It was annoying, and more so, rather depressing.
That’s how I felt when I happened to read some of your tweets on Sachin Tendulkar. It is obvious that the decision taken by your Prime Minister of conferring on him membership into the “Order of Australia” has not gone down well with you all. So you have chosen to vent your anger on him by bad-mouthing him on Twitter.
I want to tell you all one thing. The man who has been so dear to all of us in India does not deserve to be treated like this. I do not see any reason for you all to get livid. I am not here to argue with you saying he deserves to be honoured with the membership. Nor has he ever aspired to get patronized like that. He has won enough adulation and praises all over the world and so the membership, whatever your government contemplates conferring on him, is not going to bring any value addition to his life.
So far in his life, he has never gone in search of any awards. The rewards and awards have knocked on his door by themselves more often than not. His love and dedication for the game and down-to-earth attitude made him lovable everywhere. I can’t figure out as to why the Australian public alone should think of him otherwise. Had he been in pursuit of awards, he would have built a separate house specifically to preserve them all. In fact, you – the citizens of Australia – should be more than happy it is Sachin who is being bestowed this title of the highest order and I say this with a reason.
Only when the news about our Indian batting maestro being conferred with the membership of your country spread did the whole world come to know about the existence of such a title in Australia. Nobody recalls or remembers Clive Lloyd or Brian Lara getting it. Nor we would have known about it happening. It was only because of the news about the Australian Prime Minister planning something of this sort that a majority of the people have come to know of this title. It was then that the whole world became inquisitive of the award through Google and Wikipedia, curious to know what it was.
Coming to the two Ls ( Lara and Lloyd) again, I was unable to understand as to why some of you went into offensive mode, stating Sachin should not be given this honour simply because he had not done anything for Australia. Can anyone of you let me know what the two former players from the West Indies, the names of whom I have mentioned, did for your country which moved you all to agree with them getting presented with the membership years ago? In terms of quality of batting prowess, Sachin is in no way second to either of those two. In fact, I would rather say he is much ahead of them.
It is very clear you do not want Sachin alone to be felicitated and your views over a non-Australian getting this title are just meant for argument’s sake more than anything. You would have kept mum had anyone else other than him been honored with this title. It is quite obvious now that all of you have developed a sort of grudge against our little master and it surprises me as to how anyone in the world would even think of despising him. The only thing which could have drawn your anger towards him was the infamous monkey-gate episode where he chose to support his teammate Harbhajan Singh. In fact a few of you have even cited it as a reason in some of the tweets which condemn the rationale behind administering him with the membership of Australia.
But I can only say it is not fair on your part to view Sachin with disdain because none of you were present on the field at the time the incident took place to adjudicate over what exactly happened. Symonds may have been right but we cannot conclude Harbhajan was wrong. How can we even judge anything on hearsay evidence? Sachin was the lone witness over there and so it is premature on the part of you to say that the Indian batting legend failed to reveal the truth. He, I assume, must have been convinced by the explanation his teammate gave him. Given the impeccable track record of the master, I can vouch he would be the last person who would take false sides.
Well either way that dispute is all settled and both Symonds and Harbhajan have started playing for the same IPL team now. So I request you all to not throw conniptions on the great man on the basis of mere hearsay. It hurts all Indian fans.
Again what Sachin has done for Australia is the question many of you have been raising; even one of your country’s MPs has raised that very question. Now setting aside Lara and Lloyd, let me ask you all one thing. What do you think the Mumbai batsman should do for your country? He is doing what he should do as a cricket player. You cannot expect him to arm himself with weapons in defense of your nation. He is not meant for that. But what he does is entertain all of you. Is there one battle which you have all enjoyed on a cricket field more than those he had with McGrath and Warne?
Would cricket not be boring without such thrilling face-offs?
Has not a game like cricket provided you the much needed succour and relief which is very essential to overcome the stressful scenarios in our life? And do you mean to say Sachin has not entertained you with his bat? Did he not love playing on your cricketing grounds? Has not he averaged over 200 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which made him admit it was his most preferred and favourite ground outside India?
And look at yourselves first. Just one monkey gate episode haunts you all even now. What about the sledging acts which your team is widely associated with? How many times have they bad-mouthed players from the rest of the world? Sachin himself was sledged by your bowlers multiple times but do you remember him reacting even once? That was not all. Think about the injustice meted out to him by the umpires whenever he visited Down Under. Have you ever seen him erupt?
Why this sudden animosity then, when your country itself is willfully adoring him with something?
And finally, can you deny Sachin’s Australian connection? The greatest player ever to have wielded the willow, the late Sir Don Bradman himself had admired our master. Had not he told his wife it was Sachin who resembled him every bit as a batsman? Now it is really pathetic to see you all forgetting history and pounce on the master blaster.
Sachin does not require any new title now. You do not insult the great man for nothing. That is all what we need from you.
P.S. A note to Mathew Hayden – Haydos, it was you who said this, right? – “I have seen God and he bats at No.4.” I guess a God is one who does not belong to a particular faction if I am correct. A God cannot be so only for India. If you believe in Sachin and consider him as God then why should you revolt against him getting the membership of the Order of Australia? He is also God for your country, isn’t he? Why contradict your statement mate? Think again.