Friday, March 25, 2011

DEAR RICKY

Dear Ricky,

Let me start off by saying that over the last decade, probably noone has abused you more than I have.
I was a young lad in Bahrain, still not knowing what a Hell-Volhard-Zelinsky reaction was, when I first read of your black eye. "Ha, what a little punk", I said to myself. "He'd better shape up, otherwise a good career could very well go to waste", I would say, before heading back to Lakhmir Singh and Manjit Kaur's treatises on biology for Class X.

We cheered the loudest when Harbhajan got you out in the 2001 series. Steve was always welcome to make centuries, of course. Adam Gilchrist was the wicketkeeper we all wanted to be. But you were the temperamental genius, the spoilt young kid from a land which we only identified with the Tasmanian Devil (the cartoon character, to be sure). We hated you. We loved getting you out and the fact that you were clueless on Indian soil and helped build the confidence of our second most important spinner ever.

Then, you started to make a lot of runs. You started making runs in bucketloads. We weren't too concerned. We had Saurav, Rahul, VVS and Sachin (in that order of importance) who made us a better team.

In the meantime, you suddenly became captain. We laughed. Border, Taylor, Waugh. Huge shoes. Respected all over the world. And they give the guy who was involved in a pub fight the captaincy? Good day, Australian domination!

And then, you had the sheer impudence to win. Again and again. Not just that, you had the audacity to make runs. More runs than Tendulkar! What, is that even ALLOWED in this BCCI-dominated era?

And then, your 100th Test. The form of your fucking little life. Two centuries. I remember that image, Ricky. You were in the air, pumping your fist. You were a dominator. It was clear.

Ricky Thomas Ponting was not just a flash in the pan or a supremely talented batsman. He was a legend. It was clear that he'd end the decade as the leading run scorer, by a mile.

Which, Ricky, you did.

Along the way, Australia became the most hated team in the world. Why was that, again? Was it because you 'cheated' in 2008 in Sydney? Perhaps. We Indian fans would like to mollify ourselves by saying that. But then again, we've been beneficiaries of many a poor decision ourselves, surely? And if Michael Clarke hadn't taken those three wickets in the last over, surely, Sydney would have been just a blip instead of S&M for Indian cricket fans? Yeah, you probably shouldn't have told the umpire that you had, indeed, caught the ball, after refusing to walk. That wasn't very nice.

But yeah, it's not like we haven't all sinned at some point of time in our lives. I'm willing to bet my 450 GB collection of pirated music on that.

But anyway.

The world amplified events like these. We loved hating you. Do you realise that the entire world celebrated Ashes 2005 and 2009? We weren't celebrating England winning - we don't care two hoots about them - we were celebrating you losing. Yes, we hated you.

I clearly remember 12 March 2006. The greatest ODI ever (all you '99 fanboys and your talk of even bat-and-ball contest, shut up). In my hostel, there were tears of joy. We were jumping up and down, crazy. Think about it, Ricky. A bunch of Mallu to-be engineers. Celebrating an Aussie loss in a faraway land. Note: Aussie loss, not a South African win. We hated you, boy, did we.

But then, that nasty thing happened to us. Well, atleast to me. Age. And with it, a questionable amount of maturity. It wasn't cool to diss music 'below' rock and metal anymore. We started worrying about our girth and started exercising. We quietly Googled how to invest in mutual funds.

And, most shockingly, we developed a sense of respect for you.

Yes. We did.

It had to be acknowledged. Some of us even said you were a better batsman than Sachin. Which in the noughties, you were.
You won three World Cups.
You captained your team to victory in two of them.

You didn't exactly cheat to get there. Sure, mental disintegration and all that, sure. But if a player can't take a few abuses, what's he doing in top-flight international cricket anyway? Right?

You don't get three winners' medals by not having a little bit of talent. Neither do you do it totally by subterfuge. We quietly, grudgingly, admired you and your team. We'd turn our screens away from public gaze and watch your innings on YouTube. Alongside making investments in mutual funds as our roomies ordered pizza.

