As Kolkatans wait to see batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar at Eden Gardens during the third cricket test match against England, I am reminded of an article Ashok Mitra had written.
Mitra had said that the hero had turned into an embarrassment. It is true that as a cricketer Sachin is playing on borrowed time. He should accept the fact that no one, however prodigious talent he or she is, can ignore the ageing process and the relentless passage of time. That his reflexes have become slow is all too obvious. Age is evidently sneaking up on him. His reflexes have slackened and his intuition has begun to malfunction.
I am sure Indian Cricket Control Board doesn’t have the guts to drop him just as Cricket Board of Australia, did in case of Ricky Ponting. (The Australian announced his retirement last month).
Except his sycophants, no one will advise Sachin to continue playing. It is really difficult to understand why he continues to wield the willow. It is difficult to believe that he still enjoys playing. He must be a tired man who wants to avoid the stresses and strains of international cricket. He must give the young cricketers a chance. How he would feel if his Arjun is sitting out, waiting for a chance in Indian team, while an elderly batsman continues to play and refuses to leave the field!
Remember Don Bradman needed to score only four runs in his final appearance in the Tests to attain the unbelievable average of 100. As it happened, he scored a duck in that Test innings against England. He, however, was not tempted to revise the decision he had earlier taken. Even though the tantalizing and apparently not-at-all-unattainable goal remained unreached, Donald George Bradman is, however, no less Donald George Bradman.
It’s time he quit gracefully.