Muttiah Muralitharan took 1,334 international wickets: 800 in Tests and 534 in one-dayers. Shane Warne had 1,001: 708 in Tests and 293 in one-dayers. Yet, no one remembers any of us losing sleep when they conquered the 1,000 mark.
Yet, why does Sachin Tendulkar‘s “100th international hundred” (he has 51 in Tests and 48 in one-dayers) send commentators, newspapers, TV channels, advertisers into a tizzy, when we should really be looking at the real number, which is 78?
Mukul Kesavan in The Telegraph, Calcutta:
“The real cricketing illiterates are the people who believe that adding ODI centuries to Test centuries and arriving at a hundred gives you a heroic landmark. It doesn’t. This isn’t just a meaningless statistic, it’s a pernicious one because it equalizes two different orders of achievement…
“It is to speak and think like a child with 99 coins in his piggy-bank, 51 made of silver and 48 of lead, who is dying to acquire one more coin of either kind because he will then have a hundred metal coins. The child can be indulged because he’s too young to know better but what of the grown men and women who follow cricket and report and comment on it, who carry on as if something monumental is about to happen each time Tendulkar crosses 50 and then mime tragedy when it doesn’t?
“Even children know that winning a game of checkers isn’t the same as winning a game of chess even though they’re played over the same 64 square….
“Tendulkar, whose 22-year career shadows India’s history since ‘liberalization’, has become, through no fault of his own, the totem of New India’s self-congratulatory middle class. He is at once their redeemer and their guarantee of self-worth. He must, therefore, be a singular genius: in the heaven of cricket, there must only be one god: Tendulkar. And so a copywriter’s meaningless catchphrase becomes a cricketing statistic: a hundred international hundreds.”
Read the full article: Trivial pursuit
Photograph: Coca-Cola commemoration can still waiting to be uncorked
Hand it to media which has created ‘Tendulkar’ to keep its advertisers happy who seek more mileage for the money they spend on endorsements. So there is a hero in Tendulkar, and his every win and every struggle for a win becomes something to be watched with bated breath by the hero-worshipping Indians.
Simple in my opinion. They have hyped him up so much over the years that it has become a habit.
A small story. A year or so ago, I saw the photo of my neighbour who is a top-20 ranked (national) badminton player in India’s tabloid, TOI. This page was dedicated to people gushing out about Tendulkar. My neighbour was gushing too, how he likes to watch Tendulkar, and how he is inspired by Tendulkar and how Tendulkar is a model for others. The usual spiel.
But the only thing is, I know he hates cricket and doesn’t watch it. In any case he doesn’t have the time what with his own practice and tournaments and stuff. And as it happened he confirmed that evening that he had said nothing of what was attributed to him.
Well, why wouldn’t they be hyping the faux 100th century? How else to draw the crowds back to the stadiums?
which will reach 100 first:-
Is Muthiah Indian? No
Is Shane Warne Indian? No
Is Sachin Indian? Yes.
That’s the answer.
Isn’t Sachin scored a 200 in a ODI?
Is that considered as 2 centuries?
If it is not, then he is already crossed 100.
If it is, then he is still on 98.
Like Bradman’s 99.99, stay on 99 Sachin!
Sachin Tendulkar may score century of centuries but his inability to win matches for India a blot on his career.