November 7, 2008

Losing my religion

The change of guard in Indian cricket has pulled the rug out from under the feet of a generation of cricket watchers
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Goodbye to all that: the departure of India's stalwarts has consequences for cricket and cricket lovers © AFP
 

The events of the last few weeks are freaking me out. Anil Kumble has gone, Sourav Ganguly will go, and the other three may not be far behind. I assume there is a large group of cricket fans in their mid-to-late 20s, like me, who are grappling with the implications. This transition is messing with our minds.

Let me explain. For many of us cricket began in November 1989. Pictures of what went before are too hazy. I remember Allan Border lifting the World Cup but don't recall what I was doing then. So I can't connect Australia's World Cup win to my own life.

Sachin Tendulkar spoilt us. He commanded that we sit in front of the television sets. He ensured we got late with homework, he took care of our lunch-break discussions. He was not all that much older than us, and some of us naïve schoolboys thought we would achieve similar feats when we were 16. We got to 16 and continued to struggle with homework.

Then came Kumble and the two undertook a teenager-pampering mission not seen in India before. Tendlya walked on water, Jumbo parted seas. Our mothers were happy that we had nice heroes - down-to-earth prodigy and studious, brilliant bespectacled engineer. They were honest, industrious sportsmen, embodying the middle class.

When we thought we had seen everything, they reversed roles - Tendlya bowled a nerve-wracking last over in a semi-final, Jumbo played a match-winning hand with the bat. We were such spoilt brats that we pined for openers and fast bowlers. We cursed the side for not winning abroad. Such greed.

Economists would probably have predicted the bursting of the bubble. We had a deluge instead. One fine day at Lord's we got a glimpse of two new saviours: Delicate Timing and Immaculate Technique. Suddenly my group of eight friends was split into two camps. You were either with Ganguly or Dravid. In that period we even took Kumble and Tendulkar for granted. It was adolescent indulgence taken to the extreme.

When we played cricket on the streets, we had a number of choices. Left-handers were thrilled, defensive batsmen were happy, extravagant stroke-makers were delighted, the short boys didn't need to feel left out anymore, spectacles became cool, and freaky bowling actions were no more laughed at.

In such a state of bliss did we live our lives. We flunked important exams, shed tears over girls, crashed bikes, had drunken parties, choked on our first cigarettes, and felt utterly confused about our futures. But every time we felt low, we had an escape route. One glimpse of Dada stepping out of the crease, or Jam leaving a sharp bouncer alone, or Kumble firing in a yorker, was an uplifting experience. So what if India lost? Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or VVS?

 
 
My generation needs to brace itself for this exodus. Some of my friends have been talking of needing to revaluate their own careers
 

I remember Ganguly and Dravid soaring in Taunton, mainly because it was the day I got my board-exam results. And boy, did that provide some much-needed relief. I remember Tendulkar's blitz against Australia in Bombay because my dad, who thought cricket was a waste of time, sat through every ball. So connected were these cricketers to my growing up.

Now, after close to 20 years, my generation needs to brace itself for this exodus. Some of my friends, crazy as this sounds, have been talking of needing to revaluate their own careers. Others are realising they need to recalibrate their childhood definitions of cricket. "Part of me just died," said a college friend who was the kind of extreme cricket buff who memorised scorecards. "No Dada, no Jumbo. I'm positive I'll stop watching after Sachin and Rahul retire."

These players were not only outstanding cricketers but also great statesmen. However hard they competed, they were always exceptional role models. Now we dread the next wave of brashness and impetuosity. Harbhajan Singh and Sreesanth are talented cricketers, but there's no way anyone would want a young kid to emulate either. The younger crop seems worse - a visit to some of their Orkut and Facebook pages tells you enough - and things may only get cruder in a cricket world when you can make a million dollars in a little over three hours.

"Our childhood is ending," said a friend from school, and in some way he was probably spot on. Tendulkar's retirement may mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but for a generation of 25- to 30-year-olds it will mark the end of the first part of their lives. Switching on the television the day after will be a serious challenge.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a graduate student in Chicago and a former assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Sankalp.Mohanty on | November 10, 2008, 6:58 GMT

    Like many others who have left comments before, this is the story of my life. Sachin gave us a reason to be happy and more importantly to have hope. When like the excalibur he waved his bat, he made us believe anything was possible.It was different in the early 90s. India was not the country it is today and cricket was everything. Dravid and Ganguly added on. Its the end of an era. In many ways tht was the age of innocence. Life will never be the same again.

  • POSTED BY Satyakatha on | November 10, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Best ever article ever read. I coudnt agree with you more. I guess this is the general feeling of our generation. It is hard to fathom that Dada, Jumbo will not be seen on the field or in the dressing room any longer. Guess, time flies by.

    These 5 players Dada,Jumbo,Sachin,VVS and Rahul are and will remain the finest our country has ever produced.

    However, I am optimistic that the newer lot will also do big things for the game and for one thing, I feel MSD is a character who will break Dada's record as the best captain ever.

  • POSTED BY harrycha on | November 10, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    cool..i hv strtd watching cric after winning the world cup. coz dad got the tv set in 1984. the tv was uptron. we used that tv for more than 13 years...i still remem the first match of azhar. in our street no one else had a tv. so whenever theres as an ODI all kids will be there. one of my frnd used to ball like "Small(neckless player)" of england. and i always tried to ball like prabhakar jumping to the left side...nd some time like cotny walsh of WI..walsh was my favourite. he looks tired when he bowls but for the batsmen its a bullet.Viv richards, Bruce Reid, Hadlee, srikkanthetc.. even n those days srikkanths strike rate is amazing..sehwag s the latest version of Sri...then cam our sachin he s nd will be my fav unless some1 else can beat his records...not only the records, the attitude he has s juz amazing...juz with a cool smile he cools down even nell.ofcourse tis article reminds us of our childhood but until india is ter i will be wit cricket. "Chak de India"

  • POSTED BY arjunUT on | November 10, 2008, 4:05 GMT

    Wasn't this the same way many of us tennis lovers felt when Pete stepped off the court for the last time? I thought all was lost. Agassi followed shortly and I thought this kind of rivalry will never again be seen on the tennis court. Alas, there was this young Swiss who had dealt Sampras his fatal blow in his own den started walking on water and then entered the Spaniard who captured hearts with his game. Sometimes these guys even make me feel that those days are back. I am sure there is someone there in cricket who is gonna do that. But all said, there are some moments in Indian cricket I will never forget such as Dada taking his shirt off and swingin it over his head at lords. But never write the younger generation off, you never know whats in store!

  • POSTED BY ashu_gupta on | November 10, 2008, 3:10 GMT

    best article I have ever read on cricinfo. I will surely stop watching cricket the day sachin retires. i wont even probably watch TV after that. even thinking of the day sachin will retire is anxiety provoking.

  • POSTED BY Priyank on | November 10, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    This is my story. This is the story of most of my friends.

    Let me tell you a little anecdote from my own life, to tell how much love I had for them. Once my mom was teasing me when Sachin got out for low score. It was two years back (I was 23 then). My face became red and I shouted at my mom - "What fun is it to insult my heroes who gave me the best memories in my life. I grew up imitating them in every way. If at all I had some wonderful memories in my life, they are the runs scored by fab four or wickets taken by Jumbo. Please don't ever insult them before me." I know many of my friends who reacted the same way in similar situations.

    I can't think of Indian team without these greats. My dad once said to me that he stopped watching cricket after Sunny Gavaskar retired. It is not just my dad, many people of his generation stopped watching after their heroes retired. I guess same thing happens with people who are in late twenties now.

    Thanks for such a nice article.

  • POSTED BY manish_doc on | November 10, 2008, 1:12 GMT

    Each and every word about this articls is true! I have never connected myself to an article so much before. I am sure many of us share the same emotions. Thanks Siddhartha for penning them down! Man we are getting old!

  • POSTED BY Kuldeep_Kulkarni on | November 9, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    Awesome article.It so mirrored my state of mind that I felt as if you came and sat in my brain and wrote the article.I am 21 and your article perfectly reflected the nostalgic feeling in me.I think this is one of the best articles I have read.I have been through each and every kind of emotion described in the article.

  • POSTED BY ashikcbe on | November 9, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    A little bit nostalgic. I started watching cricket after the world cup victory in 1983. Since then, I've keenly followed all the cricketers played for India. I loved watching Srikanth bat, Kapil playing a savior knock every now and then, but we see them go as the time pass. Now we have Sehwag similar to Srikanth, but won't be getting a fab four. It's a well-knit unit formed over a long period of time. Definitely we'll miss them. Though the Rohits and Kohlis knock the door, it is early time to pass any judgment. Sachin, Dravid, Kumble are one in a lifetime cricketers.

  • POSTED BY Andys-12 on | November 9, 2008, 12:53 GMT

    Really awesome article.... just reminds me of the days in Delhi where we played street cricket and all the other memories....Cricket for me would never be the same without the Fab-5....Cricket for us is not just a game.. Its a way of life...

  • POSTED BY Sankalp.Mohanty on | November 10, 2008, 6:58 GMT

    Like many others who have left comments before, this is the story of my life. Sachin gave us a reason to be happy and more importantly to have hope. When like the excalibur he waved his bat, he made us believe anything was possible.It was different in the early 90s. India was not the country it is today and cricket was everything. Dravid and Ganguly added on. Its the end of an era. In many ways tht was the age of innocence. Life will never be the same again.

  • POSTED BY Satyakatha on | November 10, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    Best ever article ever read. I coudnt agree with you more. I guess this is the general feeling of our generation. It is hard to fathom that Dada, Jumbo will not be seen on the field or in the dressing room any longer. Guess, time flies by.

    These 5 players Dada,Jumbo,Sachin,VVS and Rahul are and will remain the finest our country has ever produced.

    However, I am optimistic that the newer lot will also do big things for the game and for one thing, I feel MSD is a character who will break Dada's record as the best captain ever.

  • POSTED BY harrycha on | November 10, 2008, 6:34 GMT

    cool..i hv strtd watching cric after winning the world cup. coz dad got the tv set in 1984. the tv was uptron. we used that tv for more than 13 years...i still remem the first match of azhar. in our street no one else had a tv. so whenever theres as an ODI all kids will be there. one of my frnd used to ball like "Small(neckless player)" of england. and i always tried to ball like prabhakar jumping to the left side...nd some time like cotny walsh of WI..walsh was my favourite. he looks tired when he bowls but for the batsmen its a bullet.Viv richards, Bruce Reid, Hadlee, srikkanthetc.. even n those days srikkanths strike rate is amazing..sehwag s the latest version of Sri...then cam our sachin he s nd will be my fav unless some1 else can beat his records...not only the records, the attitude he has s juz amazing...juz with a cool smile he cools down even nell.ofcourse tis article reminds us of our childhood but until india is ter i will be wit cricket. "Chak de India"

  • POSTED BY arjunUT on | November 10, 2008, 4:05 GMT

    Wasn't this the same way many of us tennis lovers felt when Pete stepped off the court for the last time? I thought all was lost. Agassi followed shortly and I thought this kind of rivalry will never again be seen on the tennis court. Alas, there was this young Swiss who had dealt Sampras his fatal blow in his own den started walking on water and then entered the Spaniard who captured hearts with his game. Sometimes these guys even make me feel that those days are back. I am sure there is someone there in cricket who is gonna do that. But all said, there are some moments in Indian cricket I will never forget such as Dada taking his shirt off and swingin it over his head at lords. But never write the younger generation off, you never know whats in store!

  • POSTED BY ashu_gupta on | November 10, 2008, 3:10 GMT

    best article I have ever read on cricinfo. I will surely stop watching cricket the day sachin retires. i wont even probably watch TV after that. even thinking of the day sachin will retire is anxiety provoking.

  • POSTED BY Priyank on | November 10, 2008, 2:56 GMT

    This is my story. This is the story of most of my friends.

    Let me tell you a little anecdote from my own life, to tell how much love I had for them. Once my mom was teasing me when Sachin got out for low score. It was two years back (I was 23 then). My face became red and I shouted at my mom - "What fun is it to insult my heroes who gave me the best memories in my life. I grew up imitating them in every way. If at all I had some wonderful memories in my life, they are the runs scored by fab four or wickets taken by Jumbo. Please don't ever insult them before me." I know many of my friends who reacted the same way in similar situations.

    I can't think of Indian team without these greats. My dad once said to me that he stopped watching cricket after Sunny Gavaskar retired. It is not just my dad, many people of his generation stopped watching after their heroes retired. I guess same thing happens with people who are in late twenties now.

    Thanks for such a nice article.

  • POSTED BY manish_doc on | November 10, 2008, 1:12 GMT

    Each and every word about this articls is true! I have never connected myself to an article so much before. I am sure many of us share the same emotions. Thanks Siddhartha for penning them down! Man we are getting old!

  • POSTED BY Kuldeep_Kulkarni on | November 9, 2008, 18:18 GMT

    Awesome article.It so mirrored my state of mind that I felt as if you came and sat in my brain and wrote the article.I am 21 and your article perfectly reflected the nostalgic feeling in me.I think this is one of the best articles I have read.I have been through each and every kind of emotion described in the article.

  • POSTED BY ashikcbe on | November 9, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    A little bit nostalgic. I started watching cricket after the world cup victory in 1983. Since then, I've keenly followed all the cricketers played for India. I loved watching Srikanth bat, Kapil playing a savior knock every now and then, but we see them go as the time pass. Now we have Sehwag similar to Srikanth, but won't be getting a fab four. It's a well-knit unit formed over a long period of time. Definitely we'll miss them. Though the Rohits and Kohlis knock the door, it is early time to pass any judgment. Sachin, Dravid, Kumble are one in a lifetime cricketers.

  • POSTED BY Andys-12 on | November 9, 2008, 12:53 GMT

    Really awesome article.... just reminds me of the days in Delhi where we played street cricket and all the other memories....Cricket for me would never be the same without the Fab-5....Cricket for us is not just a game.. Its a way of life...

  • POSTED BY shah881 on | November 9, 2008, 11:47 GMT

    Not a bad piece of nostalgic writing my friend. Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or VVS? Maybe so, maybe. Even if one agrees to this my friend, you didn't mention anything about Indian bowlers only wishing they could bowl like Pakistani bowlers. What do you think about that? Lets not get carreid away on memories of youth. Pakistani bowlers of the younger days of Tendulkar, Kumble are legends. Just thought I would remind you. Thats all.

