Sachin Tendulkar's revelations: A marketing gimmick or a revenge against 'Multan Declaration'?

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Former Indian cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar has made the headlines, this time not for any feat but a controversy that his autobiography has sparked off. In his soon-to-be-released autobiography Playing It My Way: My Autobiography, Tendulkar alleged that Greg Chappell, a former Australian all-rounder who became the coach of the Indian cricket team in 2005, had suggested him to take over as the captain from Rahul Dravid and through it they could dominate Indian cricket for years.

Tendulkar has opened a can of worms: For Indian cricket's betterment or his book?

Tendulkar's controversial claims have opened a can of worms. Soon after, Chappell himself rejected the allegations, former cricketer VVS Laxman and veteran players Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan backed Tendulkar while Rahul Dravid hit back at another former captain Sourav Ganguly over the latter's claim that he had conceded to the fact that Chappell was beyond his control.

Will Sachin reveal things about his ODI retirement or Srinivasan in same way?

It is saddening to see the former greats of Indian cricket re-engaging themselves in a controversy which had once affected the sports for the bad. Was it entirely necessary for Tendulkar to reopen the wounds of a bygone era? Has he answered other questions that make his fans more curious in the book as he has done on an issue which is subject to one's perception? What is the proof that Tendulkar is right in his stand now? Is he taking his readers for granted?

Tendulkar has made a serious claim: Why was he silent about Chappell's sinister design all these years?

Autobiographies are vulnerable to subjective opinions and can never be a sound basis to judge history. If Chappell had hatched a mega plan to ruin Indian cricket and wanted to make Tendulkar a part of it, why didn't the latter, who always said the country comes first for him, react at the appropriate time? Why did he hide the 'truth' all these years? For his own selfish gains?

Tendulkar's captaincy record was pathetic: Chappell wanted to make use of a poor captain?

The second question that arises: Why would Chappell suggest Tendulkar to take over the captaincy back? Even though Dravid's captaincy record was ordinary, still it ranks better when compared to that of the Master Blaster (In test matches, both captained in 25 games but while Dravid led to 8 wins, Tendulkar only 4; in one-day matches, Dravid's team won 42 out of 79 games while Tendulkar's just 23 out of 73).

So, if Chappell was indeed thinking of backing Tendulkar as the captain (who had left the top job twice by then), he was doing it with a sinister plan of harming Indian cricket. Again, why didn't Tendulkar escalate the issue just after coming to know about it? He was perhaps too busy climbing his Everest of tons then that he forgot to take care of the team as its senior-most member. Still we call him a team man? Tendulkar's move has boomeranged.

Tendulkar could have backed Ganguly who was fighting it alone against Chappell then

A third question arises about Tendulkar's commitment towards the captain under whom India reasserted itself in world cricket. Sourav Ganguly had taken over the reins of Indian cricket at a time when the match-fixing scandal had left it shamed. In the next few years, it was under Ganguly's leadership that India achieved some great cricketing feats, both at home and abroad, including drawing a test series with the mighty Australia and beating Pakistan on their home turf.

It was during the test match in Melbourne Down Under in 2004 that Ganguly didn't hesitate to shield an out-of-form Tendulkar and went out to bat before him in the second innings. Yet the 'God' didn't bless the captain when the latter had an open fight with the Australian coach in 2005. A firm stand shown by Tendulkar could have answered several questions at that point of time. Now, why is saying all this? A marketing gimmick as many Bollywood directors do by trying to shock and surprise the audience before the release of their new creation?

Or is it a tactical revenge against Dravid for the 'Multan Declaration' of 2004?

Or may be Tendulkar found a way to avenge the declaration that stand-in Dravid made in Multan in Pakistan in 2004 when he was just six short of a double century. A sportsman is known to be strong in psychological games and Tendulkar might have involved Dravid's name in his revelations on Chappell just to show to the world that he was still a better captain material than the Wall and the Australian coach tried to make use of that, albeit in a negative way.

Whatever it is, Tendulkar has undoubtedly played it his way in his autobiography. And as the name suggests, it is exclusively his way and there is no reason to take it as a universal truth. The irony though is that Tendulkar made a mistake he hardly did in his playing days, i.e., courting a controversy. But that was the story of a sportsman. Now, may be it's time for a politician's story to unfold.

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