Tag Archives: indian cricket

And these are stats from 2015 !!

How much more money will Sachin Tendulkar make?

When Sachin Tendulkar retired on November 13, 2013, the entire nation stood still to wipe away tears.

Mike in hand, as he addressed the nation in whites for the last time, the sun set on an era of cricket followers. When he choked up in the final leg of his speech, three generations of Indians stopped their work to realised that time had passed. Like Sachin, the entire nation had grown softer around the edges, pudgy on the sides.

There will always be whispers about the lack of celebration when Dravid or Laxman retired, but Sachin Tendulkar retiring was a true turning of the pages of Indian cricket.

The very next day, Sachin was awarded the Bharat Ratna – the greatest civilian award in India. He was made an honorary member of the Rajya Sabha, India’s Upper House in the Parliament. As he stepped off the field that day, Sachin wound up an entire era of cricket. [Read my blog on Sachin’s retirement].

*

As a voracious consumer of popular culture, I am fascinated by brand stories.

I like to track the trajectory of people once their glory days are behind them. That is how I know of Zayed Khan’s production house with Dia Mirza; and that Ravi Shastri lives in the apartment below Sunil Gavaskar’s.

When Sachin Tendulkar retired, I assumed he would go on to lead the dignified life of a modern great. That he would take up adminstrative, coaching, or mentoring programs at domestic, national, and international level. He was never a man of words, so the commentary box would be too much of an ask (Also, how would he feel sitting next to Laxman Sivaramakrishnan?).

Nearly four years since his retirement, Sachin Tendulkar continues to set up business establishments across the country. Sachin today owns enterprises in sports, telecasting, clothing, sports entertainment arcades, and restaurants. This is keeping aside the numerous brand endorsements he is a part of.

Every time you see a mention of Sachin in the papers, it is in relation to the launch of a new product. In his own unique way, Sachin has moved from the Sports page to the Business page of newspapers.

But for how much longer?

One is free to argue that it is his life, and what he chooses to do with the rest of it is completely up to him. Which of course is an irrefutable argument. After spending 30 years of his life to the sport, he is free to choose how he spends the rest of it. But the question remains – aur kitna paisa banayega Sachin?

*

Sachin’s contemporaries have all moved in different directions. Anil Kumble and Venkatest Prasad have taken up coaching roles, along with contesting the Karnataka State Cricket Association elections. Javagal Srinath is a match referee.

Saurav Ganguly serves in an administrative position in the Bengal Cricket Academy. Rahul Dravid is the coach and mentor of the under-19 Indian team and recently refused an honorary degree from Bangalore University because he wanted to pursue it as a full time course.

Sachin meanwhile, just launched a new app called 100MB which will provide users with a unique, fresh view into the life of India’s greatest sporting star. Another platform with ‘Yayy India won’ tweets and pictures in front of Ganesh idols.

received_10154989828361977

When you’ve been the richest sportsperson in the country for two decades, how much is too much?

*

As a devout Sachin bhakt, the reports about his lack of activity in Rajya Sabha did not come across as a shocker. In an uncanny coincidence, Lata Mangeshkar – the other Bharat Ratna who was made MP and featured in Tanmay Bhat’s video – was also accused of not doing enough for her constituency.

And these are stats from 2015 !!

And these are stats from 2015 !!

There is no doubt that Sachin remains arguably the most loved Indian alive. That he has a pull over target demographies across age and geography. That Indians will buy anything he promotes – from Rorito Racer Gel to ‘Sach’ Innerwear. Through our entire lives, Sachin has sold us every single product. Want a pen? Reynolds. Want a car? Fiat Palio. Not getting your periods? National Egg Co-ordination Committee. Sachin has endorsed and sold every product that can be stocked, from the glitziest malls to the tiniest kiraana shop. From Infinity Mall to the infinitesimal.

received_10154991982556977

But as an icon of the game, as the face of a generation, should Sachin Tendulkar be contributing more to the game? Shouldn’t Tendulkar retire from our televisions, and feature in the aspirations of youngsters pursuing the game across the country?

So here it is, from a terrible poet to a great cricketer, a poem filled with hope.

My poem to Sachin, on my blog – 'How much more money will Sachin make?'

A post shared by Hriday Ranjan (@heartranjan) on

***

Cover Picture Image courtesy: Factly.

If you are a cricket fan, look out for our show Silly Point – India’s First Cricket based Stand Up Comedy Show as me and Rohit Swain embark on an 8 city tour with the show. Please come down or spread the word. 🙂

Virender, Say wha?

So the tragedy that was the Australian test series is finally over. I return to my room and open cricinfo to find a shocking comment by Virender Sehwag that says, “Even we won 2-0.”

In one line, that sums up our attitude to cricket. Hanging on to past laurels, past heroes, and past glories.

It also shows a reckless nonchalance.

I am not a fool. I understand cricket is just a game. That a team cannot win all the time. But how can a team lost all the time? And then say that we won in India 2-0??

That Virender Sehwag is the captain of the team, and has the sheer balls to say this speaks highly about how cricket is run in our country.

For years, Sehwag has puzzled fans and cricket analysts. Blessed with impeccable timing and hand-eye coordination, it is a known fact that he can take any attack to the cleaners. There is no method behind the madness, and his batting is based on the principle of ‘See ball-hit ball’. In spite of his faulty technique, he is adored by most Indian cricket fans for  his ‘Devil May Care’ attitude.

Now, I understand he has a faulty technique. That his feet don’t move much.

But I am tired of the commentators saying “But that’s how he plays his game. You can’t do much about it.” Really?

So Rahul Dravid scores thousand runs in the previous year, and failure in one tournament results in people baying for his blood. And one guy has not scored a century in four years overseas, and not only is he a part of the team, he gets to lead it? On the basis of what? A fucking one day double century??

In my not so humble opinion, if you have been playing cricket for eleven years, and if you have an obvious problem with your technique, and you have a coach, technical staff and the world’s richest body behind you, you can very well work on your problem. It is not  something you were born with.

Why not correct the problem? Isn’t that what great sportspersons do? Adapt to situations, grounds, and opponents?

Refusing to alter your technique proves that you are an obstinate idiot.

And it is not his abysmal scores I have a problem with. It is the manner in which he got out. There was a certain arrogance in his dismissals. Stand around for a few overs, drive a few balls into the covers. And then slash hard, hole out to the slips, and walk back to the pavilion.

I’m sure if Rahane, Pujara or Chopra was chosen for the tour, they would have put in at least some effort into their game. That they’d show some balls by seeing off the new ball and applying pressure on the bowling as the ball got older. Isn’t that what opening an innings in a Test match about?

I’m appalled at the BCCI think-tank about their selection in the test series. How can you squander off an entire tournament hoping for one blitzkrieg 70 off 55 balls? Or would you rather choose a player with a sound technique, someone who is willing to learn to adapt to conditions?

Sehwag, of course, can continue playing in the sub-continent. No on is questioning his credentials here. He can pelt bowlers around the globe in Rajkot and Gwalior. Why do we need to take him along to international tours even though he hasn’t performed for four years?

Since it has been five years now, one can safely say that the only person who has benefited from the IPL is Lalit Modi, who is chilling on some island, surrounded by a few laid-off Kingfisher girls. Instead of participating in stupid Delhi Daredevils vs Kochi Tuskers matches, why can’t Indian cricketers be sent to play county cricket abroad? It would pay them a lot less, but it would give them ample time to spend away from the mad frenzy of Indian cricket fans. And a lot of time to improve their technique by playing in conditions without the immense pressure that accompanies Indian matches.

Even though Ravi Shastri would use the word ‘great’ to describe Celina Jaitley’s performance in ‘Jawani Deewani’, greatness does not lie in being blessed with immense talent. Greatness lies in honing it, in learning, and adapting. Greatness stands the test of time.

Unless Sehwag adapts himself and alters his technique, he will remain a one-dimensional player who knew to play only in one gear. Who was the most dangerous batsman in the world when the ball didn’t bounce higher than the knees.

And when the conditions didn’t suit him, he just slashed at the ball, turned, and walked back to the pavilion.