  • POSTED BY Aditya_mookerjee on | November 9, 2008, 8:51 GMT

    I loved your piece. My interest in world cricket started with the World Cup 1983. My father was more enthusiastic than most teenagers now, on the eve of the final of that World Cup, and he was the same age as Tendulkar is now. I was not interested in that World Cup, but I woke up and took notice. I was too gentlemanly, so I preferred my friends play cricket instead of me, as I thought I might get in the way. However, my interest in cricket has developed into a passion.

  • POSTED BY CiMP on | November 9, 2008, 6:04 GMT

    Indeed a lovely article! When nostalgia hits youngsters it means they have grown up! I am half-century-plus, but I can relate to this article because that is a road my generation has traveled.

    Our Sachins, Dravids, Gangulys and Laxmans were Gavaskars, Vishwanaths, Wadekars and (Mohinder) Amarnaths. For Kumble, we had our own Fab Four - Bedi, Prasanna, Chandra and Venkat.

    We too thought style began and ended with ML Jaisimha and GR Vishwanath. (Neville Cardus must have thought it was Ranjitsinghji!). We debated whether Gavaskar or Vishy was the best: Arguments raged about Vishy being the saviour in every crisis and Sunil being the one who prevented crisis from arising in the first place! Whether Prasanna or Venkat was to be included in the team.

    We drooled over Vishy's square cuts and late cuts and Bedi and Prasanna's flight and curves.

    Good news kids, we too enjoyed Sachin and Laxman. You too will enjoy the nextgen.

    Yet, it wont be the same. Every generation MUST OWN its heroes!

  • POSTED BY mysticcricket on | November 9, 2008, 3:40 GMT

    This is so far the best article I have read on cricinfo. I could relate myself to every single memory of yours. Thank you, for such a refreshing article.

  • POSTED BY duffydack on | November 9, 2008, 2:44 GMT

    Move on. These cricketers have achieved a lot, and they have brought joy and glory to the nation numerous times. But that doesnt mean you have to mourn their retirement like it was the end of the world. Sentimental writings do not capture the leagcy that these players leave behind.

    Back in the days when cricket was just a simple game, there were many legends who left behind their indelible impressions on viewers. Their deeds are being talked about even to this day.

    All this talk about your childhood ending, and part of you dying is ridicuously sentimental stuff, and does not tell the readers of the players' greatness. It only tells them you are one among millions of star struck new-generation cricket watchers who grew up watching cricket in the mid-late 90s, and now want to show how much cricket you have watched by waxing eloquent about some players who caught your imagination.

    Move on. Your writings can never do justice to these cricketers' deeds.

  • POSTED BY Saranik on | November 8, 2008, 22:47 GMT

    I am 25 years old and am really moved after reading this article. Thanks Siddhartha!!! Its a beauty of an article.

  • POSTED BY HundredPercentBarcelonista on | November 8, 2008, 18:28 GMT

    I'm sorry to say this but most of you are a bunch of fairweather fans and have no sense of attachment to either the Indian team or to cricket. Your posts smack of an attitude that has plagued Indian cricket for decades. Like most of you, I too have watched a 16-year old take a Waqar Younis bouncer on his nose and bat on to help India save the series. But guess what, there was also a Brian Charles Lara, an Allan Donald, a Mark Waugh, a Curtly Ambrose, and a whole host of cricketing greats who I have had the privilege of watching. The sooner we realise this is a sport and not a religion the better it would be for the Indian team.

  • POSTED BY MilindKulkarni on | November 8, 2008, 18:06 GMT

    One of the best articles I read in recent times! After retirement of all theses greats only we can understand the real meaning of "void" !

  • POSTED BY potter69 on | November 8, 2008, 17:50 GMT

    I'm 23 years old , yes , this article just reflects the state of my mind, so many happy thoughts, memories that would stay forever , sachin playing like a champion on a fast perth pitch , charged up kumble hitting the winning runs as his mom watches from the stands , a souvrav waltz down the track to a spinner , a stout dravid defending against shoaib when all hell broke loose around him , when laxman drove warne inside out from the rough in kolkata, the moments i spent weeping when we lost , and the sense of elation when they won , so few can easily entwine our lives so closely. These guys have done it for a decade, as they fade out , a new set of heroes might come, but they wont give me back my best years as a cricket fan. THOSE WERE THE BEST DAYS OF MY LIFE.

  • POSTED BY srihurry on | November 8, 2008, 17:04 GMT

    Yeah unfortunately this is true.In a few years time those of us who are in their mid twenties will lose our identity with Indian Cricket and maybe the Game won't be the same again for us as slowly but surely this Indian Cricket Team is turning into a Realty TV Programe.

    I pray and hope there is one more Sachin playing somewhere in the gullies of India for us to relive and our identity and to preserve Indian Crickets Dignity and Values.

  • POSTED BY Shital on | November 8, 2008, 16:50 GMT

    Spot on. Couldn't agree more.

  • POSTED BY GrangerGab on | November 8, 2008, 16:00 GMT

    Hey Siddhartha,

    Awesome article. Echoed my sentiments to a tee!! This is also from my college group. Thanks for putting this up. When I tell people that I'm unable to come to terms with the fact the Fab Five are on the verge of retirment they do not understand what I mean!!! I completely emapthize with the feeling, 'A part of me will die when all of them are gone!'

    I'm not sure if I will watch cricket with the same passion as I have. Cricket for me began in 1991-92 - Sachin weaving magic in Aus. Sigh I've grown up watching these blokes and it hurts to see them go!

    These blokes played a major part in my falling in love with this game for their sheer brilliance, talent, dedication,modesty and grit!

    Keep rocking & writing

  • POSTED BY karthit on | November 8, 2008, 15:46 GMT

    A very nice write-up on what's on every cricket fanatic's mind. Siddarth's words were just exactly what has been on my mind the past few days! November 9, 2008 will be a very memorable day in the history of Indian cricket! It will surely be the last time Saurav Ganguly will be batting against Australia in a test match or for that matter any test match. But it will also be the last time Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid will be walking out to bat against Australia in a test match! (the next time India play Australia in a test match will be in Dec 2011 in Australia). I can never imagine a test match between India and Australia without Sachin Tendulkar, my greatest idol since 1992. And to make it worse, it may also be the last time the great VVS (again the match winner for India against Aus) will walk out to bat against the Aussies. A really sad day for Indian cricket. For Aus, it will surely be the last time Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden and Simon Katich will be playing against India.

  • POSTED BY royapuram_rockers on | November 8, 2008, 14:54 GMT

    Touching article...I feel the same as the author... as a person who's 1st cricketing memory was the Aamir Sohail-Prasad incident ( I was 5 then),I feel that watching cricket is no longer so much fun.Leava alone Indians...The 90's and early 2000's were simply glorious for the fact that so many greats (,The waughs,bevan,walsh ambrose,lara,andy flower,jayasuriya,de silva, azharuddin,akram,younis,inzy...the list will go on endlessly.

  • POSTED BY vparisa on | November 8, 2008, 14:53 GMT

    Your article almost made me feel bad and empty and also made me feel that i am growing old too. Sachin was my first favorite cricketer and till date i follow every thing written about him. I used to drink Boost, coz Sachin used to endorse it, I had power shoes and power bat..ha ha...drink Pepsi :).. oh man, i was really crazy. Until, Dravid, Ganguly, VVS arrived India were so Dependant on Sachin/Kumble and Srinath to an extent and when all of these great cricketers came together, we started winning abroad. I remember asking my neighbor who had TV during 1992 WC Did India Win? How much did Sachin score? I remember Sachin picking up MOM for India vs Pakistan in 1992 WC. It was always about these great cricketers and feels wonderful to be part of their generation. I forgot that i am 26 years now. Never realized i am growing. When these retire.. may be i will realize..

  • POSTED BY nivea on | November 8, 2008, 14:44 GMT

    Hey you are right I am still young but even of thinking of Sachin leaving feels strange. These 5 are so very different to the the other 'boys' of the team. The 'big 5' are the best crickters ever, they rock. They are calm and and dont act like they are the kings. i am sure that every one will miss them greatly, i know I will, but another side of me also say that India needs a change ofthe new generation so we can have more people like the 'big 5'

    We can all learn from the 'Big 5"

  • POSTED BY Rohan1 on | November 8, 2008, 14:01 GMT

    Cricket without Sachin Tendulkar?? What't that?!

  • POSTED BY RameshSrivats on | November 8, 2008, 13:45 GMT

    Beautiful article. I too cannot envision watching a game without the magic of Tendulkar or the reassurance of Kumble. You may want to check my tribute to Kumble at http://www.rameshsrivats.net/2008/11/student-toiler-soldier-leader.html

  • POSTED BY vinoba on | November 8, 2008, 12:56 GMT

    Putting my comment again. I belong to Sid's generation. And in our childhood, TV and newspapers were the only sources of entertainment. We switched OFF the TV once Sachingot out( no offence meant to Azhar,JAdeja,etc)..The current generation will never understand the passion.I still have a poster of Sachin since the past 10 years...

  • POSTED BY Hiren09 on | November 8, 2008, 12:49 GMT

    This is the best article I would have read in recent time. It looks like writer has written what I have been feeling for these days. I'm in my late 20 and made cricket my religion from Indo-Pak series in 88, When a little boy call Sachin came in to play for india.Tears were rolling to see Jumbo leaving the ground. I don't think I can watch cricket without Sachin in Indian team. Jumbo actually showed how to be disciplined, Sachin showed what a Super-start suppose to be like. Ganguly showed what fight back sprite mean, and dravid's determination to stay in the crease. Laxman's calms approach. We can actually make our life best out of these entire characteristic shown by our Heroes. Thanks editor for this wonderful article. A BIG Thanks to our HEROS

  • POSTED BY Nambi_S on | November 8, 2008, 12:36 GMT

    Wonderful Article Sid, Its explains exactly whats going on this generation cricket followers........There were sweet memories as it always Sachin Fans Vs Sourav fans as far as ODIs go.......Its very sad to lose them all in couple of years......I guess most of us will stop our madness in following up once they were not there....

    Nambi

  • POSTED BY anubhav30 on | November 8, 2008, 12:22 GMT

    Completely agree with you on this. Tendulkar was the first of the sports heros of our generation. Kapil was getting old and there was not much to look upto in any other sport.

    He was like a breath of fresh air to an oxygen-starved nation. And then followed the rest of the fab five and we all felt blessed.

    Be it the desert storm inning, or brisbane knock of Saurabh or the herculeun 281, with each run we all rejoiced. Rahul, Sachin and Laxman were praised for their grace and Saurabh was praised for his art of standing u to the opponents.

    The present lot of cricketers owe their place to these people as they have taught us how to stand up and be counted.

    Once gone they will be sorely missed and still cannot imagine any Indian side without Tendulkar for eternity.

    May be like these stars, its time for a new generation of fans to step up.

  • POSTED BY oUTLAWS on | November 8, 2008, 12:16 GMT

    Mr. siddhartha.. i am pretty much a keen reader of your writings and posts on cricinfo. However such a statements as " Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or VVS? " from such an established writer i think is not suitable. i agree that you, here, are expressing your childhood feelings but remember you are now an established writer and i suppose your choice of words in this particular context could and should have been better. Rest i probably share the same feelings for the indian cricket as you do. Cricket will be poorer from their going.

  • POSTED BY vinoba on | November 8, 2008, 12:12 GMT

    Totally agree with you SID. I became very emotional reading the article. Apart from being teriffic cricketers the fab 5 have been gr8 role models. Especially Sachin. No other sportsman in the world carries so much expectations. But he still keeps on performing and his conduct off the field has been exemplary.The T-20 generation needs to learn.Cricket will never be so popular and regularly watched once Sachin leaves especially with sports like basketball,F-1,etc.

  • POSTED BY the_cerebral_assassin on | November 8, 2008, 12:10 GMT

    Very catchy article. As a young boy who grew up in cricket mad India, I can associate with so many of the points described by Siddharth - from missing homeworks to flopping at exams and even being consoled by a Ganguly six or a Tendulkar century after being ignored by women. Reading this article has made me feel more nostalgic than I have been in a long while. The departure of the old guard will certainly be the end of an era!!

  • POSTED BY pagalo on | November 8, 2008, 11:38 GMT

    No,i shouldn't hav read this and once again the cloud of sadness or loneliness or whatever engulfs me once again.see words fail me to express my feelings.The only consoling factor for me is sachin is going to play for some more time.this article is the reflection of what is exactly running in my mind since dada announced his retirement.with all these what i've said don't put me as a thirty year old.i'm jus 20.started watching cricket from 96 world cup.it is now i'm thinking what big passion i had for this game even during my childhood.for the cricket lovers-could anyone forget the sharjah match where sachin blasted the aussies,or the independence cup nerve gripping finals where india chased 314 against pakistan in dhaka when dada scored a brilliant hundred.even many may remember hrikesh kanitkar because of that match.a match starts and sachin and sourav comes out of the pavillion.the most joyous moment for me watchin my stars marching into the ground.cant watch again.MISS U DADA,JUMBO

  • POSTED BY arivz on | November 8, 2008, 9:05 GMT

    Sid, one of the best articles i ve read in recent past...so much u ve been able to put into words my/our deep feelings...cricket and this fab 5 have so much a part of our life...but a mature way to think about is to be happy, celebrate the occassion and feel blessed that u were lived in the world in this period of time with the fab 5 !

  • POSTED BY ilovetestmatch on | November 8, 2008, 8:47 GMT

    Well said. We belong to the same age group. Being a die hard cricket fan, you have said each and every word that reflects our growing up with cricket and our state of mind. And not to mention the stats we have at hand, and still the rounds of discussion we go on into about the matches from this era. Apart from our home heroes, the others who are now retired from our time that i can vividly remember - Jonty Rhodes, allan donald, hansie cronje, graeme hick, flower brothers, martin crowe, merv hughes, craig mc dermott, steve waugh, mark waugh, courtney walsh among others. Back to the stats tendulkar's 86 against NZ in his first innnings as an opener. Kumble's 6/12 in the hero cup, robin singh's effort to tie the match against zimbawe, jadeja's diving catch in 92 world cup against australia (first time i saw an indian fielder diving), tendulkar's mincemeat of australia in sharjah, Dravid's six against Allan donald, and so many tons more. We'll miss you Sourav and Jumbo.

