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Sunday, September 2, 2012

LOL - Lil'ol'liability?

It is the adoration of the public that is the protection.  And the fear of the selectors.   But the need - the contracts that expire in 2014.  This article was pretty damning.  But this appeared in the pink newspaper - a business newspaper, which only a few elite business-mongers read.  That was saving grace.

All of Sachin's contract
are due to end in 2014, and no
new contracts, so is that the answer?
The article explains when the little master willretire.  The first sign of his brand becoming stale - no new contract was endorsed after his hundredth hundred.  But the bigger fact - the necessity of him to play till 2014, when all the 17 contracts expire - which is 2 years from now, is the damning truth.  It is 120 crores too much for anybody - forget the little master - to refuse.   His new house in Bandra costs 30 crores after all!  

That was on April 1st 2012.  Cut to September 1st - almost 6 months later.  Doug Bracewell castled Tendulkar, almost 22 years after his uncle John Bracewell did.  Well, 22 years, is one hell of time for longevity.   The little man has climbed many a summit between the two Bracewells.   Some of which, no other human will ever dream of achieving.   But what triggered a renewed discussion on the dismissal?   The eternal question - when should the little master go?

Tendulkar castled by Doug Bracewell
Two masters of test cricket, Gavaskar and Manjrekar expressed concern about the way the little master was dismissed.  Bowled through the gates.  Full length delivery - a stroke against which requires the maximum hand-eye coordination for a batsman.  As the ball dips into one's blind spot, right below, the hands have to get the bat in the right position to block or whack the ball away.   And the little master missed - like the last test.   His furniture was rearranged.   

Rustic?  5 months out of cricket, yes.   Out of form?  May be.  Others also go through it.  Technical deficiency?  After 22 years of cricket, if this is still a concern, then worries me.   The most plausible reason is - age and obstinacy.   The little man says that he knows when he will retire, and other people say - only the man can decide when he will.   Why?  The protection - the adoration of the public, and the fear of the selectors.  No one dare call the shots on this.   And the man will continue to play, as long as he says he wants to.

And what is the cost?  The number four slot in tests will be occupied for another two years at least.  Some talent youngster would have to wait forever - and few careers might be wrecked.  Opportunities lost!   The very reason some youngster might be inspired by the little master will fall victim to the extended longevity of the genius.   

Finally, there is shelf life.  Everybody knows that the little master is a mortal, and at someday he has to hang his boots up.   It better be done when people ask 'why?', rather than 'when?'.  Perhaps the powers-that-are know the answer, as the economic times article explains.   Just pray that he does not become a 'LOL' - a Little Old Liability!!!

- Ashok Speaks!



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