Mohammad Azharuddin is a 'relieved' man. But will that ever be a consolation for those whom the former skipper never met, but was probably loved by the most. Those who'd still love to have the 100th Test against his name.
When the man finally opted out of the next IPL, technically drawing curtains on a gloriously dramatic career, one was once again peppered with habitual remarks like "whether Kolkata is calling for a national bandh" or "parts of Bengal have submerged under tear drops". Don't know about that, but the TRP-walas are definitely mourning the retirement of a 40-plus cricketer.
Why does all these talks of 'loyalty towards country' and 'the lure of money' arise only when it comes to cricketers joining franchisee-based scheme of things that pay them in dollars. Is it the jealousy of a few who couldn't rake in the moolah in their times, or the attack on the very belief that only country-versus-country cricket is to enjoy a supreme status? And with Champions League T20 here - that has always been dubbed as a by-product of IPL - the groan is only going to get louder.
Call it a tryst with destiny or a comeback -- time and again Harbhajan Singh has made the headlines when it matters the most. And though one usually associates the term 'timing' with batsmen in cricket, but Bhajji has always been dramatically good with it, and that too with ball.
Ah! So there you go BCCI. All this while we thought that this was one last ditch effort on your part to help Harbhajan Singh get back into the groove of international cricket. After all, the man definitely deserves that, even if many feel that laurels are hardly a comfortable thing to rest on. But you naughty-naughty, you had some other game up your sleeve. You got the man all worked up about a comeback plan because you wanted his World Cup winning jersey on board to Sri Lanka!!
Here comes another cricket tournament on the sub-continental radar, and let's face it, India will be all over the place. Apart from MS Dhoni and his boys in blue (in a cool new jersey now) riding in as one of the favourites to lift the trophy, nothing for a television viewer or a traveler will suggest that one is not in India, leave apart being too far from it.
The best way to stay the ‘in’ the game even while not playing it — is to be writing about it. And, so, the choice of profession was an obvious one. Bred on a liberal dose of cricket and football in the hallowed Maidans of Calcutta, still seeing sports as a ‘way of life’ than a ‘way to earn a living’ is but a natural habit.
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