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Indian author speaks up for Tendulkar

Clifford Narinesingh has come to the defence of the master batsman in the wake of the latter's dismal performance at the cricket World Cup.

india Updated: Apr 04, 2007 17:19 IST

An Indo-Trinidadian author, who has written a book on Sachin Tendulkar, has come to the defence of the master batsman in the wake of the latter's dismal performance at the cricket World Cup.

"In Tendulkar, we are looking at an icon whose career is far from expiration and whose iconic status goes beyond the playing field," said Clifford Narinesingh, author of The Presence of Tendulkar.

He was commenting on statements made by former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell calling for Tendulkar's retirement from cricket.

In a press statement, Narinesingh said Chappell's remarks were both "insensitive and irresponsible".

"Sometimes, it is obvious that those who may have played the game with credit are not the best communicators in interpreting the game objectively," he said.

"And as we reach for new talent to raise the standards of the game, we should aspire to be more selective in the choice of accomplished personnel who can, through objective commentary and review, take the game to the gracious level it deserves."

Narinesingh writes in the preface in The Presence of Tendulkar that it is the role of history to preserve for posterity acts and deeds of men and women of creative genius and laudable achievements.

"For this reason, literature of this genre makes appearance in the literary sphere. Any such attempt marks continuity in that it reaches deep into the past, explores the present and looks forward to the future.

And heroes of the ilk of Tendulkar deserve such treatment.

"He has, through creative skill and extraordinary accomplishments, expressed and remained constant in his humanity and geniality. These virtues and achievements make him a living legend"

In the 208-page book, published by Royards Publishing Company, Narinesingh writes: "It is a fascinating experience to peruse the pages of appreciation and adulation shown for Tendulkar's craft by informed critics of the game.

In India it is reminiscent of the cricketing audience's energetic response to Sunil Gavaskar's dramatic entry and strong and enduring presence on the international stage.

"The loyalty, respect and affection for Tendulkar reminds us of the acclaim showered on heroes such as Bradman, Hobbs, Hammond, Gavaskar, Sobers, Viv Richards, Lara and other luminaries whom the game has spawned or who have graced the playing field with distinction through creative and innovative style and technique."

There are also touching remarks about India's love for the game of cricket. In the second chapter of the book, 'Cricket and Nationalism in India', Narinesingh refers to George Orwell's analysis and description of the "sporting spirit".

"The sporting fraternity among others will bring to mind how this dimension of competitive prestige has aroused scathing criticism from George Orwell in his analysis and description of the sporting spirit.

Narinesingh notes that the hysteria associated with football matches, the excessive indulgence of football fans particularly in Europe and Latin America is only matched by the frenzy which cricket arouses on Indian soil.

"The adulation, the passion, the prevailing mood is at times incomprehensible. It is an involvement that leads the detached observer to attempt to rationalise the basis for this response to the sport when one country's pride and honour are intertwined within the fabric of India cricket history, how the seeds of nationalism grew and blossomed in the Indian consciousness.

It was former prime minister Indira Gandhi, the writes states, who encouraged the national fervour associated with the game.

"India began to enjoy increased fame and glory with every victory through their sterling performances. Indira Gandhi was alert to this and seized the initiative both in the seventies and the eighties.

She encouraged national fervour and her support gave more impetus to the cricketing teams.

"The finest hour of the achievement came with victory in the World Cup of 1983 with India's defeat of the formidable West Indies team."

Besides being a historical and emotional account of the Indian batting maestro's life, the book also offers teasing and seductive commentaries on Tendulkar.

Narinesingh had earlier written a book on Sunil Gavaskar titled Gavaskar: Portrait of a Hero.