Mind you, to appear cool, we'd still mock you and make fun of you. Which is why Pontingface is the revolution that it was. But heck, we don't make a Smithface or a Jayasuriyaface or a Flowerface, even though they're amazing players who've had excellent runs against India. We loved hating you. And your arrogant team.

We haters only remember the Ashes victory, but conveniently tend to brush under the carpet the 6-1 walloping you gave the Poms after that (only Test cricket is real cricket, no?)

But oh, Ricky, we all loved you. Secretly. When a team would rack up 400/2 on Day One, we'd say "YEAAAH! Play like the Australians... Errr... Ah.", ending in a self-realising stutter.

On Thursday, I think for the first time in my life, I felt a pang of pity for you. You were now leading a bunch of guys who couldn't hold a candle to the legends you were used to playing with, and still made something out of them. And as good as we Indians were, it was anything but a convincing victory and I'm still not convinced we're a World Cup deserving team. Neither were you, but like us, you were trying. You never gave up. Wotta catch, that Clarkie. Good talent, that. He could be the next you, Ricky. Amazing talent. Lots of it. Importantly, we all hate him. The 2010s could be his. Train him well. We already have a Clarkface, don't we?

You knew your time was up, during the presentation ceremony. Must have been hard. And I really felt sorry for you, mate. Really did. Here was a legend, being boo-ed by an obviously immature audience. Would Bradman have been boo-ed in England?

I can't bring myself to apologize for abusing you over the years.
But somehow, I don't think it makes an iota of difference to you.

A tweet someone put out yesterday summed it up perfectly. "All you buggers who're abusing Ponting are silently celebrating because you all have him in your fantasy team."

Thanks for all the entertainment over the years, Ricky. You're a fucking legend. You know it, the world knows it.

Yours,
A grudgingly converted 'fan' (and I use that term loosely).

PS: You're still an asshole. But like James Hetfield sang - So fucking what?

==

Note 1: This post is dedicated to a dear friend, V, who passed away a couple of years back in a bike crash. He was an amazing buddy and a hardcore Australia supporter. I admired him for having the courage to choose when most of us stuck to the option we'd been born with. When he left this world, Australia's position in the world was unquestioned. I'm sure he'd have liked it that way. Rest in Peace, man. I miss the Boggle sessions.


==


Note 2: Hooboy, it doesn't take much to outrage people, does it? Show them stats that Ponting's been a better batsman than Tendulkar in the 2000s and they still refuse to believe. Anyhow, for anyone who questioned where my ACTUAL loyalties lie, please see this.




==

68 comments:

Ramaa said...

RESPECT.

Aditya said...

very well written. agree with most things you've said. Respect to the man!

Ankur said...

I dunno what to say. You just converted another guy into his fan! :)

scorpioblog said...

well written. I too acknowledge his greatness as a batsman and leader, but will still hate him for his sheer arrogance and hypocrisy. I'm not too sure if my point is valid here, but I feel that he arm twisted officials on the field to have his way, and when the chips were down, resorted to the worst kind of sledging. For me, that just showed his fear of failure more than anything else. His ego didn't allow him to play fair i guess.
Totally personal, biased opinion. I come in peace. :)

DELTA1

R3d3MpTioN said...

Love ur work man .. And yeah very truly said ...!!

Rahul B said...

Well worth a read of every word you said. Even Ponting would be proud of himself if ever he read this article. I hated Ponting, but at this moment. All I have is his pity. He was an awesome batsman and an excellent fielder, in the end. And a good captain.

Nishant said...

I actually wanted Ponting todo well in his last game (?) yesterday and lose.
The man doesn't desrve the boos he got, though isn't exactly likeable.

Nitish said...

i never understand the hatred against him, well he threatened to overtake some of Tendulkar's records during his prime .... but he has always been full of respect towards him.

Ponting is a fabulous cricketer, a fierce competitor but human ... and that shouldnt be held against him.

Rito said...

The man who defied 'GOD' and tried to overtake him.
What a player! RESPECT.

