(The following article has been written by a friend, a die hard fan of Sachin Tendulkar and his number one fan. The article has not been proofread)
Mr G Sampath you should have at least done justice to your article title because it definitely sounds as if someone finally found something really ground breaking facts against Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar a.k.a GOD a.k.a. Master Blaster a.k.a. Tendlya, etc etc… The single thing people will feel after reading your article is that they wasted their precious minutes of their life.
Q1:. In 1999-2000, Indian cricket was rocked by the match-fixing scandal. You were a key member of the team that was captained by Mohammed Azharuddin, and Ajay Jadeja was your teammate. But you didn’t say a word. When asked why you remained silent, you said: “The only reason I did not speak about it is that I didn’t know anything about it. I would have given a statement if I knew something.” So are you lying, or are you being a cretin when you say that you had no clue about match-fixing going on?
A: First and foremost there is a strong possibility that he didn’t know about it.
Secondly even if he knew do you think that blowing the cover over match fixing scandal is like complaining in school that so and so was cheating during exams? It’s a huge racket where some of the powerful people in the Board, Politics, Underworld is involved. I hope that you didn’t expect him to be a filmy hero and put everyone behind the bars.
Thirdly why the hell are you singling him out?? We had players like Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble in the team too why don’t you ask the same question to them.
South African team had Jacque Kallis (someone who is supposed to be as great as Sachin) in their team during the match fixing fiasco. Why don’t you ask him the same question??
Q2. The whole world knows that you (and subsequently MS Dhoni) are the reason the BCCI has been stonewalling the ICC’s move to make DRS (Decision Referral System) mandatory in all international fixtures. What exactly do you have against the DRS? Is it that, without technology, the benefit of the doubt (especially on LBWs) goes to the batsman, and you, knowing that there will be far more LBWs with DRS than without, don’t want technology messing with your averages and milestone-hunting?
A: DRS is not a foolproof system so I don’t think there is anything wrong in not adopting such a system. A batsman gets just one chance so if he is given out bcoz of a faulty system then it’s unfair. Sachin had openly said that I don’t mind adopting technology as long as it is fool proof. The recent Ashes series was a prime example of why it shouldn’t be used. (i.e. if you have followed the ashes out of your busy schedule of finding faults in the great man).
Q3. You are richer than anybody can ever want to be. Why then are you forever, and shamelessly, asking or accepting favours from the government? Be it having to change the law (Customs Act) so you don’t have to pay duty on an obscenely expensive luxury vehicle, or petitioning the government to relax the FSI regulations for your bungalow in Bandra, why can’t you just graciously accept the rules that apply to everyone else instead of cashing in on your celebrity status to seek favours?
A: The very notion of import duty exists to discourage Indian residents from buying goods from outside the country (importing) so local economy is benefited, i.e. the assumption that if the person did not import the car, he would buy it inside the country, thereby boosting the economy (in whatever infra-small measure possible), besides adding to the country’s income via taxes is relevant. In Sachin’s case, he did NOT buy the car. Though I dont claim to have read Sachin’s mind then, I honestly believe he did not have any idea of buying the Ferrari Modena in India (if it was indeed available for sale in our country). Hence, in any case, there was (mostly) no income in the taking for the GoI.
That a company like Ferrari, with almost no affiliation to cricket, recognized Sachin’s feat (of equalling Bradman’s 29 Test centuries) is by itself, an award worthy of recognition.
The notion that the Indian citizen paid for the Rs. 1.13 crore that was waived is false. Utterly. This 1.13 crore was additional income for the GoI, NOT a loss that was/had to be compensated by increased taxes. In any case, I find it highly amusing+unlikely that the then Finance Minister, while tabling the 2003 Budget in Lok Sabha, would’ve said this – “Owing to a loss of Rs. 1.13 Crores on the duty waived for Sachin Tendulkar’s car, I have hereby decided to increase the tax by 0.5% for all income brackets.” THIS is when you’d have been paying money from your pocket for Sachin’s Ferrari. And this is NOT the case.
Q4: For most, nay, all, of your adult life, you have been a very influential person, with access to the highest corridors of power. Yet, not once in your life have you ever taken a stand on any issue — not even on sporting ones. Do you then seriously expect to make a meaningful contribution to any of the debates in the Rajya Sabha? If not, why did you agree to become a Rajya Sabha MP?
A: He has inspired a generation to take up Cricket. Some of them like Virat, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Raina, etc took up cricket because of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Some of the other sportsperson like Saina Nehwal, Pankaj Advani, etc have gone on air to say that we would like to have the dedication level of Sachin Tendulkar. His performance as a Rajya Sabha MP is something that only time will tell. Talking about his contribution in Rajya Sabha, I am very sure that he will do a much better job than some of our criminal MP’s who unlike him are there only with ulterior motives.
Q5. And having become a Rajya Sabha MP, you say ‘cricket comes first?!!’ What were you thinking? That being a Member of Parliament is a nice hobby or what?
A: He simply said something which was right. We should have been happy that the prestigious position of MP didn’t let cricket take a back seat in his scheme of things. For most of our MP’s it is just a hobby or an easy way to suck common man’s money. Atleast we should be happy that he is not one of them and has some credibility associated with him.
