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Second Innings: A post-retirement plan for Sachin Tendulkar

Nov 17 2013, 15:53 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar has 20 years to kill till he reaches India’s official retirement age. Or he could simply meet a fan a day and make 7,305 Indians happy. (PTI) Sachin Tendulkar has 20 years to kill till he reaches India’s official retirement age. Or he could simply meet a fan a day and make 7,305 Indians happy. (PTI)
SummaryCome November 19, Sachin Tendulkar can start dreaming about the Olympic medal.

It’s not a mere quibble, but a full-throated complaint. His double dozen records in cricket over a quarter century of excellence are all fine, but Sachin Tendulkar doesn’t have an Olympic medal. It’s a gaping hole in an otherwise fulfilling career. Apart from the small trouble of cricket not being an Olympic sport, nothing else should be an excuse for the ultimate Holy Grail in sport to elude India’s greatest sportsman.

Perhaps, Tendulkar should change his sport. Shouldn’t be tough since he’d pretty much be fed up with cricket after the two-week-long gluttony of farewell celebrations. Come November 19, Tendulkar can start dreaming about the Olympic medal. Yes, this is us getting mighty demanding, but Tendulkar is accustomed to Indians asking for the moon. All that we now ask him to do is reorient his pursuit of excellence onto another sport: shooting, for example; or archery, even. Too soon to recalibrate life’s goals? Too late to start out in a sport? No and no.

Hakan Dahlby (47), Vasily Mosin (41), Sergei Martynov (44), Rajmond Debevec (49), Nasser Al Attiyah (41), Fehaid Al-Deehani (46) were all on the podium at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich at the 2012 London Games. Not a terribly physical sport and one at which Indians have been remarkably brilliant over the last few Olympics, competitive shooting is a challenge worthy of the batting maestro.

So, perhaps, it’s time to redirect that meticulous preparation synonymous with Tendulkar and dip into the competitive juices, which can’t simply have evaporated because the last of his opponents, West Indies, would have returned home. We’d recommend the cerebral and thrilling face-offs in pistol for Tendulkar.

But were he to dismiss the idea (of putting himself through torture all over again in a sport), there’s taking up commentary or wrapping up the day’s proceedings as an analyst in a TV studio. But why people guffaw at this idea is a little unclear.

Sure, Tendulkar’s squeaky voice is no bossy baritone of the two Ians — Chappel and Botham. But cricket’s background score has always straddled myriad pronunciations and modulations — from the nasal Bill Lawry to Tony Cozier’s cadence. Besides, the mic has turned that introverted specimen of a player, Navjot Sidhu, into a prolific motormouth, and the quiet Rahul Dravid into an unrestrained talking-head. So, the commentary box can be the most liberating outing for Tendulkar. He might just have enough tales and insights and

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