Even for the greatest writer ever, it would be impossible to describe Sachin Tendulkar's farewell speech in words. All I can say is that it was something even non-cricket lovers would want to see again and again. There is a motivating message not only for budding cricketers but also for people from all professions. Thank You Sachin!
So here goes the video of one of the greatest speeches in the history of mankind :-
Credit - LiveMediaone Channel on YouTube
By: Keyur Seta
Sachin Tendulkar walking back to the pavilion to a rousing applause from his home crowd after playing his last ever innings of 74 runs will surely be one of cricket’s most memorable moments, if not the most memorable. For me, that scene is on par with India’s World Cup triumph at the same venue – Wankhede Stadium. It was an emotional moment not only for Indian cricket lovers but for cricket fans all over the world as they won’t be seeing their earthly God bat again.
However, as surprising as it may sound, I am feeling uneasy after reading the whole lot of over-emotional comments on social media after the Master Blaster got out. Although I too am an ever-worshipping fan of Sachin, I think we are going overboard by emotions. Let’s face it – he had to retire one day. The poor lad has been playing for 24 long years. How much more do you expect from him? He is a human being after all, although we prefer to address him as God.
Instead of the emotional atyachar, we should thank God (real one) for our timing on earth. We have got a chance to witness his entire celebrated career of 24 years. In other words, we have received lessons of inspiration in the most enjoyable manner. I don’t mean inspiration only for budding cricketers but for people from all walks of life; such has been the magnanimity of Sachin!
But apart from inspiration, the reason why Sachin stands out from the rest is his humble, down-to-earth nature. How many of us would retain their humbleness even after receiving such Godly status? Very few! This lesson of humanity is another message that Sachin has indirectly given us always. This is Being Human in actual sense!
Lastly, thank you Sachin for showing us an ideal example of a perfect human being!
(To see the memorable farewell speech by SACHIN, click HERE.)
Here's a poem I had written for Sachin on his birthday in 2011:
Unki Karamaton Ne Kiya Jawan
Jab se paon sambhale humne zameen par,
Unhone paon jamaye khel ke maidan par,
Chalne lage hum duniya samajne,
Ve chalne lage apni takdeer banane,
Hue bade to museebaten badhi,
Unhe bhi tikaon ki badhaen nadi,
Bhagwan dilate humen museebaton se chhutkara,
Unhone tikaon ko balle se de mara
Apekshaon ke boj se jab hum thak jate,
Un par ladi sau karod apekshaon ko dekhte,
Ve jab dete apekshaon ko hathiyar mein badal,
Prerna lekar hum karte us par amal
Hue hum jawan unke vikas ke samantar,
Rahega is baat ka garv humen jeevanbhar,
Usi garv se dete hai aapko varshganth pe salam,
Vishvabhar mein ooncha rahen sadaiva aapka naam
By: Keyur Seta
There is shock and outrage among the Common Man over the non-availability of tickets for Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th test match. But although I am eager to watch Sachin’s last match, I am not at all surprised by the turn of events, forget being shocked. This is simply because of the terrible history of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA).
This is not the first time that the Common Man has been deprived of watching a cricket match in the stadium. For as long as I know, the MCA has always been favoring affiliated clubs and, of course, the so-called VIPs and VVIPs whenever there has been an important match held at the Wankhede Stadium.
So, to me, it doesn’t come as a surprise whatsoever to see them do the same thing during the most important match ever in India; maybe on par with the World Cup Final. Just imagine – out of 50 or 60 thousand tickets, they kept just 4500 tickets for common public. However, even such tiny numbers of tickets were not sold to the public. The excuses given about law and order problem due to the sale of large number of tickets on stands and other issues are plain laughable!
Due to such excuses, they decided to sell those 4500 tickets online but how many did they actually sell? I had predicted beforehand that even the online sale of tickets is just a sham so I didn’t even try. The website owners said the site crashed as too many people logged in. And when the site finally opened, all tickets were already sold. Then the website walas created fake Twitter IDs for praising their site for their work in selling the tickets. You can’t fool as all the time!
In this way, the MCA has indirectly announced that such matches are only for the rich and elite class comprising super rich businessmen and Bollywood celebrities. The Common Man, who has solely helped in taking cricket and Sachin to such enormous heights, has no right to bid farewell to the legend! They have shown that for them, we cricket lovers forming the masses can be treated like dogs because they very well know next time, when there will be an important match at the Wankhede, we all will queue up again!
