Sachin Tendulkar: A Name caught in the Middle

Blog by: Roh

Australia v India - Second Test: Day 4

‘What’s in a name’ may have said Shakespeare, but when it comes to Sachin Tendulkar, it’s the name that acts as a catalyst spurring on all further recognition. And incidentally, it is this name that has started to attract controversy upon controversy – though not on account of any personal influence – from secondary sources allowing chaos to creep into the foundations of Indian cricket.

The issue of course, is about Sachin Tendulkar playing in his 200th test match and the BCCI’s repeated vacillations about figuring out the best possible tournament scheduling for this epic achievement. The trigger was fired when the BCCI vehemently opposed the tour scheduling released by CSA for the South African-Indo bilateral series, and thereafter curtailed the tour by claiming that CSA had acted on its own accord about fixing the series’ itinerary. This was followed by the BCCI coming up with the scheduling of a home series against West Indies to fit in with the truncated South African series.

Though initially, this high-handedness of the BCCI was believed to be an act of opposing the appointment of the new CSA chief Haroon Lorgat, it’s Sachin Tendulkar whose name has been dragged into this spiraling vortex of turmoil.

For someone whose entire cricketing life’s been peppered with historic – and record-shattering, in certain areas – achievements, it’s indeed a sorry state of affairs that Sachin Tendulkar has to be associated with this volte-face of the BCCI. Especially since, the man in question hasn’t really spoken out loud or even remotely indicated about having a preference in the matter.

As always he’s been dignified in his silence though the fall-out of BCCI’s intents and purposes has started to be heaped onto his shoulders. It’s also unfortunate that such a memorable moment has been reduced to one of extreme mediocrity in addition to certain defensiveness on the part of the BCCI that in a roundabout manner again affects Tendulkar.

The implied inference that has been drawn from BCCI’s decision to have a home series against West Indies then has come very close to tearing to shreds, Tendulkar’s painstakingly built professional reputation. A fearsome and awe-inspiring reputation the man has amassed not just in India, but also across the length and breadth of the entire world cricketing domain.  A seemingly simple tweaking of cricketing itineraries and scheduling has thus substantially gone to transform the life of a legend, though not for better. Lesser-known aspects of comfort zone and ease – adjectives that would have been quite weird when tagged with Tendulkar’s name earlier – have also started to do the rounds, thus putting down Tendulkar to be someone who is now content to chase records by merely making an appearance rather than contribute numerically to the team’s playing statistics.

All of these at a time when nothing but plaudits should come his way, then again reflect the BCCI’s inability to handle a chaos of its own making. The reneging of its commitment of the South African tour aside, the BCCI’s actions have made it out to be an organization that puts its self-interest above everything else – even cricketers. As with several cricketing figures previously, even Sachin Tendulkar’s been unable to escape being a pawn in the BCCI’s chessboard in spite of his incomparable stature. His greatness though has been put through the grind with the BCCI yet again wasting no opportunity to unleash its clout over other cricketing bodies that have fallen short to stand up to the BCCI in spite of raising several vociferations against the way the Indian cricket board has started to control and influence the sport.

But whether or not the BCCI meets its match anytime in the forthcoming days– CSA doesn’t seem to be letting go of the BCCI’s reneging easily–it’s Sachin Tendulkar’s name that’s on everyone’s minds and lips, diverting Indian cricket to an altogether different route.

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