Sachin

The Tallest Cricket We Will Ever See

The Tallest Cricket We Will Ever See

I am affected by his retirement from ODIs. It’s time. It’s his decision. But it didn’t happen right. And we know it. And maybe at the end of SAF tour, he will announce his test retirement. The signs are there. The statement was on phone, brief, and a formality for a decision made differently, in some other place.

I am a Tendulkar fan. I won’t use the word “was”. I am. And I will be. Let me try and explain why.

Today, Indian team is going through a slump. Right? Several test defeats home and away, spineless performances, unimaginative captaincy, etc. etc. are being discussed. And somewhere, Sachin’s run with the team is being questioned. And people are talking about their growing disinterest and apathy towards the game.

If you were born in the 1975-1985 period (you just missed being a part of India’s WC 84 victory, but you’ve heard about it), you may remember. We had a horror of a team in late 80s and 90s. Full of legends dragging themselves, and a support battery that boasted of one hit wonders. Batsmen that were crafty or interesting or talented, but not match winners. Spinners that never could replicate the famed Bedi-Prasanna-Chandra era. Fielders that could make me feel like I am super-fit. At my present day fitness levels. And attitudes that reeked of – thank you, take it or leave it.

And then we heard conversations. About this talent. And then we saw it happen. Against Abdul Qadir. And then New Zealand. And then Australia. And then. And then. And we finally had something to attach our hopes and aspirations to. And he played. Like a tidal wave, he offered us adventure, excitement and peace. We rose with him. And we fell down with him. We reveled in the desert storm inning that did not win the match but took us to the final. And we made statements like – “if only he were around for 2 more overs”. Or – “Ab kya faayda. Band kar do ab TV”. And we cursed anyone who came up some convoluted statistical analysis to prove that you aren’t what you are made out to be. One of the things that all religious people tell you is that it’s about believing. And hence, the #SachinIsGod hashtags/memes never seemed too overboard.

Fast forward to 2011-2012– he fails. Critics who couldn’t last ten overs on the field debate how long he should stay on the field. I don’t care. Though I am all worried too. And I hope that there will be a swan song, but I am afraid that there won’t be one. For this is not a bollywood movie where someone just listens to a patriotic song or a mother’s cry and gets up to beat the bad guys.

Now, is there someone who’s been able to keep me interested? Someone to explain – why it doesn’t matter if I don’t follow every delivery of the game?. Online, offline? Why I won’t go out of my way to buy “Cricket Samrat”, “Sportstar” and go through the scoresheet of every match? And those cutout posters on the walls of your room? Yes, Kohli will earn his chips. And maybe a Rahane will happen. But right now, all hell breaks loose, and everyone’s fixated on this one guy. And you still want to debate that he is not the one you want to see as your best bet. Be my guest. I have nothing more to tell you.

Tendlya – Do what you’ve always done. Put on your headphones. And listen to Kishore Kumar or Pink Floyd. For the chatter ain’t worth it.

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About Amit
Conventional, boring, believer, poet, Shayar (to be precise), lover of music, musical instruments, and all that can be called music (theoretically or metaphorically), jack of all master of none, more of a reader less of a writer, arbit philosopher, foolish debater.. and many more such things.. like so many people!

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