It also doesn’t come as a surprise to see such high level of black-marketing of tickets. In fact, such corrupt activities take place before each and every important match just below the nose of MCA authorities. What does this mean? Please read between the lines.
So the question remains - what can we do in such a terrible situation? One option is to dissolve not only the MCA but the entire Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The other is to stop buying tickets not only in black but also in normal rates and refuse to go even if you get them from any of the affiliated clubs. Empty stands will open their eyes! I am well aware that both these possibilities sound almost impossible. But there doesn’t seem to be any other option.
By: Keyur Seta
So the news the world never wished to hear is out. The God of cricket Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has finally announced retirement from international cricket. Of course, the news is not surprising whatsoever even to a single cricket fan, yet it has hit everyone like a bolt simply because of Sachin’s priceless value. Some are literally into tears!
However, as strange as it may sound, in the midst of the emotional turmoil, I might be in the minority for not being sad, shattered or whatever. This might even label me as anti-Sachin or a Sachin hater, but believe me, I am not. My close friends would know that I have worshipped him as much as you people (you can read my poem on him by clicking HERE). It might sound rude but I think we should all accept the truth.
The law of nature is that everything has to end one day. None can escape this law including Sachin’s career. Every player has to end his career at some point or the other. Let’s be practical - Sachin had to retire one day, no matter how much we hoped against it. Also let’s face it – he is facing a lot of trouble with his technique and timing since recent times. And come on, he has been playing international cricket since 24 long years! How much more do you expect from him?
The number of great and proud memories provided by the Master Blaster is uncountable. It won’t be an overstatement to term them as priceless treasure. So instead of crying over his retirement, let’s be positive and cherish the priceless treasure. Our wailing will make things difficult for Sachin himself. By the way, one thing I can assure everyone is that the great man would continue to do his bit for cricket or other sports. Despite retiring, you will keep hearing good things about him for sure!
Sachin’s emotional strength was proved during the 1999 World Cup where he played against Kenya just after he lost his father. So being true Sachin fans, we can’t afford to be weak. In case, if we do, just revisit his numerous innings available on YouTube. After all, memories never retire!
With the BCCI chief trying to fool people in the most shocking manner, it is high time the legends of the game listen to their conscience and speak on behalf of those who made them what they are: their fans!
By: Keyur Seta
Politicians and big-shots trying to fool the aam junta is nothing new in our country. For them, the common public is either unintelligent to fall in the trap or too busy in their own life to pay heed to the issue. But the way N Srinivasan, the President of the Board of Control For Cricket in India (BCCI), is lying through his teeth has set a new benchmark in trying to take the country for a ride!
Let's have a look at the background of the issue first. As we all are aware, Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, owner of Chennai Super Kings, is arrested for his alleged role in betting and match-fixing (or spot-fixing as they are calling it) in the so-called cricket series Indian Premier League (IPL). So according to the IPL rules, the team can be banned due to their owner’s malpractice.
But to make sure his son-in-law doesn’t get into trouble and his team isn’t banned, Srinivasan has come up with a shocking theory. According to him, Gurunath is neither the owner of CSK nor he is associated with the team in any way. In fact, he also says, Gurunath is just a cricket enthusiast who travels with the team!!! Well, even mentally retarded individuals won’t believe such a theory.
The President has clearly gone way too ahead in trying to fool the people of India due to the following reasons:-
- Gurunath’s ID card, which is splashed across all TV channels, mentions him as the owner of CSK.
- We have seen him giving numerous interviews on TV as the owner of CSK.
- His visiting cards mention him as the owner of CSK. This was also shown across various news channels.
- (Best point of all) He was seen bidding for his team at IPL team auctioning.
Before this incident, nobody knew that a mere cricket enthusiast gets all these privileges! I can assure to Srinivasan that I am a much bigger cricket enthusiast than Gurunath. So will I be given the opportunity to speak as a team owner and bid for the team during auctions?
More than Srinivas’s shocking claims, it is the audacity at which he is making them and, in turn, blaming the media for ‘hounding’ him that speaks volumes about his adamancy for fooling the people of India!
On the contrary, we should thank the media, especially Times Now, for not giving up on the issue and asking what billions of cricket fans across the country are desperate to ask. In fact, we can only rely on the media because the big names of the game aren’t going to utter a word on the issue. This is so evident from yesterday’s press conference where Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni just behaved like a puppet on the hands of his CSK owner and the BCCI President!
