Sachin Tendulkar’s assisted Autobiography, Playing it my Way is releasing today. The book is in news for the last couple days. The primary reason for that is Sachin Tendulkar’s criticism of the ex team India coach, Aussie cricketer Greg Chappell.
I’m calling the book assisted as the autobiography is written by journalist Boria Majumdar. Those who see Sachin Tendulkar as God, may want to see the arrangement as the reverse of Lord Ganesha writing Ved Vyas’s words. But that arrangement will be only half valid, as today’s journalists are not simply penning the autobiographer’s words. They are putting their own tadaka (spices in hot oil) to the autobiographer’s accounts as well. After all, in assisted autobiography, the assistant is the publisher’s man as well.
Coming back to Sachin Tendulkar autobiography, the main marketing ploy chosen by the publishers is Sachin Tendulkar’s views about the Greg Chappell, former Australian cricketer and Team India Coach from 2005 to 2007. According to Sachin (in the book), just days before the ICC 2007 Cricket World Cup, Greg Chappell came to his house and asked him to become team Indian Captain. Rahul Dravid was the Team India captain at that time. The moment media started airing the accusation, Greg Chappell issued his clarification, saying he went to Sachin Tendulkar’s house only once, that too along with two staff members. As expected, people are already taking sides as to who among the two is telling the truth.
This is not about truth. As with no disrespect to Sachin Tendulkar, both can be telling the truth in their own estimation.
Actually Greg Chappell was himself a good cricketer and even a better captain in his playing years. He was an authoritarian sort of. He may be getting that practical approach from the Australian mindset, where slackness is not tolerated. A mere look at the senior cricketers in the Aussie cricket team today, proves that one can remain in Australian team only when he performs great. Adam Gilchrist, Mathew Hayden, Ricky Ponting remained in team as long as they performed. This is very different from Indian mindset, where cricketers carry their past achievements with them. The blokes, such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman etc. had problems with Greg Chappell, because when Chappell became the Team India coach, all these were on the decline of their careers. Greg Chappell not tolerating them can thus be nothing but his reluctance to respect that baggage of achievement.
In addition, there’s nothing which says that Chappell prefetred Sachin Tendulkar for capyaincy over Rahul Dravid. A proof of which came only hours ago, when Rahul Dravid said that he was unaware of any such preference or talk between Sachin and Chappell. And Rahul Dravid’s ignorance has some weight to it as well. All through the Chappell Ganguly controversy, Rahul Dravid appeared the chosen one of Greg Chappell. G. Chappell’s preference for Dravid over Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar can be understood, as Rahul Dravid is often seen as a hard working and disciplined cricketer. In addition, when Greg Chappell disembarked in India for the first time, as team India coach, he was received as if some savior had arrived. Garlands, drums, vermilion tilak etc. No wonder he assumed himself to be the ultimate ring master for Indian cricket horses.
No one saying Sachin Tendulkar is telling a lie. The chances are that, Greg Chappell would have gone to Sachin’s house to convince him to accept the captaincy. But only on the instructions of the BCCI or the Selectors. That’s why he went there along with two other Support staff (if we assume that he actually went there with two support staff members).
All the news that Chappell came to India to destroy Indian cricket or with some ulterior motive is a far fetched logic. After all Chappell’s insistence on young blood (eg. Suresh Raina) was not that wrong. We all know, no cricketer in India retires on his own, he’s compelled to do so.
Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography appears interesting, as up to now, no newspaper of TV Channel is reporting as to what Sachin’s autobiography has to say about match fixing, cricket politics etc. Lets hope that the book is more than just a page or two on Greg Chappell. Off enough, but I had a feeling that the book will not even do justice on the Greg Chappell issue.
The Tendulkar’s book may be marketing itself on some controversy, but it will be more about Sachin Tendulkar as cricket loving kid and adult. Will review it for you.