Melbourne: Dec 25, 2011
Aghast at intrusive media coverage surrounding his ‘century of centuries’, Sachin Tendulkar has finally broken his silence regarding what he called “a farce not seen since I reached fifty fifties.”
“Ever since I scored No. 99 [against South Africa, in March], it seems like the general public has gone off the boil. Everybody has just assumed that it was inevitable that I’d follow it up with ‘The Big 1-0-0′ against Pakistan [in the World Cup semi-final]…but all of a sudden, in the midst of 30,000 baying fans, it didn’t seem so fulfilling, y’know?”
Tendulkar, widely considered to be the greatest batsman of all time, then explained how he began to question the very foundation of his being, embarking on a philosophical journey that he still is yet to satiate.
“I had some conversations with His Holiness [The Dalai Lama] during the IPL, which I found to be incredibly enlightening. But then, one day, I turn on the TV to innocently catch some Kings XI [Punjab] and have a laugh at Sree getting smashed out of Dharamsala, and there he is, The Dalai Lama, saying he’s never even heard of me,” said Tendulkar, visibly upset. “I haven’t returned his texts since that day.”
Jolted by the perceived duplicity of the most virtuous man on the planet, Tendulkar couldn’t help but wonder about the true meaning of his landmark achievement. “Why do we even bother celebrating milestones? Why did nobody celebrate my 10th, 61st, or 93rd centuries? Would people really deny me if I said that my 16 off 29 against South Africa in 2002 was a moment of supreme, euphoric catharsis?”
“And now, the media aren’t exactly helping…all I wanted was a bit of support, but what do I get? I open The Times of India and see an article on why there should be no pressure on me, yet what happens when I get out in the 90s? The next day, I see an article saying I’d be better off as a has-been in Big Boss!”
Having scored his last international hundred eight months ago, Tendulkar is currently on a relatively barren stretch, and the tension on his face was clear to see. “It’s all a farce, built up by editors whose journalistic integrity is vastly superseded by their desire to have the ultimate front-page headline. I read that The Mumbai Mirror was going with ‘Sachinaggedon’ when I got out in the 90s the other week,” said Tendulkar. “But thankfully, the BCCI gave them a tap on the shoulder.”
Although unwilling to discuss the matter on-the-record, Tendulkar is also said to be extremely disappointed by the lack of support by his most fervent media stalwart of the past two decades, Ravi Shastri.
“I don’t see what all the fuss is about; he already scored a century in the IPL this year – we’re getting the ICC to officially recognise that glorious effort [against an under-strength Kochi Tuskers Kerala side] as his official hundredth hundred,” said Shastri. “I’m pushing hard for it – I can’t bear the thought of Sachin’s achievements being trivialised. Can you even imagine?”
“If the BCCI’s enemies have their way, history might even refer to Sachin’s big day as taking place at some puny ‘Boxing Day Test’, God forbid.”
At the time of writing, Tendulkar was reportedly not worrying about his impending landmark. “It’s not really a big deal. As long as I end up with more international wickets than Ajit Agarkar, I’ll be happy.”
(The above spoof is reproduced with permission from AlternativeCricket.com. AlternativeCricket is currently developing a scholarship for young Afghan cricketers. You can follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/alternativecricket) and Twitter (twitter.com/altcricket)