It was highly sad to see someone so confident and brave transforming into a scary bone! If this continues, be rest assured, the whole issue will soon be swept under the carpet. It is high time the big names of Indian cricket, including the Tendulkars, Dravids and Dhonis, raise their voice on behalf of those who have made them what they are: their billions of fans! It is up to them to choose between their bosses and their conscience!
By: Keyur Seta
With unthinkable amounts of money involved in every stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the arrest of S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila on charges of spot fixing (or match fixing) doesn’t really come as a surprise. It is believed that money is the root cause of all evils. So when the amount of money involved is abnormally high, evil surely can’t be kept away.
Coming to the topic of banning IPL, I know it might sound outrageous to some. To put forth my point, I would like to list the following changes that have taken place in the cricket world after the emergence of the IPL: -
- Every season of the IPL is started in the most shocking manner with the auctioning of players where they are literally sold as if they are just commodities.
- Due to the absurd amount of money being paid to the cricketers, even for just warming benches, a number of players are more interested in playing for their IPL franchises rather than their country. In fact, Albie Morkel and David Hussey have gone on record in saying they aren’t interested in playing for their respective countries. Virendra Sehwag’s shocking decision of skipping India’s England tour in 2011 instead of the IPL (which was before the England series) to undergo an operation for a shoulder injury is still fresh in cricket lovers’ minds.
- To spread the so-called game, the makers have also gone the Bollywood way of objectifying women, not just with those sleazy cheerleaders but also in the form of TV presenters, who are chosen just for their looks rather than an iota of cricket knowledge.
- Players are asked to launch their respective team’s clothing. They are also forced to walk on the ramp (which they do it embarrassingly). And the worst of all – those ‘after match wild parties’. So we have product launches, ramp walks, skimpily clad cheerleaders (for lusty men who aren’t much interested in cricket), glamorous TV presenters and high octane parties. Can we have some cricket too?
- We do have but it is just a bang-bang version with batsmen only wanting to hit over the ropes and bowlers just praying for a false shot from them. No, I am not completely against the T20 format but there has to be some regulation since the format just takes away the actual cricket skills from players. If you have 80 or more matches in a span of less than two months, there will be constant deterioration of skills. This is visible from the fact that hardly any batsman is capable of playing a long, fighting innings in Test Matches these days. Bowlers too are losing the threat and skills required to outplay the batsmen in the longest format since they have started relying on batsmen’s mistakes.
And now, we have the mother of all disgraces – spot fixing scandal involving Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila. (Even last year, five players were caught in a similar scandal in a TV sting operation.) Personally, I am not at all surprised after hearing some inside stories about the IPL. Unfortunately, I can’t write about it since the people, who revealed this, don’t want to be quoted. But even if we put your common sense into work, don’t we find it weird how a large number of matches go till the last ball or last few balls only in IPL and not any other tournament?
Although there are talks that the arrests are just the tip of the iceberg and many more shocking details and arrests are soon to follow, I tend to disagree. The IPL body and BCCI won’t let it happen simply because it will get all the big names exposed which in turn would ruin the prospects of earning unthinkable amounts from the so-called cricket series. Ideally the tainted cricketers should be thrown in jails like other criminals. But the BCCI and IPL authorities will just sweep the dust under the carpet by just banning the players, which is equal to rewarding them.
Coming to the original question, isn’t it the need of the hour to just ban IPL considering the high level of disgrace it has brought to our dear game of cricket? But as said earlier, the people controlling cricket won’t ruin ‘everyone’s’ prospects of earning enormous bucks. There is, however, a chance of it happening. How?
It is we the people who have let something as shameful as IPL ruin the cricket by investing our huge amounts of money and our precious time in following it. IPL would have been nothing without such high level of public participation. So the power of bringing this polluted version of cricket down also lies with us.
What happens when people don’t turn up in cinema halls to watch a particular movie? It just gets removed ASAP. The same thing can happen with IPL if we just give a cold shoulder to it. If people don’t turn up in the stadiums and don’t turn on their TV sets, it will generate huge amounts of loss in terms of ticket and advertisement revenue, which will throw a clear message to the authorities. (Personally, I find it weird to think people still spending thousands even after such shameful cases coming to the forefront.)
So all those who have always loved or even worshipped cricket, it is time to show your love for the game by simply ignoring the pollution called IPL. Let us join hands to rescue our dear game!
