Am I the only one who feels they are overdoing the choreography for the Sachin Tendulkar finale? Like, not only adding pressure on to the man but making his final showing into a kind of a circus?
The venue, the hype, the 200th Test record, the suitably arranged home ground choice, the return of the tired Windies — all of it is a bit unfair and not in the finest traditions of the sport. Bet Tendulkar himself is getting a bit miffed with this exploitation, but cannot do anything about it. Even he can’t take on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) monster if it decides to make an exhibition of a Test match.
Where else in the annals of great sports history has anyone been literally been given such an orchestrated goodbye?
I know it is not done to critique anything that has a Tendulkar motif, but let’s be honest here: the priority for these officials is not Tendulkar per se; it is the musical sound made by the clicking of the turnstiles and the ad revenue that pours in for this spectacle.
Even the turnstile is a joke. When you think of it, only 6,000 tickets will go to the public, the rest of them earmarked (a ridiculous breakdown only Indian bureaucracy can achieve) for, you guessed it, officials and VIPs and associations and other exclusive ‘club’ members and their families. So much for democracy at its finest! And they will charge top whack for ad space.
When you take a hero and convert him into a cardboard cutout out of greed, something about it doesn’t go down well. Maybe I am being oversensitive, but too much adulation, like too much honey, is unbearably sweet… and sticky. Just hope the wicket isn’t.
(Bikram Vohra has been a journalist for four decades. At the age of 27, he became Resident Editor of Indian Express’ Ahmedabad edition. In 1985, he went to Dubai to re-launch Gulf News, a publication where he was Group Managing Editor till 1989. A year later, Vohra took over as Editor of Khaleej Times and was with the paper till 1995. In the next two years, he worked on the launch of English daily, Gulf Today, where he was appointed its Editor in 1997. In 2004, he took over as Editor, Emirates Evening Post, in Dubai. Four years later, he joined Bahrain Tribune its Editor. After a brief hiatus, Vohra joined Media Dubai Sports City as Director in the latter half of 2009, while continuing to write columns for leading publications across the world. The above article has been reproduced with permission from Governance Now)