  • POSTED BY comptonforever on | November 8, 2008, 8:44 GMT

    I know how you feel, Siddharta. I'm 70, but still can't get over the now long-dead Denis Compton's retirement. Andy, Ireland

  • POSTED BY Vikas_Neha on | November 8, 2008, 8:33 GMT

    Yes, this article did touch my heart. I am not emotional person, but yes, the fact remains, i m still a person!! The Fab5 will never play again together, n for us, these Fab 5 made the Indian 11. So, with the sunset in South after the 3rd Test, now the sun will set in East in next 2 days, an era going to end yet again, within a span of 10 days. I am 26 now, but i have been living for 16 years only, from 1992 onwards, the day from when i understood cricket, it meant Sachin Tendulkar. The other synonyms for cricket came to my mind only in the year 1996, when two other legends were born, Sourav n Rahul. And again Lakshman helped me add one more synonym for cricket. After Sachin, who changed the meaning of Cricket for many, it was "dada" who changed my life. Now, i think, "dada" will again change my life, because cricket without him will never be same, and hence can never be same for me too. I m in pain now seeing Dada go, but equally happy that he'll not be in pain anymore. Love you Dada

  • POSTED BY ravi_508 on | November 8, 2008, 7:56 GMT

    you are so right sidhartha... i even used to watch the county games shown live on star sports. Good old days.. thanks for the old memories....

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | November 8, 2008, 6:47 GMT

    Further,it's not just the folks in their "mid-to-late 20s". Pandit Bhimsen Joshi just commented on how he was a fan of Sachin and that "Noone bats like Sachin". And the Pandit's 86 years old!! So,never mind whether you're 18 or 86..We're all going to miss Sachin guys. We all are.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | November 8, 2008, 5:19 GMT

    Chill,Sid. Sachin's going to be around for another 15 years. See,I'm not in my "mid-to-late 20s",I'm 41 and Sachin still makes me behave like a kid!!

  • POSTED BY sideee on | November 8, 2008, 2:48 GMT

    I can not imagine watching a match at the stadium without the familiar cheer of "Sachin... Sachin"!!! But the transition is almost done in the one day team. We don't have any of our seniors there. Except for Sachin. Can imagine him retiring!! Too painful ! The only reason I might watch test matches after these guys go is with the hope that Sehwag might score a 300 ! After he gets out, I am not sure how many televisions will still remain switched on.

  • POSTED BY Yorker_ToeCrusher on | November 8, 2008, 2:18 GMT

    Cricket doesnt exists for me with out sachin..its just doesnt exist.i bunked classes and enjoyed life infront of tv while i was in school.i am 26 now.I am a hardcore cricket fan,but i will stop watching cricket the day sachin hang up his boots...for sure. -sreekanth nair london

  • POSTED BY Ucantbreakthewall on | November 8, 2008, 2:07 GMT

    I too like the editor 'grew up' in the same era ,watching the fledgling Tendulkar's and the Kumble's and the Dravid's slowly evolve to become the fortress of Indian cricket, and to also become outstanding ambassadors of our country much beyond the realms of sport. The playing days of these cricketers are deeply intertwined with the magical memories of my childhood, and their retirement has forced me to concede that a joyous, carefree phase of my life is officially over. And it is HARD to let go of that age of innocence! Reminiscing Tendulkar's 100 in Perth as a teenager, his whirlwind 80 odd whilst opening the innings for the first time against NZ a few years later, Dravid's outstanding 148 at the Wanderer's in 97, Laxman's silky 167 in Sydney, Kumble picking up Lara in a cast, Ganguly saving the Brisbane test at the Gabba (aside of the more talked about victories) always takes me back to a special place in time.

  • POSTED BY cricsand on | November 8, 2008, 2:07 GMT

    you have echoed the sentiments of that whole generation who grew up during this period and saw these players grow along with them. Sachin especially has become a part of my life. I stopped watching basketball after Jordan retired, an I stopped following F1 after Schumacher retired. I hope that doesn't happen with cricket. We need cricket idols like Sachin and the rest of the fab 4 or 5 and not page 3 superstars like Yuvraj and co.

  • POSTED BY DiscernWorld on | November 8, 2008, 2:01 GMT

    When our kids are older and we will tell them that the roads in a country of one billion people used to be completely empty when Sachin Tendulkar was batting, they will not believe us.

  • POSTED BY VijayHanchatey on | November 8, 2008, 1:59 GMT

    Terrific thought and article .. my eyes almost became wet reading the article. I had a distant feeling of what you wrote here before this. Really it would be very sad and challenging as you say to watch India go into a game with out these great gentlemen of world cricket. They are the near perfect role models for any child. I am 26 now and I vagely remember Sachin with the band aid on his nose batting in the test match in pakistan. From then on started my connection with these heroes. I want to run away from that day when an Indian team goes to play a test match.. as if somebody died.

  • POSTED BY nahid545 on | November 8, 2008, 1:17 GMT

    Words that I can agree with Siddartha.

  • POSTED BY AkshayRaj on | November 8, 2008, 0:30 GMT

    Siddhartha, this is unequivocally the best article I've read in a long time across genres. I'm 22, and my memories date back to the Hero Cup game where Kumble took 6/12. I started taking cricket seriously first when Sachin opened the innings in Auckland in 1994 and blasted the NZ bowlers. I'm like your friend who memorises scorecards. I was gutted when Dada and Jumbo announced their retirement. I can't imagine how I'll feel when Sachin, Dravid, and VVS retire. That's why, in this Ind-Aus series, I've been looking at India's scorecard longingly, hoping those wonderful names from 3-6 stick to my mind forever.

  • POSTED BY uhhuduga on | November 8, 2008, 0:11 GMT

    I am 25 years old and can understand the underlying emotions in this particular article.We may have had favorites among the fab5 but when its about India and the memories , all these 5 make up a special part of our lives.Knowingly or unknowingly our life so far has been intertwined with theirs.I doubt if there will be another person like sachin who in the coming years can move a nation like he did.

  • POSTED BY STUCKER on | November 8, 2008, 0:05 GMT

    Hi guys im pakistani and im not lying i almost cried when i was watching the third test between aus/ind.I didnt know wat happend i just felt a little bored when india were batting and that time none of us knew that kumble had retired.so i had actually shut my tv off and i went to sleep.When i woke up in the evening i opened my computer and i opened cricinfo.com and i just saw kumbles picture and i thought no! man has india won this test and i bet kumble has finally delivered a match winning performance and then i saw what was written down there that kumble has retired from test cricket.I literally choked and i was lik wats happening to me why m i gonna cry and i really controlled myself or else i was goina burst out crying.Then i said to myself that i hate myself i couldnt watch kumble for the last time and then i thought no! i m gonna wake up the whole night to watch the repeat telecast and i will watch it and i did watch it and then i was relieved.No man Sachin & rahul cant retire NO

  • POSTED BY arya_underfoot on | November 7, 2008, 23:18 GMT

    "I assume there is a large group of cricket fans in their mid-to-late 20s, like me, who are grappling with the implications. This transition is messing with our minds."

    you took the words right out of my mouth. i feel exactly the same way. my earliest cricket memories are of australia winning the 87 world cup, but cricket for me started with sachin tendulkar....

    with kumble and ganguly retiring, and dravid's end imminent, it's only a matter of time before we have to face the inevitable. our childhood is indeed ending!!

  • POSTED BY manoj1980 on | November 7, 2008, 23:10 GMT

    You were spot on Sid! I still remember the 1992-93 series-infact that was my first instance i could call myself a cricket franatic- in Australia when I used to wake up at 5:00 AM to watch the matches, just to see Tendulkar play. No Kapil, Krish or Azhar..Just Tendulkar...or couple of years later in NZ...my board exam days...even sooner at 2:30 AM...Then came Dada / Sachin partnership...I am becoming emotional when i remember those days...I hardly watched test matches till 1998, but VVS inspired me to watch testmatches after his blitkrieg in sydney...still rememember the Yorkers/flippers/googlies of kumble...even i molded myself like him..i cannot spin the ball though i call me a leg spinner...what else i can say...Our generation is getting over as you rightly said...I even stopped watching ODIs...

  • POSTED BY SalilB on | November 7, 2008, 23:10 GMT

    This is quite easily one of the best articles I have ever read. I can so empathize with each and every line in this article. "Tendulkar's retirement may mean a lot of things to a lot of people, but for a generation of 25- to 30-year-olds it will mark the end of the first part of their lives. Switching on the television the day after will be a serious challenge." ... cannot agree more! Wonderful!

  • POSTED BY ravisubhasht on | November 7, 2008, 22:47 GMT

    Siddhartha, I could run over and hug you right now!!! I will be 29 this month and have gone through almost the same experiences and emotions that you have described. I was part of the "Cricket is my religion, Sachin is my God" crowd. How our mood rose and fell with each boundary hit by Sachin and each time he got out, triggering a procession! How we danced in the streets after Jadeja hit Waqar Younis out of the park in Bangalore in the 1996 World Cup, and how we wept after Sachin got out to Saqlain in Chennai (1998). These days, watching cricket over shaky illegal streams from the US while having a regular job somewhat shields one from the highs and lows, but every once in a while an article like yours comes across and brings a lump to the throat... BTW...I cannot believe you left out Desert Storm among your list of unforgettable experiences!

  • POSTED BY jopa on | November 7, 2008, 22:40 GMT

    Vaidya,

    My journey started a little earlier. I remember hearing the commentary on the SBC when WI were chasing the final of 1983 WC final at lords, i used to listen to it and run to my friends with the update. I remember the debut of azzaruddin against england. I remember the tendulkar taking on Quadir s a 16 year old, watched Dada's heroics, Laxman's silken touch and Dravid's solid defenses. Was there when Hirwani promised a lot, and jumbo took off.

    retirement is a phase of life, we all will never forget the greats, but the only factor in life that is constant is change itself. We will embrace the new heroes and learn to be brash and boastful too!

  • POSTED BY ArchersVoice on | November 7, 2008, 22:17 GMT

    Once upon a time there was Kapil Dev, Gavaskar and other greats. Kapil's Devils won the world cup (i was fortunate to watch it live on tv) and Sunny's boys won the Benson & Hedges in Australia. (i fondly remember waking up at 4 am and going gaga over Channel Nine's telecast)

    And then came the fab four. Invidually brilliant and champions all of them with Sachin being a legend. Rahul was my personal favourite (i'm his age) but watching any of these heroes on the crease was a joy to behold.

    For the sheer thrill and ecstasy of winning a final, Yuvraj and Kaif's brilliance against England at Lords comes to mind. And of course Dhoni and his young guns at the inaugural 20-20. No fab four in either of these games.

    At the end of the day, winning matters. Victories are cherished. As time passes by, new champions will be born.

    Shed tears by all means, but no need to stop watching cricket. It is still a beautiful game.

  • POSTED BY cricket_DD on | November 7, 2008, 21:30 GMT

    Sid Totally agree with you, I started watching cricket around the time when Shastri became Champions of Champions.. and i remember before Tendulkar's era, Srikanth was my favourite cricketer... He was the only attacking batsman among Gavaskers... Amarnaths and Shastris... and at that age i was not keen on test cricket, but after Sachin came into the team, he redefined the game for us... Not just his game but his charming and down to earth personality.... I can watch Cricket without Gangualy and Dravid.. but it sends a shock wave in the body thinking of indian cricket team without Sachin, A boundary is just 4 runs when any cricketer hits it, but it a lot more than that when it comes from Sachin's bat...

  • POSTED BY thestunner316_15 on | November 7, 2008, 20:30 GMT

    Yeah;I could totally relate to this article you know; Again,the only reason I ever started watching cricket was this one kid called sachin;I was 7 i think when i first started watching back in 91 (I'm 24 now). I cannot even begin to think how I can ever continue watching cricket without sachin tendulkar in the team;Even though the day is close but I still dont wanna think about it;its too painful.Every match india won, was a victory for us. It made us forget everything bad that has happened in our lives (Bad grades, scolding from parents, poor exams. We rejoiced more than them, for it felt as if we were part of them..

    I'm just being nostalgic man;I'm sure we will continue to watch cricket years later. We'll've good players replacing them, for sure. But will we ever have a sachin, the heart-on-your-sleeve shirt waving dada, the sway-out-of-the-line dravid, poetry in motion laxman, or the captain dignity kumble. Never. P.S. never seen so many comments postedon an article. Good stuff

  • POSTED BY j_yogesh on | November 7, 2008, 20:16 GMT

    One of the best articles I've come across that seems written straight from the heart. Couldn't control my tears when reading it and the comments. In my case, cricket started just before 1996 world cup..when I got a book which had player profiles. Then sachin's brilliance in the world cup, quarter-final against pak.., heart-breaking semi against sri lanka.. and it started. Then came, rahul, dada, jumbo's 10, then the magical innings of rahul-sachin against kenya, rahul-dada against sl... still remember tony grieg screaming everytime dada comes down the track and belts one into the stands :D... i liked srinath too for his gallant efforts.. finally laxman in 2001 was really special. More than cricketers, they became part of my everyday existence. Now that they are going into the glorious sunset, I feel privileged to have watch them. We dont realise how fortunate we are.. time to stand up and applaud! Thank God we didn't have the dumb marauding media we have today at that time...

  • POSTED BY sfali16 on | November 7, 2008, 19:52 GMT

    awesome article siddharth... i can totally identify with everything you said about sachin and kumble spoiling us, then dada and dravid being added to that.. and about remembering different points of time in your life based on the cricket matches ! dhoni is the only cricketer who would inspire you to watch after sachin leaves.... more so for his captaincy than his batting.

  • POSTED BY azzaonnet on | November 7, 2008, 19:38 GMT

    This has been one of the best articles I have read in recent times.. I am sure only people who have been a part of this folklore can truly understand the turmoil that one faces when these cricketing stalwarts who served Indian cricket fade away in to the horizon......

    Its been a pleasure to grow everyday watching their exploits and their conquests...... Guess the folks of 90's will never touch the remote again.....

    Tears are welling up in my eyes while writing this.......

    Thanks for making us aware of the valuable contributions of these greats. Hopefully the new cricketing generation will look forward to these guys for inspiration rather then the current batch who believes in foul mouthing at each and every instance.

  • POSTED BY azzaonnet on | November 7, 2008, 19:38 GMT

    This has been one of the best articles I have read in recent times.. I am sure only people who have been a part of this folklore can truly understand the turmoil that one faces when these cricketing stalwarts who served Indian cricket fade away in to the horizon......

    Its been a pleasure to grow everyday watching their exploits and their conquests...... Guess the folks of 90's will never touch the remote again.....

    Tears are welling up in my eyes while writing this.......

    Thanks for making us aware of the valuable contributions of these greats. Hopefully the new cricketing generation will look forward to these guys for inspiration rather then the current batch who believes in foul mouthing at each and every instance.

  • POSTED BY kalankitpandit on | November 7, 2008, 19:30 GMT

    What an article Siddartha! I have big lump in my throat and felt very tempted to leave a comment. I am 28 and truly connect my upbringing as you mentioned. I remember a day before 10th final exam, My father allowed me to watch the whole cricket match against Australia. He allowed me to watch because he needed somebody for high fives after every shot and wicket. I felt all the time involved with modern Indian cricket team. Sachin's Sharjah storm, Hero cup's final over, Dravid's cemented wall like performances through out the world, Kumble's 6/12 in Hero cup, All 10s against Pakistan in Kotla, Ganguly's attitude throughout his captaincy, Laxman's best against Aussies. Hats off to the writer for presenting my life the way I lived it so far. I am really worried about my passion for cricket after Sachin and Dravid calls it a day.

  • POSTED BY desiwave on | November 7, 2008, 19:03 GMT

    Before I read this article, i was in denial. But I can't agree more with it. I am in late 20s and my cricket "career" started around the same time as yours. I still have newspaper clippings of scorecards of all the crickets games involving Indian team. Cricket involving Sachin, Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid and Laxman has been a huge part of my life. I moved to US in 2001 and I think my "obsession" to cricket was a way to make sure that I was in touch with life in India.

    The fact that these greats are going to leave soon and the "exodus" has already started makes me really heavy hearted. Your friend's statement is right on target. But it also makes me realize the joy, the feeling of fulfillment and being privileged they have given me for last 2 decades.

    I am sad that it will never be the same again but i wish them all the luck and i hope the next generation of cricketers can follow their footsteps

  • POSTED BY vaibhav_verma on | November 7, 2008, 19:01 GMT

    Too good and very true. I fall in the age group mentioned in the article and can relate to most of the points mentioned in the article. My early memories of cricket date back to 1992 world cup when we used to wake up early in morning to see those matches. I remember the time when people used to switch of their television sets once Sachin was out. He became a symbol of hope for the entire country. This responsibility of carrying the hopes of country was very well shared by other greats of the era including dada,Jumbo,dravid and Srinath. It was not just the pleasure of victory alone, but also the sheer delight of watching these impeccable greats which forced us to remain tuned to our TV sets. I know cricket will continue to be a religion in this country but it will surely be end of an era when the fab four will be gone.

  • POSTED BY Sujith_Nair on | November 7, 2008, 18:58 GMT

    Given the deluge of responses to this article, guess it wouldn't be wrong in calling ourselves the "Fab 5" generation a la Gen-X or Gen-Y :) Marketers, take note! Sid, tguess here's none better than you. You (& Cricinfo) knew it better than anyone else that there was a story to be told! Kudos for an honest piece of work.

  • POSTED BY PrashamKamdar on | November 7, 2008, 18:57 GMT

    This article sums up my thoughts and feeling perfectly well.

    These players are my heroes. Each of them have their own brand value.

    Gangers was the fantastic leader who had self-belief in him and his Team INDIA, Sachin defined the word 'success', Kumble showed determination by bowling with a fractured jaw, Dravid displayed tremendous patience and perseverance, VVS showed how to stay calm under pressure. These Heroes have told us and the rest of the world that we Indians are the BEST in the world. Each of them displayed important virtues of life. I draw inspiration from these people.

    I want to Thank Gangers, Sachin, Dravid, Kumble and VVS for making every Indian proud of their Nation.

    I will definitely miss watching Gangers and Kumble. I hope that they have inspired enough youngsters to become like them and take charge of the next era of Indian Cricket.

    I could not resist myself so I am traveling to Nagpur to say farewell my favorite player of the fab 5 - 'Gangers'.

  • POSTED BY kushur on | November 7, 2008, 18:54 GMT

    Great Article..!!

    I am 29 years old and I must say that if I had written the article it would have been exactly same. Looks like if this article just addresses to me. My first memory of watching cricket is Reliance Cup 1987. But probably real love grew with Sachin's grrowing stature in cricketing world.

    I went through Junior School, Senior School,Board Exams, Engineering prep, Engineering, Hostel Life, MBA and Job,but few things remain constant. Watching Tendulkar driving through the covers on the rise. Later on he was joined by few others likes of Dravids and Ganguly etc.

    I am sure to get mighty emotional when all of these are gone.

  • POSTED BY Joe-the-blessed on | November 7, 2008, 18:39 GMT

    You stole my lines! I forwarded the post to my friends, many of whom, even to this day, switch off their TVs when Sachin Tendulkar starts his walk back to the pavilion... All of them, I repeat, all of them felt that Mr Vaidyanathan has articulated their thoughts! My dad introduced me to cricket. But, it was that short curly-haired boy who took up Abdul Qadir's challenge and sprayed him all over the ground on Pakistan soil who got me addicted to it. If domestic cricket in India has become as competitive as it is today, and our bench strength is probably second only to Australia, then that is thanks to the passions fired by Tendlya and the other fab four! Cricket and Indians are indebted to them. I only hope that Test cricket in India doesn't lose patronage after Sachin walks back to the pavilion for the last time. I know I was blessed to have lived in this period. Thank you, fab five for all these years! Thank you, Sachin, for being the hero of them all.

  • POSTED BY npuri on | November 7, 2008, 18:30 GMT

    Siddhartha, I can truly say, I spent my nineties watching cricket. Growing up, we would be so excited by the 2:30 start of a day-nighter. It meants everything to us to be the one to skip the last two periods of school and see the start of the match. The toss, the prematch analysis and listening to the roars of the crowd all thrilled us. And Sachin, Kumble, Srinath, Azhar were all part of that. Then Ganguly and Dravid came along and we started to enjoy the grace and class they brought to our team. Truly, we all bunked school (I remember bunking for the Ind v Aus test in Mumbai in 2001 which we lost), we all got upset when we lost, but there was always another great Sachin innings, or another great Kumble demolition, or another classy Sourav knock around the corner. I, for one, can say that I truly spent the nineties being part of Kumble and Srinath's run chase in Bangalore, Sachin's 93 against Aus in the 96 world cup, ganguly's 124 of 140 balls against Pak in Dhaka 1998 among others.

  • POSTED BY gmoturu on | November 7, 2008, 18:21 GMT

    great article.......this is so true for me......the only player i remember from the time i knew about criket is sachin. i can't see him retire.... i vaguely remember watching 1992 world cup with my parents. when sachin hits a ball in the air, i have my heart in my mouth. such was the excitement he created. he inspired a whole new generation after him. truly a legend. i definetely agree with siddhartha that i might stop watching cricket as regularly as now once sachin retires

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | November 7, 2008, 18:14 GMT

    The "Golden Era" isn't over yet........ And please don't weite farewells before that ! This is a request..........

  • POSTED BY Pavan_2020 on | November 7, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    I was struggling with all these emotions through out this series. i knew this was coming, but aleast sourav gave us a notice, Jumbo's call was like his bowling it self, trapped us right in front, clueless. not sure if india would be able to bat out even a day once these four are gone ... i am sure i wont be watching. i missed sourav/jumbo's last series, but i pray i am there when sachin calls it a day.

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | November 7, 2008, 18:00 GMT

    Pleaseeeeee..... please stop even discussions on this subject. Such articles may be moving, touching etc... but in a way such articles are not just a praise or a trip down memory lane they are also indirect obituaries....... So, kindly stop discussing about the retirements of the seniors. Sachin & Laxman have a great deal of cricket left in them, as does Dravid. Give them a break, allow them to play in peace...... This is my request & I'm sure many others' too......

  • POSTED BY jin4cric on | November 7, 2008, 17:58 GMT

    I'd like to do a little socio-economic analysis. There's a very important point you make regarding the age group,that I too have noticed.This distribution which begins at 18 and ends around 35 is the most emotionally connected to Indian cricket.It was the advent of color and cable TV and it coincided exactly with a chronological sequence of achivements starting with the 83WC all the way to Shrjah98(the years which bred people like us).Middle class kids had TV as the one luxury indoors and cricket to play or talk outdoors.But these days,its a different world.Internet,video-games,popularity of other sports like football,increased competition means that today's kids don't really care.There's so many other distractions.We only had one sport to follow,one event to watch India dominate..and one arena where India and Pak still fought.We bunked classes to watch Sachin bat.Today you bunk classes to prepare for entrance exams!

  • POSTED BY Rajesh. on | November 7, 2008, 17:55 GMT

    First of all columnists like you should stop this : " and the other three may not be far behind"

    You made Kumble go, you made Ganguly go & it seems like you would always have something to write about till the other three are gone as well. It definitely sells, isn't it, these stories about retirements !

    Just wondering when will this stop...........

  • POSTED BY npuri on | November 7, 2008, 17:52 GMT

    Hi Siddhartha. I'm 21 years old and I'm probably from a few years after you,vaguely remembering Imran Khan lift the world cup in 1992,with my cricketing life beginning in November 1994, watching the West Indies play India. I distinctly remember following that series intently, and thinking to myself, "wow, this is something to keep myself occupied with that I really like doing". And so, I started my cricket-crazy life, like every other Indian boy does. And I share your sympathies, that with every conversation at school during lunchtime, it would be about who was Sachin amongst your friends. Every matchday, we would bring "transistors" (portable radios) to school and listen to the scores. I remember distinctly, I was in the ninth standard when the famous India vs. Australia match (When VVS scored 281) was going on, and on day 5, we listened intently as Harbhajan picked up one wicket after another. I remember clearly going home and watching the last two wickets unfold.

  • POSTED BY citigenx on | November 7, 2008, 17:51 GMT

    you are true ,, we are losing one generation and may it is true that most of our generarion might lose intersert to watch Crickect after our Fabfive misses the wagon,i still remebr the Titan Cp, Hero Cup, 1996 Quarter final ,96 Scins's semis performance,Lords stadium,Laxman unbeaten 281,Dravid being wall in many occations, Kumbel 10 wicket Magic,Dada's Pride for nation, Sachin's amazing performances in Sharja,in india,his Fisr century you name it we remember,

    I really hate Indian selectors for the way they trated Dada ,it is really shame on them Dada can play 2 more years,we all know they have to retire but I never thought 18 years of life I spent with cricket,

    and you are also true the new Blood is not that Hot to be Appreciated,but Gambhir, Dhoni,might tae the torch to next generation as Sehwag, Yuvi getting older and Bajji will lead the team,

    hope for the best, and thank you for good Post. Vamshi

  • POSTED BY CricketCrazy19 on | November 7, 2008, 17:40 GMT

    Hey Siddharth, kudos to you for this article, couldn't have written it or even thought it any better. It felt like you penned down all my emotions. Although I didn't had much attachment with Jumbo similar to Dada or little master but still I felt teary on his departure, not sure how will it feel on little master's sign-off. Hope he leaves after winning the world cup. With commencement of Twenty20 and IPL into mainstream there so many changes happening in such a short time that it has become hard to digest all the proceedings. I won't say that I'll stop watching cricket but definitely the interest will be restricted just to the highlights package or the scorecard. Hope the new comers don't shatter our junior's dreams.. Cheers!!

  • POSTED BY akbn on | November 7, 2008, 17:15 GMT

    that was just a dream... that's me in the corner... that's me in the spotlight... Loosing my religion

  • POSTED BY movingspirit on | November 7, 2008, 16:46 GMT

    Siddhartha, i can totally relate to your feelings.I'm 26 now. My first vivid memories of cricket was Sachin famously belting Abdul Qadir for sixes in 1989 in an exhibition match. Then came Saurav, Rahul & VVS. The world cup of 1992 captured my imagination like no other even though India didnt do too well. I wept bitterly when India lost in the semi-finals of the 1996 world cup. I was over the moon when Kumble got the perfect 10. My joy knew no bounds when VVS & Rahul did the unthinkable in Kolkata in 2001. Saurav's aggressive captaincy came as a breath of fresh air after the lame laambs India put out to slaughter abroad, in the 90's. My childhood is just filled with memories of cricket & the great deeds of the FAB 5. Alas as you have so eloquently described, a part of me too is just dying.....

  • POSTED BY MJ1234 on | November 7, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    I completely agree with the article. In the 80s, having been used to a 'door darshan'of the happenings on the cricket field we used to long for clippings of Australian cricket on DD news and 'The world this week'. The Sachin factor ,the entry of satellite TV, the Hero Cup win in 1993, the Azhar- Wadekar strategy of ensuring home wins, Jumbo's towering presence and THE SERIES in 2001 have made cricket what it is today for our generation. Some of my best memories have been of Saurav and Rahul's innings in 1996, Tendulkar in 1998, the Titan cup in 1996, the series win against SA in 1996.Who can forget Tony Greig's comments in Sharjah 1998 after Sachin made his century against Australia - 'What a player...what a wonderful player'(lump in my throat).

  • POSTED BY rosser on | November 7, 2008, 16:37 GMT

    Wow! Awesome article.

    For most middle class young (relatively), cricket was the only entertainment. In the 80s and early 90s ...no cable, no internet, a closed economy.

    These were our idols. I still get goosebumps when sachin comes to bat. All good things must come to an end. I guess its time to grow up!!

    Nice Article.

  • POSTED BY VishalH on | November 7, 2008, 16:31 GMT

    This is the first time i am writing in on cricinfo... its coz the article exactly reflects how i feel. I am born in 86.. therefore since i know cricket its about sachin and gang.. after theyve gone i will watch cricket.. i know it.. coz i love the game way too much... however.. the indian team will be without class.. yess there is dhoni or yuvi and gambhir who are making the runs and hitting the sixes.. but its not a beautiful sight.. the sight that only a dravid saurav or sachin has... the sachin shots are in my memory for ever..and a dhoni shot will never stay with me.. probably that explains why we are losing our religion

  • POSTED BY Gaurav_Aggarwal on | November 7, 2008, 16:08 GMT

    Oh my god Siddhartha, you made this seem harder than I thought! Awesome article. I was 13 when Sachin started. Its been an incredible journey. Cant bear the thought of not seeing these guys anymore in the foreseeable future. It's gonna be the day 'Cricket Died'

  • POSTED BY bushra_tbssm on | November 7, 2008, 15:56 GMT

    I am just 23, n i am grewing watiching sachin, dravid ,gangully and anil kumle ,while i am pakistani n i like indian cricket team becoz of them now they r leaving its very heartbreaking..now adays i have sleepless nights , i have tears in my eyes i m mentally preparing myself for see them leaving one by one ..its painful its nightmare

  • POSTED BY GirishC on | November 7, 2008, 15:39 GMT

    Wow!! first we cry for Kumble's neck and now for Kumble, same goes for Ganguly. Maybe need to blame the numerous Indian TV news channel who manage to kill a national hero one day and resurrect him the other. But all said and done it is a sad feeling. All you guys in your late twenties you make me feel very very old but at heart I feel the same lump as you guys do. Whether I will lift my remote after Sachin is gone is tough to say....but I did upgrade my sky package to see Saurav's last match...Dada thanks you for the great show!

