Friday, November 1, 2013

Do the West Indies know their part in Sachin's retirement party?

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I don't know if any one has made this clear to the West Indian cricket team. They are supposed to show up, go through the drills, occasionally show their skills, and generally play their parts as in the big fat Sachin Tendulkar retirement party.

In a way they are invited to the party just like one invites 2-bit magicians, tattoo artists, clowns, caricaturists and sketch artists, to a Christmas party or a child's birthday party. They are expected to be part of the noise and celebrations for a while. 

It isn't possible to play a Test match without an opposition and West Indies are invited simply to meet this very basic prerequisite that must be fulfilled to recognize a game of cricket between international teams as a Test Match so Sachin and all of India can have his 200th and then retire

As per the BCCI script, India is supposed to win the series, with Sachin getting his form back and preferably score a double hundred in his last and 200th. The West Indians are supposed to put up a spirited display and lend legitimacy to Sachin's farewell Test Series.

The ICC script had called for Sachin to visit South Africa.... enough said

If all the song and dance and made up excuses of protocols broken by the CSA and unethical behavior of Mr. Haroon Lorgat, was to get a retirement guarantee from Sachin by mutilating the South African tour, then I say its worth it. Its still hard to feel excited about it. 

West Indies however are in ominous form and the ghastly celebrations Indians are likely to indulge in, in the name of Sachin's retirement party, may just provoke the West Indians into giving their best.

India won't mind.

We have been buying the Sachin Tendulkar story for far too long and nothing suggests we won't stop buying it any time soon. 

West Indies A not long back gave an excellent account of themselves in drawing the unofficial Test Series after winning the first Test by a big margin at Bangalore. That series and the general familiarity with Indian conditions after the advent of the IPL, gives the West Indies a decent chance to give India fright.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni can be expected to help the team focus on the business of winning Tests but there is no denying that the series has already deteriorated into a circus that is Sachin's retirement. 

As for Sachin himself, I hope he finds some semblance of form and puts up decent scores. It is rather sad that he never had a voice in many of the events around him throughout his career. He has singularly focused on his performances and his pursuit of excellence as a batsman and no doubt India for a long time were a better team for that. 

Even in his retirement, with so much adulation from the fans, respect from his peers he has stood silent as BCCI severely mutilated the South African series to stage this retirement party. One will never officially know what the reasons were for that, but I cannot shrug off the feeling that Sachin has yet again let himself be used, happy to go along with his now increasingly petty bosses at the BCCI. Surely he has a thing or 2 to say about the way the series was born.

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