Friday, March 16, 2012

The 100th Century......finally

 5.05 pm local time, the Mirpur Stadium packed to capacity, like sardines in a box, watched in eager anticipation, as in the 44th over of the Indian innings, Sachin nudged Shakib Al Hasan behind square & ambled across….the crowd erupted in joy & relief.....finally the wait was over….for the masses, for the innumerable fans across the globe, for the critics, for the detractors…..& for the GOD of Cricket himself ...the 100th century milestone achieved against a pleading yet enterprising Bangladesh bowling attack. One of the most talked about landmarks in cricketing history ever. As the decibel level crossed new sound barriers in the stadium & across India, the weary old youth of cricket, took off his helmet, looked up at the sky, waved his bat at the dressing room in acknowledgement. He then pointed his bat handle at the India flag sign on his helmet…..probably saying, “I always play for my country India…..& that’s my greatest motivation”. 
This probably has been one of his longest & weariest wait(the longest & the fiercest wait would be the World Cup win last summer…..that was a wait for 22 years !!!)….as the expectations kept weighing him down every time he strode into bat over the last one year…..there have been so many close calls, since his 99th hundred…..the near misses floated from Mohali to Lords to Oval to Mumbai to Melbourne to Sydney, Down Under….so near & yet so far, tentative prods, tantalizingly many times …. certainly frustrating & painful….drawing parallel with Samuel Beckett’s famous book  ”Waiting for Godoth” … very true !!..... Statistically Sachin has got out 27 times in the nervous 90’s in his career thus far…..staggering, isn’t it !!!
This wait was for 368 days & 33 innings, weighing down almost every cricketing fan, especially the Indian fan…..praying feverishly to get over with….& Sachin himself acknowledged saying, “this was the toughest of them all”……baring his human side. Though many critics would reflect, why here??....why against minnows Bangladesh???.....why scale 100th century on a losing cause????(India lost the match)…… but a lot many more would heave a sigh of relief, including Sachin himself….its over man… if freed from a invisible imprisonment!!!!! Will anyone ever emulate this feat ???..... Well as they say, “Mushkil hi Nahi, Namumkin hai”….not just difficult, its impossible…..

Retirement next ??? or is there something else to achieve yet?????.......well only Sachin can answer that……..
The new hairstyle, the new found arrogance in words, the feeling light factor, hopefully contributes for the Indian cricket ahead……as we all build expectations again…..on some new milestone !!!!
Way to go Sachin….. we worship your genius…..