Sachin Tendulkar is a statistician’s delight as he constantly makes them to dig numbers for a living. He has been doing it for the last 20 years and will continue to do so in the days or MAY BE years to come. He is the prism through which this country sees and practices Cricket and is often accused of breaking his own record with a boring regularity
|Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar|
But now that Rahul has called it a day, is Sachin’s day far behind? The question which popped up after the Australian tour has been fuelled. And so this unending debate on his retirement( and of course the often jinxed 100*100) seems to have everyone restless.
This post is about why I am not-so-thrilled these days to see him in India blazers. (Its not about joining-hands with any of the sports journalists and critics for that matter).
They’ve said it all. He is approaching his forties. He ‘will’ not be agile. Exuberance ‘will’ elude him. His presence ‘will’ not allow a young flower to blossom. But is age the parameter to fit in the success formula in a sport? Well, wait. Let us not jump into a conclusion. The sporting world is quite large enough to present us with examples of golden oldies. Lance Armstrong pedaled his way for a podium finish at 38. It was at the *worn-out* age of 46 that Martina Navratilova won a Grand Slam(while partnering Leander Paes in 2003). Even Cricket has similar tales. India’s Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid at 39 was notching up tons after tons in those seaming, swinging, moving and zipping conditions in England where as there was a Lunar Eclipse of *younger* moons. Mohd. Azharrudin and Robin Singh were outstanding fielders even while nearing their forties and were better acrobats on the field than some players half their age.
Now the curious case of Sachin. The 100th century might continue to elude him. Doesn’t matter. He still has a healthy average since he scored his 99th ton. He is still managing 50s at will. He still plays for the team and the situation( remember the game against SriLanka at Hobart where he was going after everything while chasing a monumental score? ). So, there you go. You can’t involve in inane rants pressing for Sachin’s exit just because he is 39 plus. Nor is he an impediment to Rohit Sharma’s progress for that matter as the later failed to grab the opportunities presented to him in the last 4 years( 70+ ODIs).
I am for the result “Sachin-should-retire” but have a different reason to support it.
Greatness is not justified if your farewells are mistimed. Its not just about ending on a high note but at a perfect arena, at a perfect venue too. And in Sachin’s case, such a setting was beautifully presented to him as if god himself had scripted it. The stage was set. A glamorous Mumbai evening. A world cup triumph. Your home ground (where many years back you happened to be a ball boy). A victory lap on your teammates’ shoulders( some of them were just infants when you burst into the international scene). Your teammates singing in unison,” We were playing for Sachin, the world cup is for Sachin….”. A fairy tale was on the cards. But……….
Dear Sachin. That divine moment was scripted for you to bid adieu, to hang up your boots FINALLY after 23 glorious years. You will always remain the legend that you were, the prodigy that you were, the GOD that you were………..but your quitting won’t be considered in those lines. Your too much love for cricket, the culprit!
- Enjoy Sachin while you can: Viv Richards (cricketnext.in.com)