To go or not to…



This magical number, 100, mysteriously got synonymous to the master blaster. While the whole cricketing world is celebrating the milestone, it remains just a number for Sachin Tendulkar. Wait, this is not another piece praising ‘Sach’ to the skies, singing his glory or unfolding a statistical analysis proving his greatness! Since his 99th hundred against South Africa over a year ago, speculations about the 100th were rife. From experts to laymen, everyone had something to opine. Doesn’t matter if one understands the game or not but yes, everybody not only holds an opinion but also has advice to offer to arguably the best batsman ever. While all sorts of opinions are in the air, here is Richie Benaud, one of the most respected Australian captains, saying “I don’t find myself competent enough to talk about his game”. This is self-explanatory.
Cricket and this magical figure apart, what unfolds in his interviews post-century of centuries is more intriguing, isn’t it? Silencing critics with his heroics he does often but a rebuttal is rare. While talks of his retirement resurfaced, he offers an interesting point-of-view.  Not just in sports but it’s an unwritten rule that one should retire when one is at the top. What comes from Sachin is altogether a different line of thinking. According to him, it’s selfish to step aside when at the top. When you can play well and contribute to team, why should one fade away? This is a simple question the 38-year-old ‘Mumbai Boy’ raises.
He is right in a way. It’s a selfish thought to withdraw when one is performing. If the ultimate goal is value addition to a team or an organisation you are associated with, why call it quits? It holds true for every field. It’s selfish to hang boots when you are at your best. And what has age to do with retirement? It sounds nice to make a graceful exit but as a team man, one has to think about team as well. When you are a strong pillar, you should render strength. If you are the asset, enrich and the moment you feel you are a liability, don’t think twice to pack your bags.
In one of the interviews, Sachin particularly mentions that he didn’t think of retirement after the 2011 World Cup. He wanted people to discuss Team India’s win than his bidding goodbye to cricket.
Sachin’s view is vital and valid as well. At the same time, those who choose a graceful exit are correct in their own way. The thought of moving on and making way for fresh blood does make sense.
Ultimately it boils down to leaving it to a person to decide the course of action. There are two diverse points of view and we must respect both. Instead of getting judgmental, we should pay its due to every perspective. After all, who can know about one’s strength better than the person in question?
-KanChan

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