Sachin Tendulkar is a unique person in every sense. Everything he has done on and off the field exemplifies his uniqueness. He has been India’s wonderboy, heartthrob, kamikaze kid, saviour, knight in shining armour etc. As much as his batting is unique so have been his dismissals and also the criticism he has faced.

Don’t you ever wonder that Sachin Tendulkar must be thinking what it is that I must do now after 17 years of international cricket , more than 100 tests and 350 ODIS, so that the critics simply shut their traps!

Take the recent article by Sanjay Manjrekar on him. Read it and try to figure out what message Manjrekar is trying to send to all of us.

  • Is he trying to doubt Sachin’s commitment to the game?
  • Is he trying to accuse him of faking injures?
  • Is he trying to say that Sachin puts self before team and country?
  • Is he trying to tell us that Sachin is in his own world thinking that he is still the 16 yr old kid who recently made his debut?
  • Is he trying to cast doubts on Sachin’s integrity to himself, team and the country?

What is he indeed trying to tell us?

I can’t believe that Sanjay Manjrekar, Sachin’s good friend for a long time would write such a column. How can anyone doubt this man’s integrity and commitment?
A man who has always stood out like a shining star and a ray of hope for many when India used be down in the dumps; a man who has inspired the current generation of Indian cricket.

You question the integrity of the person who landed back two days after his fathers demise to be a part of his team in the 1999 world cup campaign; he who scored a century on his return despite being ín mourning. Please don’t tell me that it’s easy to recover from the loss of a parent’s death, you rarely do. That gesture of Sachin only proved his rock-solid determination and dedication to his country and team.

In the 1999 Chennai Test, he was in brutal pain due to his back but he did not give up without a fight. Agreed he could not get us a victory but what a single-handed fighting innings that was.
Remember the ’98 season Vs Australia; he demolished them at home in the test series and in Sharjah.
He played an important role in the 2001 Aus series at home and later down under in 2003.
The 2003 world cup belonged to him and it was our bad luck that we did not win against the Aussies.

The man has single handedly led India’s fightback before the young guns fired under the Ganguly-Dravid combination. Until the recent England series there was not a single series that had gone by without him getting a hundred in a series. Yes he has had his drawbacks, limitations and failures. He has even candidly admitted on TV in his 30th birthday show with Harsha Bhogle that he does have a regret of not having carried India to more wins single-handedly as much as he would have liked to.

We just forget that the guy is human after all. And after all these years we are still ahead to doubt this man’s commitment to the game?

He is faking injuries so that he does not fail. Which wise man has told you cricketers to play with injuries or semi-fit? Whom does it help? No one, the individual suffers as his injury could aggravate and could end his career prematurely, and the team suffers as the player is not 100% fit. How can you, Mr. Manjrekar then even suggest that Sachin should play carrying injuries? You want him to end his career prematurely. I do believe that the guy has 4 years of good cricket left in him.

You yourself say that one cannot judge a persons seriousness regarding injuries, aren’t you exactly contradicting yourself by doing so in your article? None of us except Sachin and his doctor know what his body is going trough and no one but him is a better judge to know when he can play. You and I can opine but ultimately he will decide. And one more thing is he not showing more commitment by opting to stay out when he is not 100 % fit and cannot give his best to the team?

Sachin Tendulkar is an extremely intelligent cricketer. He knows his statistics by heart, he can narrate the manner of each of his dismissals and the bowlers who got him out. He knows the game is changing, he knows his position and role in the team is changing. That’s why we rarely get to see the aggressive Sachin of old days with the adrenalin rush in his body when he bats. He has calmed down and realizes that his presence on the wicket means much more to the team, hence he is slowly curbing his shots, his body is also not assisting but he is making efforts to work around it.

So Mr. Sanjay Manjrekar what made you write that article? Has your Ten Sports colleague Rameez Raja been influencing you? It would help if you acted more under the Aussie influence where they lay prime importance on fitness of a player and commitment to the game. Ask them their opinion on this issue about Sachin or for that matter ask the entire cricketing world! How could you pen this article?

Don’t criticize Sachin for the sake of doing so! I’m glad Sachin lashed out unlike most times sitting quiet and ignoring.

Mr. Sanjay don’t commit the mistake of unnecessarily criticizing this fellow, he is a true gem, with all his flaws and drawbacks he is still the best in the world and very few compare to him as a player and as a human being.

Here is a nice forward I had received when I was working after my engineering and hope all his critics including you get a message there

This is what Sachin’s messenger had to say to all of us:

This is interesting
I never judged any software engineers by the number of defects they delivered
I never commented on your activity reports
I didn’t get into your grading or banding details
Than why do you all keep discussing, judging and commenting on me all day long
I’m currently at the practice nets getting fit for my next series.
You are at your work desks, you are supposed to work
So please do so and spare me for heaven’s sake