Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sachin ala re

Some people say he's a selfish player playing only for personal records and sponsorship money, some people say that he can relied upon not to perform in crunch matches and some people relish every chance to brutalize him on even the slightest dip of form. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar may not have led his team to glorious victories worthy of his extreme talent, but that is only a poor reflection on his team rather than his personal failure. For someone to soldier through 18 years of international cricket and perform at the stratospheric levels that he has, cannot be possible without love for the game and his team. That a World Cup trophy is not among his list of honours is merely because fate is a big player in all sport whether one chooses to acknowledge it or not.

After bearing the burden of millions of hopes every time he walks out to bat for these many years it must really hurt to hear two-bit commentators or even the man on the street advice him on what to do or worse insult him for a variety of made-up reasons. Forget about his die hard fans like me but every unbiased cricket lover will have to accept that the sport will never be the same without Sachin. The diminutive but distinctive frame taking guard, and then the flash of the blade as a booming cover drive takes shape, or the solid thunk of the middle of the bat striking the ball sending it speeding ramrod straight past the bowler's despairing hands or Shane Warne's look of despair as the batsman moves away from the wicket, comes down the pitch and puts a glorious shot out into the stands. The thought of Sachin at the wicket brings into so many lives an intense happiness, a ray of delight on even everyday tasks. Every time a school kid takes guard at his local ground facing a critical ball, he is concentrating not on the name of some God in a distant heaven, but on a chant inside his mind that he knows will make him rise to the occasion. The chant which goes "Sachin..Sachin......Sachin..Sachin". And to be able to achieve that kind of devotion and awe from people around the world, is a glorious achievement that no criticism in the world can ever tarnish.