Forcing Sachin Tendulkar’s hand on retirement?

English: Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval

English: Sachin Tendulkar at Adelaide Oval (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the world wants Sachin Tendulkar to retire as soon as he reaches his 200th Test milestone as the first and the only cricketer to do so.

Or rather, expecting to retire. So much given that Wasim Akram is jumping on the bandwagon to say Tendulkar’s swansong be Pakistan rather than West Indies whom the Indian board (BCCI) has invited over in place of a tour to South Africa.

Imagine, for a while, that you are Sachin Tendulkar; the man who has maintained his reflexes are fine with each passing year, who has trained harder for harder assignments, and who has always insisted he has not played for records.

So you are the great SRT. You were preparing hard for South Africa, currently the top two rivals in world cricket, in a time when Tests are coming in a trickle. It is that carnival of an opportunity where you want to have a ball of a time and silence critics who say ‘you are no longer a cool dude, man’.

And then BCCI change the order. Rather you will play the lowly West Indies. Not just that, your home state cricket association starts orchestrating and setting up a stage they were not supposed to in the first place.

You were not ready for this mentally, nobody asked you and you have never spoken much all your life so why will you change that even if Mumbai are forcing your hand, like BCCI.

You did not quit ODIs at the stroke of winning the 2011 World Cup just because everyone expected you to.

You did not play in Twenty20s even if your fans wanted to.

And you never responded to cynics who said you always played for milestones.

So now another milestone approaches; surely the last. What if you do give in and retire? (Maybe, just maybe, you were thinking voluntarily on those lines but not now). If you do that, you are serving the notion that you indeed are one who played for a milestone. All the life’s hard work proving them wrong will be to a naught.

If you did not, then you are disappointing everyone and their efforts without giving them a clue. Bearing in mind, the crescendo will reach fever pitch by the time West Indians come to town with Mumbai, in all possibility, going out of turn to upset Kolkata in India’s rotation system of Test venues.

And the worst part is, it is not a bad move to take a final bow at home. If you passed this up, it might not come again.

Now how do you acknowledge the love of Mumbai fans who have been both loving but, oddly enough, also booed you at home?

Being in his shoes is something that one would certainly not want to be in.

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