  • POSTED BY Sidhanta-Patnaik on | November 7, 2008, 15:24 GMT

    WOW what an article Sid!!! You just captured the emotion of millions like us in no time. This article is meant to be read by all of us who started watching the game from the 1989-1990 series.

    I am right now forwarding this link to all the cricket fanatics I know across the globe.

    CHEERS!!!

  • POSTED BY PariXI on | November 7, 2008, 15:19 GMT

    I was probably amongst the first people to read this article soon after it was published. Actually Logged in to comment, but couldn't handle all the emotions that were going through the mind. A very good article exactly representing a lot of peoples thoughts. There is still so much going on in the mind, so many sweet memories, so many glorious strokes, critical wickets, Tendlya's first 50, first Hundred at Oval in tests and Colombo in Onedayers, first match in NZ as an opener, Ganguly's Lordly debut, 100 while chasing 316, Sahara Cup in Toronto, 183 at Taunton, then highest opening with Tendlya,Courageous Captaincy, Kumble's 6/12 against WI, 93 England Series, 6 for at Johanesburg,WI series in 2004, so much so much that every passing moment is a emotional ride. A final journey with the knowledge that this is all we have now. No more new memorabilia.

    Thanks Siddharth. I cant write like you, and want to thank you for giving voice to the emotions of so many like me.

    Thanks again.

    Pari

  • POSTED BY Ace89 on | November 7, 2008, 15:16 GMT

    Please!

    India will find new heroes to look to. Dhoni's the first among them. It will be fine.

  • POSTED BY gansvv on | November 7, 2008, 14:59 GMT

    kudos! nicely written. I am 24. I "was" a big fan. If only they could rerun season-1 again!

  • POSTED BY ricflair on | November 7, 2008, 14:57 GMT

    Couldn't agree more. I just turned 30 and I wonder what is going to happen to Indian cricket. Sure, there is a Dhoni leading us but there are no strong figures one can model oneself on or look to for inspiration. I said the same thing when Schumacher retired - that I won't watch the sport anymore, but the sport has become a part of our lives and it's time to move onto another chapter while still recounting the golden days.

  • POSTED BY mrgupta on | November 7, 2008, 14:43 GMT

    Oh Boy! Sounds like the story of my life so far... I did my boards in 1998... I used to read cricket books since 1988 when Sachin had just started to shine...I Remember one article "India's Next Gavaskar", Mr Gavaskar and Dennis Lillie then said 'He will be the Best of all in few years'... He was just 15 at that time.... I almost feel nostalgic of those old days... For me and for my group of friends it was TV off once Sachin was out... Kumble for us was the main destroyer.....How many matches did India win because of his bowling.... i guess most of them in which he played and we won....Dada the leader... made us feel proud, taught us to win, to fight back like we never did....Dravid the Wall, immense concentration he never looked like getting out... Laxman the ever dependable..... I feel a lump in my throat after reading ur article... Thanks You so much Siddhartha

  • POSTED BY Praveen_GK on | November 7, 2008, 14:36 GMT

    Delightful...absolutely delightful... Totally agree with you when you say it is going to be a challenge to watch cricket without these guys!!!

  • POSTED BY Wypinkara on | November 7, 2008, 14:34 GMT

    I am 38, for me cricket started during the Pongal holidays of January 1981, at Chepauk, Later on I have seen Vishy, Sunny, Kapil, Amarnath, Vengsarkar, Sastri, and many other illustrious cricketers, leaving the Arena, But it didn't have much effect on me. But this Fab-5 just creeped into each and every space of our day to day lives even into our sub-conscious mind ,. This time around when the fab-5 are at the sunset of their careers, I feel an impending darkness on the cricketing horizon, That too with a lump in my throat, This kind of feeling is akin to what one feels when you are at the last day of the school/college farewell party. Farewell Fab-5 , Farewell Cricket. Those days are gone ! Gone forever .

  • POSTED BY eniyavan on | November 7, 2008, 14:32 GMT

    What an amazing piece of write up!! I truly have to congratulate you on getting out the opinions of each and every one of us.... switching on the TV after the FAB 5 walks away especially after SACHIN walks away is gonna be a challenge indeed. I belong to the breed of people who used to switch off the TV when Sachin gets out. Its gonna be very hard emotionally to see sachin go. I really hope he goes on forever.

  • POSTED BY fundoo_aks on | November 7, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    Hi Sid, kudos to you for being to the spot. Whatever you have described, I can relate it to myself (and most of other in my age-group will too) accurately. It's indeed true that cricket as a sport will never be same after sachin and dravid retire but we must thank God for being lucky to watch and adore them in our formative years. A tendulkar, a kumble and a dravid in a lifetime is too more than one can ask for.

  • POSTED BY kharester on | November 7, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    it felt like "killing me softly" de-jevu to me. i grew up the same time. wa a part of dravid/ganguly debate. tendulkar was our god. every spinner was a kumble wannabe. sat thru every match telecasted, even during the exams. there were more moments that cricketing fans my age wud have shared, like toranto cup, late night matches till 3am and to school next day at 7:30. even i had my board result come out when saurav/dravid conqoured taunton. i recently went there and to my own surprise remembered that game in full. moments that were intertwined in my life. i almost had tears while reading this article. never ever before i have read something so directly involving me. thanks sid. i've relived my childhood with this article. dada/jumbo.. you will be missed. and yes.. thanks again sid.

  • POSTED BY Srinidhi_IX on | November 7, 2008, 13:57 GMT

    wonderful article dude .i am in tears.Hats off to all the fabulous 5...Surely we r gonna miss kumble ,dada frm now on

  • POSTED BY robitis on | November 7, 2008, 13:54 GMT

    Siddhartha, you can't be more correct and the article couldn't have been better articulated. At least a couple generations of Indian cricket lovers, who spent their adolescence in that Coca Cola-projected manner, is standing at the threshold of a painful truth- 'nothing/no one lasts forever'! Once we accept that (there is no second option), I am sure we will be confronted with another truth, this time a beautiful one... 'life goes on'! Like SV says, it's inconceivable that a kid idolises Harbhajan (though I am sure there is something to learn from him too) but who's to say that there isn't another brace, or triumvirate or quartret or more or just one solitary man waiting to take us old-timers back to the couch... again!

  • POSTED BY vsinha on | November 7, 2008, 13:47 GMT

    Fabulous article, I am a 29yr old and this is my story, every match and every event that is listed here! Cannot even imagine watching an Indian team without these greats... some days back some people at work triggered a rumour abt Sachin retiring and I was shocked, dont even recollect how much I cursed them!

    Indeed, the first phase of my life is coming to an end, the world will never be the same again!

  • POSTED BY faisalr11 on | November 7, 2008, 13:29 GMT

    a pathetic article written by an even more pathetic person.. "So what if India lost? Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or VVS?" Goes to show the hatred u hav towards pakistan still... but yh we hav produced players nd more talented ones... no disrespect to sachin .. hes a great batsman... but do not ignore players like zaheer abbas..hanif mohammed...javed miandad.. nd inzamam ul haq... nd lets not talk about the bowlers we hav produced..

  • POSTED BY Avik on | November 7, 2008, 13:23 GMT

    Siddhartha - thank you for this, really! This is EXACTLY how I (and an entire generation presumably) feel today, every damn word of it.

  • POSTED BY TheProphet on | November 7, 2008, 13:02 GMT

    Great write up Siddhartha. We are the 'Tendulkar Generation'. He started the process and along the way found great allies in Kumble, VVS, Dravid and Ganguly. The TV revenues that the BCCI can generate is solely due to the excellence of these five. There will a certain vacuum in our lives after all of them have retired. In fact the younger lot who are now making into the team and the confidence (over confidence at times) has also been instilled by them. They have given us so much joy that it will be really hard when we won't see them don the India cap anymore. I hope though they have an even greater role to play post retirement. Hopefully we will get the first generation of really high skilled and inspirational Indian coaches. Will be great also if they continue in domestic cricket for a while and continue to inspire a third generation of Indians.

  • POSTED BY Out-4-Nought on | November 7, 2008, 13:00 GMT

    Amazing article, hats off to FAB 5 and Siddharth. Thanks for the great memories, will always remember you guys and will share your heroics with my childrens (when I have them). I hate Greg chappel(obnoxious weed) n vengy(my friend saka call him Rs.150 columnist who took charge of Indian selector and ruined indian cricketers esp our beloved DADA.

  • POSTED BY yourjags on | November 7, 2008, 12:56 GMT

    Very True! Actually Kumble was never a part of our discussion until about say the start of this decade. Neither was VVS a part of this debate until his 281 (even after that, we never used to discuss much about VVS). The discussions were mostly about Sachin, Saurav, and Rahul...I am in the early 30's and have been watching cricket since the World Series Cup victory in Australia (not the world cup). Srikkanth used to be my idol, but once Sachin came on scene, as Sid has pointed out, there was always glue on the chair! I still remember the Australasia cup when my mom/bro served dinner to me on my seat and took the plate from my seat after I had eaten and got me a finger bowl, coz if i got out of my seat, Sachin would be out!! We will definitely miss you all!!

  • POSTED BY psramanuj on | November 7, 2008, 12:55 GMT

    Nice article. You have pulled out, the words from my heart. I like many of my friends always found solace in these greatss cricketing achievements. Its sad that this has to end. It was good when it lasted and this has now started to remind all of us that we are all ageing :(

  • POSTED BY sachinisgodofcricket on | November 7, 2008, 12:42 GMT

    Really nice article. I am 29 and started watching cricket (understanding) from the India-Australia series. I felt very nostalgic reading this article. Those days when my dad used to scold me for watching cricket getting up at 4 AM in the morning! Sachin became part of my life.

  • POSTED BY whitemonk on | November 7, 2008, 12:37 GMT

    aww.. how true, i can very much relate with this :(

  • POSTED BY shams_cool on | November 7, 2008, 12:31 GMT

    I remember that when my grandfather died, everyone in the family had cried except for me. It was just when he was being taken for the final rites that the thought dawned on me...the next day there was a cricket match between India and New Zeland...and for the first time I would be watching a match without him around...it opened a floodgate of emotions for me...and I remained inconsolable for the next couple of hours. Such is the impact of cricket on our day to day to lives. But I feel that with the exit of these players, cricket would loose a lot of its sheen to me. These guys are great characters and fighters. Frankly I do not feel they can ever be replaced. Just as I can not get back my childhood and adoloscence back, Indian cricket team can never fill up this void. The game will never be the same. As for me, I think I am also kind of retiring from watching the game. The semi retirement will be complete with the exit of Sachin.

  • POSTED BY madsXI on | November 7, 2008, 12:28 GMT

    You said it Sidharth. Like many who have posted comments here this is our second farewell . First one was generation of Sunny Gavaskar, Kapil Vengsarkar, Chikku and it ended with Shastri. Then Tendlya came then Jumbo Rahul and Saurav and VVS. These were of our age. So they played our dreams. These buddies gave us a lot of memories to cherish. Though many of us would have taken sides of Dravid or Saurav ( As Tendlya was somebody accepted by all or rather accepted for fear of being singled out in crowd), now when it is time to say goodbye everyone of our generation is together with them. May be Dravid will also go with this test or may be England series. Then VVS and Sachin. Then we also will have to lead a retired life occassionaly watching Badrinath or Rohit Sharma and comparing them with Dravid or VVS to loud protest of our younger gene. At this moment I fully understand the feelings of my Dad when I protested on his comparing VVS or Dravid with Gundappa Vish.Game must go on.

  • POSTED BY Janakkumar on | November 7, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    Oh my lord, that article has reminded me of all those days, i am just crying....... what an article Siddhartha !!!!!

  • POSTED BY smr_sachin on | November 7, 2008, 12:04 GMT

    very nice....could have been more elaborate! And the last line is an unmistakable truth!!!!!

  • POSTED BY tough_cool on | November 7, 2008, 11:56 GMT

    To be very frank with you, I followed cricket just as well as you did, probably bit better or may be slightly less, one thing you fail to realize if that life has its own way of spicing up things, even if the high-profile retirements are around I am not so lost in hope as you are for I had seen life, to quote an example I felt pretty much the same disappointed when pistol 'pete' announced his retirement, believing that would be the end of watching tennis, for once it did happen like that maybe for 2-3 seasons but I am back watching it again with renewed interest and much more excitement now, to see rafa vs federer or even the djoker vs federer, so life goes on mate, dont be fooled into believing that one tendlya or a dravid would end the interest in the game. The game will find its own innovative ways to bring back the interest. If Tendlya/dravid make you such a paranoid, what do you think would happen world cup football lovers after 'zizou', should they stop watching soccer ?

  • POSTED BY tough_cool on | November 7, 2008, 11:55 GMT

    To be very frank with you, I followed cricket just as well as you did, probably bit better or slightly worse, one thing you fail to realize if that life has its own way of spicing up things, even if the high-profile retirements are around I am not so lost in hope as you are for I had seen life, to quote an example I felt pretty much the same disappointed when pistol 'pete' announced his retirement, believing that would be the end of watching tennis, for once it did happen like that maybe for 2-3 seasons but I am back watching it again with renewed interest and much more excitement now, to see rafa vs federer or even the djoker vs federer, so life goes on mate, dont be fooled into believing that one tendlya or a dravid would end the interest in the game. The game will find its own innovative ways to bring back the interest. If Tendlya/dravid make you such a paranoid, what do you think would happen world cup football lovers after 'zizou', should they stop watching soccer ?

  • POSTED BY jeevan on | November 7, 2008, 11:42 GMT

    I agree with you. I was only 13, when i saw Sachin made his debut and scored 53 not out off only 16 balls against Pakistan. Those days we were eating, breathing and drinking cricket.

