The question remains, what would India have done if they found themselves in this scenario instead of New Zealand? And, can leaders of the game from India show the world an essence of spiritual leadership, of seeing ourselves in others? This remains an opportunity to live that essence. 


What is Hello ICC? 

Despite liking the cricket that happened at the 2019 final, the energy of fans from nearly every part of the world has consistently disliked that result. I have faith that someday cricket will find the heart to address this with fairness. In fact, further we move away from emotions of the day, clearer the absurdity of the result gets, and louder the question on integrity and spirit becomes. 


I still enjoy watching the game, and I look forward to different tournaments and teams around the world, but I miss the deep emotional connect. It is possible that the 2019 moment, its handling, and the journey of creating Hello ICC has had a subconscious effect. I am sure there are others like me. 


The questions are evident. 


How does the 2019 result sit well with a sport that values spirit as much as its laws? 

As an equal winner at the 2019 World Cup, being one of the power centers of the game, and as a leader on matters of spirit, does England not have a responsibility? 

Are fans watching a naïve and uninfluenced game? And, with growing number of contentious moments, nearly in every global tournament since, are questions on integrity and faith not taking stronger roots in many more hearts?


That evening moved us with the humility and grace of Kiwi players and people, but do our actions promote that spirit around the world? 

What stopped the ICC from acting in alignment with the collective cricket consciousness? 


With our choices from the 2019 moment, have we put cricket on a path of positivity and inspiration, or on a path of increased influence and self-interest?

These are questions for all of us, as leaders, audiences, players, and officials, since it is our collective responsibility to leave a better game and a better world for the next generation.


Please watch 'Hello ICC', an open presentation to leaders of the game, and all of the cricket community. It simply brings together voices and emotions of the 2019 World Cup final keeping a flame for fairness alive.  Hope it adds a little energy and spirit to the game and its followers.  

Prakash Wadhwa*

Creator, Hello ICC

*Prakash Wadhwa is a storyteller with stories inspired from personal experiences and uplifting the human spirit. From The Land of Gandhi, Prakash’s previous film, continues to build awareness on modernizing US immigration and represents a voice for a million skilled immigrants from India.

bottom of page