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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Phenomenon Called Sachin Tendulkar!

From the moment BCCI announced a test series against West Indies by trimming the more important series against SA in their own backyard, it was evident that Sachin would be retired, though not announced officially by him or the board. And when Sachin finally announced that his 200th test would be his last, I felt a little annoyed that these two tests were accommodated only to help Sachin sign off his illustrious long career here in India.

As they say, no one is greater than the game, a person who is known for his utmost humility could have retired even without playing a so called farewell series. Though that thought was on and off. I still wanted to see him play for one last time, but somewhere I used to get this feel, should he really play? Maybe he wanted the occasion of his retirement more ostentatious and more respectful than any other player who retired in the recent past or any sportsperson ever in India. But, why? he could have still retired, I thought.

The updates on my facebook wall, the two week long series of articles on almost all major newspapers about his 24 year career, the continuous tv shows, the debates on how higher a place he deserves in the cricketing world, the interviews, all this have been making me more turbulent. Somewhere I used to feel that he should have just announced his retirement right away and not after a series or so wherein a lot of hype would be created. I thought he could have followed the way his peers Dravid and Laxman retired, in a low-key affair.

But, I was completely wrong. He could have retired right away, but the thought of Sachin not playing anymore and that Sachin wouldn't be seen on the field one last time would have put the country, the billion people in a state of national mourning. Instead, he made sure that we get an opportunity to witness and savour his batsmanship one last time right here in our country and bid him a grand farewell which he rightly deserves. For many of us, Sachin's career is the timeline of our lives. His debut - our birth. His prime form of the 90s - our childhood and first friends of life. His 2003 world cup run - our teenage highs. His two centuries of the 2008 CB series - our career questions. His 200* of 2010 - our professional challenges. His retirement, 2013 - our lives at cross roads.

Maybe there are exceptions to what I have written above, maybe there are people who are greater than the game. And yes, Sachin is one among them. He can influence a nation. If inspiration can be personified, Sachin would be it's name, a nation like ours with such a huge diversity, the mighty respect and love towards him is the imaginary cord that connects us all. A person of this calibre truly deserves the farewell he got, maybe that was even lesser. If the rules would permit, and a 12th player would be added in a team, just as an honor of respect, Sachin would take that place permanently in the Indian team for ever. Having said that, I feel that the government has gone a little overboard in conferring Bharat Ratna to him, not that he doesn't deserve such an honor but that might open up a whole new can of worms, which I don't want him to undergo. Anyways, that's quite a debatable topic. I don't want to get much into it.

Finally, this post would be incomplete without thanking the master, the cult, the colossus. A big Thank You dear Sachin! You have just retired from the game, not from our hearts. Miss you.