The man with a century of centuries, the youngest recipient of Bharat Ratna and the most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar is a biographer’s dream. Exactly one year after his retirement, Sachin is all set to entertain his fans once again, this time with the pen rather than the bat. His much awaited autobiography, titled ‘Playing It My Way’ is set to release on November 6th."So here I am, at the end of my final innings, having taken that last walk back to the pavilion, (I am) ready to recount as many incidents as I can remember since first picking up a cricket bat as a child in Mumbai thirty-five years ago," Tendulkar said.Though Sachin always tried his best to stay away from any sort of controversies, you cannot spend 24 years in Indian cricket without getting involved in a few. There were few incidents which his fans wish had never happened and few occasions when the God of cricket wasn’t so godlike.“I knew that agreeing to write my story would need me to be completely honest, as that’s the way I have always played the game. It would require talking about a number of aspects I have not shared in public before,” said Tendulkar in a press release recently.They say the pen is mightier than the sword. Though it won’t make as much an impact as his 1.5 kilo bat did, it will be really interesting to see how the little master addresses certain issues that he had refused to talk about before. Here are some of the things to watch out for in Sachin’s autobiography:
#5 The legend who sold his Ferrari
When Michael Schumacher gifts you something, you keep it!
But Tendulkar had other ideas. When Michael Schumacher, on behalf of Fiat, gifted Sachin a Ferrari 360 Modena on equalling Don Bradman’s record of 29 centuries, Tendulkar first sought an exemption on its import duty. Criticism started as people wondered whether it was too much to pay for the world’s richest cricketer. To make matters worse, Sachin later sold the car to a Surat-based businessman. Though the reasons for selling it are still unclear, it is considered as an act of disrespect to the Formula 1 legend by many fans.
Harbhajan Singh was banned for three matches for calling Symonds a ‘monkey’ during the infamous Sydney test. Though Tendulkar, who was batting alongside Harbhajan when the incident happened, was quiet when the match referee initially suspended Harbhajan, he vouched for the turbanator during the appeal hearing.
The appointed justice John Hansen said “Sachin did not hear the word ‘monkey’ or ‘big monkey’, but he did say he heard Mr Singh use a term in his native tongue ‘teri maki’ which appears to be pronounced with an ‘n’.”
Australians were furious as Harbhajan was acquitted of racial abuse and criticized Tendulkar for his “change of story ”. In their respective autobiographies, Gilchrist called it “a joke” and Ponting called it “absurd”. Though Tendulkar refused to react to any of this, it will be interesting to see what he has to say in his book
#3 The Multan Declaration
When Sachin gets out in the 90s, time stops ticking, few hearts stop beating and an entire nation goes silent. And when one of his teammates stopped him from getting to a century, fans furore was quite justifiable. But this time, it was Rahul Dravid, the selfless team player, who declared the Indian innings when Tendulkar was 6 runs short of a double century.
Though the acting captain had indicated that declaration was on cards, Sachin was taking his time to score runs. John Wright later revealed that there was some tension in the dressing room after the incident and Sachin “felt let down” by the declaration. He even refused to comment anything about it later in a press conference. Though the two gentlemen later resolved the matter, it would be interesting to see it from Sachin’s perspective in his memoir.
#2 Sachin - The MP
Sachin Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in 2012, making him the first ever active sportsperson to join the Upper House. While some were concerned whether an active player could do justice to the post, others criticized it as a political move by the congress party.
The issue exacerbated over time when certain MPs started questioning his absence from the House of Parliament. The Mumbaikar has attended the Parliament for just 3 days in the last two years. Though Tendulkar has said it was his brother’s illness that kept him away from the House, many felt it was hardly a justifiable reason for his 3 percent attendance record in Parliament.
#1 Vinod Kambli
From starting his Test career with back to back double centuries to ending it after just 17 matches, Vinod Kambli has been one of the most enigmatic episodes in Indian cricket.
Though it all started together for Sachin and Kambli in an inter-school competition in Mumbai, the way their careers ended was equally contrasting. While the right-handed and right-minded Sachin ended up as one of the greats of all time, the swashbuckling lefty faded into obscurity.
Their strained friendship hit a new low when Kambli, in a reality show, said Sachin had not done enough for him. Sachin, who always stayed miles away from controversies, did not mention Kambli in his final speech, nor was he invited to the former’s farewell dinner. It remains to be seen whether Sachin finally breaks his silence in his book and narrates his version of the story, or whether he continues playing it his way and skips the Kambli chapter for good.