Sunday, January 13, 2013

Should Sachin retire?



There was this panel discussion on TV concerning Sachin Tendulkar, whether “It was time for Sachin to hang his boots”.
Vinod Kambli for one, was of clear and distinct opinion that Sachin should retire or should have retired much earlier.  Kambli’s arguments had some sound reasoning, that Sachin was 40 and his reflexes were not what they were once.  Again, he last scored in January 2011, almost two years back. Since then everybody is waiting for him to score, but how long? Kambli seemed quite agitated and angry. But he claimed that he was speaking for Sachin’s good and not against him, whatever that meant.
Manoj Prabhakar too was of the opinion that Sachin should call it a day. But he put it a bit mildly. There were others who wanted Sachin to quit or at least rest for a while and start all over again. These arguments hold no grounds as Sachin has no time in his hands.
But it was Mr. Lele, one of the participants who took the cake. Lele had an interesting thing to say. He said we should let Tendulkar be. That he was a great player, master of the game, cricketing god and a great soul. (Being a great soul is different from being a great cricketer.) That we should not insist for Sachin to speak on the issue, that Sachin will retire when he feels like it, that selectors should not decide his fate, that he still had the potential to deliver.
Now Mr. Lele, Sachin cannot remain silent on the issue. He is a public figure and expected to behave like one. Even if his son holds a bat, it becomes news with a photograph of the kid. So he cannot ignore the matter. Secondly , if Sachin is to decide when he wants to retire, what are selectors there for, and a bunch of highly paid selectors at that? Even if he scores now, should India wait for another year for him to score? Moreover, cricket is not about batting only, other aspects like fielding too is important. Anybody can see his reflexes are slow.
Finally, I am a staunch admirer of Sachin’s game and his style.

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Header image credit: adapted from David Niblack

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