Who is the real Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar? This is the question dominating this week’s cricket media cycle, coming fast on the back of the release of his autobiography: Playing It My Way.
After a career spanning nearly a quarter of a century, Tendulkar’s recent retirement has brought with it a flourish of tributes from every corner of the globe. As is de rigueur for retired sportsmen of any note these days, the approach of Christmas only means one thing: book season.
Kevin Pietersen and his publishers will attest: post career autobiographies are not worth the paper they’re printed on if they reflect on runs and results alone. No, we want Sachin to give short shrift to the countless masterful innings he played in his time. We want dirt, we want gossip, and we want unequivocal, unbalanced, absolutist views on personalities and political issues alike.
Beyond the dirt files, the cricket community is also unparalleled in its desire to rank and compare. Where does Tendulkar rank among the greats? Who does he think was overrated and underrated? In fact, often the very framing of comparisons can cause collective conniptions. A Youtube discussion about who of Tendulkar, Lara or Ponting should lay claim to the title of ‘Generation’s Best Batsman’ may erupt into the online equivalent of an effigy-laden riot on the streets of Mumbai. For many on the subcontinent, any question about Tendulkar’s superiority is not generational, it’s metaphysical. Tendulkar v Lara? Try Tendulkar v Allah.
For a man often lauded for his statesmanlike demeanour, Tendulkar’s autobiography has given rise to previously unstated criticism, particularly in the Australian press. Perhaps it’s because he’s retired now. There was always suspicion that Tendulkar – jewel in the crown within India’s lavish halls of power – was afforded unmitigated protection throughout endless political controversies. The king has abdicated now, and maybe it’s open season on The Little Master.
And so it’s against this backdrop that Tendulkar releases his autobiography. While acres of column inches from leading media outlets will be dedicated to the examination of Tendulkar’s reflections, it is TPAs position as the rootsy, egalitarian blog of the people, to examine what the punters are saying from all over the world – and there is no greater domain of the punter than Youtube.
TPAs own analysis comes with a simple premise: snobbish elitists should cease judging perspectives on the basis of language command. Behind every clumsily constructed opinion is an idea, a contribution, a potentially valuable addition to the discourse surrounding one of cricket’s most regal figures. And because we are all custodians of this great game, we have decided to pick just a sample of comments in the quest to add some vitality and colour to the critical question of Sachin.
So, what are the punters saying?
Saurav Punjabi: 2 days ago
Only Chappell disliked this video 😉
It is well established that Sachin is universally liked, with his colossal record only matched by his colossal integrity. Indeed, his autobiography confirms that in his 25 year test cricket career, there was only one that may have reason to dislike him: Greg Chappell. Of course I leave this last comment in jest.
blade runner: 2 days ago
Ravi should blow Sachin. Big great white shark. My foot
I am under the distinct impression that this interview is not being conducted under the auspices of truth and balance. In fact it is wildly clear to me that the interviewer harbours such adulation of Sachin that his ability to apply basic journalistic standards are deeply compromised. Such is the extremity of his idolatry I don’t think it would be unfair to suggest that the interviewer, Ravi, feels a sexual attraction to Sachin – and perhaps he would be better served performing oral sex on him, as opposed to interviewing him. Given the compromised dynamic between the two, I am curious as the role Sachin may have played in arranging this puff piece I am now viewing. Of course I must not speak too harshly about India’s political prince, but perhaps he is complicit in this arrangement and has been in others. For me this can be the only viable explanation for Ravi’s assertion that Tendulkar is a ‘big great white shark’. An ornament to the game of cricket, yes, but nothing more. This sort of nepotistic flagellation is what makes India an embarrassment to world cricket. Incidentally, my foot is in great pain.
Tom: 23 hours ago
But you know what, again it depends on how you look at the situation. Go read the book first. and take a chill pill guys.. My sympathy to you all. You got so much hurt because of this man aren’t you lol?
Oh well yaa he is from India and he got more money… humm no winner here will get a cent from either Australian team nor Sachin. Go get a life
We cannot make an informed judgment of Sachin’s reflections unless we first understand his situational context. Of course, media outlets are ultimately motivated by profit, and as such it is their business imperative to gain audience attention through the presentation of conflict and controversy. Often this is at the expense of truth. It’s my advice to anyone reading this that, if you are interested cultivating an educated opinion with regards to Tendulkar’s book, you read it in its entirety. For those of you whose emotions are in a state of high arousal, I also suggest that you couple your reading with some calming medical assistance. I suspect that the misgivings many of you have about Mr Tendulkar are the result of personal jealousy and are perhaps rooted in the dissatisfaction you have with regards to your own achievements in life. This is classic ‘projection’ – an established psychological theory. To explain: your anger towards Sachin may well be anger toward yourself. If this is the case (and I think it is), may I offer my sympathy to each of you. I trust that my thinly veiled tone of sarcasm translates; in fact the whole notion is enough to invoke from me an outward cry of laughter.
While on the topic, yaa let us also not discount the greatest trigger of jealousy and dissatisfaction for us mortals: money. One wonders whether the contrast between Sachin’s Indian heritage and that of many readers here amplifies your pain. I would also posit that your anger is somewhat exacerbated when you consider that this man has added to his finances in a situation where you will receive none, both from the Australian cricket team, nor from the Sachin himself. Finally, I would suggest that the remedy to your antagonism towards Sachin will be found through examination and improvement of your personal circumstances.
Sahil: 2 days ago
Tendulkar is great.. He has achieved greatness.. he does not need a character certificate from all of you..
Sachin Tendulkar’s position within world cricket, indeed the world generally, is secured. Debate surrounding this question is unquestionably moot, largely on the basis that his feats have already been performed and cannot be taken away. That you all are utilizing his retirement as an opportunity to question his character as a human is redundant. I am aware of his needs, and I am resolute in my position that a character certification from this audience is simply not one of them!
Elaine: 2 days ago
Oh come on, he had to have a ruthless streak to be the great cricketer he became and he said very little because he was there to play cricket for his country and not mouth off about any countries’ politics. Also no one is just one thing, everybody has more than one side to their personality.
Everyone knows you have to be a c*** to succeed. This guy managed to keep a lid on it relative to other c***s. Even if we’ve got some good to us, most of us have a bit of c*** to us too. I don’t understand the controversy here.
By Sam Perry