Sachin’s second innings starts in style

18 Nov,2013

 

By Pradyuman Maheshwari

 

It was early 2000. It was a Saturday, I had to drop by at my Chartered Accountant’s office on Bhawani Shankar Road in Central Mumbai. I took the 201 bus which wormed its way through this road on to Shivaji Park where my car was parked. As the bus started, the conductor shouted out a stop or two later: Shardashram School Sachin Tendulkar.

 

I was familiar with the area, a batchmate lived in the building across the school as did former Finance Minister Madhu Dandavate. The bus stop was named after ‘Shardashram School’. A few of us peered out of the bus window, to check if the wonderboys Sachin and (then?) buddy Vinod Kambli were around. The newspapers then were full of their exploits.

 

Sachin Tendulkar was always destined for bigger things, and the media adulation for the boy has been unparalleled. In 2005, I remember wanting a story done on whether he should retire given his lean patch. None of the journalists in my team or the few accomplished writers I spoke to agreed to write. They refused, citing other commitments. In fact until the social media arrived, one could hardly read any criticism of the man.

 

Others could get out to a rash shot, but for Sachin it would be being bowled on a brilliant delivery. It’s not that journalists were not being true to their jobs, but it’s possibly because we believed that #10 could do no wrong. It was perhaps his commitment to the game. Even on the Ferrari episode, while there are many who still haven’t forgotten how he sought a duty waiver which he could’ve easily paid, Tendulkar came out with just a few bruises.

 

So what does the master blaster do post-retirement? Having been hot on the endorsement circuit for over two decades, surely the taps wouldn’t turn dry overnight.  But his various interviews over the last year and his farewell speech on Saturday have me convinced that there will be more than one opportunities coming his way. Television, for one. Given the way sports broadcast is growing, channels will surely be eager to cash in on the Sachin wave. Motivational speaker, is the second. I am sure large corporations would like to have him speak to employees, premium clients etc.

 

While the Bharat Ratna award is welcome, it could make things difficult on the business front. Bharat Ratna awardees come #7 in the Order of Precedence in the Government of India’s protocol list, way ahead of the three chiefs of the armed forces. He will need to get that wee bit more discerning and careful with his endorsements and commercial ventures.

 

The Member of Parliament tag is also going to raise some expectations from Tendulkar as he will now not have excuses of being busy with the game. There will be pressure on him to cleanse the administration of sports bodies he has no connection with, make BCCI more accountable, ensure India wins more at the Olympics, take cricket to the Olympics and ensure there are more facilities for sports across the country.

 

Sachin’s source of monies – from the contract he has with the Board of Control of Cricket – ended with the second Test against the West Indies. This meter officially stops ticking after today, the scheduled last day of the match. But, of course, the older endorsement deals will continue for a while. I am sure his manager -Vinod Naidu and his firm WSG – will ensure that the Bharat Ratna continues to rake in the moolah just as Kapil Dev is even 20 years after he bowed out (1994).

 

> Visit www.starsports.com or the numerous Youtube pages for his speech and his press conference address.

 

> Full text of Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Thank you’ speech at the Wankhede Stadium:

http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/report-full-text-of-sachin-tendulkar-s-farewell-speech-at-wankhede-stadium-1920240moolah just as Kapil Dev does even after two decades post retirement (1994).

 

Photograph: Fotocorp.com

 

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