Thursday, September 01, 2005
We miss you out here.Ironically the people who threw you out also do.But you know they can't accept that publicly.It's the month you left us,and I chose to remember you on the very first day.
I have read 'Hamlet',and I know that you can recite that by heart.I have read 'Julius Caesar' too.But a tragic hero like you is impossible to find.And you were for real.I can't forget the look on your face when your team was declared losers in the '92 world cup after the rains disrupted your match against England.Then '99 was another heart break.And believe me,we cried with you.You might have seen the '03 incident too.And I know you would have been feeling equally crestfallen where ever you were.
I saw you cry at the King's comission testimony and I felt a lump in my throat.You said it was "an unfortunate love of money... I am not addicted to alcohol or nicotine, but I believe this is very similar to an alcohol problem." Aren't we all addicted to money ? You said it was "greed, stupidity and the lure of easy money" and claimed "I was arrogant enough to think I would get away with it". I know this can't be explained but couldn't they forgive you and let you on? For all that you had done? There are so many people who are misled from the right path,but they are given at least one chance to redeem themselves.Politicians in India do that on a regular basis.Are we following double standards here? Was your crime too heinous to be forgiven?
I remember your appearance on a MTV show where you sung your favorite song which went like this:
And then a hero comes along,
With the strength to carry on,
And you cast your fears aside,
And you know you can't survive.
So when you feel like hope is gone,
Look inside you and be strong,
And you'll finally see the truth,
That a hero lies in you.
Why didn't you listen to this before giving into your addiction? And why didn't you follow this after things went wrong?
Who else will hit Murali for 4 sixes in an over when follow on is looming large? Who else will have the leadership and guile to guide an average team to victory in
India? Who else will just slog swipe any spinner that dared to dominate? Who else would just come in with his straight swinging deliveries and break partnerships?No one but you.
You had an unfinished dream.The dream to lift the World Cup.Why did you let an aberration come into the way? You can't answer this question and you didn't.But we can't stop asking.Why did you do it? And why did you leave us with an unfinished answer?
If you chose to come back in a different incarnation,come to India.We need leaders of men like you.And you will get enough money not to get misled.You must be thinking that it's our country that started all the trouble.I must tell you that places like ours which are sentimental about cricket are very unforgiving.See what happened to Azhar,Jadeja and some others.Why couldn't you figure that out early enough?
Anyway I loved you for your cricketing life and will continue doing so.Whatever you did in your personal life,which unfortunately was linked to cricket,wont stop me from being a fan of the way you played.
I will celebrate the life rather than mourn the death of a cricketer.