Cricket- the religion and the path of solace and nirvana to the sports-nationalists and lovers, has Sachin Tendulkar as its undisputed Indian God. The God who commands enough respect, fan-following and loyalty to bring the nation to a halt. There was a time when television sets would be shut off as soon as Tendulkar would get out.
Such was the craze and such is the dedication for Tendulkar. He could overshadow any batsmen with his skills and innovations and would tear apart any bowling attack on this earth. He pulled the chain of the Rawalpindi express like no other, in this journey of cricket. His shots have been copied, emulated and perfected by his self-declared disciples all across the globe. The Globe of cricket! The globe of Cricket fans!! The globe of Indian cricket fans!!!
Yes, our world of sports and nationalism starts with cricket and ends on Tendulkar. And in the process, we forgot all other sports and every other sportsman. Let me clarify that I am not blaming Tendulkar for this. This has been our inability. Thousands of sportsmen are lying in apathy of sports governing bodies, waiting for better days while doing every odd job on the actual globe.
A recent article in India Today has mentioned about a few sportsperson in oblivion- Sita sahu, Shanti Devi, Nauri Mundu, Nisha Rani Dutt and S, Santhi. Their condition has been such that they have been forced to work as labourers at brick kilns and sell vegetables. I dare our so called sports enthusiasts and lovers if they ever heard these names. There has also been the case of a sportsperson who had to sell his medals and trophies for survival.
Media too has been responsible for this condition. Since cricket is the only sports that guarantees TRP shoot, media provides extensive coverage. Where do national hockey and rural kabbadi stand against even the IPLs!
Let us have a look at the actual global scenario of sports and compare them with cricket. Where does cricket stand against Football, Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Gymnastics and so on. The greatest sporting event, Olympics doesn’t have anything close to cricket and our performance there is really commendable!! Ongoing FIFA World Cup has shown what the people on Globe care and know about, if it comes to sports. Half the world doesn’t even know about cricket and then to expect a Sharapova or a Rooney to know about a Tendulkar is a bit too much. I don’t know how to justify pouncing upon Sharapova on social media.
As an editorial in the Indian Express states- “now at least Sharapova is unlikely to ever forget Tendulkar, or deny knowing him. Mission accomplished, perhaps — except that for the rest of the sporting fraternity who dare not forget his name, Tendulkar will forever remain that guy that Sharapova didn’t know”.