A long-time 'deskie' dabbles in plenty of things without really focussing on anything 'seriously'. Loves economics, football, cricket, films, reading and believe it or not long-distance running!

B Baskar

The Tendulkar revelations

| Updated on November 05, 2014 Published on November 05, 2014

MUMBAI: 02/09/2014: Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: Handout_E_Mail

Now, I must start with a disclaimer. Having plodded on in the comforting anonymity of the editorial desk for over two decades, I’m not privileged enough to have taken a sneak preview of Sachin Tendulkar’s much awaited autobiography. So what I’m writing now is based on the extracts put out in the newspapers and wires.

Celebrity autobiographies are strange beasts. Given the celebrities’ urge for ‘setting the record straight’ or ‘saying it from the heart’, they rarely make an attempt to put things in perspective and be objective. As a result, these autobiographies are often one-sided and even biased. Celebrity autobiographies are rarely moments of quiet reflection or attempts at coming to terms with a difficult past. Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography, at least from the extracts that have been put out, seems no different.

That Greg Chappell had a fractious, frosty relationship with the senior players of the India cricket team, and even sections of the establishment, during his reign is hardly breaking news.

Now to the most the ‘sensational revelation’ that former coach Greg Chappell offered Tendulkar the captaincy so that ’together they can rule Indian cricket for years’. Given that the team and the captain are always selected by the BCCI-appointed selection panel and that the coach has no say in it, it strains one’s credulity to think that Chappell would have made such an offer to Tendulkar.

Chappell, however, has predictably denied Tendulkar’s claim, saying that the only time he met Sachin at his house was 12 months prior to the date mentioned in the autobiography and the meeting was about Sachin’s recovery from injury and had nothing to do with captaincy. Rahul Dravid, the other ‘protagonist’ in this story, has sensibly refrained from commenting, saying that he had nothing to say about a private conversation between two people that did not involve him.

But let’s not worry about who’s speaking the truth and who isn’t. What we have here is a legendary cricketer with a Demi-God status putting out extracts of his autobiography, being lapped by an ever-adoring public, the media having something to write and talk about for the next few days and the publishers relishing all the publicity.

But the story being spun out that Indian cricketers were hapless, innocent victims of the evil machinations of a villainous coach from Down Under seems too simplistic to digest. The ‘truth’ can only be more complex than that. Chappell’s attempts at being an Alex Ferguson-Jose Mourinho style no-nonsense coach was never going to go down well with the superstars in the Indian team. As former India off-spinner Erapalli Prasanna said in a recent newspaper column, Indian cricketers, wrapped up in their superstar status, don’t take to advice easily. This was something which Gary Kirsten, who succeeded Chappell, would have instinctively grasped.

Now, I’m really curious to know what Tendulkar has to say about some other ‘controversial’ incidents that took place during his time -- the match fixing scandal, the ‘Monkeygate’ incident and that famous declaration at 194 in Multan.

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on November 05, 2014
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor