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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Harsha kept pecking on MSD's retirement !!

I have been a great fan of MS Dhoni – not only  for his game, his helicopter shots, quickfire stumpings, leadership qualities, Cricketing acumen, success at DRS, handling team, mentoring youngsters … .. and his measured talking at post-match shows – praising the team when winning, speaking about process and taking the blame when losing – a great Management guru.  It was irritating and more than a bit painful to hear Harsha Bhogle again and again broach on the same subject ! – when he would call it a day !!

It is the famous cliché situation – all other teams fighting for the right to play the wise and old CSK in the finals !

Retirements are  normal; We have seen so many in our lives with the passage of time…… it is a process where a person stops employment / work completely.  We are not speaking about anything forced but the natural retirement upon person reaching the prescribed age limit of 58 or 60….  In some ways, it is a happy event that somebody can take rest peacefully and perhaps devote his time and attention to religious or social activity ~ not required to work any longer……not all are fortunate..  retirement is  an emotional event for everyone and it is more emotional for the retiree.    

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  SAchin Tendulkar was haunted with the Q of his retirement .. .. and so many critics have been speaking in many tones about  the retirement of the mercurial Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

The mercurial MSD surprised everyone on 30.12.2014 – the boxing test had just been drawn and Dhoni was 24* - 4 overs left with 4 wickets in hand – MSD made no mention during the customary Captain’s press conference at the end of the match.  Then a BCCI release stated that MSD had resigned citing the strain of playing all formats. We thought that 2020 will see MSD striking it rich in IPL and turn for India in T20 WC 2020 – but Covid-19  changed lives.

No.  ‘199’ gained so much of attraction – it was a test match at Eden Gardens – Rohit Sharma fresh from the euphoria of a double ton in ODI got his Test cap from Sachin, after having played 108 ODIs – getting the nod over Ajinkya Rahana.  Alongside also debuted Mohammed Shami preferred over Ishant.  The badshah of Cricket – Sachin Tendulkar decided to retire – the swansong was to be  at Wankhede  on his 200th test and there were talks that the Series itself was arranged  to allow him select his retirement at his home ground.

ஓய்வு உடலுக்கும் மனதுக்கும் தேவையானது. ஒருகட்டத்தில் உடலின் உருக்கமான வேண்டுகோளை ஒவ்வொருவரும் உணர்வர். ஒய்வு எடுக்கும் சமயம் அதி முக்கியம் - இது அதீதமாக தூங்குவதல்ல.    ஒருவனை அழிக்கும் அவனுக்கும் அவனது குடும்பத்திற்கும் நாட்டிற்கும்,  அலுவகத்திற்கும் தீங்கு விளைவிக்கும் நான்கு குணங்களை திருவள்ளுவர் கூறுகிறார்:

நெடுநீர் மறவி மடி துயில் நான்கும்

கெடுநீரார் காமக் கலன்.

நீண்டஅழுகை, மறந்துவிடுவது, சோம்பல், அதிகபட்ச உறக்கம் இவை நான்கும் அழிவை விரும்புபவர்களின் ஆயதங்கள் என்கிறார் செந்நாப்போதார்.  நாம் கூறும் ஒய்வு இதல்ல.  ஓய்வு என்பது தொடர்ச்சியான செயலில் இருந்து  விடுபடுவது.  மாற்றுச்செயலில் ஈடுபடுவதும் கூட ஓய்வுதான். மனதுக்கும், உடலுக்கும்  ஓய்வு தேவை, புத்துணர்ச்சிஅளிக்கிறது.  ஒய்விற்குப் பின் செய்யும் செயல்கள் அதிகபலனை அளிக்கிறது. உலகில் ஓய்விற்காக தொடங்கப்பட்ட பலதுறைகள் இப்பொழுது பெரும்வளர்ச்சி பெற்றுள்ளன -  சுற்றுலா, கேளிக்கை அரங்கம், சினிமா, நாடகம், தொலைக்காட்சி, இசை, நடனம், உடற்பயிற்சி, உணவுவிடுதிகள் மற்றும் பல  மக்களுக்குப் பலவிதமான ஓய்வெடுக்கும் வாய்ப்புகளை உருவாக்கித் தர வல்லன. எனினும்,   மனதிற்கான ஓய்வு தேவை  வெளிப்படையாக தெரிவதில்லை. இதனால் பலர் மனதிற்கான ஓய்வுத் தேவையை சரியாக நெறிப்படுத்துவது இல்லை.அனுதினமும் புதியபுதிய நிகழ்வுகளால், மனம் ஓய்வின்றி செயல்படுகிறது.  

The daddy’s army Chennai Super Kings reached their tenth Indian Premier League final on Tuesday night, defeating defending champions Gujarat Titans in the first qualifier in Chennai. The Hardik Pandya-led side, that had finished at the top of the table, has chance to have another  shot at reaching the final,  will meet the winners of the eliminator game between Mumbai Indians and Lucknow Super Giants – winners of which will challenge CSK.

In the post match show, Harsha Bhogle even before appreciating the spectacular performance, tried to gloat over the fact that this is MSD’s final appearance in Chennai – yes 2023 season is drawing to a close and there are only 2 matches left !  Speculations have been rife on whether Dhoni will return to the great brand again in 2024 edition.  

Though Harsha kept repeating Dhoni had his way, he  didn't confirm on his return, but insisted that he has ample time to take a decision on his CSK career.  "Frankly, it takes a heavy toll. I have been out of home for literally four months," Dhoni said  - "I will always come to CSK. I have been out of home from January, been practicing since March, so we will see," he added. "January 31 was when I got out of the house, finished my work, and started practicing from 2nd or 3rd of March. It takes a lot, but I have ample time to decide. I have 8-9 months to decide. Why take that headache now. I have ample time to decide. The auction is in December," the 41-year-old said.

Simply – will cross the bridge when it comes, when worry now !   CSK's bowling coach Dwayne Bravo, however,  seemingly confirmed that Dhoni would return as player in the next edition. In the post-match interview with broadcasters Star Sports, when anchor Mayanti Langer asked Bravo on whether Dhoni will be seen in the coveted yellow jersey, Bravo said, “100 percent.”  Especially, with the Impact Player rule. It will keep prolonging his career,” Bravo said, much to the delight of Matthew Hayden and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who were standing next to Bravo during the interview.

“He bats really deep. I think the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, (Shivam) Dube... these guys make a huge difference. You don't require much from MS. But he has the ability to keep his calm when the team is under pressure,” Bravo further said.

Kapil, the greatest all-rounder for India played  131 Test matches,  scored 5248 runs in 184 innings at an average of 31.05 with 8 hundreds and 27 half-centuries. In 131 tests, he took 434 wickets at 29.64 with 23 five-wicket hauls and best bowling figures of 9 for 83 against the West Indies.  In One dayers (always remember WC 1983) he scored 3783 runs (175* highest) and took 253 wickets in 221 innings.

On that day at Faridabad  Oct 17, 1994 to be pecise – Kapil Dev was not given the new ball – Manoj Prabhakar, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble and Rajesh Chauhan bowled 10 overs each – while Sachin bowled 5.  It was sad and sickening and even made me cry when Kapil walked from deep square leg to bowl another over but  was unceremoniously sent back by the Captain Azharuddin.  Kapil in his normal self having completed 5 overs walked towards the Umpire, but the ball was sort of snatched by the Captain. For me in someways, Cricket was never the same thereafter ! – exceptional wrong treatment of a Senior on his retirement.

Yet, retirements are but common and do happen – me too have started counting the months !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar


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