This is not what we want to see..

Posted: December 15, 2012 in Indian cricket

I know the BCCI is a ‘charitable’ organisation, but do the players who work for it also have to act like they are part of the package?

So, I have a problem with people who believe that Sachin Tendulkar should be allowed to play as long as he wants at the cost of the team and younger players.

I mean, that would be perfectly all right if the great man had announced on the day he made his debut that he would be playing for the country for free. That every rupee he earned from the BCCI, endorsements and sponsors would be donated to charity. THEN, neither I, nor anyone other Indian anywhere in the world would have the right to say a word against him. Then a place in the Indian team was his till he decided he had had enough.

But, that’s not what he said or he did, and no one, not even me ever expect him to say such silly things. He has give plenty to the game and so has every right to get back enough and more from it, and from all those who run it and fund it. So, when some followers of the game believe he has given enough and say that it’s time he went on to other things, there are howls of protest. Why?

He spent 22 years playing cricket, and he got paid handsomely for it. He’s a sportsperson who made money for every ball he played, every four, six or century he hit, and quite some in multiples of zeroes. So what’s the big deal if there is a demand that he quits, because he hasn’t got the same reflexes that he had as a 22-year-old? And that there may be a few youngsters who might lose their chance to play for India because a struggling, stubborn 39-year-old believes he’s still 22?

There have been other players as great, if not greater, and many mere mortals who were there in between who played for the country. They too gave their 100 per cent for less returns. But they were dismissed rudely and crudely. They were doing what they did best.

I shudder when his so called loyalists believe they should make a permanent place for him at no. 4 till he dies! It’s not just funny, it’s demented when people lose all sense of rationality and talk such utter rubbish. For heaven’s sake, the guy is paid a salary by the BCCI, he isn’t doing anyone a favour. He is also doing what he does best. And like some others before him, he isn’t doing what he is being paid to.

And since the Indian cricket team is not a retirement home, I don’t understand why he, or anyone else, should be retained. Doesn’t he realise that all he has done by clinging to the straws is that he has made a laughing stock of himself? Yeah, yeah, I know, I’ll get that line thrown at me by some ‘knowledgeable cricket fan’ that I haven’t achieved even an iota of what he has in his 24-odd years of cricket, so I don’t have the right to comment on Tendulkar.

My answer to that is that this is a free country and I have every right to comment on anything everything under the sun from the price of rubbers to Sachin Tendulkar’s cricketing form. In my 50 years, and in what I do, I might think I’ve achieved a great deal, but anyone has the right to rubbish that. He is, and I am being honest, one of the reasons, why I have stopped following the game as closely as I used to these past few years.

I have watched him prosper from age 13 and just as he had brought tears of joy to my face when I watched him bat against the world’s best in his younger days, seeing him bat now brings only sadness. I don’t want to watch him bat anymore, because watching the bewilderment on his face as he gets bowled middle stump is a sight that numbs me. I prefer to watch a film, than watch him bat. At least there I can also laugh with the hero, not just at him.

So to all those silly people who have anointed themselves Tendulkar cheerleaders, don’t you wish that all your energy could have helped him play like before…but it can’t, because even science hasn’t found a cure for ageing. So wake up and grow up.

Leave us with the memories of Sharjah, Old Trafford, Perth, Sydney or wherever, great man, and not the sight of you on your haunches, not just beaten, but looking completely beaten.

  1. says:

    I was one of the earliest people I know who wanted him to retire. I first thought that when he scored his 35th test century a year after his 34th was when he should have gone. Perhaps that was the wrong time. But really, the BEST time retire was immediately after the World Cup victory. He always said that the World Cup was his biggest dream. If he had retired after that, on 99 centuries, he’d have cemented his place as not just the greatest cricketer ever, but one of the greatest sportspersons in all of history. Him stretching his career till now has definitely cost him the chance to be recognized as the latter. It saddens me to hear just how much people dislike his presence in the team now. Still, he has one innings left in this test match. I’m going to back him 100% to help India win the test. And then he should hang up his boots. It may be just wishful thinking on the part of a foolish eternal romantic, especially one who wanted him to retire half a decade ago.
    Sent on my BlackBerry® from Vodafone

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