When its not cricket

Indians are not going to win the Mumbai Test. If they win, well…they win. But the cricketer in me says that the English are going to square the series 1-all. To know why don`t look any further than Kumble`s 2nd innings bowling figures of 4/49 and Harbhajan`s 2/40. That definitely means the spinners are getting the assist. (Use Sify scores, for I contributed in the design and development)

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Talking of the ongoing Test, I feel Sachin doesn`t deserve to be booed by the Mumbai crowd. Since the International Cricket Council has no penalty on thinking (they have for everything else), I am sure Sachin now thinks all spectators are assholes.

I wonder what came over us that we booed the World`s greatest batsman off the field. Agreed he is great no more but we still owe him our respect. Where did the cricketing spirit vanish? Aren`t we the country that sent this telegram to one of its sons residing in US of A: Regret mother passed away this morning STOP Funeral Sunday STOP Come home soon STOP India beat Pakistan by 87 runs in final STOP Sachin scores century STOP.

I wouldn`t have been such a big fan of Sachin had I not met him. Maybe because I have seen him in flesh and bones (on 5th of July 2003 and here is the article as proof) I somehow can`t think of him as a goner. Everybody can`t be a champion and if you are one you become a legend by keeping quiet about your achievements. Sachin is one such person.

Some of us with nothing to show as achievements demand bragging rights. I think it was 1996 and I was in the Indian dressing room when in walked Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid. Back then Ganguly was still in Sachin`s shadow. He started off: “I am happy to say that in the 80 One-day innings I have played, I have never scored less than 20 runs and never taken less than two wickets when asked to bowl.” I could sense Ganguly was upset with all the focus on Sachin. I replied: “I wish I could say that.”

At this Dravid, who has always been known for his wit, shot back: “Come on, Jammy, Sourav just said. What is wrong in saying?”

It was a perfect example of a ‘Jammy` backing another. In case you didn`t know Dravid is also known as Jammy.

I wonder if you remember but on two instances, Sachin was no less than cricketing God. It was the Hero Cup semi-final against South Africa in 1993. Defending 195 runs, Azhar was forced to give the ball to Sachin when the little master asked for it. And what followed was an over that saw the fall of one wicket and only run allowed…India would go on to win the match. Match Scorecard. Back then, I remember thinking that even if a gigantic spider stood in front of the stumps, Sachin would have taken his wicket by trapping him LLLLLLLBW!

The other instance that I will not forget in a hurry is the Sandstorm innings Sachin played against the Aussies on 22nd April 1998 in Sharjah and the follow up knock he came up with on the 23rd – his birthday. More Here.

Time, is a great leveller and even legends have to bite the dust someday. Perhaps that is what has happened with Sachin too. Now, he needs the BCCI to come to his rescue and soften his dropping from the one-day team. They say, Sachin has to be treated for a shoulder injury. “The Doctor has said Sachin can`t play,” the BCCI representative said at the press conference. One of the journalists sitting whispered: “And I thought the doctor didn`t watch Sachin play.”

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