  • POSTED BY rajpan on | November 7, 2008, 11:41 GMT

    Dear Sid, A good article but I am 55 and I can say " I have seen it all ". I was 17 when Ajit Wadekar's team ran through Windis and then the arrogant English on their soils. I have seen the quartet of Bedi, Pras, chandra and venkat make the batsmen dance to their tunes. I saw complete rise and domination of Gavaskar. Just when these gentlemen were considered irreplaceable, out of blue, we were actually the world champions of one day cricket. We saw Gawaskar as highest run getter, Kapil as highest wicket taker and when we thought the likes of them were irreplaceable, along came Tendulkar who surpassed all the levels of adulation of previous greats. As a matter of fact, it went to such a level that some of his teammates became jealous to the extent of not being co-operative. But he showed the humility to give up the captaincy and play with same intensity with any other captain in charge. There may not be anybody like him but life goes on and there will be sombody around for the this gam

  • POSTED BY zingzangspillip on | November 7, 2008, 11:33 GMT

    A beautiful article, Siddhartha. From an Australian point of view, we've had a similar dynastic change over the last few years, so I can entirely sympathise with you. Shane Warne made his debut when I was five years old, so I grew up watching him play, and to see him retire was a sad day. All I can say is that India have some terrific young players coming through, and although the team may not be the same for you, they will continue to be successful.

  • POSTED BY Ashwin_S on | November 7, 2008, 10:45 GMT

    I almost forgot to say , this could possible be Rahul Dravid's swansong as well . I just really hope it doesn't turn out that way..if he doesnt retire i hope hes not dropper it wouldnt be fair. After all those highs , the wall might have cracked it doesnt mean we break it down.....i cant believe it but theres tears in my eyes , i dont want to see them leave...ever , they're so much a part of life it cant be explained . Even with a new generation , i dont think its possible to replace all time greats.....they leave Indian cricket in so much better a position than they found it in.

  • POSTED BY SatyajitM on | November 7, 2008, 10:44 GMT

    I am slightly older than the group Siddhartha mentioned, being one year senior to Sachin. So, I do remember India winning the WC83 and in formative years Kapil was my hero (admired Gavaskar too). But then one super kid came to the scene and slowly by early ninetees my loyalty moved to Sachin. And it is still there after so many years! Though Kumble has been there, his superiority has been established little late (more specifically this decade). Saurav, Dravid and Laxman came along. Now that the feisty Saurav and the steel called Kumble are bowing out it feels sad. It will be scary if Dravid too calls it a day. I am not too sure how Indian test team will look after that. And once Sachin goes away, I am pretty sure I am going to lose interest in cricket majorly.

  • POSTED BY Go_F.Alonso on | November 7, 2008, 10:39 GMT

    Having read hundreds of articles - cricketing & others - I can say for certain that there has never been a better one that has addressed 'me' directly. I practically grew up with cricket just like I grew up with my family & friends - bitter moments & better moments. I know many of us stayed up late into the night (day in India/AUS) just to watch some cricket even though we had some assignments to submit next morning.

    You brought a tear to every cricket fan of 'our' generation. How do I write like you?

  • POSTED BY bangladesh_blaster on | November 7, 2008, 10:38 GMT

    I am a Bangladeshi and the reason I supported Indian cricket team all these years is because of Tendulkar. Actually, I did support the Indian 20-20 WC side, so I would probably continue supporting them, however Tendulkar is such a big part of Indian cricket, it would be hard to recognise them after him.

    About 20 years of cricket watching, I recall one test innings of a 15 year old against Pakistan in 1989 when he defied the fearsome pace of imran, waqar , akram and immense physical pain to save the test and series for India.

  • POSTED BY Ashwin_S on | November 7, 2008, 10:33 GMT

    Although I'm 18 i can relate to this . I remember from just before the 1996 world cup , so i started off about the same time as Jammy and Dada , the concept of an Indian team without these legends just doesn't exist for me . Kumble walking off the pitch had me choking , somehow its just not possible to warm up to the next generation as I have to these five and Srinath before them - Sehwag,Yuvraj,Harbhajan..even if they have been around a while its just not possible to relate to the them the same way and the other relative new comers Dhoni and co it just isn't the same . It'll be a sad day when we see these titans of the game depart for the last time...Ganguly is nearly done - just one innings left , Jumbos already done and had that sinking feeling when Javagal Srinath left too...really now that i think about it i watched cricket for these icons of the game , when they are gone i might not that lift that remote...but we'll see . Great article sir , it really moved me.

  • POSTED BY Savii on | November 7, 2008, 10:16 GMT

    Completely agree. However let me say that it's not just those in their mid to late 20s who are going to feel the wrench. I'm 17 and grew up watching Sachin and Rahul and Jumbo and Dada and VVS flaying the other team and I feel like an era of Indian cricket is coming to an end with the disintegration of the Fab Five (rather than the Fab Four) I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when Sachin retires - probably live out my whole life thinking in the past rather than watching the Indian cricket team of the present. I became teary when I found out Kumble was retiring - the same will probably happen on the last day of this test match when Dada leaves. Cheers to a golden era of Indian cricket!

  • POSTED BY Uranium on | November 7, 2008, 9:53 GMT

    not only that but I also think the BCCI will become the George Bush of the cricketing world, expect that there will be no way to de-elect them. I think it will ruin cricket for a lot of people.

  • POSTED BY vishnubhau on | November 7, 2008, 9:50 GMT

    I am just crying while reading this article....as rightly said, even I will not be following the game from now on. Again very rightly commented by some readers that we are hooked up to our TV sets because the fab 5 are seen for the last time. I still watch any repeat telecast of a cricket match with DADA-TENDULKAR opening for India, whether it is way beyond midnight. I stop surfing with the remote at the sight of such great matchs on Star Cricket...Alas! These memorable matches will not be seen much now...Thanks for interpriting my mind also...Thanks a lot !!!

  • POSTED BY dravidgood on | November 7, 2008, 9:35 GMT

    this has been playing on my mind and m terrified at such prospects....no more interviews and insights and inspirations..?

  • POSTED BY ritesh_banglani on | November 7, 2008, 9:32 GMT

    Although I am only a few years older than you (at 31), this is my second moment of loss. I started watching cricket in 1985, when Ravi Shastri became "Champion of Champions" in Australia. So I had to contend with the retiring of my first generation of heroes - Gavaskar, Kapil, Vengsarkar, Srikkanth, Shastri - and now this. I am inconsolable!

  • POSTED BY rrajanchn on | November 7, 2008, 9:23 GMT

    It's a good article, I understand your viewpoint but cricket will not stop with Dravid, Kumble, Ganguly,Sachin and laxman. The same kind of things happened with the retirements of Kapil dev and Gavaskar but we went on to find out new heroes in sachin & co. Mark my word. We have got very promising youngsters in Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla,Badrinath, Ravindra Jaeja etc. With a good leader in Dhoni, India with its promising youngsters are going to dominate cricket in the days to come. Watch out especially for Suresh Raina. He is the next Sachin Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY itzanurag on | November 7, 2008, 9:16 GMT

    You brought a lump in my throat, Sid. I am a part of the same age gp.. I guess this article captures a lot of "our" emotions. I like a lot of ppl commenting here grew up on ST, RD, SG, AK n the Lax-Man! We chuckled each time they caressed or hustled the bowlers, depending on their mood or the pitch. We prayed when they failed..hoping that a billion prayers in unison might reach the skies! Rightly said, Sid. They were much more than cricket, or sport. They defined us, our times and our lives. We will find replacements on field, no doubt.. But the void they'd leave in our soul would never be filled! Truly, the most brilliant article since Rohit Brijnath's piece a month ago.

  • POSTED BY sunpraveen on | November 7, 2008, 9:07 GMT

    I am now 30 and have grown up watching the Dravid, Ganguly, Tendlya etc., in their peak. Though the article is quite nostalgic and very well written, I feel the author has gone overboard when he describes "Our childhood is ending" or "Part of me just died." I believe that you should love the sport itself and not just the people who practice/excel in it.

  • POSTED BY Mari_Jeeva on | November 7, 2008, 9:05 GMT

    Hi Siddharth, I have read so many of your articles in the past and I thought you were somewhat matured. But, from this article, I learned that you are also a young man and I can relate me to the emotions that your points showed. As told by you, even during my exam days, I used to watch cricket for Sachin Tendulkar's flashes from the blade and when I play gully cricket, I used to imagine myself as Sachin and try to have a go at the bowlers. But, now-a-days its very rare for me picking a bat. So, I settle for a match on the television for the elegant set of people 'the fab four'. But, slowly and steadily they are nearing the end of their careers and as you said the same is also happening to the first part of my life. Out and out, this article speaks for the 90's and early 2000's generation.

  • POSTED BY Sai8 on | November 7, 2008, 8:55 GMT

    Super.. well-thought and article that I am sure so many will identify with. We hear a lot about cricket and cricketers. Its nice to a fan's viewpoint once in a while.

  • POSTED BY amrutjoshi on | November 7, 2008, 8:27 GMT

    Great Article, Siddhartha! This piece brought a lump to my throat as it vents the feelings of many in my generation spot on! Cannot imagine cricket viewing without these giants after being spoilt for twenty years:-(

  • POSTED BY BlackKnight on | November 7, 2008, 7:54 GMT

    I can't agree more on this...

    Belonging to the same generation I can relate to every word you say. Having said that, though T20 has caught the spectators in a frenzy, "our" age finds it hard to come to terms with a form of cricket without the Fab Five. One-days are also becoming less interesting with most of them either being dropprd or "rested". WHile the purists go hoarse about the loss of interest in test cricket, I can vouch for the fact that "our" generation follows test cricket more than any other form - and only because of the presence of these doyens.

    The only other event I can compare this with is the feeling one month after passing out from college! Quarter life crisis all over again!

  • POSTED BY Nata on | November 7, 2008, 7:48 GMT

    What your friend said is very true. The day Sachin [ assuming he would be last in FAB FIVE to go ] retires, many from our generation would definitely stop following cricket the way we do now.

  • POSTED BY straight_driver on | November 7, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    Hi Sid, I had started writing an almost identical piece for Cricinfo's "Inbox" blog this week - but will now defer to yours. You can include fans in their mid 30s as well in your column! I'm an avid Indian cricket fan who's 34, and have exactly the same sentiments as you described here. These heroes are almost exactly my age, and their coming to fame coincided with me leaving school and setting out into the world. They have been a really big part of my life in ways that most other fans would readliy identify with - so much so that Sachin Tendulkar is acknowledged in my PhD thesis for providing relief and inspiration during the tougher times! My wife makes good natured fun of me getting choked up about these guys leaving :). Any others with similar sentiments out there? Cheers, Sivaram.

  • POSTED BY Kumar_cbe on | November 7, 2008, 7:19 GMT

    Sidharth - Mind blowing article .Yes I am in my late 20s and I could 100% go with you.Man we lived thru out our life relating to those cricketing days.. 1993 semi-final, 1996 lords, 1998 sharjah, 1999 kotla, 2004 Adelaide, 2001 kolkata , 2004 sydney (it goes on)...I could relate with this to what I was doing then.. yes we are losing the religion..once again thanks for a lovely article.

  • POSTED BY saishenoy on | November 7, 2008, 7:18 GMT

    I have to continue The milleniuma saw us doing amazingly well in Tests, both home and away... Dravid actually started it in NZ in 1999 (I remember studying till late in the night abt 2 am I guess, then sleeping for an hour and waking up to watch the NZ India test matches....) His 190 was a sight for sore-eyes...

    India's tour of Australia in 2003 saw me start working at my first job... and man they made me work... One day I came home at 4 am (having gone to work at 9 am the previous day)... but i was up at 6...cos it was Dec 16 2003... Dravid ensured that we won at Adelaide... one of the greatest Indian victories on foreign soil...

    There are so many memories... I think our generation can now truly understand our parents telling us stories of how they listened to the exploits of Gavaskar and Vishwanath... and how Chandra's bowling could make everything alright... the question is will our kids ever understand the greatness of these good men whom we grew up watching.

  • POSTED BY bhavik_gem on | November 7, 2008, 7:15 GMT

    Siddharth, You have put the exact words that I was telling my mummy back in India on phone today just 2 hours before I read this column. Amazing article and very very true to the last word what a 26-yr old like me would be going through - I will also loose my second religion unless another DADA or the other of the Fab-Five comes up soon (which I highly doubt). I have got scoldings and some beatings from my parents when I didn't study but watched matches. I distinctly remember - 1996 world cup - India-Eng match, next day was my exam and the match was a day-night, I finished off my whole syllabus in 2 hours to see Sachin bat the way he did in that WC.. The way these Fab-Five have brought happiness to the whole nation time and again - I wish all the best to them in their future and also hope the current 7-8 yr olds get their heroes in the 'younger' team coming up.. Hats off to those fighters and achievers.. Bhavik Shah

  • POSTED BY jothirlit on | November 7, 2008, 7:12 GMT

    Siddhartha you are 100% right. I started watching criket when i sae tendulkar. i would say this is the best team which has played for the pat two decades with wins in all nations. It was ganguly who changed indian team from being a being paper tiger outside india to a real tiger. Kumble made sure that we won all the series in india. dravid and laxman made sure that we won matches abroad. they are not fab 5. they are the best thing that has happened to the indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY Avi_Iyer on | November 7, 2008, 7:06 GMT

    Spot on buddy! I am really dreading the day Sachin retires, and have no idea how my life is gonna shape up after that! I started following cricket since the 91-92 tour of Australia. I even remember the moment I gave up my life to cricket, Azhar taking a diving catch in the slips to dismiss Anderson Cummins, off Tendulkar Himself, to tie a low scoring game. I have been a die-hard fan since then, and cannot remember a time when I did not religiously follow a series (including an Ind-SA series when I was hospital recovering from an accident). In any case, I completely agree that after the next 2 years or so, my intensity and passion for the game is most likely going to diminish, once these 5 guys retire. Indian cricket is probably in good hands, but the legacy of the Fab 5 will be really hard to match!

  • POSTED BY cricjeeva on | November 7, 2008, 7:06 GMT

    Very nice article Siddhartha. So true. These guys are part of our life. They made our childhood and younger years so memorable. We learnt so much from just watching them play. Its sad that these guys will be no longer in the team. Time waits for none.

