Sachin Tendulkar called time on his iconic career in November 2013 © Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar announced on September 2, 2014 that his autobiography Playing It May Way will launch in November this year. Within hours of the announcement, fans have expressed their excitement at the upcoming launch for the master’s story would be documented in his own words. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about what cricket lovers may expect from Tendulkar’s autobiography.
Playing It My Way is already the most awaited cricket book this year! The moment Sachin Tendulkar announced that his autobiography will hit stands this November, it sparked enormous interest on the social media. A glorious career spanning 24 long years has been a cricket writer’s delight — with numerous books being released on his superhuman feats across two decades.
This book, however, promises to be special as we will get to know of Tendulkar’s own version of his life and career. Cricket fans have the opportunity to peek into the mind and psyche of one of the greatest champions the world has seen. What would they expect from the master?
Tendulkar’s feats are well document and his greatness is established. His rise at a young age and the ultimate success at the highest level are well known. Thus, one will probably not want the usual documentation of his journey, scaling one peak to another.
On the other hand, fans will want something that was hitherto unknown — something that is not too well known in public. Tendulkar has been a very private individual despite commanding a huge following all around the globe. He is a man of a few words and does not like to boast about his own achievements. Thus, it would be quite interesting to know what he has to say.
Last year, Ricky Ponting, a batsman who had rivalled Tendulkar in the 2000s released his memoirs At Close of Play. Though it is not the best work in terms of literary quality, the former Australian skipper has expressed his views in all honesty without any fear. Ponting has also delved into his upbringing, his family life and what made him a great batsman. The book is not just about Ponting the batsman or the Australian captain, but the human being and the man off the field. He has spoken about his alleged misdemeanours of his younger days and also described how it helped shape him as a person. For any sports lover, it would be a delightful read.
That is perhaps one thing the cricket fans would expect from Tendulkar. Growing up in India, what made him take a path towards his dreams on the cricket field? For any Indian, this story has been nothing short of a dream; perhaps a fairytale. All the fans is a distant view.
It will certainly be a delightful read if the man himself can throw light on the difficulty of his journey — moving away from his parents and living close to his practice area, sacrificing on potentially good times with friends at a young age etc. From the outside, it looked as if Tendulkar mastered his way through all the difficulties, but it wasn’t as easy as he made it look.
Cricket lovers would also want to know his views on the few controversies that have come his way during a long career. There was the Ferrari incident concerning payment of duties, the ball-tampering allegations at Port Elizabeth, the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal etc. In most situations, Tendulkar has maintained his poise and has not said much in public. If he decides to be candid in his book, one could get a glimpse into those testing phases off the field.
Thus, it is not just about the fanfare around the book that may dominate headlines in the coming months. Whether he decides to express himself on those issues or not is what may make the news as the date of the launch comes closer. In the past, we have seen certain extracts from cricketer’s autobiographies being taken out of context and a controversy following as a result. On reading those chapters, one has often found them to be non-issues. You would hope this doesn’t happen with Tendulkar’s book.
But then, it is Tendulkar: this has to be the most anticipated cricket book of the year 2014!
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(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)