When the game lost its favourite son, Sachin Tendulkar and some sheen

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SummaryA teary-eyed Sachin Tendulkar ended his cricketing journey in glorious Mumbai sunshine and as the sport bade farewell to its favourite son, the dark side of the "gentleman's game" was once again exposed.

A teary-eyed Sachin Tendulkar ended his cricketing journey in glorious Mumbai sunshine and as the sport bade farewell to its favourite son, the dark side of the "gentleman's game" was once again exposed.

Cricket's greatest bilateral rivalry saw England win the first round of the Ashes at home before landing in Australia to be ruthlessly dismantled by Michael Clarke's men who scripted a dramatic turnaround to reclaim the famed terracota urn in style.

Much to the dismay of the fans, cricket could not escape the curse of match-fixing in 2013 when some players from India and Bangladesh struggled to uphold their, and the sport's reputation.

Sachin Tendulkar's former team mate Shanthakumaran Sreesanth stood outside a Delhi court in May, his face covered with a black cloth, as photographers clicked away.

Sreesanth and two other cricketers had been arrested with Delhi Police accusing them of taking money to concede pre-determined number of runs in the country's cash-awash Twenty20 league.

The trio, now out on bail, denied any wrongdoing but the shaken fans did not have to wait for long before fresh evidence of corruption in the sub-continent surfaced, this time across the border.

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful mustered the courage to confess to match-fixing in the country's Twenty20 competition, prompting an investigation that has not concluded yet.

As the year drew to a close, former New Zealand batsman Lou Vincent confirmed being one of the three ex-Kiwi players under investigation for alleged match-fixing.

"I think now the most important issue for cricket administration is corruption," former Australia captain Ian Chappell said in Brisbane last month.

"I can't think of anything other than corruption that can bring this game down," Chappell said in his keynote address at the 'ESPNcricinfo at 20' event.

No one upheld the game's virtues like Tendulkar did right from his 1989 debut as a mop-haired, soft-spoken teenager to his emotional farewell on Nov. 16 at his Mumbai home ground.

Playing his 200th test, Tendulkar retired with much more than just 34,000-plus international runs and a slew of batting records.

Watched by his wheelchair-bound mother and octogenarian coach, who never told him "well played" lest it made him complacent, Tendulkar left the game as the sport's most prolific run-scorer.

"Now only humans will play cricket," a banner at the Wankhede Stadium summed up the mood of a nation that had long deified him.

ROLE MODEL

With his retirement, cricket lost a perfect role model, who shouldered a huge burden of expectation and inspired

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