The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Today, the BCCI banks heavily on Sachin
- From being asked to show cause to being used as a mascot

Calcutta: The Indians didn’t play the perfect game (like England did at the picturesque Rose Bowl) on Friday, but still won. Of course, had England paced their innings a tad more professionally, even 329 would’ve been overhauled.

The win, though, couldn’t have come at a better time.

For one, the Indians simply had to avoid going 0-2 behind in the seven-match series. Then, as significantly, in a war now being fought on many fronts, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) needed a boost from an on-field victory.

The Indian Cricket League (ICL) may be attracting the Avishek Jhunjhunwalas, but the real business is in the safe hands of the Sachin Tendulkars.

Ironically, the one who laid the platform for the confidence-lifting win — Sachin — is somebody the BCCI wanted to fix not too long ago.

All because the mandarins were upset that Sachin (and Sourav Ganguly) had emerged as pillars of player-power and would call the shots in a bigger way once Greg Chappell returned home.

In fact, soon after the World Cup, Sachin had even been asked to show cause why action shouldn’t be taken for Chappell-specific comments in the media.

Chappell was then the darling of hardliners in the BCCI and, on the pretext of encouraging youngsters, Sachin and Sourav weren’t picked for the three ODIs in Bangladesh.

Today, the same gentlemen (who are themselves hardly accountable but hold others accountable for everything) are intending to use Sachin as their No. 1 mascot in the war against the Kapil Dev-headed ICL!

Privately, Sachin must be quite amused that he’s going to be used to score points when doing so isn’t part of his approach to cricket and life.

Earlier in the summer, hours after becoming the first to cross 15,000 runs in ODIs, Sachin had spelt that out in a chat with The Telegraph (from Belfast).

“I’ve never been the type to prove a point… I’ve never been one to try and retaliate in one form or the other… I enjoy batting and try for the maximum… I have a job… Have a responsibility towards the team… I do the best I can…”

Sadly, the umpires aren’t doing their best.

If the otherwise efficient Simon Taufel erred at Trent Bridge (first innings of the second Test) and denied Sachin a hundred, Ian Gould did the same in Bristol.

According to an agency report from there, Sachin reacted rather philosophically: “There’s nothing one can do about it. I used to feel bad, but now things have come to such a state, that I just laugh and carry on…”

It’s worth noting that he’s a firm believer in destiny.

Sachin, however, had been very upset at Trent Bridge, after being given out on 91.

With a Code of Conduct in operation, Sachin didn’t say anything publicly, but is known to have asked teammates “why me all the time'”

Exactly. Why him'

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