Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sachin's Greatest Gift Would Be To Retire on 99


Eyes get wide, as the tall tales emerge about the infamy and immortality of that number in Cricket....

Infamy, centres around the 74 unfortunate batting souls that have perished 1 run from the batting pinnacle of 100. Such is the drama over it, that eulogies have been written on careers about players that have got so close, but so far from the sacred mark.

Even the immortal Shane Warne is remarked on as much for his 'ball of the century' as he is for his last ball dismissal for 99 against New Zealand in 2001. Described in this manner at the time

Warne, left high and dry on 99, cut a tragic figure on his exit from the ground; Vettori chanced upon his best Test figures in Australia; Richardson showed little restraint in showing a raucous crowd what he felt about the catch

Real theatre about it, as if Shakespeare was penning about the act

Nothing in truth on the mystique over the immortality of the number....

Of course in reference to the iconic Australian Don Bradman's career average of 99.94. Everyone knows the myth, needing 4 to average 100 for his career, but getting out for a duck.

A dismissal attributed to the Don having tears in his eyes as he faced..... 

Confirming the compelling nature of the act was that England imploded in the Test, so Bradman needing only a boundary to end his career averaging 100 never was allowed that opportunity.

Engrained not only in Aussie folklore, but in the game itself. For it would have been easy for Bradman to play one more game to ensure that 100 average, and the immense Kudos associated with it.

Though his true Legend was that he refused to do that. Then with the refusal allowing his individual deeds to be lauded, but in the knowledge, that they weren't his primary objective

Roll onto the 21st Century, a similar iconic mark as Bradman's average is in touching distance with India's Sachin Tendulkar's quest for his 100th hundred.

Then with it is the same opportunity for Tendulkar, to leave an indelible legacy on both India and the game.

The fanzine see the legacy in the mark itself, as captured in these comments

Tendulkar's hundredth hundred will definitely be the pinnacle of his 21-year-old career and will bridge generations. (
Ranabir Majumdar)

Skewed logic over the meaning of the individual mark, especially in a Nation that is notorious for hero worshipping

Even Tendulkar defied this glorifying of individuals, in his thoughts after the World Cup

"Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. ... I couldn't control my tears of joy

In those words embodied the true essence of the man, a patriot of India first and so overjoyed in the gift to the Indian populous that he was part of.

It made you think that having achieved the pinnacle of his career by sharing in the ultimate Team goal. That it would have afforded him a perfect opportunity to not only leave the game when he was truly on top, but in a manner that would have changed his Nations perceptions forever.

If he had done this, his fanzine would have automatically pointed to the absence of his 100th hundred, but in essence that is a meaningless mark. For it wouldn't have altered the fact that his legend from an individual achievement sense is so indelibly cast in stone.

In a bigger picture sense, it would have truly acted to 'bridge generations' in a Nation like India that is often stymied and suffocated by its propensity for irrational Hero worship.

For, it would have automatically reverted the focus back on the Team away from the individual, not only in the now, but in generations to come 

In the sense, that if a man viewed as 'God' by so many in India chose to forsake a huge individual mark. 

Its an act, that could never be ignored or forgotten, for the endless generations to come.


  1. Tim, I realise you are a good writer, seriously, all this romance over the 'short of heights of glory, giving something to talk about, a great sacrifice and all that, apart,, i think for once, you have written a lot of unadulterated rubbish.

    One of your good facebook fans :P

  2. HEHE- seems ive struck a nerve with this article on a lot of points. For its content and how it was written.

    Thanks for your comment- only way you improve is through accepting criticism as well as praise

  3. good one.. i can change your story by telling let him be the 1st one to cross the pinnacle of 99..i keep my fingers cross,i hope u too as well coz the whole world wants it i feel!!