This weekend saw a turning point in the history of cricket, and also in the history of India. Sachin Tendulkar, a cricket legend and a demi-god in this country, retired from international test cricket after over two decades. Now I’m really not a cricket fan, but if Sachin Tendulkar was ever batting, hell I’d watch him!
The more I think about it, the more I realise that Sachin’s greatest strength wasn’t his cricketing skills but his humbleness and his humility. He wouldn’t have been half as loved or revered had it not been for his gentle spirit and kind nature.In the past decade and more there have been some great cricketers, including the Master Blaster himself. But what has made him stand above that league has not just been his stellar record, but his loved and uncontroversial character.
Which brings me to my main point.
I believe he is one of the few (perhaps three) truly respected individuals in this country whose persona cuts across languages, castes, religions, communities, politics and all the other riff raff that divides us. When he talks, people listen. He has a country that will back his every word. He can be a voice more powerful than any politician or leader in India. And it would be a terrible shame if he lent this voice in a commentary box after retiring.
Sachin, you have the power to change this country. I know that sounds like a hell of a responsibility, but someone with your stature can really make a difference. People will follow you to the end.
Be the face of change. Imagine if you stood up against rape or campaigned for the cause of women’s rights or education. Think how far your voice would reach. Don’t make it political, do it on your own accord. Just like Bill Gates is out there in the pursuit of single-handedly eradicating a disease, you too have the ability eradicate a societal problem, or a disease, or whatever you pick!
You know you can.
You know this country needs it.
Don’t just fade away and please don’t become a commentator on Star Sports. Don’t go into politics. Don’t let your legacy be just cricketing stats. You are more than just cricket. You have given this country hope on so many occasions and it doesn’t have to end here.
I, for one, would honestly love to see you make a real socioeconomic impact in India.
Be that legend.