Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sachin's Retirement - The Stupidest Question Post World Cup 2011

Just as the euphoria of winning the World Cup is settling down and someone who has played such a huge role in this scheme of things is addressing a press conference comes this stupid question. Are you thinking of retirement? Why would anyone who has seen him bat, field and bowl with such intensity and commitment in the past few days ask such a question is what beats me. Is there something missing here? Is that a question to ask now? Is your whole idea of a press conference a place to make the celebrity feel uncomfortable, defensive? I would dearly love to know who this great stalwart is who asked this question at this time. Really. If there was an award for inappropriate and mediocre behavior, this takes the cake.

Let me put this in perspective. I find that our cricket journalists and the viewing public behind them are obsessed with this retirement thing. The moment a new prodigy comes on the big stage, they seem to be eager to predict, if not, manipulate the retirement as soon as they can. Why this obsession with retirement in certain areas - specially cricket? I think many players in the earlier eras might have retired early because of these mistaken notions and ideas spread by these journalists whose knowledge of the game is minimal - few have played the game at first class cricket. 99% are really not qualified to cover cricket. And to make up for their short fall in knowledge they ask banal questions like this. Does anyone ask you to retire Mr. journalist because you wrote a couple of bad pieces? You seem to do that for years and years. Do politicians retire, dancers, artists, writers..anyone before their prime? The only indication is of performance and that many of the people in paid jobs take for granted - they do not retire even as they do not perform!

I find it intriguing. Firstly there should really be no place for mediocrity in such important press meets. The propriety and the sanctity should always be maintained in the aftermath of such a huge event, when someone of such stature is addressing you. This is a question one can ask in a one off interview when one is reflecting, recounting on a more personal basis. This conference was a stage to celebrate, to find out the way we can also excel, we can also be at our best after twenty grueling years, we can also counter people who have written us off and come back and play like a commoner, challenge yourself to be as good as everyone else and not pass off as the senior pro because you can bat well. This is where Sachin is truly great because unlike many of his seniors who have slacked off in their later years and grew flab around their middles once they knew they were big enough to take things for granted, he has always challenged himself to the limit, not because he wants to prove a point, but because he genuinely wants to contribute to the team's good. In fact in a team where the younger players have some girth around their middle (Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbahjan, Sreesanth, Sehwag all showed some signs of adding weight), he looks tremenddously fit.

There is no reason to ask the question. There is no need for eager television channels to flash news as 'Sachin evades question of retirement'. It just shows how some sections of our people have not learnt discretion and propriety. In his current form few can match his contribution to this side. But more importantly I now believe that he has earned himself the right to go when he wants to and not when someone else wants him to. I say this not because I am one of those delirious Sachin fans but because I feel that he will be the first one to step down once he feels that his contribution to the team may affect the team's performance by even one notch. If he had listened to doomsday predictions of he should retire and hung up his boots instead of chasing his dream of winning the World Cup, we might not have won this World Cup. By being there, by constantly showing the way and surely by sending signals of how desperately he wanted to win this Cup, he raised the spirit of the youngsters and that's what did the trick. Remember, almost everyone in the tam said this was for Sachin.

Sachin is good enough to play on for as long as he likes. And for guys who are contemplating the question, there should now be a law which allows the security men to chuck them out of the room. He has earned himself some peace from this kind of irresponsible haranguing. If you have nothing better to do, learn from him. If you cannot do that leave him alone and stop trying to put ideas. Thankfully he is as good a judge of questions and the mischief behind them as he is of cunning deliveries - and he leaves them alone.

2015? Who knows? Only he does. All he has to do is make up his mind and once he makes up his mind, he puts enough energy behind it to make it happen.


Vinod Ekbote said...

Nice post, Hari.

Maybe they should begin taking IQ tests of all these stupid journos before admitting them into such press meets.

Harimohan said...

Ha. That is a good idea.

Prasanna Kumar said...

Hi Hari,

Good one.

What beats me is., don't they do simple research before coming into press conference and remember what he did in the last 10 games? Looks like they don't, if they do then the question would be something like what are your future goals.

I think they go by fame, if one particular guy asks this question, I think our press stands him out., makes him special(noted).

Other stupid thing is these journalists thinking all Indians wants to know the answer. I for one don't want to know when he retires., I want him to keep on going.

Wonderful article again. Gives us more please.


Anonymous said...

when some netherland cricketer can play world cup at the ge of 48 sachin surely can bat till he is 50

Harimohan said...

Yes, and more. Why not? I am totally for performance as the sole indicator.