The gold mine that is Sachin Tendulkar is about to run dry and the media industry will just have to move on. Ignore for the moment the impact of Tendulkar’s retirement on cricket, marketing and television; consider only the effect on the average pen-pusher. Anyone reporting on his game for the past quarter of a century would have written at least 500 pieces on the man. That is at least half a million words, although many would have crossed the million-word mark. Tendulkar is not only a statistician’s delight himself, he is the cause for statistics in others!
Writing about Tendulkar is one of the more profitable beats in journalism. So when we say ‘Thank you, Sachin’, we speak not just of the incredible straight drive or the forehand-down-the-line swish past mid-on, but of the few lakhs he has added to all our bank accounts on the way to adding millions to his own. This is the professional’s ultimate dream: to be paid for doing what we might have done free of cost—watching Tendulkar bat—anyway.