Excellent write-up :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this :) There's far too much hate for Ponting in India unfortunately.

-Atul

livetimefe said...

At some level we all have felt this way about Ponting, and it's just that we have never had the courage to accept it, lest we adulterate our Indianess or possibly become even mildly unpatriotic.

Hats off to you, for having the balls to say it out loud, in such beautifully written words. Respect for Ponting always, and new found respect for you.

Anonymous said...

Ponting a bad sports person, good batsman i agree.

Praveeri said...

That Clarkeface fuck you man its damn gooooooooooooood yaaaaaaaaar

Gandhaar Sangoram said...

brilliant write up, though i dont respect the man...but very well written!!

Abhishek said...

Very Well written. As a fellow punter fan, I loved his innings yesterday. Almost brought a tear to my eye, reading the post!

Well done!

a day is a step, a year is a tango said...

very well said. not a small feat winning two world cups. check out my tribute to the man on - www.thehipporules.blogspot.com

Salil said...

Dude. You pretty much summed up everything I wanted to say. Felt more than just a pang of pity for Ponting and his boys last evening. Terrific Cricketer, Inspiring Captain (Refusing to let Lee slow down, remember?) and a thorough entertainer.

Well-articulated.

Spiritual Kafir said...

Well written. RESPECT to the hate we carry.

Arvind said...

Good to see that there are still some sane, genuine cricket-loving people in India....most have become jingoistic and crass !

Anonymous said...

I thought I was guilty of liking Ponting. Thanks much. I am relieved that I am not alone.

Amazing write up by the way.

~ Balaji.

Vignesh said...

You just made me twice as proud as what I am now for being a Ponting fan. Respect, sir. Beautiful post.

Avi said...

another convert to a fan!

The Venk said...

I still hate Ponting to the core!

BatataaWada said...

I always ignored your blogposts and links when you posted them on twitter but this did make me stop and read, Brilliant article.
He sure was a legend with Mc grath, gilchrist, lee and hayden. None of the teams in world could destroy them and their dominance had to end one day.

Nikita Banerjee said...

This post deserves a lot of applause. Wow...

Peeyush said...

Rightly said and agree to it totally. His innings would be remembered in the books of cricket history and he can very well exit with dignity, for he has done what he was suppose to do. Sad part is he will be the last best man Australia can have in ages to come. The quality has degraded and young bloods are no where near to legends of OZs.

I sincerely wished the spectators of yesterday had not booed him for what he played.

hari said...

I suppose it's the "in-thing" at the moment to "respect" Ponting in India because his team obligingly lost to India in the QF of the World Cup.

I don't have respect for a guy whose behaviour doesn't do justice to the "Gentleman's game" and who gets away with his abominable behaviour on occasions because he happens to be an Aussie. He's even been aggressive towards umpires at times. It shocks me that Indians have been fined and docked games for far less. Going by that standard, he should have been permanently banned from the game a long time ago.

Much more respect for true legends like McGrath, Warne and Brett Lee who are the ones who scripted a lot more Aussie wins with the ball at the peak of their career.

A player can be great without being a foul-mouthed, arrogant rascal.

I think your post is a touch too sentimental about this man's achievements when he is on a low.

Purna said...

i love best: saurav, rahul, vvs, sachin (in that order)!
cricketing genius aside, ponting was a vile person! no? thats we hate him so!

Sakshi said...

Nice one and very well written

Anonymous said...

I am laughing out loud!! Such a big waste of your time writing about a man who is worth nothing more than a word - "Asshole"

Animesh Kumar said...

My Regards

krikkrak said...

"We quietly Googled how to invest in mutual funds."

LMAO dude! Very nicely written.
430 GB? Fuck!!

Smit said...

very well written!!!!

ArchieIndian said...

Well written man..I have always loved the way Ricky played cricket more than any batsman in the world. I have told that a lot of times, you'll remember.. But loved how you expressed... Read it aloud to my whole team working here..

Mohib Ahmad said...