Q6. Why is your captaincy record so abysmal? If your cricketing intelligence is so great, and if you are a thorough professional, and if you are a nice guy, how can you not be even an average captain, like, say, Anil Kumble was? You’ve got to have something that the other guys don’t have for you to be such an extraordinarily poor captain. What could this be? You ever think about that?
A: Its not necessary that every good batsman should be a great captain or a great coach. Look at Brian Lara he was an outstanding batsman but was he a great captain no. Those two things require completely different skill sets. Kapil Dev was the best all-rounder that India ever had and also one of the greatest captain but his coaching stint with Team India is something that he wouldn’t be proud of. There are several other examples like Jacque Kallis, Sunil Gavaskar, Sanath Jayasurya, Mark Waugh, etc
SRT is not a natural leader and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Also remember that he captained India at a time when it was Him against the opposition considering the kind of team India had back then.
Q7. Against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup this year, you crawled to your 100th hundred (114 in 147 balls on a flat track against a bovinely gentle attack) at 4.5 runs an over, and actually slowed down in the slog overs when the team’s interests dictated that you score faster. And it was because of your milestone obsession that we lost the match to Bangladesh, which cost us a place in the final. This is not a one-off incident, but the culminating irony of a long career marked by the relentless deployment of individual talent for individual glory, though last I checked, cricket was a team game. Now that you’ve got every record in the book, will you, at least in the last remaining matches of your career, either stop playing for records, or stop paying lip service to how you are a team player — because it’s too brazenly hypocritical to do both?
A: First and foremost any normal human being would feel what he felt after getting to his 100th ton considering the hype that the media had created about it. All his fans including me did him no favour by going all out discussing online and offline about his 100th ton till the time he got it. Wherever he went he was asked questions related to it so it was natural what he said. He did play a slow innings according to his standards but he still maintained a strike rate of 78 as against his career strike rate of 86.23(which is a clear indicator that even if at times he must have slowed down but he always made up for it so that the team didn’t suffer). Now coming to your point that India lost because of his slow innings don’t you think that the bowlers should receive flak for the way they bowled in the death overs. Be a little sensible while making such strong statements.
Q8. Why is it that when the chips are down, and India is chasing, you never (save the Sharjah hundreds way back in 1998 on a flat track) ever take India home? Don’t say, ‘check the records’ — because the records tell me very clearly that you’ve never single-handedly (like Dravid did in Adelaide or Laxman did while batting with a number 11 to take India home against the Aussies) taken India past the finishing line in your 22-plus years of international cricket. And what kills me is that you had the ability to do exactly that — if Yuvraj could, Laxman could, and Dravid could, so could you. But you never did. You just cannot bat for the team under pressure, is that it? Or is it that you never cared for the team as much as you claim to?
A: Your memory seems to be very poor or rather I should say your knowledge about cricket seems to be pathetic. He scored 105 not out against Bangladesh in Jan 2010and took India to a respectable total of 243. Had it not been for him India would have bundled out for less than 150 and faced humiliation. He has played brilliant 2 knocks in the 2008 Commonwealth Finals against Australia.
He scored 140 runs against Kenya in the 1999 World Cup which was a do or die match for India and mind you he had lost his father just a few days earlier so I hope you understand the greatness of the Innings.
Let me put things under perspective for a cricket amateur like you. He is an opening batsman and not a middle order batsman and you can’t expect him to carry his bat through the innings but despite that he has done that on a numerous occasions. As you had pointed out earlier that it’s a team game and unfortunately the team hasn’t supported some of his brilliant knocks such as his 136 against Pakistan in Chennai in 1999 which was an innings where he played despite his back injury 17 runs needed and India lost 4 wickets or the 175 against Australia in Hyderabad in 2009. There is a whole list of such instances.
You would say that he didn’t take us across the line.That is where the team support comes into the picture Mr G Sampath. The world record match between Australia vs South Africa where SA chased down 434 wouldn’t have been such an iconic match had Boucher’s 50 not supported Gibbs’ and Smiths 175 and 92 respectively.
Would you have said that Gibbs failed when it mattered because he wasn’t there till the end??? An innings like Boucher’s is what Sachin always missed throughout his career and cynics like you come up with these stupid statements.
If you dont remember his batting brilliance then I don’t expect you to remember his bowling brilliance but still just to enlighten you. A 20 year old Sachin bowled the historic final over in the Hero Cup Semi-Final to get India across the line against South Africa when even the great Kapil Dev was hesitant to do it. Mind you that was his first over in the match.
Q9. I’ve been pondering this one for ages. How did you become such a boring person — open your mouth and everyone goes to sleep?
A:He is a cricketer and not an orator. Furthermore it just shows how much interest and knowledge you have about cricket. He is one of the most intelligent minds in world cricket who has successfully moulded his game according to time, opposition and situation which is one of the main reasons why he has been such a force to reckon for over 2 decades. If you find his talks about cricket boring then you clearly have no understanding of cricket at all.
– Pritesh Salian
Q10. This is an easy one. Do you like journalists who suck up to you?
A: Reply withdrawn by author