Since the innocent and animated age of 6, I grew awe-inspiring Sachin Tendulkar as a cricketer, role model and a human being. He has been a supernatural influence and an archetype not to me alone but to several other juveniles who regard with pleasure and take delight in his magnificent batting spectacle. In terms of technique and compactness he’s the best. He has defined cricket in his fabulous, impeccable manner, the sport I love. Even at the pinnacle of his career he shows great respect and devotion to the game and has the same passion to learn and improve the game that he had started playing when he was just 16. His zeal to play for India and hunger to score more runs is worthy of admiration. He has always done justice to his followers and rabid fans by reciprocating the love showered on him. This sums up why not only me but the whole of India has affection for and attachment with him. Having accomplished almost every feat, suffice to turn any individual hot head, Sachin sir preserves his gentle bearing on and off the field, respect for the game, modesty, wisdom and tranquility towards the criticism which are astonishing and extraordinary. These are the qualities that are the only sure bait for worship. This satisfies the whys and wherefores I and the whole of India worships him. It is his karma that has risen him to be a godlike.
Many aspiring young cricketers, embracing me try to facsimile him. I try to imitate in detail my hero’s style, be it the way he grips the bat or the fashion in which he stands on the popping crease and all his shots and in every other way. Respect for the man is so high that I take pride in copying him. I still hold a dream to meet Sachin sir person to person, share the field and dressing room space with him or bowl to him. l take a liking to follow his movements, cheer him, be joyous and gay in his success and support and wish for him whenever he falls. That’s why I feel angry in my bones when I read and hear unnecessary criticism coming his way, which he does not deserve! It’s a blasphemy for me!
To my disbelief an year has passed with some sort of comment passed or flow of hate towards him every other day just because he’s not in form and hasn’t scored enough runs. If he gets out early, he is maligned on Facebook, Google+ etc. If he joins the Rajya Sabha, people say he is yet another of those glittering but inert personality in there. If he gets to the Order of Australia, people come out and say he doesn’t deserve it. I was right behind the side screen in Bangalore when Sachin sir was bowled by Southee on 27 and what followed was a clamor and uproar for retirement. The media wants him gone/retired.
His reflexes have unarguably slowed down and his form is a concern for the nation but he’ll battle it out of these ticklish times like in the past. It is not proper to judge a man of his caliber for just 3 innings. If at all, he should be judged as Sourav Ganguly quoted “Over a span of 8-10 matches”. Sachin sir knows when to go. He has been out there longer than anyone. After reaching the pompous feat of scoring hundred 100s Tendulkar sir declared, “My belief is that if I feel I can contribute, I am mentally there where I feel I am bringing value to the team, then I should be playing. It’s a very selfish thought that when you are at the top you should retire.” This is a display of a selfless player who doesn’t want to deprive that nation of his superior abilities.
Sachin is most dangerous when cornered. He has been castled before and has repeatedly bounced back stronger. After five Tests at an uncharacteristic average of 17.00 in 2003, he scored 915 runs in 10 Tests at an average of 91.5 in 2004. He made a phenomenal comeback after recovering from tennis elbow and shoulder injury in March 2206. His biting critics with short memories will eat humble pie as he is a remarkable player and has the caliber and the amazing fitness to comeback vehemently.
Those who dismissed Sachin as a showpiece in the Upper House of Parliament should laud him for quickly proving his entry into the Parliament substantial and surprising everyone with his scheme for developing sports in India – that too, beyond cricket, reaching out to other sports. He is planning to add a flavor of sports into the educational system, to set in place a sporting dimension into the developing youth of India. Bows !
Sachin Tendulkar has gladly carried the extravagant expectations of billions for 22 years. The body he has submitted and strained in building the cricketing fortunes of India has perhaps had enough sly knives stabbed into it. It is indeed unfortunate and preposterous to learn about the recent criticism thrown at his way from rabid fans, critics, journalists and fellow cricketers. He has always been mindful of us.There is more to praise and celebrate his life. I bow to my God’s superior expertise!
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