Wednesday, December 26, 2012

That favorite shirt is not in the WARDROBE anymore...

It’s a sinking feeling to know that Tendulkar retired from ODIs. Of course, he is not a regular feature in the side for the past few years. But, we knew he is there and only chose to opt out. After all, it’s not 90’s era anymore when the Team entirely rode on Tendulkar’s shoulder and he had to play every single game. Thus, Tendulkar’s time offs served some purpose. It gave an opportunity for a youngster to make most of the spot. It helped Tendulkar himself to prolong his career. It taught, India to play without Tendulkar. Most importantly, it educated the public to watch the game without Tendulkar. Now that the transition is complete in all aspects, Tendulkar may have chosen to bid adieu (from the format to say the least). Or probably, he is preparing the nation to get used to his retirement before he signs off one last time. Or maybe, he threw something to the pundits who kept calling his head (Now that they are given something to chew, Tendulkar could quietly concentrate on resurrecting his career).

But, it all appears to have happened only yesterday. The sight of little Tendulkar walking in place of Sidhu to open the innings for the first time against New Zealand at Auckland in 1994. At that point, nobody knew what was going to strike them. In the end, a 49 ball 82 rocked the entire cricketing world. It brought million smiles and unlimited joy in every Indian’s home. It gave every fan a hope that India is not a walkover anymore. Rightly so, there was no looking back for Indian Cricket and Little Tendulkar went on to become the Little Master with time. Almost 18 years passed between now and then. In all these years, Tendulkar played countless innings, scored countless 50’s, countless 100s, countless runs. He surely lived up to the tag of Run Machine.

It would not be an overstatement, if I say “There is no other sports person in the world to have made so much impact to a nation like Tendulkar did to India”. Such a heavy persona, had he not finished a World Cup winner, it would have been heights of cruelty. Thankfully, Dhoni’s Men made sure they added that ultimate feather to his glorious cap.

Much like million others, I too fell in love with the sport only after watching Tendulkar. And I should say I’m privileged to have followed his career to entirety. In other words, Tendulkar was the only constant in my life all these years. To put that statement in perspective, I completed school, finished college, joined work, switched careers, moved companies, entered matrimony, joined fatherhood etc., so much of facets in my own life, but Tendulkar remained the only constant all these years, doing that only job of scoring all that runs for the country. I’m sure I mimicked this journey with Tendulkar alongside million others. So, it is not that bad when You & I feel a lump in the throat, soon we heard the news of Tendulkar retirement.

Of all his brilliant innings, Sharjah Storm would be my personal favorite. Reasons – those were the times Tendulkar used to be the only hope. On these days, he surely lived up to that reputation. Importantly, it came against Waugh’s men and came back to back.

To give an opinion, Tendulkar surely got it right announcing his retirement from ODI’s. Had he announced this retirement impulsively after winning the World Cup, the timing would have been picture perfect. Never mind, we can’t crib about what did not happen.

Bottom line: That favorite shirt of (Y)ours is not in the wardrobe anymore.

Cricket Lover

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