Good bye, Ricky Ponting!
What could've been a match-winning captain's innings turned out to be your signature innings for all the World Cups you've played! Only Sachin Tendulkar has more centuries in ODIs than you. & when it comes to total runs, you're second only to Tendulkar in both, Tests & ODIs. You've always been one of my most favorite Cricketers...
All the happiness & elation that I might, otherwise had felt when India won the quarter-final match got mixed with my feelings & emotions for you & your team, & the guy who was bleeding, Brett Lee (heart-ache) & all those high feelings turned into a bittersweet moment in which I could neither cry nor laugh. & I felt enraged at the crowd that booed at you. They did a disservice to themselves for booing a legend like you. Your classic innings of 104 earned you the tag of a tragic hero & a tragic hero is really hard to forget.
Hats off!

Mohib Ahmad said...

& Mr. Deepak Gopalakrishnan, thanks a lot for writing such an unbiased & so, beautiful post. Nice work!

Samiha said...

brilliant... :)
Yes, he had flair, style and panache.. n also ego, attitude and pride!
made him one of the most interesting cricketers to watch...
he did extraordinary - from batting to fielding to sledging!
Indians actually love the haggling - mavali giri as its locally called. n u did it all!
Ironically, U wouldv been an even bigger legend if ud been an Indian! Your not-so-gentlemanly ways wouldv been passed off as sheer love, enthusiaam, passion and a killer attitude! We wouldv loved a shri. Rikesh PonSingh!
But all said and done, HATS OFF to you matey! n PEACE!
Kudos and adios to you Punter!

Anonymous said...

Don't agree.. I think this will fall under the header "Retrospective Falsification". Just like when the cruel instructor with a sadist streak seems like a likable old man when you know you won't ever have to enter his class again... Such tom-tomming of Ponting-admiration, and that when you have in your backyard an achiever greater than him, with none of his foulness.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I am the only one left but I still don't like him

-Rishi

Sruthi Viswanathan said...

I ashamed that I'm born in the same Country as this blogger. Filthy Unpatriotic idiot!!! Ponting was better than Sachin??? My foot. Instead of writing such an article I would say begging is a better job for you. How dare you trot on my Indian players??? Go to hell idiot. And people who has left their dislikes in anonymous accounts, what are you afraid of? Standing against this foolish blogger or the head of fools-Ponting? C'mon you are on the right side so fear none.

Anonymous said...

@ Sruthi-

You are doing precisely what has been mentioned in the blog, so we all know that YOU know inside, that Ponting is indeed a good player..infact, one of the best cricket has ever produced.

And as for the blog, excellent piece of writing buddy. Certainly among the best blogs I have read hitherto.

Santosh said...

well Ponting is a great batsmen and a great fielder i agree... but not a great leader.. a great leader has to have the guts to claim the applaud from the opposition... does this guy have? No i would say..
someone who liked always to defend his idiotic acts...

- does he have the guts to accept the respect Sachin has to the game. When he walked away he said that Sachin would have not walked away if he saw the umpire. He does not have the heart Sachin has.

- How can he break a Television set when he was runout. Is this greatness as a leader. Awesome dude awesome

- How can he say that the catch he took did bounce in front of him clearly. He confused every one with his acts and made umpires go upstairs. Is this the respect the game deserves from a great like ponting ?

- How can he stay when he nicked it so clearly. Is this the respect you give to him. His fellow teammate Gilly walked away in a crucial game when he knew he nicked it. This is another great trait of ponting right ?

- When he almost bumped into steven smith while taking a catch. How can he be so arrogant throwing the mall harshly on the ground. Dude ponting you should be a leader, you cant be so fucking arrogant on your fellow teammate.

Keeping the above aspects aside i appreciate his talent in the 2011 quarters and yes in 2003 finals aswell when he took away match from Us. Talent is not sufficient to get fans like me, you need something more.

Respect the game and fellow players and you will earn respect of the whole world.

Anonymous said...

Excellent work!!!
I'm a die hard fan of Ponting and on that day he showed with what metal he's made of. Hats off to him and to you as well for writing such a brilliant blog.
And as it was mentioned in Indian Express "The man who lost the world but walked with pride intact"
Truly a legend

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

Phew. Okay, that's a truckload of comments to reply to - firstly, thank you all for taking the time to read this and comment.

