In going to England to represent India in the field of sport, you also have the unique opportunity of practicing and of conveying to the people there the great spiritual lessons of concentration and love. When you take the field, and if you play as eleven men with one heart, each enjoying the excellence of performance in another player as he would in himself, whether that player is on your side or on the side of the opposing team, and so eliminating feelings of jealousy, anger and pride, which so often mar the sport — you will not only be entertaining the spectators, but demonstrating the real spirit of sportsmanship. True sportsmanship is concentrated ability, enlivened with appreciation of the performance of others. And when this is manifested, everyone present, both players and spectators, receives spiritual upliftment as well as good entertainment.
Some of you are "all-rounders." I am the greatest spiritual "all-rounder" of all times, because I feel equally at home with saints, yogis, philosophers and cricketers, as well as with so-called sinners and scoundrels. I give you my blessing that in all your actions you show forth the spirit of love.
Baba again gave a parting embrace to each player. Several had come to Baba with feelings of wonder, inquisitiveness and curiosity. But after meeting him and receiving his love, they departed with new enthusiasm, love and reverence for him. Two of them, Polly R. Umrigar, 33, and Nari Contractor, 25, became devoted followers.
Pendu was also very fond of following cricket matches, listening to the radio to find out the score. When the test match was being played in England, Pendu came and stood outside Baba's bedroom. Bhau was on watch and Baba asked who was outside. On being told, he called Pendu. Joining his hands, Pendu entreated Baba, "Baba, make Nari Contractor [the captain of the Indian team] win the match!" At this simple-hearted request, Baba laughed and replied, "We shall see."
"It is not a matter of seeing," Pendu persisted, "you have to make him win the game."
Baba was much amused and asked Pendu to leave. Pendu went but shortly was back with the same request. Baba gestured to him, "We shall see. Why are you so worried?" Baba heard Pendu's prayer. Despite an injury to his ribs, Nari Contractor scored 84 runs for India's side and the team won.