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Saturday, October 19, 2013

the genius maestro Sachin Tendulkar's farewell test at Wankhede...

The first price of popularity is that one is hounded quite often of ‘retirement’……… the great genius writer Sujatha in his heydays was confronted in a student’s forum with the Q  : Sir, when will you stop writing ? Pat came the reply – ‘in the night ~ when I feel too sleepy’………… ~ one need not be guided by the Q and can have one’s own way !! The Genius Little Master has been haunted with the Q of his retirement and sadly his exit from the Cricketing zone is on the horizon…………………from that day onwards, people will feel sad that they have nothing to follow…………………….
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The Master Blaster known for his aggression on field is also known for his placid demenaour off it.. ……… just 2 more tests to go….. the expectations are high… we for sure would love to see Sachin Tendulkar finishing on a high……… may be score a century at least if not a double…… but remember William Eric Hollies who played 33 tests is still remembered for that one wicket  - that of Sir Donald Bradman on his farewell innings at Kennington Oval in Aug 1948 dismissed for a duck – and you have Sunil Naraine here…….

For decades – Sachin has the been the face not only promoting products but promoting the game itself – a genius stemming from combination of attributes – superhuman hand-eye coordination, lightning reflexes, powerful wrists, delicate shots, avaricious appetite for runs, perfect balance – the glee exhibited when taking a wicket – and giving his 100% on field…. From the age of 16 in 1989 when he made his debut amidst bullying but not overawed by the star studded opponents, he has shouldered the responsibility for a long time………. ‘all good things too come to an end’.

There was a time when 10000 Test runs was a far dream – Gavaskar secured it…. after its first ODI in 1974, India had to wait for that golden day in 1983 – when Kapil made that epic 175 not out to see its first century and for long those 4 by Srikkanth remained the highest by an Indian…….. records are meant to be broken and Sachin devoured everything of them….

Right now, he is alone at a peak –
Most appearance in Tests                   : probably 200
Most appearance in One dayers          : 463
Most runs in Tests                              : 15837
Most runs in One dayers                     : 18426
Most centuries in Tests                       : 51
Most centuries in ODIs                        : 49

…………….the list can be endless, if you are to count most 50s, youngest batsman to reach ….; most ODI nineties………………… and ….. and …. More…

Between 1914 and 1988 lived a Cricket administrator and politician who studied at Nagpur and later entered bar in England.  He was elected to the Madhya Pradesh State assembly in 1952 and served as the deputy speaker of Bilingual Bombay State from 23 November 1956 to 5 April 1957. He was the Speaker of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly;  was  mayor of Nagpur for three years. In 1967, he was a member of the Indian delegation that took part in the 22nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.  Later he became the President of BCCI …………  it is : Seshrao Krishnarao Wankhede

The little Master wishes to retire on his own terms and perhaps decided the venue for his farewell test.  BCCI has acceded to his requests  ~ so, 199th would be at Kolkatta and Sachin’s 200th Test would be at Mumbai from Nov 14-18th – more specifically at Wankhede Stadium.  It is pure sentiment and there is nothing to question why it is not Chepauk, his famous haunting ground or why not Chinnappa stadium….

The now famous Wankhede stadium was built in 1973  after disputes between the Cricket Club of India which owned the Brabourne and Mumbai Cricket Association; and was named after SK Wankhede – hence Wankhede stadium.  It reportedly was  built in six months and opened in time for the final Test between India and the West Indies in 1975 ~ whence Eknath Solkar made his century and Clive Lloyd made a double century.  . The stadium has a capacity of 45,000 and is always in contention to host an international match in India. It has been host to numerous high profile cricket matches in the past, including the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final, in which India defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets.

Mumbai,  has seen Test matches played at three different grounds. The Bombay Gymkhana ground hosted the first ever Test in India, in 1933–34 against England. After the world war II, the Cricket Club of India Ltd's Brabourne Stadium – second ground of the city – was used for 17 Tests and thence came Wankhede.  The first Test here was the last test for Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi.  The Jubilee Test in 1979–80, remembered  for Botham’s heroics and Gundappa Vishwanath recalling Bob Taylor was played here.

Just as we have Wallajah road / Pattabhiraman ends in Chepauk…. It is Garware Pavilion end and Tata End at Wankhede.   The stands are named after : Sunil Gavaskar, Vijay Merchant, Sachin Tendulkar – while rest are known as North, MCA, Divecha and Garware….  The architect was  – Shashi Prabhu and Associates who was also involved in Indira Gandhi indoor stadium, Sports City Hyderabad, Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, which hosted the National Games in 1995 and the Youth Commonwealth Games in 2008

Often one uncharitable remark aired by detractors is that Sachin has not made runs at crucial juncture…… facts are otherwise. 

Of his 51 Test centuries, 20 have come in matches when India won and in One dayers – 33 of them out of  49 in One dayers were winning efforts ~ not to speak of some more – where he waged a lone battle. Sure, when the legend exits – it the end of a great saga…. Farewell to Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest batsman, whom we had the fortune of seeing playing and making runs…………

Sachin, Sachin……….. Sachin… Sachin…

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Photo courtesy : cricinfo.com

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