Year – 2019.
Time – 2:00 PM.
Place – Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai.
News in the Morning – Chairman of selectors, Vinod Kambli, has said in an interview “Sachin should retire”
It was a typical Mumbai afternoon – sunny and humid. Shivaji Park was full of kids playing cricket – many matches going on at a given point of time.
A Tata Nano was parked outside the ground. Vinod Kambli, chairman of selectors, was standing beside the car. A black Porsche cam and stopped next to it. India’s Member of Parliament, test batsman and Mumbai Indian’s mentor cum coach cum captain cum opening batsman, Sachin got down of it.
Sachin : Ailla, I hope I am not late.
Kambli : No it is fine. People coming from big cars often come late. Mumbai traffic you see. Anyways, we could have met anywhere else. Why did you call me here?
Sachin: No, we couldn’t have met anywhere else. That’s because no matter how different we become from each other, our junior cricket days cannot be separated from each other. This is where we started eating Vada Paos. This is where we made that Mazumdar wait forever. This is where it all started.
Kambli: Tell me whatever you want to. I haven’t got all day. I need to go practice for Jhalak Dikhala Jaa 10.0
Sachin: First I want to know who I am talking to - an old friend or the chairman of selectors.
Kambli: As long as a friend is talking, a friend will speak. As soon as an old cricketer starts talking, the chairman of selectors will speak.
Sachin: It looks like the runs we scored on this ground together have fallen well behind the runs I have scored in last three years.
Kambli: Oh, friend is speaking in disguise of an old cricketer.
Sachin: Dude, you don’t know what may happen to you if you do what you want to do. You may get sacked and asked to retire as a chairman of selectors.
Kambli: What I am doing – I may get sacked and asked to retire. But what you are doing, you will have to retire.
Sachin: I have decided not to retire. I get dropped or not, it doesn’t matter. Actually I will not be dropped, never. But you still have time. There are other players who can retire – like Rahane or Sharma or Kohli. Why don’t you ask them to retire?
Kambli: No, my responsibilities towards Indian cricket and the talent in this younger generation don’t allow me to do it.
Sachin: Ufff, this younger generation and the talent. What good use of is this younger generation? Your all young players cannot surpass the number of runs I have scored. Indian cricket for which you are willing to burn your life, what that vision has given to you – average of 54.20 in tests, tears in Eden, role in a few movies, Andrea?
See, see. This is the very same you and this is the very same me. Both of us started from here, this very ground. Look where I have reached and where you are. Today I have most number of runs in international cricket, loads of hair on head, a seat in parliament, title of most promising young talent, declared as God even by SIR RJ. Who do you have to replace me? What do you have?
Kambli: I have…I have…I have Maa-Nose (Tiwary).
Not very far away, 2:15PM Borivalli to Churchgate local was blowing its horn.
Place: Somewhere in Bandra,
Location – A saloon in Bandra where Vinod Kambli is shaving Manoj Tiwary’s head.
Sachin makes an entry.
Kambli: Dude, I need your sign this paper.
Sachin: What is this?
Kambli: This is a declaration that you are retiring from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
Sachin: Dude, you know…
Kambli: You will sign it or not?
Sachin: Dude, all this…
Kambli: You will sign it or not?
Sachin: Dude, you…
Kambli: You will sign it or not? (Shouts in a really high pitch)
Sachin: Yes I will sign it. Yes I will retire.
But first go and ask that South African all-rounder to retire who is only one century away from my record of maximum hundreds and just keeps on playing even though his tummy is bigger than mine. Go and ask England’s captain to retire who is just 100 runs away from my most runs even though he is 36 years old. Go and ask all those bowlers to retire who have tattooed this on my hand, this.
Sachin showed his left hand to Kambli. A huge tennis ball was tattooed on his elbow.
After that dude, after that I will sign wherever you want, whatever you want.
Kambli: Showing other’s tummy doesn’t mean you are fitter than the. Counting other’s age doesn’t hide this truth that you are a 45 year oldie. And this truth, this truth is a wall between you and me.
Manoj Tiwary started searching Dravid’s number on his Samsung Galaxy before Kambli sensed it, snatched it away and continued.
As long as this wall is there, we two cannot be employed by the same board. Hence I am resigning and retiring – now and here. Come Maa-Nose, you also announce your retirement with me.
Sachin: If you want to retire, retire. But Maa-Nose won’t retire.
Kambli: Maa-Nose, announce your retirement.
Sachin: I told you, Maa-Nose will not retire.
Kambli: Maa-Nose will.
Sachin: No, Maa-Nose. You can’t retire before I do. I am an idol for you. I know you will not retire before I do – who will bring drinks for me?
Kambli: Maa-Nose, I have called Arnab Goswami from TimesNow. I am announcing my retirement.
Sachin: No Maa-Nose, you will not retire.
Manoj Tiwary put away the drinks he was holding for both of them, stood up from the bench he was sitting on and opened his mouth – I will retire.
Sachin: No Maa-Nose, no.
Manoj Tiwary – The guy who is after your 100s record, what is he to you? Nobody.
The guy who is after your runs record, who is to you? Nobody.
The bowlers who have tattooed that tennis ball on your elbow, who are they to you? Nobody.
But me, I was a budding talent for your team, an able replacement. How could you let me become a benchwarmer for life? How?
Sachin: But Maa-Nose, I did all this for you – these runs, these hundreds, these records, everything. I did this so that you can have a goal setting your life and tell your grandkids – you know, I used to aspire and perspire to break God’s record.
Manoj Tiwary – Paaji¸ a big God you have become. But may I tell you something – don’t spoil my career. Your performance is not that good now that you block the way of a youngster.
Sachin and Kambli both looked at Manoj Tiwary’s opened their laptop to search for the definition and entered “Manoj Tiwary youngster” in google.
Google replied back –
Your search “Manoj Tiwary youngster” didn’t yield any results.
Did you mean – Manoj Tiwary Ranji Veteran of two decades?
PS: Work of fiction.