  • POSTED BY krupaksk on | November 7, 2008, 7:03 GMT

    This article is spot on the points discussed. I cannot believe cricket without these GIANTS. My dad even today blames my studies ( or lack of) to SRT. I only wish the very best of life to these greats. As a nation its time to celebrate the success of these amazing sportsmen, the joy they brought to our life, keeping us balanced while growing up by losing in some important moments. As much as i learned from outside world, Indian team given me the perspective of life. You win some and lose some. Man, I am excited by the new talent, but for me the cricket will never be the same. I cant imagine myself seeing another group like this in my lifetime. Life moves on for all the GREATS, for a normal guy like me, time comes to a standstill!!!!

  • POSTED BY krupaksk on | November 7, 2008, 7:02 GMT

    This article is spot on the points discussed. I cannot believe cricket without these GIANTS. My dad even today blames my studies ( or lack of) to SRT. I only wish the very best of life to these greats. As a nation its time to celebrate the success of these amazing sportsmen, the joy they brought to our life, keeping us balanced while growing up by losing in some important moments. As much as i learned from outside world, Indian team given me the perspective of life. You win some and lose some. Man, I am excited by the new talent, but for me the cricket will never be the same. I cant imagine myself seeing another group like this in my lifetime. Life moves on for all the GREATS, for a normal guy like me, time comes to a standstill!!!!

  • POSTED BY Sivaram.L on | November 7, 2008, 7:01 GMT

    A good read.I am a few years younger than the author and i must say all that he says holds good to me too but I remember Imran Khan lifting the World Cup 92' but don't recall what I was doing then! These big personalities have been huge assets for Indian cricket and the retirement of two of them is only the beginning of the void that will loom large in a few years time.When they started i was admiring Blyton's Famous five series but as i grew up it is another famous five that i ve been admiring and they are on their way out slowly but surely.Hope the younger lot keep up the standards set so high by these stalwarts!Hail them all!

  • POSTED BY Shalabh_Saxena on | November 7, 2008, 6:59 GMT

    So very true... I had tears in my eye when Kumble announced his retirement. In fact I even got emotional after reading all the tributes on Cricinfo...It is end of an era, you are spot on, all of my friends, colleagues, cousins, and my brother felt as if a part of our life gone. It used to be such a moment to come up with statistics and have serious arguments about who we thought was better player or how India thrashed a particular opponent in evening with a cut glass of tea..We all learnt the lessons of life with them, that there is no wrong in hope and we all can win from hopeless situations. A good performance from any one of these greats were enough to make our days if not weeks better..They all taught something...that even a prodigy can be modest, perseverance is art, leadership can be daredevilry, textbooks are practical too, and miracles still happen..

    Its sad but such is life..Future seems a little to bleak right now, but one never knows if some MSD can change it all...

  • POSTED BY saishenoy on | November 7, 2008, 6:57 GMT

    I completely agree... even now I switch of my TV after Dravid's gone... How I hope God gives him and us, his fans a last shot at the glory he truly deserves My dad remembers me crying whenever Srikkanth got out... My earliest memories of cricket are watching Maninder Singh losing us an important match against the Aussies at Mumbai in the 1987 Reliance Cup.... I slept thru the second innings of the final though... no India there...

    This article will inspire a lot of that generation to write their own acoounts :)... something I almost started myself there...

    Some great memories still come to mind: Ganguly and Dravid's debut matches at Lords Azhar's demolishing of South Africa's bowling in the Eden Gardens test in 96 Hrishikesh Kanitkar's penultimate ball 4 in the 315 match... Tendulkar's once in a lifetime knock at Sharjah (v Australia) Dravid standing up to Donald in the tri series final Ganguly and Dravid demolishing the Sri Lankan bowling attack at Taunton and all that's pre '00

  • POSTED BY rbanne on | November 7, 2008, 6:55 GMT

    These events making me not only sad but also restless.As many millions of Indians in their mid 20's i too grown up watching the glorious carears of fab five. Being a regualr follower of Cricinfo I resisted my tempations to post comments on lots of interesting stories not to this one. Opened my account. I dont know how many more days I will follow cricket.no one other than these players influenced my emotions for all these years. I cant believe i cant watch them playing anymore(My beloved DADA is going with last bang,Jumbo gone,Master,wall,VVS will follow). one thing I can proudly tell my kids is I grow up watching Dada's never say die attitude,Sachin's class, Dravid's patience,VVS's elegance and Jumbo's fighting.

  • POSTED BY prksandeep on | November 7, 2008, 6:50 GMT

    Excellent article. Tears almost rolled out of my eyes :(

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | November 7, 2008, 6:44 GMT

    Its all in the mind. There is nothing on view to suggest that the earlier guys were better behaved. You cant compare the best of the preious lot with the worst of the current lot. For instance, Dhoni would anyday be better than the flagbearer captain of the previous generation- Ganguly. Also well behaved are fast bowlers like Ishant Sharma, Munaf, Irfan etc. I belong to one generation earlier- I grew up seeing Kapil make his debut and Sunny hitting century after century. And Seeing them over the years, I wouldnt say the current lot are any worse than Sunny in terms of on the field behaviour. And people like Shastri or Sandeep Patil were hardly role models for young kids.

  • POSTED BY anugarg on | November 7, 2008, 6:42 GMT

    Dear Sid what an article-you have echoed the feelings of millions of OUR generation. I could not have put it in better words (That is why u write and I dont). Yesterday I was hoping, which is a stronger possibility now, that If India do manage to lift Border Gavaskar trophy Dhoni will ask DADA and Jumbo to collect it. If India wins they deserve it coz they started this era but boy these guys surely will be missed. Dr Anukul Garg

  • POSTED BY striker_force on | November 7, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    Alas, I am one of those late 20ish who admired captaincy of sourav, tenacity of dravid and kumble and genious of Sachin. Though I dislike the brashness of bhajji and sreesanth, I have no doubt that I like the way India has competed abroad than during Azhar's times! Look at the way zaheer, ishant, rp singh etc can hold willow and compare them to Kuruvilla, prasad etc. and in Dhoni, there is a street smart captain as well as rare Indian batsman keeper. And boy! we are scaring Aussies today and am I happy :)

  • POSTED BY dranand on | November 7, 2008, 6:40 GMT

    aAbsolutely spot on mate! I felt as if u printed what's in my mind. I 100% opine with u. Feel sad & disgusted when people comment/write obituaries about our senior players. Agreed Dhoni & co hav won a world title,but still a long way 2 go. I mean in terms of class & technique. Fearless is good but not everything. But u shoulfd hav technique to back it. Let them perform on seaming tracks in longer version & see. I wish them d best[not criticising,mind u?]. Today 'icon'has got a different meaning altogether.I hav been to diff parts of world as part of my clinical training, and as a matter of fact Sachin is the only indian known & held in high esteem irt to being best in his field of sport[even in noncricketing countries like germany,turkey].Even in beggar in india would forget his meals hoping sachin hits big. That's d sort of magnetism he's got. I hav learnt from him to be d best in what ever u do/ atleast try to. AL said, as u mentioned, half my part will b dead whn he retires.

  • POSTED BY bd_ind on | November 7, 2008, 6:38 GMT

    You are so right. I am 31 and i follow cricket from 1987 WC. I remember Sachin and Kumbles debut. I grew up watching them grow as a cricketer. With them retiring made me feel like i am also pretty old and time to retire or something like that. Cricket will never be same again. In fact its not anymore. The young generation will never understand what they are. For them Dhoni or Raina (they are good cricketers btw) superhero's and Dravid is like a pain in the ass. But they are true legend and always will cherish and proud that i was the part of the history watching them play at their best. Thank you all of you for giving such fond memories and have better success in your later life...

  • POSTED BY Vallabh on | November 7, 2008, 6:35 GMT

    Absolute Rubbish... Is this Game about few players?!!! I love this sport so much that I even watch kenya playing on South africa knowing the result beforehand. But the point is if you dont, you may miss those moments when kenya actually ripped apart WI in Worldcup rubber. I belong to what you call your generation and I feel if you seriously think about cricket this way, its time you start taking interest in some other sport. Cricket Rules irrespective of BD or AD/BS or AS...(if you are confused it is before DON/After DON & Before Sachin or After Sachin)

  • POSTED BY kartickspeaks on | November 7, 2008, 6:28 GMT

    Brilliant!! This article has left me teary eyed. Kudos Siddharth!! You have articulated one 25yr old's emotions exactly into words. I like the way you say that we sacrificed homeworks..I dont remember how many times i bunked schools for watching Sachin bat or reprimanded by my mom for wasting one whole day watchin cricket with exams the next day...the days when I skipped food, infact these 'heroes' used to save me from dad's lashings as well coz the mere mention of Sachin's performance used to cool him down, used to take radio to school to listen to live commentary....those memories are etched on to our minds and nothing could ever displace them...Well written dude!!

  • POSTED BY Pramodd on | November 7, 2008, 6:27 GMT

    Sid,

    What an beautiful article...lovely piece of writing. I am one of those who belongs to the group you have mentioned and its very true these four has given lot of things for us. More than winning matches, the grace and style these five had brought into the game was phenomenonal. No silly stares, no hyping shouts but just grace and quality. They have really exceptional ambassadors of the game. Going to miss them...and for your piece of writing..exceptional. Great stuff..i am not used to post any comments but couldnt refrain myself after reading your piece. Will look forward for pieces from your pen..

  • POSTED BY ullasmarar on | November 7, 2008, 6:27 GMT

    So so true...this article is just what I was thinking...I remember waking up at 4.00 in the morning to watch Sachin bat in New Zealand. That's when he started opening...I remember watching Hero Cup with a group of 10 people in our dingy 1BHK apartment. Some part of me refuses to believe that Sachin is growing old. The retirement of Dada and Jumbo makes me fear the day when Sachin decides to call it quits. Yesterday, Ramachandra Guha commented that he would love to see Sachin play till 40. I hope those words are prophetic.

  • POSTED BY dankur on | November 7, 2008, 6:27 GMT

    wow.. that was really well written.. this was exactly what I was thinking yesterday.

  • POSTED BY Magz on | November 7, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Having read this article I think I could be at least half a decade older than the author and I agree with most of the points he has made. However I think I'm right to say that this article infact portrays how an average Indian look at the sport of Cricket. We love our cricketers more than we do the actual sport and that could be a feeling which is slowly becoming obsolete. I'm pretty sure that lesser no of people would admire our cricketers more from now on in. With the sport becoming more and more lucrative kids growing up would and should look at it as a way to earn a good living and admiration.

  • POSTED BY CMatthai on | November 7, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    Siddhartha, This article really captures the essence of what I feel and I think a lot of guys especially in our group will feel the same. Long time since i actually connected to an article. I dont have your email ID and i really dont know if this message will reach you but we should catch up - cherian.matthai@gmail.com. Hope you are doing well. Cherian

  • POSTED BY goutham.chakravarthi on | November 7, 2008, 6:21 GMT

    Exactly. Whilst I hope switching on the Teely Vee will hopefully not be a problem, it will definetely mean the end of the first part of my life!

  • POSTED BY sreerafi on | November 7, 2008, 6:18 GMT

    Great article! This article gave a glimpse of my life in 5 minutes. I do associate events in my life to respective cricketing events. There used to be time when everyone in the team are older than me and now everyone is either same age or younger than me. These are the heros for some one in their mid or late 20's. I dont think the younger generation look up these 4 players similar to the young stalwarts who have achieved immense success in T20 format. Privileged to be born in the same era of these greats, Enjoy every moment watching them play for 2 decades and live with these memories for the rest of the life......

  • POSTED BY vibhanshub on | November 7, 2008, 6:13 GMT

    You have captured the feeling of an entire generation with your article. Even I took my boards that year and watching the world cup after that was a big treat especially. (My memory of that Taunton match is the camera moving up to catch the aerial route of the ball again and again). The one-dayers that seem so meaningless now, were a must-watch (even the day-nighters in Sharjah) when we watched Sachin and Saurav match each other stroke for stroke in the first 15. We used to sneak in transistors to school and listen to the one-dayers in the last period to see if India was batting first and if we needed to rush home before the first 15 overs got over. We didn't have playstations, we didn't have the net, we just watched our heroes on TV, and then we went out in the evenings trying to try to imitate them. When sachin goes, and I guess he will be the last to leave, I'll feel really really old even though I'm just 27 now.

  • POSTED BY darrypars on | November 7, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    great article buddy... a lot of guys our age feel the same..will watching cricket be the same again???

  • POSTED BY sameer_phal on | November 7, 2008, 6:03 GMT

    Thank you siddharth, well co incidences are not mere happen stances but i guess they are borne out of feelings which are heartfelt and mutual. i guess you have said everything that was welling inside me and how.well after having just crossed the milestone of 25 in my life, well i dont think it will be petulant to say ,well we are in the same boat. on my birthday one of my friend remarked " after 25 its all downhill from here". retirement of dada and then of jumbo marks the downhill ride. for years the now called fab 5 have alleviated our miseries. given us moments of unbridled joy and pride. dada and jammy @ taunton, jumbo @ kotla with perfect 10, more so @ antigua with gladiator bandage, Very very special Eden gardens and desert storm @ sharjah (just one to pin down thanks to space constraint). maybe there will be more record breakers, impossible but greater achievers who will occupy public conscience. but the corner of this heart which belongs to these men will be unconquered 4ver.

  • POSTED BY shiverma on | November 7, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    I could not agree more. I don't think I'll go as far as saying that I'll stop watching cricket, but I am sure, I will always keep reminiscing about the good old days. I hope we can have Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman for another 2-3 years. Laxman, I believe has still got a lot left in him, and boy is he proving it. So much for the oldies who have all stood up in this series. I was there at Ferozeshah Kotla, that turned out to be Kumble's last match. I did not go to the stadium on the last day, but that news hit me like a ton of bricks. It is one thing to hear about these guys' retirement, another to see one of them go. I was quite sad that I missed seeing the great man retire. I felt bad as this was one of the guys who started playing when I started understanding cricket. Well, life moves on, I hope we have a lot more stars like these guys coming up.

  • POSTED BY Rakshit on | November 7, 2008, 5:59 GMT

    Fantastic article.... I too 30 yrs. old and it's amazing that wherever we are in india, our generation had similar attachment and feelings towards cricket. Whole India will miss Fab 5......

  • POSTED BY cricvikki on | November 7, 2008, 5:58 GMT

    Well said.Happy to know I am not alone. Sachin is not just a cricketer. He is an inspiration. Even though my field is totally unrealted to cricket, somehow Sachin has been inspiring me in my day to day life. I agree , with retirement of Fab 5, I do think a part of us all will feel dead. Look at it this way. We were part of something special. Something extra-ordinary. They will be alright. We will be alright.

