If you’ve been paying attention to news out of India this week, it’s been dominated by the final cricket match for Sachin Tendulkar. I’ve seen Tendulkar compared to a god in some of the coverage. An Indian friend and former colleague of mine pointed to this article as the best she’d read about him (she’s a tennis fan):
I had woken up early because, from what I had read over the last few days, this would be my last chance to see the greatest cricketer of his generation, India’s Sachin Tendulkar. He had announced that after 24 years, the test match between India and the West Indies, which began Thursday in Mumbai, would be his last. I had never seen Tendulkar bat. I had never even heard his name until two years ago, when, at age 38, he helped his country to its first World Cup title in a generation. Even then, “Tendulkar” was a mythic figure rather than a real person to me. His name would pop up on Twitter, or be passed around in conversations among Aussie and British journalists at tennis tournaments. What did he look like? Was he retired or still playing? I didn’t know.
Perfect: That’s not a bad way to think of an athlete. But I still wish I had had a chance to watch Tendulkar bat live. And I’m glad I’m old enough to have seen Borg, to know that beneath the ice there was a person. That’s why next year I’ll be happy to see Federer play on—the magical moments, whenever they happen, will be a reward in themselves. Every God should be allowed to be human, too.
Well, if this is proof of how pervasive Tendulkar’s final match was, here’s a story highlighting BKS Iyengar’s thoughts on the batsman:
Iyengar has been working closely with Sachin for over a decade, helping him with tailor-made yoga exercises. Sachin has met the yoga guru several times over the years, the latest in April. “He had a lot of problems with his foot and his doctor in London had suggested surgery. I saw that the soles of his feet were as hard as rock. We tried a few asanas. About 10 days later, he returned to London for an appointment with the doctor, who said that surgery was no longer necessary,” Iyengar recalled. The first time Sachin visited Iyengar was with complaints of a backache in 1998. The cricketer has returned to the institute many times to resolve his physical discomforts and injuries.
While Iyengar laments the fact that most Indian sportspersons do not make yoga a habit, he adds that there are still a few who are sincere in their efforts.
I know it is a little anathema to focus on Iyengar, but I couldn’t resist. I can say I understand some of what the stories are about, thanks to Robert Moses’ explanations of cricket while we were traveling in India.
Posted by Steve