Yep, Ponting's still an asshole. Noone's denying that. He's still done some highly questionable things.

But at the end of the day, he's a cricketer. He's out there to make runs and win matches. And he's done that. All this talk of being 'good human beings' etc goes for a toss if you can't do your basic function. I'm sorry, but I come from a very KRA point of view. If your employee doesn't do what he's supposed to, but is generally nice in office and everyone loves him, he's still useless.

'Being a good person' is overrated. This is cricket, people. WG Grace was a chooth of the highest order if what's written about him is true. John Lennon used to make fun of cripples - surely not the most diplomatic of behaviours. But history judges them by what their primary function was - an incredible cricketer and an incredible songwriter.

Ponting to me is like that guy in your sales team you always wanted to be like, but is too sidey to befriend. "Haraami hai, sala. Magar kaam karega."

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

@ScorpioBlog: Sydney '08 was the memory many of us will judge him by. But when you put it that way, isn't the BCCI arm-twisting world cricket at large a bigger crime? Pulling out of a Test series because of one umpire? I felt ashamed to be an Indian cricket fan that day. Bad decisions come, bad decisions go.

@Nishant: He wouldn't care about the boos, really - probably used to it. And no, can't be his last game, no reason for it to be.

@Nitish: Well summed up!

@Anon1: Bad sportperson? He's threatened to break every batting record there is. In this day and age, sportsmanship (which you probably meant) is overrated. Put yourself in his shoes. On the field, there's no compulsion for being a nice guy and stuff. Kaam karna hai, boss.

@BatataaWada: Haha. Hopefully this will keep you coming back to the blog :)

@Hari: No doubt he's a rascal, no doubt India's been fined for doing much less - but don't ignore the current dominance BCCI has over the sport. Remember when they threatened to pull out of IndAus08-09?

@Purna: Whether he's vile off the pitch should be none of our concern - Ganguly and Dravid might be, for all we know. On the pitch, does he do what he's supposed to? Yes? Matter closed.

@Anon: Might be, but atleast he doesn't hide behind an anonymous veil.

@Archie: :)

@Anon: You'll see I rile Ponting in most of my post :P

@Sruthi: If it's any consolation, you probably weren't born in the same country as me - I was born in Bahrain.

@Everyone else: Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!
And here's to a less-than-perfect Indian team lifting the cup!

Kritika said...

Respect to the Great man who has been a fighter and an inspiration to heaps! Persona;;y, being a Punter fan, thank you for reminding me what a Legend that man is! Fantastic write-up! I am extremely proud to be a fan of a man who has personified leadership and determination! Cheers!

yourdailycynic said...

Respect for an honest article.

Mads said...

I was there at the stadium and I am one of those freaks who have invented special abuses just for Ponting and I felt really very bad when the crowd booed him during the post match presentation ceremony....That wasn't the way a legend should go.

Hats off to Ponting. One of the greatest players the game ever produced.

Came over here when I was spying on Amith Menon's wall :)

Anonymous said...

Very well written dude! ricky's contribution to ckt can be summarized by the hungry fox story..when the fox couldn't reach for the grapes, he walks away telling himself "the grapes are sour"!

Varun said...

I can NEVER respect players like Punter, C. Ronaldo, Rivaldo etc...

Why?? ?they don't have the integrity it takes to become a great sportsman...

A great sportsman is not only made up of his accomplishments in his sport, but how he stands to be an example to his fans and younger generation... Sachin is one such great... Federer is another... I'll respect these guys all the time..

But Ponting??? RESPECT MY ASS!!! Enjoy your trip back home!! with love, sending a new TV set to Australia in your memory... It shall stand to your legacy...

Mads said...

I agree with what Varun said, don't respect him as a sportsman but respect him as a player...U can't ignore the fact that he is an awesome batsman. He is a horrible sportsman though.

Anil Gandham said...

Respect !! Period !!

