Wrong line and length | india | Hindustan Times
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Wrong line and length

It’s all very well to be appreciated as a great cricket expert, but greatness also means acknowledging one’s mistakes — especially when readers follow cricket keenly and can judge players and situations for themselves!

india Updated: Jan 30, 2008 22:40 IST
Mina Anand

Isn’t Sachin in great form? Those who wrote him off must be eating their words. Take Ian Chappell and Peter Roebuck. It’s all very well to be appreciated as a great cricket expert, but greatness also means acknowledging one’s mistakes — especially when readers follow cricket keenly and can judge players and situations for themselves!

After India’s untimely exit at the World Cup early this year, Chappell went to town against Sachin, telling him to retire. A couple of Chappell remarks: “Sachin is playing for the wrong reasons.” “Sachin has to honestly look in the mirror.”

In Roebuck’s case, there were two glaring examples of him shooting off his mouth: in December 2005, he wrote that Sourav Ganguly should be “tossed overboard”, and in June 2006, he lashed out at Sachin for taking the “lamentable” decision to join the “Lashings Club”.

Assess Tendulkar by his personality, by the exemplary way he plays the game, by his evidently boyish enjoyment of cricket, by the fact that not only is he a good judge of a run but can also judge for himself how long he can run.

Why don’t we realise that he is nobody’s fool and is the best person to know when the time is to retire? He would be the first to call it a day, and not keep people in the dark. There is no way he would carry on playing if he did not have the same hunger and enjoyment — and ability to perform — as when he started out.

There is a big difference between voicing constructive criticism and taking a very strong and wrong stand on certain players. And when one is proved wrong, a retraction should follow, shouldn’t it?

When will cricket writers stop writing off gifted players? And when will they stop taking their audience for granted?