The non-retiring legend

He was the first sportsman to be awarded the “Khel Ratna” award, he became a international player of repute by the time he was twenty and was awarded the Padma Shri when he was just eighteen. He is considered one of the legends of the game and is acknowledged as such by his fiercest competitors. He is a role model on how to lead a sportsman’s life, is the richest Indian sportsman and doesn’t have a single controversy dogging him. His career has spanned twenty eight years, and he regularly has beaten players twenty years his junior and he has remained at the top ranking for a long time. He is only player who has been a champion in all formats of the game. His team loves him and supports him wholeheartedly.

How many of you thought this described Sachin Tendulkar ?

Sachin’s farewell should have been befitting the great man, not the circus it is being turned into. What Sachin has been able to do individually, in a team sport is unbelievable. He is not my cricketing hero but I would be stupid not to see, that he is a legend. Whether his records stand the test of time or not, it doesn’t matter, records are meant to be broken, but what he has accomplished over twenty four years is monumental.

If not Sachin, who does the first paragraph describe ? The penny will drop the minute I name the person, but it is a sad reality that this legendary sportsman has done all he can to bring glory to India and is now playing the world championship just when Sachin is retiring. Unfortunate because, in this cricket crazy nation, you are elevated to the status of God if you play cricket well and a nobody even if you are truly a God in another sport.

Vishy, I, like a small minority of your fans, am watching you play the world championship because I don’t like the circus around Sachin’s retirement. I respect his career and wish him the best, but the drama is taking away more than what it is giving him. Go on, beat the 22 year old Magnus Carlsen and teach him a few things :):)

Vishwanathan Anand

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