of Sachin and cricket in general

I have never written anything about cricket here and let alone about Sachin who is considered as God of cricket by his fans.

I was going through one of the articles written by a famous cricket columnist from India, and I was not sure whether he was praising Sachin or he was actually making fun of Sachin. He could have written in a common-man’s language so that people like me could understand what he wanted to say instead of confusing us by his literary skills. In fact, he forgot the fact that not all cricket fans are literary geniuses to understand what he writes.

There is a never ending argument about Sachin that he plays more for his milestones than for the team. Recently, during the Australia’s tour(2009) of India, the milestone of making 17,000 runs in the one-day internationals had become a hot debate in the media. If media hadn’t told me that Sachin is nearing this milestone, an average cricket fan like me wouldn’t know about this. Before every match, every news-channel and newspaper talked about this milestone. Few channels airing special programs about this and running SMS polling about whether he would reach the milestone in that match or not. The hype was created in the first place by media and not by the average cricket fan. There are few cricket fans who know every statistic about cricket. They are few exceptions.

Before the series began, Sachin was 137 runs away from 17,000 runs mark. The audiences in the stadium anticipated that he would reach that landmark in first two or three matches and they came well prepared to cheer for the little master. But the crowds were disappointed in the first four matches. In the fourth match it was more because of an umpiring mistake rather than anything else. Sachin was seven runs away and he was declared out with a very controversial decision. Of course the same media guys had huge debate over this decision showing all the previous mistakes which costed India Sachin’s wicket at crucial times.

With seven runs away from the milestone, he came to Hyderabad and in all cases everyone expected to witness the history being created. Sachin took 16 balls to score seven runs and he became the first player to cross the milestone of scoring 17,00o runs in ODIs. Yes, it was easy to sense that Sachin was a little nervous till he reached that mark. For me, it was more out of responsibility than anything else from Sachin’s part. What if he got out without reaching the milestone? What a disappointment it would have been for the thousands of spectators who came to the stadium to witness history being created? They were not disappointed and in fact enthralled to see Sachin playing as if he was back to his twenties.

Unfortunately, after hitting 175 runs from 141 balls, a knock which was praised by none other than Sourav Ganguly as the best ever from Sachin, India lost the match or rather thrown away the match after Sachin got out seeing India almost home in a crucial encounter.

For me, this was one of the best innings by any Indian cricketer. Chasing 350 runs against Australia in a high pressure match is not any easy. But Sachin made it look so easy that India almost won the match. And the other big names like Dhoni, Gambhir, and Yuvraj back in pavilion without reaching double digit scores, Sachin terrorized Australians with his superb stroke play.

Now, coming to the never ending debate that Sachin plays for himself rather than for India, I think this is a silly argument created by few idle brains.

When you criticize Sachin, think of what right you have to do that in the first place. You have a little  eligibility to comment if you have played at least one international cricket match for India.

This little man had dedicated his life to Indian cricket for two decades and still going as strong as he was when he started. He had seen other players come after him and retire before him. There was a time when if Sachin’s wicket was taken, the opposition thought that the battle was almost half won.

The funniest thing is, few people with a microphone in their hands and a journalism degree behind them, talk about cricketers, as if those very journalists have played cricket forever. I wonder how many of those journalists/analysts have seen a cricket ball/bat from close quarters except on TV. Come on guys, you have got to create more meaningful news than criticizing somebody who is playing for his country. Go get some other news and don’t waste precious time analyzing what if Sachin had played a square-cut instead of a scoop-shot and what if Dhoni hadn’t made that bowling change.

Sehwag made it very clear many times that Sachin is his favorite player and of course his inspiration. Sachin, without any doubt had inspired a whole array of younger generation to chase the dream of playing cricket for India.

Modern cricket is yet to see anything near to the phenomenon that we call as  Sachin, no matter whether it is on the field or off the field. Real gentleman of of the game. Do  you remember anytime seeing Sachin losing his temper and shouting at other players? I don’t think I have seen.

I am not a statistics crazy guy, but I learned that Sachin had won 57 man of the match awards till now in one-days and 15 man-of-the-series awards. That is a real statistic if you want to look at them. This should be some food for thought for those who criticize the little master.

Now that India officially lost the series, there will be enough news for the tv-channels to talk about for a couple of days.

India cannot win in every match we play.When a billion people expect the players to win every match, the pressure is sometimes overbearing. Nobody expected India to win the first T20 world-cup and nobody thought India would perform so badly in the second T20 world-cup. It’s all part of the game.

We have to enjoy the game more than enjoying the victory.