By: Keyur Seta
The recently concluded first test match between India and Australia at Chennai will mostly be remembered for Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s unbelievable knock of 224. But taking nothing away from Dhoni, this feature focuses on India’s batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar’s 81 in the first innings that rescued India from a ghastly situation.
However, since last 24 years, Sachin’s greatness has been described millions of times in so many ways that there are no words or adjectives left in the dictionary to write anything new about it. So I won’t go into how wonderfully he played under pressure (like always) because that has been reported everywhere and we all have seen it. Instead, I will focus on the background of the innings which goes back to the start of January this year.
Sachin wasn’t having a good run in test cricket during the latter part of 2012. Somehow he was not able to stay long at the crease and was getting bowled most of the times. Apart from the man himself, it was also heartbreaking for us, the fans. Naturally, his bad run also gave a free ticket to these silly news channel anchors to force him to retire. Such a thing can happen only in India where those who mustn’t have held a bat in their lives can dictate terms to the best batsmen ever!
Any international player with such experience would have labeled this period as a bad patch without accepting that something is wrong with his game. At the most, he would have practiced in the nets for long hours or taken guidance from his coach.
But Sachin is not ‘any international player’. Despite bagging the most number of batting achievements ever, he was humble enough to accept some error in his play. And instead of just resorting to basic techniques to improve his game, he went back to play domestic cricket for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. Despite having played at the biggest international platforms, there he was playing in the Ranji Trophy Quarterfinal against Baroda at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium with the same determination.
Much to his and his admirers’ delight and relief, the Master Blaster went on to score a hundred and drove his team out of trouble. This might appear as just a domestic level century but Sachin and his admirers, who had gathered to watch him despite India-Pakistan one dayer being played elsewhere, knew the worth of the innings. A couple of over-enthusiastic fans also ran to the field and, much to everyone’s disbelief, touched their God’s feet! I and my friends were hugely lucky to witness the scene in front of our eyes.
This was followed by a half century in the semifinal against Services. More than the innings what was more impressive was that a player of Sachin’s caliber went to play at a venue which was as poor as a school playground! He was looking great in the final against Saurashtra as well but was run out by fellow batsman Wasim Jaffer. But instead of giving an angry look to Jaffer, Sachin gave him words of encouragement! Who would have done that considering the innings was so important for him and the team? This time, we witnessed the kindest side of a champion, again in front of our eyes. The pep talk helped Jaffer who made a valuable contribution to Mumbai’s 40th Ranji triumph.
This isn’t all though. Sachin slammed another ton in the Irani Trophy match next week, once again witnessed by us. Sadly, other batsmen threw their wickets which left him stranded on 140. What was noteworthy here was Sachin’s disappointment to see Mumbai falling short of Rest Of India’s total although he scored a hundred. This proves that even a domestic match means so much to him despite tasting World Cup glory and some memorable test victories!
In this way, he had a series of good scores before the first test against Australia. This helped him and India immensely for the Master Blaster was able to dig the team out of a hole after being 11 for 2!
The reason I find this story fascinating is because Sachin could have opted to rest instead of going back to domestic cricket since there wasn’t a chance of him being dropped from the Indian squad. But his actions clearly showed his love for the game and his concern towards his own form despite being at the top of the world for more than 20 years! And his concern didn’t deter him to accept his bad run in front of the world and improve his form by going a level below.
What makes Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar so great is not only his supreme talent but also his humble, down to earth nature which can be seen from the example above. It is this lovable human quality that is responsible for him winning hearts not just in India but world over and being an inspiration not just for upcoming cricketers but for people from all walks of life… including me!
Heartfelt congratulations to team India for winning the Under 19 Cricket World Cup today by beating Australia by 6 wickets at Townville. Unfortunately, this series hasn’t received due hype from the media as well as the Indian cricket fans. But that isn’t going to change the fact that the future of Indian cricket is in safe hands.
Indian skipper Unmukt Chand led from the front by scoring an unbeaten 111 while opening the innings. His fifth wicket partnership of 130 unbeaten runs with wicketkeeper Samit Patel made it possible. The full scorecard of the match is available here - http://www.espncricinfo.com/icc-under19-world-cup-2012/engine/current/match/554564.html
This is India’s third Under 19 World Cup victory and their second successive World Cup win. In 2008, it was Virat Kohli who led India to victory. Apart from Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja were the players that went on to win a place in the senior Indian squad from that team. There is no doubt some of the players from the current U 19 team will find a place too in the senior squad.
The fact that the victory came outside subcontinent in Australia makes the victory more special!
