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Shiv Visvanathan in this Saturday's TOI Crest ed:
Genius for all its individualism reeks of sociology. Cricket is one game that belongs to the oral imagination and commentary for cricket is as important as hermeneutics for the Bible. Retelling is reliving, and both religion and cricket have that in common.
School and street are an integral part of the urban imagination. They are models of life and frameworks of mobility. Here, exam and game create two parallel worlds. The legend of Sachin begins in the playing fields of Shivaji Park. There is a Drona of the cricket field, Ramakant Achrekar. There are no Ekalavyas on the scene. But there is a Kambli.
Vinod Kambli is important not just for his talent but for his zest for life. Kambli is talent that refuses to discipline itself. He is the exuberance of the street that refuses to yield to the school. Kambli is desire without discipline. He is the exuberance of the here and now that the middle class envies and despises. Kambli is the shortlived Sachin; the cameo of exuberance unlimited. Sachin and Kambli are a middle class fable that needs more attention. Kambli treats cricket as a site for desire, for the shortlived joy of politics, of cinema, of TV.
He is the middle class boy who lacks a centre. Intensely appealing, he is the other, the friend who humanizes Sachin, creates other rhythms which would otherwise render Sachin as a metronome. Kambli and Sachin are foils from school. Kambli is the other who burns out, because he burns too fast. He is the Sivakasi cracker to Sachin’s blowtorch....
Are you one of those who's still obsessing over ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Ratings and still wondering why and how on earth the ICC could rate Matthew Hayden at #10 ahead of both Sachin and Lara, to name just two? Or, are there more profound questions that you are struggling with, for example, inter alia: