Saturday, March 23, 2013

What’s with this crazy fascination for Sachin Tendulkar??

At the outset let me make it clear that I am myself a Sachin Tendulkar fan. I have absolutely loved watching him play over the years and have admired him throughout my life. However, I do not consider him GOD and neither do I think he has been the best player of our generation. Thanks to the above opinion, Sachin “fans” consider me as one of those cynics who unnecessarily criticize Sachin for being useless. I am confused because I am neither here nor there. On the issue of Sachin Tendulkar, I am strictly a fence sitter.

I wrote about it in the past on Here is the link to article.

I was actually scared to put it on my own blog as I did not want to respond to ridiculous comments. But what happened today at Kotla today incensed me so much that I chose to write about it again. When Pujara got out, crowd started shouting “Sachin, Sachin” for no apparent reason. Initially, I was extremely amused at the lack of knowledge of these “fans” because Sachin almost never comes out at No 3. The amusement soon turned to anger when Kohli got out. There was huge celebration in the entire ground at the fall of an Indian wicket, which in this case was also a local boy. The match situation itself had turned precarious. Nathan Lyon was in the middle of a very decent spell on a seriously dodgy wicket. Australia was coming back in the test match and one more wicket would have turned the game on its head. But no one seemed to care. All they cared about was their little master coming out to bat. The Indian team’s position was secondary. When Sachin was still on nought, Vijay completed a very well compiled 50. No one seemed to notice. Everyone was concentrating on Sachin getting his first run. Why the hell was his first run so important. It only adds up 1 to the team total. I wanted to shout at the top of my voice and ask the unruly spectators a few questions. With the fear of getting of mobbed, I restrained myself. I would have asked them:

If you want to chose between a and b what will you choose:
                    a. India winning and Sachin scoring a 0
                    b. India losing and Sachin scoring a 100
      When asked in isolation most people will say a, but many of them are the same people who celebrated    Sachin’s 100th 100 in the Asia Cup match which India lost to Bangladesh and went out of the tournament itself. In case you chose b, you are probably not a cricket fan in the first place and watch the game only for Sachin. Hence you can be pardoned.

This mad fascination with individuals and records is perhaps the reason why we don’t do well in other team sports. Cricket is probably the only team sport where individual contribution is so unequivocally honored. Thanks to cricket’s popularity we have produced some of the world’s best cricketers in the past 50 years. Despite this however, we have dominated world cricket (in strictly playing terms) only for very limited periods. If only we respected team performances more than individual contributions we could have become a much greater threat in world cricket. Sigh!!

To end on a lighter note, I can imagine a very young right back growing up in India being hounded with questions like – “So are you a footballer? How many goals have you scored?” The poor kid would find it extremely difficult to explain to people that despite being a footballer his primary responsibility is not scoring a goal. He would probably end up becoming a pathetic striker in a C grade team instead of a world class right back in an A grade team.


  1. First of all, good to read something new on your blog after so much time.

    Having similar opinions on Sachin, I am not into cricket too much, mostly because of the amount of time it takes to watch matches (haven't bought into the idea of IPL too much). I myself have been at the wrong end of some discussions involving Sachin, and no doubt, people will do anything short of physically harming you in these discussions.

    Kind of waiting for him to retire, lets see when that happens.

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  3. Fisr thing you should not blame Sachin for all this. Second thing, "neither do I think he has been the best player of our generation"... this is your personal opinion but Sachin is the proven all time best player ....

    Opinion of masses matter.. he is the player who has raised indian cricket's economy to sky height... have inspired millions...promoted individuals to take sport as career... well, opinion of some bullshits who writes some crappy articles on crappy sites to make money from advertising doesn't matter.. you are earning on his success/failure... you won't see such a huge number of cricket sites ( for some sites you write some crappy articles) anywhere else other than india... this is due to fascination created by sachin tendulkar... No individual has dominated any sport the way Sachin did... If you can't give deserved respect to our national hero please don't disrespect...( )

    1. Hello Maddy. I have tried to answer to your comment in a purely argument-by-argument manner. No disrespect to you as a person. Or to Sachin.

      Also, I personally favor Siddhesh's point of view on Sachin, at least since October, 2011.

      What do you think Sachin is being blamed for by the OP (Siddhesh)? How can you prove that Sachin is the proven all time best player? Can you get Steve Waugh to say that he would happily replace one of the
      players from his 1999 or 2003 teams for Sachin? Can you persuade every player in international cricket to say that they could easily give up on their spot in their national team for Sachin?

      If the opinion of the masses mattered as much as you seem to stress it, the earth would still be flat, the only religion would be the one that the (hypothetical) winners of racial wars followed, and both me and you would have pet dragons that we could have used to fight to settle our arguments.

      I am sorry but I do not know about or have not heard/read/seen-on-TV a single person who
      1. took to sport because he/she saw Sachin, or
      2. felt inspired enough to take up something new, or get rid of some bad habit etc., or
      3. (extreme case) got rid of their suicidal, or substance abuse tendencies because of inspiration from Sachin.

      (You raise a kind of different point here. Lets say that, if for some reason, purely hypothetically, Sachin was found out as a drug cheat or something, say, like Lance Armstrong, would the people inspired by him still stay as inspired?)

      As far as the matter of mattering of opinions is there, I am sure you chat with your friends, in person or online or even by snail mail. And I am sure most of that is hypothetical (thats why it is chatting). And again, I am sure that it does not matter. At least I chat, and I am sure (al)most (all) of what I say/think does not matter. So, why do you keep on with it if it does not matter? Anyone who blogs or simply adds their content on the internet or any open medium is just expressing their views, and I think there is nothing wrong in that, as long as they are not hurting anyone or anyone else's interests. I am sure that Sachin and his family are safe, that this single blog post will not affect Sachin's endorsements or business interests in any way, and that his political career is safe in the future.

      The same logic goes for what you call "crappy articles" written by the OP, this site or other sites.

      A guess, but at least a hundred cricketers have played alongside Sachin in the National teams (Test/50-over/(T20?)) since his debut in 1989, and simply worshipping Sachin and ignoring the rest is like a disgrace to the others, including (but not limited to), Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble, Dhoni, Sidhu, J.Srinath, Laxman etc. etc.

      I have been reading this blog since well over two years now, and I must say I love it. Especially the witty comedy. I bet if you read some of the previous posts by Siddhesh, you will get the humor and see this post too with a similar (but not the same) perspective.

      As far as Sachin is concerned, he has faced (at least early in his caree) hostile crowds in Pakistan and racist chants in Australia, not to mention constant sledging (and intentionally bad umpiring, if one of my friends is to be believed), and a few blog posts or comments or tweets or facebook status messages etc won't hurt him. Its the fanboys and their ego we probably need to care about.

    2. @Karunesh - Hats off to you dude. And thanks for your appreciation!!