@\/eeK said...

The article is well-written.Ricky is a bad, gutsy guy we have always hated. But, if we look at his towering career , he has served his nation with dedication and integrity.He has achieved so much as a player as well as a captain,that even the best of the players would be envious of. He doesn't leave the arena with a cherubic-Sachin like grace but as a stolid character who has rocked the world with his talent and 'never-say-die Australian' attitude.He is no doubt a legend in the cricketing world.

Ice Maiden said...

Hey, coming here through Facebook :)

My bit on your post...

It takes a LOT more than just fantastic talent to be a good sportsman, and so far he isnt an iota of what the rest of his entire team is. I grew up watching cricket when Waugh played. Compared to that... honestly I dont have the words.

He is a good batsman, but in the words of a good friend and fellow cricket fan, he doesnt have Sachins heart. Never once have I seen anything even CLOSE to arrogance on Sachins face in a career that is almost as old as I am!!! :) I mean, come on. Think about it, the guy could have easily been worth a hundred Punters. He could have easily smashed tv's or thrown a fit at dropped catches. Because he too hasnt always had a century. He too has made some flawed decisions here and there. True he is God to the people of India in recent years, but it wasnt always like that. He too was subject to ridicule and skepticism. I cannot ever give Mr. Ponting the honor of being called a great sportsman or even a legend, simply because he has always just been a great batsman. And thats about it.

It was a well written article nevertheless. :)

Cheers,
Annie.

Cryptic Cookie said...

Bollocks to respect.

He scored a century in his last World Cup Game and LOST because the team wasn't good enough. Aww.

Welcome to Sachin's world, bitch.

And good riddance.

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

Phew. The ironic thing is - this was supposed to be a hatemail in the form of a fan letter - from someone who hated him, still hates him, will continue to hate and abuse him...

But deep down, has immense respect for what he's done on the field. I don't care - if I have a batsman that can score 9500 runs in a decade and captain me to two World Cups, he's done enough.

In the meantime, let's stop bickering over this. Bigger things await us in Mohali and Mumbai.

Siddharth Vaidyanathan said...

Respect for your thought Deepak.
Right from the time I started following cricket.. say 1998, I have seen Australia on top of the charts. We cannot deny that they have proved to be a strong competitor always. We have never bother a loss of an Indian match but we tend to get perplexed wen Australia loses one. This shows that we have kept Aussies on top of our fantasy list always. Talking about Ponting..He has led the team the way he wanted to. Every leader has his own style and Ponting believes his own way. There can never be comparison between Gold and Copper. Gold is precious, but copper is useful in its own way. Same is the case with Sachin and Ricky. I believe its still not late for Aussies to realize where they went wrong. If a team can pull over 3 consecutive victories, they can do it longer. I wish a good luck for Aussies to bounce back and also Team India to do something innovative to clinch the cup.

chandra said...

Just two things in regards to Ricky Ponting being a better batsmen than Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar:

1) Stats never tell the full story. So relying on stats alone as a indicator of greatness is false. Apart from stats it is important to also look at the quality of the bowling attack and the pressure faced by them. Till the time Shane Warne and Glenn Mcgrath retired, Australian bowlng attack was best in the world. While its not the fault of Ricky Ponting that he did not face them, you have to give the credit where it is due, and it is a fact that Sachin dominated the Australian bowling attack. This apart from the fact that the amount of pressure faced by him was more than any other player has ever faced. In fact what i really find very funny among some of us is the complete disregard the amount of pressure Sachin faces. Means if you look at Ricky Ponting's innings, the pressure that he faced during the innings was still nothing as compared to what Tendulkar has faced throughout his career, but then we discount that in regards to Tendulkar but say great innings Ricky Ponting under pressure !!!!

