A two-decade long career that not many sportspersons can boast of (in any sport), a report card that can be paralleled to a work of art and a demi-god status with a fan following that make politicians go green with envy - what more can anyone ask for? Well, not if you are Sachin Tendulkar. Reports, in the Hindustan Times, that Sachin Tendulkar is not in the mood to give his willow rest and is expected to tour South Africa (after the Test against West Indies) and might also go to New Zealand in 2014, has got many asking: When is enough really enough?
Sachin Tendulkar reacts after scoring his hundredth century during the Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka . AFP/Munir uz Zaman
In all fairness, there is no underestimating Sachin's contribution to the game of cricket. There was a time in the '90s and early noughties when he played crucial knocks to save the day for India. He has created a fan following for the game like no one has even done before. But times are changing and who but a great player like him should understand and see the signs. To ring the curtain down while you still have the audience is an art and it seems that Sachin is wanting of this art.
The talk that is being created around Sachin's '200th Test' reminds one about the hype surrounding his 100th century. In May 2012 when Sachin finally (after an agonising wait of more than a year after he hit his 99th century) scored 114 runs against Bangladesh (yeah!). Never mind if there was a sly arithmetic used to reach the 100 mark. The 200th Test will also put undue pressure on the cricketer and probably hamper his performance.
While such talk makes good publicity (and through that big sponsorship deals) for the BCCI, this greed and eagerness to create an 'event' is being unfair to Sachin Tendulkar. He, of all people, should realise this.