Nov 28, 2011

Legend Before Wicket

If he was a character in the world of Asterix, Shane Warne's pseudonym could be "Climax" (no, not because of what you are thinking, even though this is Shane Warne we're talking about). I refer merely to his uncanny ability to, as they say, write his own scripts. Thanks to Gatting Ball, no one remembers the hiding he got at the hands of the Indians at home. He snatched World Cup glory in 1999, almost single-wristedly. Then came back from a dope scandal in Sri Lanka to take ten wickets, nose ahead of his great rival Murali to the 500 wicket mark, and eventually give Australia the series. Got a Test hat-trick. Made it to 600 wickets. Struck an appropriately purple patch leading a greenhorn side to the maiden IPL crown.

Hollywood, they called him for his blond locks and superstar attitude. Now, you could put it down to his irresistible sense of destiny. The Great Scorer above is in cahoots with the Great Scripter.

The other modern script-God was Brian Lara, what I call Lady Luck's own favourite love-child.

Meet Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Anti-climax. No Hundred in his 100th Test. World Cup only in his 6th attempt. No Man of the Match in the final! No Chennai-Test-win.

I think what people demand of him and his guardian angels are the fairy-tales. He's done the long-suffering boy-on-the-burning-deck-act. But there's been a distinct lack of gold-dust, that ephemeral moment when destiny collides with opportunity, and bang! an aura that no amounts of botox or naughty-texts can mask.

That the gods would forget to sprinkle some love on the boy-genius seems strange, after the start he had in life: three consecutive first-class hundreds, that massive Shardashram partnership, and a bloody lip in his first Test.

Do you live like the Prince or as the King?

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