One more Test series is over and again the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar comes to the fore. Whether we win the series or lose one, we want Sachin to retire!
We have been seeing him for 24 years now, watching him score runs, decimate the bowling at will, build partnerships. Still we expect him to do the same he has been doing in his prime. And that is what his motive is now more than ever.
I tried to watch him bat during the Australian series but could not stay awake and he did not stay long enough at the crease. He seems to be a pale shadow of his old self finding difficult to cope with aging body and slow reflexes.
We have enjoyed his batting, took pride when he helped India win one World cup, many matches. Now that he is not scoring runs, we want him to go. Every Tom, Dick and Harry says he has to retire.
Since childhood when changed school so that he can spend more time playing cricket , Sachin made cricket his parallel life. His cricket life had its phases, 11 years in the game’s womb preparing to take birth, and what a place he has chosen to introduce himself-Pakistan. Since his birth(debut) at Karachi against Pakistan at the age of 16 he has been a prodigy showing immense skill and maturity. In 90s( teens) he grew fast to bear the burden of Indian batting. He performed in all the countries with aplomb. The he touched his youth(2000s) to grow into a complete player helping India to become a better team.
His dream of winning a world cup finally materialized in 2011 after playing in 5 World cup tournaments. Suddenly everyone said he became old and has to retire. For others such moments are like reaching Crossroads, they have to choose an alternate path themselves or allow the selectors to do it. For Sachin it is the end of a life as he has not done much other than cricket. It’s hard for him to come to terms with aging body and decline in form. He has lifted himself many a times from abyss to silence the finger pointers. This seems to be different. Finally age has caught with him.
By asking Sachin to retire we are only asking him to commit suicide and end his Cricket life. We should be patient enough to not put him in league with others and let him overcome the twilight phase and help him transcend with minimum pressure.
We must let him pass gracefully into After Cricket life and allow him to decide his passage into another kind of life which he might have never imagined. All the very best Sachin and to his fans including me!