It was certainly not deliberate, most likely an oversight, but it's the kind of mistake that can cost someone his job. How someone organising a felicitation for the Indian team that won the tri-series in Australia could forget Sachin Tendulkar is mind-boggling. Amidst the blaring music, the beating drums and the colourful bhangra dancers, the signage around the ground stood out simply because not one bore a photograph of Tendulkar.
There were four types of signage used around the ground that contained the message, "Welcome victorious Indian cricket team," and a photo alongside. The first type was the large format, with a team photograph, from Brisbane, where Tendulkar was in one corner, obscured by others, and you can just about distinguish his hand holding a champagne bottle. The three other types of posters had different photographs of groups of players from action on the field. One had Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa and Rohit Sharma, another had Harbhajan and a couple of others, the third was a similarly repetitive close-up snap shot of a couple of players celebrating on the field. Conspicuously, not a single one had Tendulkar in them. Walking around the periphery of the Ferozeshah Kotla, Hindustan Times counted close to 200 such banners affixed at various levels, first on the fences cordoning the ground off from the stands, second on the pillars holding up the stands and finally on the horizontal tiers of the stands. Since the photos were all from the same group, naturally there was no sign of Sachin.
Surely it was only an oversight, but on a day when Sharad Pawar said, "The Board's decision to try out young players proved to be a good one. Our team got stronger because of it," it didn't feel quite right that the man who was India's backbone in the two finals, with an unbeaten 117 and 91 in the finals, was overlooked in something as simple as visuals and banners that were plastered around the Kotla.