Dharamsala, October 25, 2023
Following their first World Cup loss to hosts India, the New Zealand cricket team remains in high spirits, undeterred by the defeat. The players, currently stationed in the serene surroundings of Dharamsala, found solace in the majestic Himalayas and embraced the opportunity to meet the spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Despite a challenging start to the tournament in the steamy southern city of Chennai, Tom Latham’s squad found respite in the cool mountain air of Dharamsala. The picturesque hill station, once a British colonial retreat, offered a tranquil backdrop for the team to regroup and rejuvenate ahead of their upcoming clash with a resurgent Australia.
One of the highlights of their stay was the visit to the residence of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Batsman Will Young expressed his awe, stating, “This morning most of the group went to meet the Dalai Lama in person at his residence, which was amazing. The boys have had a good chance to obviously get stuck into the cricket but also have a bit of down-time as well.”
Even the calm and composed former captain, Kane Williamson, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, was visibly elated during the meeting. The positive atmosphere seems to have had a beneficial effect on the entire team, creating a sense of unity and purpose.
With a 4-1 record in the group phase, New Zealand currently occupies the third position in the standings, positioning themselves well for a spot in the semi-finals. Young praised the team’s stay in Dharamsala, highlighting the comfortable resort-style hotel, leisurely walks in the hills, and the delectable local cuisine. He added, “It’s awesome to show up for work and get stuck in such a cool place. The cricket, as well, is just a bonus.”
As they prepare to face Australia in back-to-back games, the New Zealand team appears to be in a good headspace, drawing inspiration from their unique experiences in Dharamsala. The calming influence of the Dalai Lama, coupled with the breathtaking natural beauty of the region, has undoubtedly provided the team with the perfect environment to prepare for their upcoming challenges.
In the midst of the competitive cricketing arena, New Zealand’s encounter with the Dalai Lama stands as a testament to the team’s resilience and ability to find tranquility amidst the pressures of international cricket. As they gear up for their next match, the Kiwi players carry not just their skills but also the spiritual blessings from their encounter with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.