Millennium Post

No more one-day stands for Sachin

The retirement of Sachin Tendulkar from International one-day will no doubt relieve his fans and take some sting out of his critics but it is also an indication that the days of seeing him in the field, wielding his willow like a king, in either version of the game, is now numbered. Bogged by bad form, hounded by critics and shadowed by countless sad but embarrassed friends, Sachin was increasingly looking helpless inside the twenty-two yards. The limited over version is a beginning. Two things could be interred from the decision that was announced on Sunday. Sachin is taking due cognizance of his form and does not want to hold on to his larger than life position in the team when he is not performing. But at the same time, he wants to give himself some more time before he can take the final call. But either way, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a modern cricketing hero and one of India’s biggest collective cheers in recent history is now slowly but surely on his way to the pavilion forever.

It is customary to quote statistics when one talks about Sachin. Tendulkar is retiring after scoring a whopping 18,426 runs in 463 one-dayers at an average of 44.83. He has 49 hundreds in the format, including a double hundred which was the first in this form of the game.  Also, only in its last edition in 2010, India won the International ICC world Cup, that too in Sachin’s hometown Mumbai. Except a 50th century, just for the sake of it, perhaps Sachin had nothing to aspire for in this format, in which his form has sometimes not just rivaled but significantly bettered that of tests. Sachin knew that the hurly-burly of this format was disagreeable to his age. His most ardent fan was hoping that he would be around till the next world cup in 2015 but Sachin thought against it and as his retirement statement has indicated, he wants to vacate his position to help the team gear up towards defending the title in the right earnest. Sachin has way surpassed the situation when his form can be a matter of discussion and he could be susceptible to the discretion of the selectors. Unless he bowed out, it was unlikely that he would be dropped, in spite of his recent poor form.  And if he would be dropped eventually, that would have been even worse. His retirement saves him and his fans from any such humiliation and discomfiture.   However the same logic applies to his form in tests. He has got everything: money, fame, records, stature that cricket could have given him.  So like one-dayers, if he feels it’s the time, he might as well bow out himself. His greatness is already insured in public memory. He must not do anything to dilute his stakes in that insurance of greatness.
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