Yes that is the very first question I asked myself when I heard that India was playing a short series of 2 tests and 3 ODIs against West Indies before departing for South Africa. The main reason given behind organizing this series is to make sure that the maestro Sachin Tendulkar is able to play his much awaited 200th test at home instead of South Africa. With the two test matches set to be played at Kolkata and Mumbai this series could see Sachin achieve the record at either his home ground Mumbai or at Kolkata, a ground where he has always been fairly successful.
Now on the face of it this seems a rather noble initiative on part of the controlling body of India and, to some extent, world cricket – BCCI. It is nice that they are planning a series to commemorate a memorable achievement and making sure the maximum number of Indian cricket lovers are able to witness this historic occasion. It is also a shrewd decision perhaps to have a middle rung team like the West Indies just before a tough series in South Africa and hopefully help the boys boost their morale with some easy runs, wickets and victories in home soil.
However, would it be correct to say that BCCI is doing this only for Sachin and the team as a whole? Perhaps it would be important here to point out that at present the chief of the South African cricket board is Haroon Lorgat, who during his tenure as the ICC chief had done enough to ruffle the feathers of the powers-that-be at the BCCI. The Indian body had in fact not really appreciated the fact that he was going to head a board that has normally had great relationship with its Indian counterpart.
In fact after Lorgat became the chief he stated that one of his main aims would be to mend fences with India and do everything to apologize to the people that he may have offended over here. However, such appeals, it seems, have fallen on deaf ears.
This is evident from the fact that India objected to the itinerary for the South Africa almost the moment that it was announced. BCCI had officially stated that since the schedule was created without consulting it, it was not in agreement with the same and wanted it to be changed. It has in fact decided to bring ahead the dates for its ensuing New Zealand tour, which means that the South Africa tour will be truncated to a significant extent, even if not severely.
One thing is for sure – South Africa will lose out on a lot of revenue with a shortened tour. There is also a possibility that Sachin may retire after the West Indies series and the series may lose its sheen altogether. The South African players, however, may be a little pumped up owing to all the fracas surrounding the series – who knows we might even see rank green tops to greet the Indians and a lot of aggression all round from the Proteas fast bowlers. Short series or not, this one is sure shaping to be an exciting affair!
On the organizational front, it is really a little saddening to see a cricketer like Tendulkar being used as a pawn by the BCCI to punish South Africa that ignored its displeasure and chose Lorgat as the main official. There is no doubt that Tendulkar will be happy with the chance that he is getting but the warrior in him may have fancied his chances of achieving a glorious end to his memorable journey in a faraway land under testing conditions – we may never know!
Read More about Sachin Tendulkar:
Sachin Tendulkar Biography
Playing It My Way Book Review: Sachin Tendulkar’s Autobiography
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Sachin Tendulkar: One of a kind
Who can break Sachin’s record?
Sachin Tendulkar and nervous 90s: just bad luck or more?
Was Sachin a Selfish Player?
Is Sachin an excuse for the BCCI?
The other side of Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar against spin bowling
Sachin Tendulkar against fast bowling
Sachin Tendulkar’s Cricketing Journey
Unforgettable Moments of Sachin’s career
Sachin as the next coach of India
Sachin Tendulkar Records
Childhood of Sachin Tendulkar
Journey of Sachin Tendulkar