Home > Features >

Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Fans hold on to the last month of utopia

Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Fans hold on to the last month of utopia

The feeling has not sunk in yet and it would only hit the fans when Sachin Tendulkar bats for the last time © Getty Images

Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement did send shockwaves in the world of cricket and the countdown to his last Test has begun. Even when he missed games due to injuries or other reasons, the fans always had hope of watching him bat again — a feeling that would cease to exist on November 18, 2013 — which is the final day of the second Test between India and the West Indies at Mumbai. Nishad Pai Vaidya discusses the last month of “utopia” for the Indian fans.
The countdown to Sachin Tendulkar’s final day in international cricket has begun. For his fans, it is like a ticking time-bomb, whose result they dread and fear. His retirement announcement sent shockwaves in a cricket crazy nation and, three days on, they are still coming to terms with the fact that an Indian side would no longer feature Tendulkar. Over the last 24 years, he has missed a few games due to injuries and other reasons, but the fans always knew he would be back some day. That assurance and hope would cease to exist on November 18, 2013 — which is the last day of the second Test between India and the West Indies.

Late last year, Tendulkar called it a day from One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on a lazy Sunday morning and it was like a buzzing alarm clock. It did come at a time when he had a torrid time during the Test series against England and the world was divided over his future. That a man who had battered Shane Warne at Sharjah and carted Shoaib Akhtar over point at Centurion would no longer don the blue jersey was unimaginable. Yet, there was hope! People said, “It’s alright! We can watch him play the Test series against Australia.”

However, the moment of reckoning came on January 6 this year. India and Pakistan were facing off in a hazy atmosphere at Delhi in a dead rubber. You switched channels and on the other you found Tendulkar batting for Mumbai against Baroda in the Ranji Trophy. He did go on to score a ton and a fan marched on to the ground to touch his feet. But, it was still hard to fathom. How could Tendulkar play somewhere else when his Indian team were taking on their arch-rivals! For the majority of India’s population, cricket started and ended with Tendulkar. On that day, they didn’t know which game they preferred. It was a conflict between the country and the national hero.

So, on that day, the signs were obvious. Indian cricket and the fans had to brace for the post-Tendulkar era. The retirement announcement was indeed a jolt, but things became too obvious that day and the fans couldn’t ignore their worst fears. Then, they still pacified themselves and waited for the Test series to begin to get a glimpse of his hero.

Two months down the line, India were speeding towards a 4-0 victory over Australia on an evening at the Ferozeshah Kotla. During the run-chase, Tendulkar’s leg-before silenced the crowds. They asked each other, “Is this the last time we will watch him? Will he quit after the South Africa tour?” There were no indications about his future and they continued to hope until October 10. Once a few tweets from the Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) made it clear, the character of that hope morphed into sadness.

The anticipation of watching Tendulkar bat again was like a utopian world set in the future. It was this dream that you knew would come true no matter what. You missed him when he was injured, but you knew he would be back. Now, they brace themselves for the final salvo. The next one month would still harbour that want to watch him bat. There still are two more Tests the fans say.

The feeling has not sunk in yet and it would only hit the fans when he bats for the last time. That would be the end of that hope, which at one point was almost eternal. Paradise lost!

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

Live Cricket Score India A vs Sri Lanka, warm-up match at Mumbai: India A maul Sri Lanka by 87 runs

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 2: South Zone lead by 32 runs at the end of second day’s play

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 1: Pakistan 158/2 at tea

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Zimbabwe

oSachin Tendulkar says great honour to be inducted into Bradman Hall of Fame

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul’s unbeaten 168 gives South Zone 32 runs lead over Central Zone

Stuart Broad rubbishes Kevin Pietersen’s comments on bullying

India A beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Younis Khan guides Pakistan to commanding position at tea on Day 1 of 2nd Test against Australia

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

NGOs pursue education for all

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Alia Bhatt to play the lead in Rock On 2?

‘No Kolkata, no ISL’ for Shah Rukh Khan

Sonakshi Sinha on Harper’s Bazaar cover: Elegant in a Dior dress!

क्यों युवा हो रहे हैं दिमाग की बीमारी से ग्रस्त

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: KL Rahul’s century puts South Zone in command against Central Zone

Twitter, IBM join forces on business data analytics

India A vs Sri Lanka tour match: Sangakkara, Tharanga lead Lanka’s chase of 382

Honey — home remedy for soft and supple skin

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here