It's time Tendulkar got a breather, we owe him that

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2002, 15:41 [IST]
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Bangalore: Isn't it so fortunate that a batsman is off form and is having scores of 34, 92, 193, 54, 35, 43 37 in his last seven Test innings. Yes, we are truly blessed to have a man named Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in our batting-order. For so many years (nearly 12) after he donned the Indian cap, the man has performed untiringly and has never come up with a poor run of scores during that period. And when he eventually encounters a lean phase he produces scores of 34, 92, 193, 54, 35, 43 37.

Doesn't that speak volumes of the contribution he has made to the cause of Indian cricket. If his lean phase reflects the above-mentioned scores, we probably have been over fed for the past 12 years! And that is precisely the reason why we are making such a noise about a reasonably good string of scores.

Tendulkar has treated us to such lavishness that we are grumbling when he is giving us a healthy contribution. Think of the poorer nations, they would any day settle for an off form Tendulkar.

I am in no way intending that we should settle for an off form Tendulkar. But let us realise that the best way we can show our appreciation of his overwhelming contribution is by displaying patience, which could in turn be the shoulder on which he could get back to productive days (by his standard).

We as a nation owe the man at least that.

Instead, we are showing ourselves to be ungrateful people by picking on any small shortcomings here-and-there - after all, he is bound to have a lean run.

However, one might argue that he hogs so much of the limelight and the mega bucks that come with it that he better reciprocate proportionately. Not for nothing is he a superstar some say; he better deliver.

I do agree that at times more than cricket it is money that dictates terms out in the middle. The game has become so commercialised that at times one doubts the spirit in which the game is played. However, commercialisation is a part and parcel of modern day sport and you can't hold anything against any player for the amount of money he is making.

But to be fair to him, he has earned every dime that he has made - and why not? He has taken batting to another plane and has, with it, provided for entertainment of the highest standard.

So, I feel, we should not judge Tendulkar by the money he makes but judge him on a human scale.

Every human being needs a breather and its time we gave Sachin one.


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