Stamping Sachin’s name on a trophy will mark the beginning of an era, writes Ted Corbett
How shall we remember him now that he has one foot out of the door marked Exit and will clearly not return?
Let us find something so distinguished it reflects brilliantly on the man himself as well as bringing more glory to the most elegant of games.
May I suggest that we do it by naming the biggest event we can find after him and, seeing that he is very much alive and active and part of the cricket scene, we ask him to present the award.
The great Test series already have their titles — The Ashes, The Border-Gavaskar Trophy, The Wisden Trophy — but there is in the mind’s eye of men who love cricket the hope that there will one day be a world Test event.
Surely it would not be out of the question to call whatever marvellous gold and silver cup is designated The Sachin Tendulkar Trophy. (I prefer The Tendulkar Trophy but there is time to work on the exact title.)
Of course ICC officials are the first people to be consulted and we will have to hope that the men who run the game stir themselves sufficiently so that the cup and its illustrious title get together before 2020 which is one of the dates that seems to have become attached to this long-delayed scheme.
ICC will no doubt wish to have a unanimous vote from its member bodies and that will take time and diplomacy since no doubt there will be other voices and alternative names.
The Bradman Cup would be just as appropriate but as Tendulkar’s retirement and the strength of the present Indian team are both clear at this moment I will be surprised if The Tendulkar Trophy does not receive a majority of votes.
For one thing, Bradman belonged to the 1930 and 1940s and, sad though this might seem, there will be young people in the cricket world who have not heard of him or who, with plenty of justification, regard him as yesterday’s man.
No, we need an inspirational figure and Tendulkar has that definition and might give the whole plan an impetus as well as inspiring youngsters to try their hand at the game at whatever level.
In an era when football threatens to flood the earth with its simple pleasures it can only be helpful if someone makes an inroad into its tsunami rush.
(Frankly, I am sick of football, its prima donna players, its loud-mouthed managers, its enormous wages and its emphasis on the value of money, its short-sighted policies, its condescension towards other sports and its foul language.)
If someone can pull this game up short, so much the better, not least for football.
There are moments when cricket does itself no favours. Sometimes it mimics football, particularly when cricketers try to behave like footballers, often in the early hours, usually in nightclubs.
The increasing reliance on coaches and managers means that one will arise one day who is more Sir Alex Ferguson than Sir Alex whose departure has — on the evidence of recent matches — enabled the players he bought for Manchester United to relax and to give the impression they no longer have to look over their shoulders throughout every match.
Great as Ferguson was, his departure has allowed a new game to develop, a softer regime to move into place and a less inhibited atmosphere to move forward. It leaves room for cricket to take a bigger slice of the cake too.
All we ask of Sachin is that stamping his name on a trophy marks the beginning of an era when cricket goes viral, and is seen to be full of shining heroes and sporting idols. Like Sachin.