A host of former cricketers have made expert comments that Sachin will know when he has to go. That divine intervention telling thi-is-it, will happen some day and until then he could continue playing. On the other end of the field brand managers are concerned about the economic (read it large-economy) repercussions of Sachin's exiting. That what will happen to the 17 odd brands he endorses; will there be renewal, reduction of fees, are all matters that no one else other than the man can answer.
Suddenly experts on hand eye coordination, psychologists, analysts of his swaying-the-bat-in-anguish have propped up. Tendulkar is under a scrutiny like never before. Media gaze, debating fans, not so impressive match figures, everything has now turned their guns on the little master.
Would he be worried about it? Is he training hard now to prove critics wrong? Will he make a comeback with a century? Will he make a graceful exit? Is he working on reducing that bat-pad gap? Is there a financial pie to be taken care of? These are some questions that no one can answer but for the man himself.
Has he become a prisoner of his own success? Now this is a question that would be very difficult to answer. The person Sachin has always been seen to be an epitome of dignity, sportsmanship, and of being a gentleman. He is not a person anymore, he is an image. Humans are fallible, and quickly, images are not easily. Unless polished, erosion of image occurs over a sustained period of time. The only way out is to stop all activities so that the image remains as it is etched in time.
That is precisely what is happening to Sachin Tendulkar. His fans are worried about the eroding image. If he is a prisoner of his own success he has to break out of it. Break out by outperforming critics or hanging the boots in time. Break out as a champion figure, not in an frail frame.
(This article originally appeared in ManipalBlog.com)