Sachin - Born to bat

Former India cricketer Rahul Dravid releases book on batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, written by veteran sports writer Khalid A-H Ansari and edited by MiD DAY Group Sports Editor Clayton Murzello

THE book Sachin Born to Bat was officially released at a crisp ‘n’ crackling function at the Cricket Club of India’s (CCI) C K Nayudu Hall last evening. With more than 100 books on Sachin Tendulkar, one can say that Tendulkar has become a ‘genre’ in literature.

MiD DAY Group Sports Editor Clayton Murzello (left), Khalid A-H Ansari, former cricketers Rahul Dravid & Farokh Engineer at CCI yesterday. PIC/Atul Kamble

The book by veteran sports writer Khalid A-H Ansari and edited by MiD DAY Group Sports Editor Clayton Murzello is a compilation of pieces (which first appeared in MiD DAY) on Sachin Tendulkar. The articles range from straight cricket reportage, opinions and analysis to lighter pieces bringing out different facets of the super bat.

Talking of light, there were plenty of light moments at the function yesterday, hosted by Harsha Bhogle with chief guest, Rahul Dravid. Bhogle began by saying that Sachin Tendulkar and Khalid Ansari were both in different ways, “symbolic of Mumbai” and said Clayton was an “able lieutenant” putting the book together.

Ansari said that he was always interested in exploring “what are the qualities that foster such awesome achievement? What is the champion mindset?” He quoted Robert Browning about aspiration and achievement, “Ah but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp. Or, what’s a heaven for?” to conclude a spirited address.

Dravid was short and punchy at the mike, like a T20 knock rather than The Wall-like innings, which was his trademark. Dravid said of Ansari and Clayton, that, “they are two people that I have known for many years now. I recall how, when there was an article about me by Khalid Ansari, it would be there in an envelope underneath my hotel door. About Clayton, he is a nice guy. I could sense that when things were not going well, Clayton would actually feel ‘bad’ for you, when he was asking questions. Now, with me on the ‘dark side” (from cricketer to commentator) I count Khalid and Clayton as colleagues.”

Commentator and writer, Ayaz Memon read a chapter from the book, a ‘no pulling punches’ piece about Sachin as captain and the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal with Harbhajan Singh as central character.

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer said he was asked repeatedly by journalists whether Sachin should retire, “the question is daft because it is up to Sachin to decide. He is still hungry for runs, there is no reason why he should not go on.”

While it is up to Sachin to decide when to bring the curtains down, it was time to end the snappy function with Clayton wrapped up things with a vote of thanks.  

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