A short while ago Set Max, as part of Extraaaaaaaa Innings, showed a gentleman somewhere in India doing Pooja for the Indian cricketers. He stood in front of an idol and chanted things like “Om Wicketkeepera Namah” and “Om Googly aur Offbreak”. Then the cameras cut back to the studio, where Charu Sharma and Mandira Bedi had their palms folded in prayer. “She is very religious,” Charu informed us about Mandira. (I would argue that her being on a cricket show instantly disproves the existence of God, but let’s not go there.)
Now, isn’t it ironic that all this should be happening for sport? To me, sport is all about celebrating human endeavour. Perhaps this is best reflected in the fact that the team that invokes God the most was the first strong team to crash out of the World Cup. Divine intervention ain’t no good if you don’t walk the hard yards yourself: that’s one good lesson sport teaches.
On a related note, do check out this excellent piece by Austin Cline on atheism, in which he makes the following point: