Cricket is India’s unofficial religion, our national pastime.But are we guilty of a little insensitivity? Let’s talk about biding farewell to our favourite cricketers.
Sachin Tendulkar got a grand goodbye on his 200th and last international test. No other Indian cricketer received a decent farewell, in comparison.
India’s flamboyantly adventurous opener Virender Sehwag had every right to be disappointed.With 23 test tons and 15 ODI centuries, Sehwag lamented that selectors didn’t inform him. Sehwag wanted to play his last test at Delhi. This was not to be.
VVS Laxman’s wrist work is as legendary as his batting heroics. The 2001 Eden Gardens mind-bending innings will forever be etched in our mind. Yet, Laxman announced his retirement suddenly in 2012, flagging off a 16 year-old career.This was before a series vs New Zealand at home.
In the same year, Laxman’s equally illustrious team mate Rahul Dravid hung up his boots. Dravid’s announcement was also sudden.For all his bravado and defiant resistance, Dravid left the game with characteristic quietness.
For a long time, there was nobody to match Zaheer Khan in the Indian pace department. Long, lanky and well-built Zaheer was the architect on many famous Indian wins. His world cup performances are particularly memorable.If anybody deserved a standing ovation for his services, it was Zaheer. But like many other cricketers, Zaheer faded away from the limelight.
Sachin Tendulkar is the best batsman of our era. Until he arrived, it was Sunil Gavaskar who was known as the ‘little master’. Gavaskar helped India win two historic away series in 1971 on debut. He also gained a formidable reputation as a chance-less, talented opener. Probably the best against the best bowling attacks. Yet his masterly 96 in his last test innings in 1987 is not as reverently remembered, since India lost the match. For someone of Gavaskar’s stature to not get a befitting farewell is certainly disappointing.
Similar is the tale of many Indian cricketing legends, who left an indelible impression on the game.Good-bye is certainly not among an emotion the cricketing fraternity handles well.