The highest honour ever for this website.
A sincere virtual personalised message in an amusing font from arguably the most influential cricketer to have ever graced the sport. An image created within a second from a site officially sanctioned by the BCCI
And that sums up the legacy of Sachin Tendulkar. Very little of it has been his fault, but there is no doubt that his exit has turned into a bit of a silly sideshow.
This series was never meant to happen. India was meant to be in South Africa now, but there was a Victory Parade to be had. And by chance there was some Cricket Stats Porn to be had. Sachin Tendulkar could play his 200th and final test at home, literally, in a hastily arranged love-fest parade kind of thing, and think of all the chest-pumping commercial opportunities that could be associated with it. He currently sits 24th on the ICC batting rankings.
There has been SachinCam. Seriously. And given SRT’s opposition to technology in determining whether umpires’ decisions are correct there’s a hint of humorous irony in this.
Whenever there has been a break in play we’ve had SachinCam.(c) . Look at how he runs from one side of the pitch to the other after an over; look at how he smiles, and what’s that shiny ring over his head.
Meanwhile he made a scratchy 10 before being given out LBW to a ball that was clearly passing over the stumps. Brilliant.
On the positive side we are getting to watch this strange carnival on SKY in New Zealand. Even better, the two sides taking part are the two sides coming out here this summer. But that’s got nothing to do with why it’s being screened here.
The BCCI ruthlessly guard their avaricious approach to TV deals famously. There has never been an India v anyone other than NZ on our screens before. But, tucked away on SKY Sport 4, and with no real fanfare, we have this parade. One can only assume that, because this is not real cricket, but a BCCI love-in, prices were slashed a bit.
Then there was the “#ThankYouSachin” hashtag, on Twitter, and the daily update of how many times it had been used. By the end of the first test this was in seven figures, but nobody bothered to elaborate on what the point of it was.
On top of all this hysteria the politicians had to get involved. Here is one in the post-match presentation showering him with paintings and all sorts of rubbish. He looks like he’s at the checkout counter at The Warehouse on Boxing Day.
The final test number 200 starts this week. Be prepared for more weirdness.
On the bright side, Billy Bowden is no longer on the ICC Elite Panel. So there will be no Waugh like dry humping at the end of next week.