Having said that, I still remember the day I almost cried when India lost the match in 1996 world-cup semifinal against Sri Lanka. I was a crazy cricket fan then when I was a school-kid. When I was absent for the school, one of my teachers used to ask me what cricket match was there on that day.

If cricket is considered as a religion, India is a monotheistic country. Cricket is enjoyed by kids of five years old and is also enjoyed by people who are in nineties.

Stop criticizing Sachin. He knows when to retire, he knows what shot to play, he knows everything about cricket for that matter.

For all those critics of Sachin, we know that history will forget you, but Sachin will remain forever in the history of cricket.

PS: I am a Sachin’s fan and not a maniac fan though. I do feel sad when he gets out no matter what score he is on.

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10 Comments

  1. Posted November 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Hi ra….

    Well written post with good analysis.
    I can empathize with you. I was unable to digest that defeat besides comments on sachin in the media.
    I support your point 100%, not because i am an ardent admirer of sachin, but because of my stance towards truth and reality.
    I really dont understand what is the logic behind the criticisms “India loses whenever sachin hits a century” ”Sachin plays for his records and not for india….

    Whats this fuss?
    If sachin makes a century, will that score will be deducted from the india;s total score?. Take any of his hundreds and check the strike rate, it will be above 95.
    If any other player hits a century in a lost game, then he will be supported by saying that “He tried his best”…. then why not sachin.?
    People should ask themselves whether do they deserve to question the legend’s commitment towards the game and the country.

    ** Except Sachin, remaining players were enjoying in a party till 3 am before the match with Australia

    “I have never seen such a huge pressure on any player in this world”
    …..Steve Waugh said about sachin after india losing world cup finals to Australia in 2003.

    I will have my take in my blog on sachin after the series.

    thanks ra

    cheers
    mahesh :)

  2. sai
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    sachin is truly a champion….it was sad to see him at post match presentation with grim face…best part what i liked was when arun lal asked him about whats keeps you going on for 20 years…sachin replied saying
    ‘I care about playing for india’. This got a huge cheer from the audiences….Thats what sachin means to most of the indians….

  3. Rakesh
    Posted November 9, 2009 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    Hey Chandu,

    Very True,

    Sachin has always been the most analyzed player in the world for obvious reasons. But the reason lies between the lines you criticize someone so much just because you want to recognized . It will never become a news and you will never become popular if people say good things about sachin, hence people make comments which even they know that its ridiculous.

    I remember all those incidents where i had to argue on this point in the past, the best argument i had was on ” when ever sachin makes hundred india losses” this is was such a statistical blunder people make . “In around 13 occasions sachin made hundred and india lost , this is highest number of time of times any one made hundred and india hence sachin is selfish” . This is the argument and the truth behind it is sachin made 45 hundreds and india won the other 32 occasions which no one is even close enough.

    There are many such points which people need to realize before making a point.

    Sourav ganguly once said only he can criticize me who has done more runs than me!!!!!!!!! If sachin says that too then there is one in the world cricket elgible to comment on sachin !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Raghava
    Posted November 15, 2009 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    Chandu…
    very well said…

  5. Jayashree
    Posted November 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    To start with, this is the first time am visiting u r blog and i have added it to my favorites!!! I really like u r way of writing and u r successful in bringing out what u think, u have good thought clarity.

    With respect to the blog “For all those critics of Sachin, we know that history will forget you, but Sachin will remain forever in the history of cricket.”
    These lines are 200% true. His name has already been inscribed in golden Words of World cricketing History and he his going to remain as the bench mark for all coming generations.

    • Posted November 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to my blog. Thank you for adding it to your favorites and I am happy that you liked my way of writing.

  6. Posted December 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Needless to say, Sachin is the one of the only kind.
    But, i may not agree with “..eligibility to comment only if you have played at least one international cricket match for India”
    Anyone, who is affected(for good or bad) by some happening gets his right to comment on. My humble opinion. :-)
    Am not a avid cricket fan, still, I find Sachin synonymous with Indian cricket. When you have time do take a look at this post on sachin:

    http://pradeepsekhar.blogspot.com/2009/11/journalism-philosophy-cricket-life-my.html

    I enjoyed it very much.

    • Posted December 20, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Hi Arun, I believe few things and people are above criticism. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the link. I will definitely read it.

  7. Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    Hi,

    I do not watch much of cricket but it amazes when i see my colloeagues having a get together or a collective boo when sachin plays. Perhaps, Sachin is one of the reason that has made the human bond stronger among the emotionless computer and technology cravers of today

    Thank you Sachin.

    Regards,
    Nivedita

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