2) The second and probably the most important point is Ricky Ponting is not a complete batsmen because he cant play spin. Just like for a batsmen from subcontinent has to perform in England, South Africa and Australia to prove that he can play good quality fast bowling the same criteria should and has to be applied for batsmen outside the sub continent to prove that they can play good quality spin bowling and Ponting fails miserably in this regard. My limited understanding of a good batsmen is that he should play all kind of bowling easily, while an all time great batsmen should be able to dominate all kinds of bowling. Ponting forget about dominating cant even play indian spinners on indian pitches and we are saying he was actually better batsmen than Tendulkar......

Vasuta said...

great post...very well put, as always :)

i'm not a cricket fanatic, yet have cursed Australia, and Ponting for years like so many of us. but last thursday i felt bad for Ponting...him and Lee...they did fight till the end...

p.s. you're famous! a friend (non-mican) passed this post on to me! love ya, take care :)

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask few questions, just for my sake.
1. How is Indian Cricket or any professional sports being played by a nation becomes a matter of pride for nation or more importantly a symbol of patriotism ??? Answer to this question would would solve the mystery over why Indians hate Ponting.
2. World Cup is understandable. One off series is good. But when a team plays 20 to 30 matches with same team in couple of years (Ind V SL), is that done for making money or for patriotism ??? Indians should learn that Cricket is projected as being played for national pride, but mostly its done for making money.
3. Specifically for Sachin fans - Answer this. I am surprised a lot, with media cynics we have in India, no one raised this question. Sachin has been skipping ODIs regularly in last 2 years, apparent reason given by him was to take selective rest to be fit for big tournaments. But he didn't skip any of IPLs in past 3 years and is going to play 4th Addition as well, starts in less than a week's time after WC. He skipped SL, Bangla, WI, SA ODIs in last 2 years. But he then again never missed a single Test, even went to Bangla to play one. How come playing Bangla in Test is more important to nation (according to him) when he selectively skips ODIs to keep himself fit for WC ???

So Sachin himself has answered these questions - if skipping matches and playing IPL is correct, this means Cricket is no where near to pride and patriotism that everyone thinks of. Or Sachin has been selfish. Take one - or give a third reason thats reasonable enough.

I would say treat it as a game, don't let money hungry people deceive you into believing something that doesn't exist. The more Indian becomes emotional about Cricket, more BCCI, Media & Players ofcourse will earn. Enjoy game, and there won't be a Ponting hater again.

Rhinosaur said...

Can't say how much I agree. It's this fanatical thing we Indians have, just can't accept that at some points, someone else is better than us. Even though his arrogance is unquestioned, I'm pretty sure it can be backed up by his stats. Not justifying it though.

Thanks for putting into words what exactly sound like my thoughts. Couldn't have done a better job.

அன்பரசு.. said...

stunningly put.. awesome!

Neeta said...

Very truely and nicely jotted down... yes he is indeed an arrogant asshole but still a terrific player....

GSai said...

"The ironic thing is - this was supposed to be a hatemail in the form of a fan letter..." Not sure if everyone got this part!
Nice post. But the impact and the readers' comments are more interesting. Why this sudden "hater to #respect" conversion?
Looks like some sort of 'send-off syndrome'. Doubt if the comments (the positive ones) would have appeared if Ponting (and Cricket Aus) had announced that he would be skipper in the next world cup?... Or if he had NOT scored a century in that match?

Ashwin said...

Well written

Vasu said...

COme on Man!! Where is your post on our World cup win?

prozium said...

batsman of par excellence...leader of ruthless aggression with ammo on his side and probably one of the finest fielder around.Almost threatened to put tendulkar century records to danger during 2000's.. tendulkar is no doubt an overall much greater cricketer..but as aptly put earlier it is only this man and lara earlier who looks threatingly comparable to tendulkar..

P.S.Lara at its best looks much more beautiful than tendulkar and ponting in class.

P.P.S.But as a complete sportsman both inside AND outside field..Tendulkar is Best ever...

muku said...

ponting has to be considered as one of the modern greats.. some may argue that he was not a good sportsman[it seems some of you are indeed doing that].. the thing as the writer summed up well, so much eager to win that sometimes it looked ugly..
otherwise, just look at the work the ponting-foundation is doing.. u will find out he is a better sports celeb than the ones we have in our part of the world