Sachin, Wisden cover and a Museum
It seems Sachin Tendulkar is going to grace the cover page of the April issue of the Wisden Cricket magazine. For people who don’t get it, it’s the WISDEN CRICKET MAGAZINE. He has finally arrived on the international scene. A cursory glance at the previous issues indicates that over the last 12 months, Andrew Strauss, Stuart Broad, KP, Freddie Flintoff, Belinda Clarke, Ricky Ponting, Alistair Cook, Graeme Swann and Paul Collingwood have graced the cover page. Sachin Tendulkar should feel privileged to join their ranks to feature in a domestic English Cricket magazine.
The mind boggling part is that why has the media chosen to publish this extremely exciting news? Does appearing on the Wisden cover signify a great cricketing achievement? I guess it does, to many of us.
The entire country seems to be caught in a Sachin hysteria phase at present. I have been a staunch SRT supporter for years now through thick and thin. Does anyone remember the aftermath of the WC 2007 fiasco? Does anyone remember the chorus calling for young blood to replace experienced campaigners after the T20 WC triumph in 2008? The reaction to any performance/ nonperformance on the cricket field has always been extreme. And today we are witnessing the other extreme.
The Maharashtra government in its budget yesterday has announced that it will build a museum that will showcase Tendulkar’s cricket career. There was a proposal by the same government to build a Shivaji statue in the middle of the Arabian sea which would cost INR 3.5 billion. There has been a major campaign launched against that initiative and rightly so, I feel.
Will we see such a campaign against the Sachin Museum initiative? Should the state government which is allegedly in a nexus with the builder lobby in Mumbai that is systematically encroaching on play grounds in Mumbai, be spending on such a museum? Won’t it be better to try and protect the existing play grounds in the city and maybe add a few more. I am sure that will help a budding cricketer far better than seeing Sachin memorabilia in a museum.
What Mumbai needs is a museum that showcases Mumbai cricket. The rich history and tradition of Mumbai cricket is what needs careful documentation and preservation. The CCI is one place where you can find lots of memorabilia of Indian and Mumbai cricket. But it’s a private club which can only be entered by the elite.
The current public sentiment will not allow any voice to be raised against this proposed move. It’s a populist move which no politically correct person can question, today.
Sachin Tendulkar is selling today, perhaps even more than his younger days. So why not use his name to promote ourselves? Let everyone make hay while Sachin shines.