Sachin Tendulkar's retirement: Milking the opportunity

The Kolkata and Mumbai Tests Sachin Tendulkar’s 199th and 200th will be charged with emotions © IANS

The farewell celebrations in honour of Sachin Tendulkar have clearly gone over the top and reduced the more important Test match between India and the West Indies into a sideshow. The unwarranted and disproportionate celebrations have reportedly upset the man himself for whom the celebrations is all about, as it has come in the way of his focus and preparation before a Test match. Abhijit Banare has more on the tamasha.

The Sachin Tendulkar farewell carnival is on ever since the maestro announced his retirement. The media is awash with everything centred around Tendulkar, while Indian cricket fans have joined the Tendulkar feast in their own inimitable style. There is very little Tendulkar can do about the media or fans. But when a staging association, an affiliate of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, lacks sensitiveness in the matter, it’s a completely different matter altogether. Did the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) bother to find out what Tendulkar before disturbing him ahead of the penultimate Test match of his glittering career?

I seriously feel that the tamasha is all about milking an opportunity — and to hell with Tendulkar’s preparation. Every single administrator, politicians and sponsors will be jostling for space to be in the frame to bask in reflected glory. They have the power and the wherewithal to create the events to ensure photo-ops and generate self-seeking mileage. It’s not about Tendulkar moment; it’s about their moment with Tendulkar.

These men in the corridor of power may justify their unrestrained barred celebrations by saying: ‘Tendulkar deserves it’. But dragging Tendulkar into their well-designed plan in the garb of ‘honouring’ him would be akin to marrying off a girl against her wishes — it’s the girl’s life, but her happiness and future have become casualties. And talking of marriage, some of the celebrations have been ridiculous and loud, too ostentatious and ugly show of pomp and power, going against the principles of a rooted Tendulkar. It’s almost as if his opinion on the matter does not matter. Nothing dilutes the seriousness of a Test match than the CAB’s decision to shower 199kg rose petals from private aircrafts when Tendulkar comes to bat at the Eden Gardens.

The Kolkata and Mumbai Tests — Tendulkar’s 199th and 200th — will be charged with emotions. It’s not going to be easy to accept that the man who made every Indian’s chest puff with pride, the man who symbolised happiness for a country for nearly quarter of a century, the man who has remained a symbol of perfection and a role model par excellence, will not be seen doing what he has done quite exceptionally all these years. These are poignant moments where a degree of sensitivity and restraint is called for. A dignified standing ovation and a protracted one at that, the likes of which the world has not seen or heard, would be befitting the sombre occasion. The eyes will go moist and there will be a lump in the throat when he leaves the centre, but through the tears and the lump, we need to remain dignified. And allow the maestro perform by giving him the space he needs to for one last virtuoso act.

Sachin Tendulkar Retirement

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)