During the stage of my late childhood when I was trying to learn and understand that game of cricket, successful Indian players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman, Javagal Srinath and Mohammad Azaharuddin were at the peak of their careers. Due to this, no matter how many great or greater players emerged after them, players in the above mentioned elite list will always hold a special place in my memory.
So whenever a player from that list announces retirement, it certainly comes as a blow. The same happened when VVS Laxman announced his retirement yesterday, although this was on the cards after India’s tour to England and Australia. But those two unsuccessful tours can in no way be considered a dark spot over his career due to the huge number of glorious moments he has given to team India.
Having said this, many would be surprised that my very first memory of Laxman wasn’t a pleasant one. This was in 1996 in the first test match against South Africa in Ahmedabad, which was Laxman’s debut. After his failure in the first innings, I thought it wasn’t a good idea to have him in the playing eleven as I wasn’t sure about his technique. However, he made me swallow my opinion in the second innings when he scored a half century and led India’s fightback with Anil Kumble. How delighted I was to have been proved wrong!
This was just the first step of Laxman’s remarkable career. His brilliant timing along with his wristy flicks impressed cricket fans world over. Thinking about his career, the first innings that comes to mind is his earth-shattering 281 against Australia in the second test at Eden Gardens in 2001. Laxman, along with Rahul Dravid, shook the cricketing world with an unthinkable fight back. India's victory was just the second instance in the history of test cricket where a team managed to win a match after being asked to follow on. Laxman wasn’t considered a one-day match specialist but his brilliant form in this test series forced the selectors to include him in the ODIs that followed.
From the Eden Garden innings onwards, he came to be known as India’s ideal man for crisis. He lived up to the title in the years to come by bailing India out of trouble time and again. With his retirement, team India will miss the bailing out ability of one of India’s greatest batsmen.
Here’s a big thank you to VVS with the hope that his career becomes an inspiration for the generations to come.
Have a look at the highlights of Laxman’s memorable innings of 281 against Australia: -
As expected, the forthcoming Pakistan tour of India (in 2012) has received flak from a large number of Indians due the Pakistan’s hand in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and their non-cooperation in solving terror issues. The opposition to the series might appear logical to many but not at all to me. I fail to understand why do we always target cricket when it comes to an association between the two nations?
A good number of Pakistani nationals like Atif Aslam, Adnan Sami, Ali Zafar, Shafqat Amanat Ali, Veena Malik, etc are working full time in Bollywood. Some of them have also settled in Mumbai. Why not a single opposition to them? We are perfectly fine with their artists settling in our country but we can't tolerate their cricket team visiting for few days!
In 2010, Shiv Sena was up in arms against Shah Rukh Khan just because he wanted Pakistan players in his IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders. But not many people know when they were busy protesting against SRK, Amitabh Bachchan was performing poetry with Pakistani poets and that too in Mumbai. It is absolutely fine if you can perform with their artists but if you just express the wish of having their players in your team, you are painted a villain! Another incident where only cricket was targeted!
Last year, few social workers from Pakistan visited anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi to get some guidance on fighting corruption in their country. Although I welcomed Anna’s gesture and hospitality, I wondered where those people were who are ready to oppose every Pakistani?
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Personally, I find it illogical to oppose everyone from Pakistan. I and some of my friends have internet friends in Pakistan and we have always received high respect from them. One college friend of mine had been to Pakistan for a cultural program and is still cherishing the memories of her visit due to the warmth she received there. My ex-professor had been to Pakistan and he too had a similar experience.
One of my friend’s friend had been there too in 2003 when India toured Pakistan. He witnessed two one-day internationals at Lahore and was highly surprised to see not a single Pakistani supporter mouthing anti-India slogans or making fun of team India. In fact, during the same series, a number of shop owners in Pakistan gave discounts to Indians. Likewise, there are numerous examples of the common public of Pakistan having high regard for Indians.
I have tremendous hatred for the chaps coming from there and attacking my country. I am also against their government for taking poor measures to combat terrorism (which I expressed here). However, that doesn’t mean I hate each and every one from across the border! Those doing this have had no experience with Pakistanis.
But even if you hate everyone from Pakistan, where does your hatred disappear when you hear an Atif Aslam song or watch an Ali Zafar movie? Why it is that only the game of cricket triggers your hatred towards Pakistanis and reminds of you of 26/11?
Let’s treat cricket as a game… just like we have been treating movies and music. Excitedly awaiting Pakistan’s tour of India. May the better team win!