Not many takers for SACH a long journey
Ever since Sachin Tendulkar announced that he would be retiring after the ongoing two test series against the West Indies, Indian cricket fans have been talking about it non-stop. From several long-winding tributes from cricket experts to a plethora of brand-driven publicity events, everyone has been clamouring to be a part of Sachin’s epic 200th test - and presumably, his last hurrah. Everyone? Not quite. Despite having been die-hard fans of Indian’s crickets uncontested master, most of them have decided not to even try to make it to the Wankhede to watch the historic match.
Deniability is one of the reasons. Especially for people like Swaroop Krishnan, who don’t want Sachin to retire, “Everyone wants to go, except me. I just wish Sachin doesn’t stop playing. I can’t afford to see him end his career because that’ll be like my mom breathing her last, on my lap. My wildest fantasy is Sachin smashing two double centuries in his 200th test and deciding to continue playing,” said the young civil engineer. Unless his emotions permit, he even said that he may avoid watching the match altogether.
Many said they would rather watch the moment on television or stream the match online. “Being in person is ideal. But you have to understand it costs a large amount of time and money. But beyond all of that, it is bound to be one of cricket’s most remarkable television spectacles,” says 27-year-old cricket buff S Sarun. “And I feel it would be better to watch it with the commentary and the studio discussions, where they are bound to show Tendulkar’s greatest moments. You can’t get that in a stadium. That’s why I haven’t even tried to go to Wankhede,” he adds.
Those of the old school mindset however say there is nothing better than watching such an event live. However, they have their own reasons for giving up on their fleeting desires to be present for the last time one of Test cricket’s greatest figures acknowledges a cheering crowd with his bat. “I have watched every India and IPL match at Chepauk, Chinnaswamy and Eden Gardens that he has played in for the past 15 years, but this will be too much of a strain. Five days struggling in Mumbai for a match that may get over in 3 days is not worth it,” said Sadasivam, an accountant and ardent Sachin fan.
Economics is what it all boils down to. “I would have definitely gone for the match if it were an ODI. That way, it would have cost a lot less. But it is a Test match, and there is no saying when Sachin will bat, or even if the match will last five days,” says Vivek Menon, a 21-year-old who recently finished college. He is, by his own admission, as big a Sachin fan as you could come across, having aped the mannerisms of the master when he used to play cricket for his school team. “I have just started working. And if I am going to go ask my dad for 35,000 rupees to go watch Sachin play he is going to skin me alive. I am prepared to take a few days leave if Sachin is batting. And, I am certainly going to be taking leave on the last day of the match if it doesn’t end on a holiday,” adds Vivek.