My Dear Sachin,
I thought I must write to you when I heard that you have been appointed as a Member of Parliament in India. I know you have many great achievements to your credit but still, congratulations are in order.
We know, Sachin, that you have been a great ambassador for the game of cricket. Despite being hailed as the greatest batsman since Don Bradman, you have always been a humble and unassuming character and never boasted about your abilities and we admire you for that.
But that is also why we fear for you greatly when you embark on a career as a politician. Judging from our own experiences and from what we have seen of you in the past, I am not confident that you will make a great politician.
Let me explain, Sachin. We have had our share of great cricketers who took to politics; two of them, in fact. One was a world cup winning captain who came from a family deeply involved in politics. The other was a humble boy from a village in the South who became a superstar because of cricket.
The captain was always a rebel of sorts. He led the cricket team from the front and was never afraid to speak his mind. He did what his conscience dictated him to do and frequently got in to trouble because of that. And he never lent himself to any form of advertising too!
We all remember how he stood by his cricketers , in particular one bowler who was challenged in Australia. That bowler went on to attain great heights and break many records just like you did in batting and he owes much of that to this captain.
What was heartening was that the captain, even after taking to politics, maintained his integrity. When he thought that the government he was in was not behaving as it should, he quit the government despite everyone else in his family having strong ties to that government.
He even began supporting political opponents of the government who he thought were being unfairly jailed. He has won a lot of respect and admiration for his courage as a politician, Sachin but he is just another opposition MP and to be honest, his political career doesn’t look that bright!
In stark contrast to that, Sachin, I must also tell you about the humble boy from a village in the South who went on to become a superstar because of cricket. I am sure you have heard of him because he was your team mate when you were playing for the Mumbai Indians.
We loved him dearly not only because he could win matches on his own with his breathtaking batting displays but because he was also a sportsman who had made it big on the international stage after modest beginnings. And, at that time, he was also extremely humble despite his many achievements.
Lately, he has taken to politics and that is when we saw a subtle change in the man. He used his political connections-and every other trick in the book-to remain in the cricket team until he was well past his prime. Apparently, he is also no longer the modest person that he once was.
The people have elected him as an MP, but he spends most of his time trying to earn more and more money, playing in cricket matches overseas, being a cricket commentator and doing everything else. So how can he serve the people who elected him?
He has also wants more power because he has written to the President asking that he be appointed as a Minister or at least a Deputy Minister. Of course, Sachin, we have people far worse than him as ministers, so even if he is appointed as one, that wouldn’t come as a surprise!
This week, we saw him dancing in Bollywood with Indian film stars. Of course, he is entitled to dance with whoever he wants to but it seems as if the humble cricketer we once knew has transformed into a money machine who would even model ladies underwear, if someone paid him enough!
I think most people in our part of the world still admire this chap for what he once did on the cricket field but they would rather see the boy from the village who made it big, rather than the millionaire sportsman.
This is why, Sachin, I was worried when I heard that you had been appointed an MP. I hope you will keep in mind that, no matter whatever you achieve as a politician, people will remember you as Sachin the cricketer and not Sachin the politician!
PS: I know that there is a saying in India that for sports fans, cricket is a religion and Sachin is God. While we wish you well in your new career, we also hope that politics will not become your religion and money won’t be your God, as it has happened to most of our politicians over here!