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A sense of loss after Tendulkar's ODI retirement

Last updated on: December 24, 2012 08:00 IST

A sense of loss after Tendulkar's ODI retirement

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Laxmi Negi

I am not a Sachin Tendulkar fan and do not even like cricket. And I would like to apologise for my frugal knowledge of the game, since in the place of my birth cricketers are celebrated as demigods.

-Sachin Tendulkar retires from ODIs

This is the feeling I have harboured from the time I joined the profession of sports journalism.

Yeah, then why sports at all, if I am not into cricket?

Well, I say, there are a lot of sports other than cricket, and a lot other sportspersons other than cricketers who work harder than any cricketer. Yet, their sweat of labour goes unnoticed in this cricket-crazy nation. We just remember these sportspersons only during the Olympics and happily forget them after that.

But, on Sunday, there was a sense of loss. For a moment, I was in a state of shock. Yes, I am referring to Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from ODIs.

If the news could make me numb, what about the rest of the country? The fans who would thronged the stadiums, and braved the scorching heat to catch a glimpse of the master blaster.




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Let me take this opportunity to take you into the newsroom scenario...

When Tendulkar was inching closer to his 100th ton, we were prepared in advance. All he had to do was just knock off the runs, and the statistics, pictures, comments were ready for publication.

Now, as his impending retirement was around the corner, we were told to be prepared, but, somehow, the instruction just did not register.

Weather I liked it or not, in my entire life, I woke up and watched Tendulkar play. I have been part of that generation where kids used to cut pictures of their cricket idols and paste them on their note books. They called them cricket slam books. The kids with maximum and rare pictures were, need I say, most popular.

And, suddenly, even the thought of him not playing is a little too much for me to fathom.

I have witnessed and been part of newsroom debates that too much newsprint is being dedicated to cricket and Tendulkar (ok let me be true here, the word I have been using is 'wasted'), but with the news that the great batsman would be seen less, and, therefore, I should be rejoicing that other sportsperson would get some space on the sports pages, somehow I am not celebrating.

Quite an irony...



Tags: Tendulkar

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In fact, after the recent brouhaha over his retirement, and suddenly all his fans wanting him to go, I used to be nudged about the same because people around me knew they would be entertained with the colourful language and opinions. But, strangely, I would sympathise with the all-time great after what he was subjected to.

Now I am a little confused; the cricket experts and fans, please throw some light here... This is what you wanted. Sachin has said goodbye to ODIs, now what?

Do we have a plan? Will India succeed just because the so-called 'old' Sachin is no more a part of the team?

Mixed feelings. And, also, I do get the point that if I do not like cricket and cricketers, then why write about it?

Simple. I express my feelings because there's a sense of loss.




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