Wednesday 6 November 2013

Legend announces retirement - world becomes melodramatic

There is something weirdly unreal about farewells - everything is sugarcoated and every emotion is over the top. Most of the people say the normal stuff - great person, learnt a lot from him / her, a fair boss etc. - but in my observation, the senior the person, the more dramatic farewell speeches get. Farewell speeches have a tendency to almost become melodramatic if the person moving out is retiring (instead of moving on to something else). This person is talked of with such fondness and in such awe - at times it is difficult to believe if all of it is about same person.

The above is not only true for corporate circles - rather a lot of 'over the top' send off words come for sporting legends. The recent most sporting-legend-retiring news is of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from Test Cricket. The fact that Sachin announced his retirement well in time, than making an abrupt decision, threw this cricket crazy country go into an over-drive of comments and compliments for this legend on his life and career.

Showering this great cricketer with praise is not enough - showering him with compliments doesn't even begin to do justice with his talent and achievements. Showering him with emotional bits, well - I can accept that too - after all Sachin has ruled cricket-fans' hearts for more than two decades. 

With his retirement announcement, world seems to have gone out of control. There are statements of people, from all walks of life, who hold stature enough to be heard / written about - all are talking about end of an era, how cricket won't be the same without Sachin and how important his contributions have been to cricket as a sport and for India as a cricket-loving country. He will definitely be talked of and referred to for a long time. But, honestly, I don't think he will be missed as much as people are making it seem like.

People fail to see that Sachin has been out of both shorter forms of the sport - ODIs and T20s. He announced his retirement from ODIs last December and hasn't played a single international T20, representing India. Indian team is not only winning ODIs without Sachin, but is ranked number one team in the world at the moment. Indian team is not only winning ODIs, but is winning in style! 

The bit of "Sachin will be missed" - doesn't exist if the team does well without him. To say that he will be missed means his absence will be felt, which actually means that the youngsters taking his spot can't do justice to the spot. To say that Sachin will be missed is not so much out of love for him, but out of sheer under confidence in youngsters who are trying their best to fill in his shoes.

Sachin's shoes are enormously large to step into - may just be out of normal human's ability to fill. But the world going crazy making statements that he is leaving a void that can't be filled is ridiculous. Is it really that difficult to simply congratulate him on his career and wish him the best for ensure youngsters have enough to know of him, in order to learn from him - even when he's no longer actively involved.

It has been a pleasure watching Sachin Tendulkar play cricket, it has been a privilege really. When to retire is something no one can know better than Sachin himself - and if he has decided that time has come...then I can only thank him for everything he's given to this sport. I sincerely wish he has as good a life post retirement as he has had while playing.