Friday, March 16, 2012

100 of 100s and still more to come...

It took 22 years and 122 days long career of Sachin Tendulkar to score 100 centuries in international cricket. Now, that is called a record. Let us watch how and when somebody breaks it. Congratulations Sachin!!! We are extremely proud of you. Glad I lived in the era to witness each one of the 100 tons. It is truly an emotional moment for every Indian to eyewitness the countries favorite son to score that milestone hundred.

However the quest for the landmark hundred was a big journey by itself. It wasn’t a test of patience for the master but his ardent fans too. After all, someone who followed his career since debut has just relived those days of frustrating wait before little Sachin scored his century No. 1 in One Day Internationals. Mind you, it took him 5 years since debut to score his maiden ton in ODI’s. This time around, few more millions joined the anxiety for over a year to watch No. 100. Can’t believe 15 years passed between. However, there is no denial that this hunt for the biggie completely absorbed him. It neither came in England nor in Australia when the country was in dire straits. It also did not come against a mighty opposition. The pursuit even raised the worthiness of the milestone. Leaving no stone unturned, it even checked the validity of Tendulkar to play the game any longer.

In my opinion, the stature of the landmark demanded all of this. It reminded the fans and followers that Sachin Tendulkar is only a human. The 99 centuries scored before simply did not account for the 100th to turn up default. No matter how big his tallness today, he still needed assistance in the form of conditions and an opposition like Bangladesh to achieve it. More than he got that century, he was forced to earn that century. Does it not make the game of cricket truly special and the 100 of 100’s an icing to it?

Well, Tendulkar did have the opportunity to leave the scene with 99 hundreds to his credit. By any means he would not be perceived inferior for not claiming this one. But he would have remained incomplete or end up cursing himself everyday for not trying hard. Imagine this scenario; in our normal lives we take more pride in boasting our centum in school subjects over 99. In no way that 1 extra mark defines our knowledge of the subject. But that extra mark surely makes our knowledge/efforts super special. Still not convinced? Try a weight loss program. You will realize what it takes to shed that one last pound of fat. You would still look lean and mean holding the pound of fat to yourself. But the sense of unfinished buisiness will leave you in void. Today, more than Tendulkar did this century for himself, he did it for every Indian.

Now that the century is made it will raise more questions than answers. Will Tendulkar retire now? If so, had he been playing all along for records? If not, what else is he left to play for?
Well, I don’t wish to answers these questions. To me, he is not a baggage but a pride to the nation. I prefer to enjoy as much of Tendulkar I get before he bids adieu. In my opinion, the game of cricket would be miser without this 100 of 100s. It is a glamour to the sport, when it proudly pronounce the name of Tendulkar with 100 International Centuries, Muthiah Muralidharan with 1000 International Wickets, Brian Lara with 400 runs in Test Cricket etc.

So, whatever is your stand today on the 100th ton, I’m certain of one thing. Someday when you read history lessons for your kid/grandkid and you happen to encounter the statement “Sachin Tendulkar scored 100 international centuries”, you’ll be proud to add the lines, “I watched it”.

Cricket Lover

PS: India yet again lost the game when Tendulkar scored a century thus keeping the famous debate alive. If you are interested do read the post "How to score a century???"

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