Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Best of Luck, Sachin

When Sachin Tendulkar made his debut, I was 5 years old. When I saw my first cricket world cup, I was 8. From 1992 to 2007, we've had 5 attempts without winning it. In four of them at least, we did beat Pakistan though. A small consolation, but a good one nevertheless.
1992 was tough, we were not really a great side and we did not do much other than beat Pakistan at Sydney that time. 1996 was different. We were the hosts and Sachin Tendulkar had become the pre-eminent player in world cricket around then. We had a great win over the Pakis in Bangalore in the quarter finals and then we messed it up against the Lankans in the semi-finals. 1999 in England and again a fairly average performance as we failed to go past the new concept of Super 6s. Somwhere in between Sachin lost his father and the country mourned the loss. And then cheered as he came back to play for his country. Beating Pakistan at Old Trafford was fun, but the killer blow proved to be that extremely silly defeat against Zimbabwe earlier. 2003 was brilliant. We had a superb team and we beat everybody we faced. Rather easily. Including Pakistan at Centurian with a Sachin special. Other than Australia, who to be fair, were a much better team than us. And so finishing runners up was actually a fair reflection and while it was terribly disappointing losing in the final, I could take it. 2007 was just a case of bad timing all round, it clashed with my preparations of CA Final Exams, it clashed with us having Greg Chappel as coach etc etc. So basically no memories from that to take away.
2011 is here now. 22 years since Sachin began his debut. OUR 6th World Cup together. And the last chance to win it. Can we win it ? Yes. Will we win it? Don't know.
Not everyone fulfills all of their dreams you know. For instance, not everyone gets into the college they want, gets the job they want, marries the boy/girl they love etc etc. Seeing Sachin win the world cup has been a bit like that. An impossible dream so far. But there is still one last chance. And till we are not out of it, I will continue to hope, and pray.
This recent ad that is on TV showing kids helping prepare Sachin's kit is beautiful. The ad is literally an example for the term 'labour of love'. Kids who were not even born when he started playing helping him get ready for battle. Come to think of it, is there any person out there (other than my parents) that I would do something like that ? No, none other than Sachin. And while I understand that the kids in the ad are all lovely actors, the mixture of love and awe on their faces looking at Sachin is exactly what I see myself having if I was there.

Very few things in life are unconditional. Especially love for someone. Unless your name is Sachin Tendulkar.
Best of Luck, Sachin.

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