|My New Nikon S9100 catches Sachin Tendulkar as he essays a perfect forward defensive push off James Anderson at Edgbaston.|
As the wickets fell one by one on the fourth morning at Edgbaston, an English spectator behind me observed that it would probably be over before tea. One of those who had travelled all the way from Oxford to enjoy a full day of Test Cricket.
"Tea?" I exclaimed. "I wonder if this will go on till lunch."
"Well, the master is still there," replied the gentleman.
As he walked back after the unfortunate run out, people stood up in an impromptu standing ovation. "Well played mate, you deserved a hundred today," shouted an English supporter.
When I was in Trent Bridge, an elderly Nottingham lady came up to me and asked, "Were you here when India played the second test match?"
I answered that I had come to England after that test was over.
Her eyes became dreamy as she recounted, " The entire stadium stood up to applaud Sachin. The absolute master. And what a wonderful man."
Sachin Tendulkar, even in defeat, remains a master - a treasure - in the eyes of the actual fans of the game. The connoisseurs who flock to the ground to watch the men in white, to hear the sound of willow striking the leather - a visual and aural delight not drowned by the blaring assault on senses called twenty twenty.
There is not a single article that paints him in bad light in media having its origins beyond the boundaries of of his homeland - a nation that has supposedly made cricket their own game.
Are we really the ones who can claim to be passionate about cricket?