Indians love cricket and Indian cricket loves Sachin and his quest for the 100th ton. And as I write this post, he walks back to the pavilion with a score of 41. It has been almost an year since we began reading about it in various papers. Before every match there was speculations on whether this would be the “One”. I am sorry, not speculation but every match was supposed to be the “One” where the “God of Indian Cricket” was to conquer the ultimate hurdle and cement his place as the supreme deity forever. SCG was his ground and most papers had already begun to call it, the Sachin Cricket Ground.
It has been a case of a complete media hype. Since, the World Cup triumph, our cricketing fortunes have gone down faster than the sketch of a rectangular hyperbola in the first quadrant. And to top it all, in a nation crazy about Cricket, other sports and sport-stars are given step-motherly treatment. Is a Cricketing landmark so important that it should eclipse every thing else in the sports pages for such a long time?
Moreover, we are trying to hide the fact that we are performing poorly in the sport, based on a hope that one of it's icons is going to create a record. And even if he does, then at what cost? When what we need is the battle training of the younger recruits, we are sticking to an old war horse. If the 2011 World Cup win was enough to satisfy our hunger, then I am sorry to say, we can kiss our dreams of becoming a Cricketing superpower good-bye.
Hero worshipping is not a bad thing. We all have heroes we look up to, but sometimes when the adulation for a hero breaches the borders of fanaticism, it becomes ugly. Over arching expectations of admirers cannot but affect the mind of any player and causes unnecessary tension.
When Glenn McGrath said that India would lose 4-0, social networking sites were filled with die hard supporters, attacking him and his remarks. But, besides being a supporter, one should also see that there seems to be some truth to his statement. As a supporter of my country, nothing would please me more than watching my National Team establish it's dominance, but that looks rather bleak whilst our mind is obsessed elsewhere. A wait that takes such a long time and at the cost of so many matches, is not worth it in my personal opinion. And Sachin has taken a hell lot of time, to try and reach his goal.
Now, I am not a Sachin hater but am not a big fan either (personally, I will always place the batting talents of Rahul Dravid a notch higher), but this hoopla over a century is beginning to irk. Why are we acting as if the 100th hundred is our god-damn right and that the other teams are standing on it. No, my dear Sachin fanatics, the other teams are not going to hand it to him on a silver platter, so stop acting like they should. And if not, then as someone had pointed out on twitter “lets have a match on a flat track against a minnow team and get it done with”. Maybe then we would be able to focus on more important stuff, like regaining the top position in the ICC Test Rankings.
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