The digital brouhaha that has swamped the internet over Maria Sharapova’s knowledge of cricket (or the lack of it) and the fact that she doesn’t know anything about the demi-god of the game himself (Sachin Tendulkar) is not just shocking, but it is downright laughable!
Even those who satiated their eyeballs on Sharapova’s sexy ‘on-court’ presence and admired her game all these years are suddenly scrunching up their noses in disgust. Some radical zealots (Oh yes, that tribe exists in sports as well) are even demanding a formal apology from the Russian great for not knowing the cricketing legend. But here’s why we think Sharapova shouldn’t give a damn about the whole episode.
Sachin Tendulkar is not one of the greatest cricketer but he is, in reality, THE greatest batsman the country has ever produced. Since when did we start measuring his craft and his ability to play the game-in the manner only he has played it – by using a popularity scale? Has his greatness stooped to such a level that we needed a Russian-American (a tennis star or anybody, from anywhere, for that matter) to approve his popularity?
And, above all, there’s no denying the fact that the number of Russians who follow the game of cricket is as healthy as the number of Indians who keep a track of ice-hockey. I wonder if Sachin knows the name of the captain of the Russian Ice-Hockey team. And why just Sachin, how many of us can name the captain of our own national rugby team without resorting to the quick and the able assistance of the internet?
Every sport, form of art, film or music and its popularity might be bound by a certain geographical space. The greatness of a star may not transcend all geographical, cultural or regional boundaries, but that doesn’t diminish their greatness, right?
What makes one giggle even more is that while Sharapova received all the flak for not knowing our Mumbai lad, we just let pass the fact that Sachin failed to recognise the Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe when the latter walked up to the former for an autograph as a happy trivia!
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