Now, I made that headline just to make people become more interested in what I wanted to say. After all, Scahin sells whether he's retired or not, doesn't he?
I'm a proud Indian. I was born into this cricket-crazy nation and I love Sachin. Just that I'm not a Sachin fanatic because I understand that Cricket is an ever-evolving game in the world arena and Sachin is someone who made it big in a still-under-developing game. Look at the change that has gripped the game in the past 20 years! From test-cricket to ODIs and then to Twenty-20s and now the IPLs! I myself don't find it exciting enough to watch the game which has now been commercialised beyond imagination!
That's not the case with tennis, football or golf or Formula 1. That's not the case with Pele or a Maradona. Not the case with a Pete Sampras, Navratilova, or a Federer. Not the case with Tiger Woods or even a Schumacher. The rest are world sports and their champions are familiar around the globe. That's not the case with Cricket. Not the case with Sachin either. Ask Maradona who Vishwanathan Anand is and I expect him to repeat Sharapova.
Even after being a Sachin fan and a Mallu from Kerala (ashamed of being a part of the majority of those who swore at one of the most beautiful and sexy Maria Sharapova of the Tennis Kingdom), I'm not aware of who the captain of the Kerala Cricket Team is. India won a Gold at the Olympics for Hockey and yet I don't know a single person in our national Hockey team. I don't know the name of another Indian Hockey player other than Gopi Chand. I don't know anyone after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza in the Indian Tennis world. I don't know anyone after IM Vijayan in Indian football. Yet I'm familiar with names like Tinu Yohanan, Abhey Kuruvila, and even someone like Joginder Sharma who took two crucial wickets at the 2007 Twenty-20 Cricket World Cup that India won, but was never heard of since then!
I just know that there are so many others who represent India in multiple sports in the international avenue and who have taken back home Golds and other recognition but I humbly admit I don't recognize even a single person among them.
When I myself do not know all these (and I bet all those who swore at Sharapova do not even realise this handicap of them), how can I expect a Sharapova from Russia where Cricket is more or less unheard of, to know our 'God' Sachin?
Do I expect Miss. Shrapova to know Lord Ram, Seetha or Lakshman? To know even someone like Swami Vivekananda or Swami Ramakrishna? Least even Lord Vishnu who is only known to the outside world as Lord Krishna, which is only supposed to be one of Lord Vishnu's 10 avatars?
No. I'm least offended. When she is fault-free from not recognizing even those Gods that we worship in temples, she's absolutely ok to not know the 'God of Cricket'. I bet she cannot even spell Cricket right and it's no fault of hers. Russia never celebrated Cricket and she never grew up knowing Cricket, Vivian Richards, Sir Donald Bradman or even Sachin Tendulkar.
It's ridiculous. And for all the bad things uttered about you and for all the bad things my fellow men/women hurled at you, I DEEPLY AND SINCERELY APOLOGIZE.
Please excuse my fellow men for their ignorance and utter lack of decency.