  • POSTED BY Perunkulam on | November 7, 2008, 5:44 GMT

    Siddhartha Vaidyanathan speaks the truth in his article losing my religion.A lot of us like me belonging to an even earlier generation - of having watched the likes of Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, and Mohinder Amarnath- from our school/ college days will find it hard to sustain our interest levels once the 'fab five' have retired.These cricketers kept up the interest momentum and have delighted us in the last decade or more. Its inconcievable to watch a test match with out Dravid and Kumble.And IPL is nothing but a joke and purely a business venture for the BCCI.

  • POSTED BY VoltaireC on | November 7, 2008, 5:34 GMT

    Sid-I can relate to everything you said and there can be no more a poignant moment than when your childhood sporting heroes hang up their boots! I followed Sunny during the fag end of his career but felt absolutely hollow when he retired. It seemed that I've nothing to look forward to...for quite some time. Sporting idols have such overpowering effect that one tends to associate with their successes and failures so very intimately. Certainly it kinda provides an anchor in adolescent years as well as emotional roller coaster linked to the heroes' fortunes. I will certainly lose my cricket religion for good after the supreme artist 'VVS' decides it's enough! I dread the very thought though!

  • POSTED BY nikhil_13 on | November 7, 2008, 5:31 GMT

    Nostalgia can often be the enemy of reason, for it imbues the past with such marvelous colors and scents that reason cannot cut through its fortifications. The present, with its flaws being so conspicuous, doesn't stand a chance. Looking back, as the days of our childhood turned into teens, teens turned into twenties, we always thought that Kumble, Tendulkar, Ganguly, Dravid would remain forever; even though we grew older, we wanted them to be Forever Young (alphaville, in case someone notices the song). We refused to believe that while we moved from school to college to jobs, those 4 cricketers would remain with us forever - oh, we were innocent. I will still find solace in looking back on all those memories on Youtube...

  • POSTED BY Cric_123 on | November 7, 2008, 5:25 GMT

    Nice article Siddhartha! We are in the same age group and inspite of being from Pakistan i've enjoyed these players as much as you have. They will certainly be missed for a long time, when they leave.

    However, why do you Indian writer get so carried away: "So what if India lost? Could any of those Pakistani batsmen even dream of batting like Sachin or VVS?"

    Don't forget we had Inzi and Saeed Anwar playing for us in those days..Btw we used to say,"We win most of the times we play against them. Can any of those Indian bowlers even dream of bowling like Wasim and Waqar :)"

  • POSTED BY NitinRajNigam on | November 7, 2008, 5:13 GMT

    Hi siddhartha,

    Your article touched my heart. I relived all those years of early 90's when it was always Sachin vs opponent. Sachin out and TV switched off. And then Sourav and Dravid entered the scene with fine innings and supported sachin's efforts and joined fab5 along with VVS.

    Lovely article.

    Thanks

  • POSTED BY allnash on | November 7, 2008, 5:12 GMT

    yeah..! SPOT ON.I belong to the same group you have spoken about... cricket crazy. But I started enjoying what they gave to us with their display on the filed lately [since 2002].Before i was like any Indian 'ya dil mangay more..! HATS OFF TO ANIL-SACHIN-RAHUL-SOURAV-LAKSHMAN [who joined late to this core]..! We are proud of you..! Thanks for all the sweet memories.

  • POSTED BY SuhasSwamy on | November 7, 2008, 5:07 GMT

    Great Article, Its almost like playing out the story from my mind. Its an end of an era, and what an era it has been. The journey has been worthwhile for both the travellers and the observers. My childhood too is nearing an end and the unthinkable has happened!

  • POSTED BY Raviss on | November 7, 2008, 5:04 GMT

    I have always been amazed how calmly and maturely Rahul, Kumble, Sachin, Dada and even VVS Laxman hav handled immense praise and fame all these years and never complained about anything...Rahul Dravid, to me the best Indian batsmen of my era after Sachin...has been a role model...infact each one of them have been role models for this cricketing world..and thats why I believe Dhoni is the right man to lead India coz he, like the Fab 5, has this trait of being calm and handling things maturely...and stands out among the younger lot...the younger lot are way behind Dhoni in behavior, attitude and skills...hope they learn from him..really Siddharth your article touched my heart and its exactly what I feel.. "Our childhoo is ending".

  • POSTED BY rehanmalick on | November 7, 2008, 5:03 GMT

    I know what you mean Sid, losing your childhood heroes can be earth shattering and that is still an understatement. After Waqar and Wasim left I can't remember watching a Pakistan fixture with the same enthusiasm as before. Then came Inzamam and Yousuf and to a certain extent Younis but as of now that phase is slowly drifting out into the oceans. Believe it or not I am sad to see Ganguly go because he was a terrific captain for India and a fierce competitor and not only that he was a brilliant batsman who had the knack for breaking partnerships. I remember dreading anytime Ganguly (or even Jadeja) would come to bowl against Pakistan because I knew that he would either wreak havoc from the word go on either side. All I can say is best of luck to Anil and Sourav you have been good champions of the sport. Thank you both.

  • POSTED BY 001camsian on | November 7, 2008, 5:02 GMT

    Hi Sid, What a brilliant piece. I am 30, I can so relate to every word you wrote, only difference being that I am across the border and this applaud comes to you from Karachi. You were right, life started after November '89, for me just before November' 89. I remember Wasim Akram surrounded by his jubiliant team mates after he dispatched Viv Richard's delivery out of the ground to life Nehru Cup. I also remember being in awe of this young boy who hit Abdul Qadir, the maestro, not one but three sixes, having hit two to Mushtaq Ahmed in only previous over. Believe it or not, in this Indian team I saw shadows of old Pakistan, a group of young lads helped by senior men to fight mighty aussies (in our case Windies). The time has come my friend, wise men have to leave and it hurts to see them go, as you said childhood is ending. I havent stopped watching cricket but that passion is somehow missing, I hope it remains in you and Indian cricket flourishes. Welcome to the Club and thanks fo

  • POSTED BY padscorp on | November 7, 2008, 4:58 GMT

    Sid, u spoke my mind. Exactly how I remember my adolescence too. My own milestones were all accompanied by a Sachin special or a Kumble one.I remember sitting through a three hour exam constantly thinking abt what would Sachin's score be at that time. My struggles, confusions, insecurities were all lessened by these players. Well, being a girl from a small town I didn't play much myself, but the experience is the same. And yes, like most of your friends, it won't be the same for me once the last of them goes.

  • POSTED BY Raviss on | November 7, 2008, 4:58 GMT

    Beautiful Article Siddarth! ..very well said..I m a diehard Sachin fan...n hez been the reason for me to play cricket..I remember when Sachin toured Pakistan as 16 yr old boy..I was just seven then...frm that moment onwards he became an inspiration for me and many others of my age...and after following almost each and every innings of his...defending him in group discussions if he failed with the bat all these years..it seems everything will come to a stop when he retires..hez been the sole reason for me to switch on the TV even late nites and watch him bat..infact the Fab Five have been just billiant...I tried bowling like Kumble but soon found out that only he can master such an unusual action and have tremendous control..I salute the Heroes of Indian Cricket...truly the day Sachin retires it will the end of the golden era and for many of us watching cricket wont be that exciting anymor

  • POSTED BY jammyfan on | November 7, 2008, 4:51 GMT

    Sid, You couldn't have said it better...The story of my life :)

  • POSTED BY Agnihothra on | November 7, 2008, 4:48 GMT

    Sid Vee ! Mate what are you doin in Chicago?!!!! thought you were full time cricket journo... missed your pieces and commentary and was wondering whether you shifted jobs!!!!!

  • POSTED BY SHAHKY on | November 7, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    hhmmm writer is going throug the same feelings as pakistan were when waseem waqar saeed departed,honestly tell me who else is there like waseem and waqar?who else is like saeed anwar?we r allreading missing mohammad yousof with heavy hearts as we were missing the big inzi....we will miss dada and kumble too....well best of luck for the next generation and warm hearted wishes for the indian team

  • POSTED BY Vinayak.Kalikar on | November 7, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    Well said Siddhatha. Feels like I am hearing my schoolmate sharing his heart out. Our cricket started with a 16 year old hitting a veteran magician of leg spin out of international cricket. The whole generation started growing up with Sachin and college life was thrilled by arrival of Anil, Saurav and Rahul. And they were soon joined by someone very very special. They all were different; Sachin was giving sleepless nights to world's greatest leg spinner, Dada was taking off his T to show his agression, VVS was spoiling Waugh's invicibles party, the wall was blocking everything thrown to him, Jumbo was taking 10 wickets in an innings and together they were scripting the finest chapter in Indian cricket history. Now two pillor are gone and other will soon join them. There will be Dhonis and Ishants replacing them and taking India to another level. But for us, cricket started with fab 5 and it might end when they retire. It just feels a chapter of our life is closed permanently.

  • POSTED BY spreddy1 on | November 7, 2008, 4:45 GMT

    Your article truly reflects the views of many indians. I am sure many people of my generation will stop watching cricket after Tendulkar retires. Many of my friends are already loosing interest as these greats are retiring and once Tendulkar retires people will hardly watch Test Cricket. You are right in saying that the younger generation of cricketers in our Indian team would not be role models for young kids. Tendulkar has captured the attention of public after the 1996 world cup and particularly after 1998 sharjah cup and we people used to postpone our homework and suffered a lot from our teachers for not doing that homework.

  • POSTED BY Anand_Nandakumar on | November 7, 2008, 4:35 GMT

    Amazing article. Took every word out of my mouth!!! I was just telling my wife last Sunday - with a couple of hastily wiped tears from my eyes - there ends my passion for cricket.

    It is hard to describe the feeling, though I think Siddartha has done as good a job as anyone could have. I am actually in my mid 30s (35 to be exact), and hence, it is even more difficult than someone still just 30 or in their 20s. I grew up with these guys.

    A few months younger than Sachin, Rahul and Saurav; a few years younger than Kumble; and a year older than Laxman, these were people I feel a keen sense of kinship towards. Several of my own values and belief systems, such as a 'can do' attitude of Saurav, a work ethic and never say die spirit of Anil and Rahul, and the extra-ordinary humility in the face of extra-ordinary success of Sachin - are all an integral part of my psyche, and I guess of my generation!! These guys were (and are) heroes, yes, but not in an "idol worship" manner...

  • POSTED BY vaidyar on | November 7, 2008, 4:18 GMT

    Perfectly put... I for one, have sworn am going to stop watching cricket after the Fab folk retire...have stopped watching T20 and ODIs mostly now...the change in time zone after coming to the US and dropping of Rahul and Saurav were the last straws...now its more of cricinfo commentary for these things... It is going to be painful watching a team without any of these guys in it... and it also pains that none of the younger lot seem good enough to fit into their shoes...not just as cricketers, but as sportsmen in general... the Harbhajan-sreesanth episode seems like a portent of things to come...

  • POSTED BY Yamram on | November 7, 2008, 4:17 GMT

    Cant agree more... this has exactly been the mindset for me... believe it or not, sitting inside the conference room on a very important meeting, had my cricinfo desktop scorecard open as long as Tendlya was batting... the smile on the face when he reached his 40th century... did raise some eyebrows around me in the meeting, and I closed the scorecard when Sachin was out! I never thought myself to be an addict of cricket... but for the first time in my 30 years of life... I felt am addicted to Sachin and Indian Cricket! Hats off to all these players who have played a VERY major role in our lives... though I havent met any of them in person! I can still relate to them everytime they walk into the field to bat, bowl, or field... watching them is part of life... great article Siddarth! keep it up... and ALL THE VERY BEST to our Indian Stalwarts

  • POSTED BY PrasenjitKB on | November 7, 2008, 4:11 GMT

    Don't worry, Siddharth. You'll find new heroes soon enough. I felt precisely the same way when Gavaskar announced his retirement. It was my 23rd birthday, and I was flying out to the US for graduate school (my dreams of being a test cricketer finally shattered!). Sunny made 188 at Lord's for the Rest of the World against MCC, and I thought I could never be the same sort of fan again. I remember watching Sachin for the first time in the Asia Cup final 1991 at the Eden, but I was really hooked again when Sourav and Rahul made their glorious debuts at Lord's (I was in Singapore then). I salute the greatest generation of Indian cricketers. The Fab Five (plus Viru and Bhajji) have made the past decade an Indian cricket-lovers' dream. I flew to Jo'burg for the 2003 final, but was on business in Toronto for the 2007 T20I world final. See what happens when you underestimate Indian cricketers? There is a new generation to be obsessed with: Dhoni, Gambhir, Irfan, Yuvi, Rohit: champs already!

  • POSTED BY dpathak on | November 7, 2008, 4:08 GMT

    A very nice article Siddu. I am 34 and it felt like I wrote each word of this article!! I think Dravid - looking at his prolonged lean patch with the bat - will retire very soon (may be on the 5th day of this final Aus-Ind test or after the England test series in December). And I would like Tendlya could carry on until 2011 World Cup. There is not a "single" player in the current crop with the kind of stature that those FAB-5 have/had! Sehwag, Yuvi, Bhajji - all blow hot and cold. Dhoni might get there after a long run. But it is absolutely true - switching on the TV the day after all FAB-5 has retired WILL be an EXTREMELY serious challenge!!!

  • POSTED BY quizbrain123 on | November 7, 2008, 4:04 GMT

    Excellent article. Well said. I will miss the Fab 5 especially Rahul. I agree most of the younger crop is brash. Kohli is one such example.Also with Srikanth as Chairman of selectors, I sense we will go back to the dark ages when the players were selected because they belonged to a particular state. Interesting times ahead.

  • POSTED BY Rajan_TR on | November 7, 2008, 4:03 GMT

    I totally agree with you. I cannot fathom the fact what cricket would look without Sachin in the future. I began watching my cricket with Sachin holding the bat. Every transition of his has been a milestone year in my life also. Sampras went when i started my Engineering, Schumacher went when i started to work. Only Sachin is left...... I dread that day.... Coz cricket will never be the same for me....

  • POSTED BY chatta on | November 7, 2008, 3:57 GMT

    Sid, you touched a chord through this article....and basically evoked a feeling that is difficult to describe or put into words.

    As Indians, we love to worship and demonize just about anything and anybody. Sachin, Sourav, Dravid, Anil and Laxman are no exceptions to this rule. But as a 26 year old who, just as you described, has grown up, watching every test, one dayer played by this-OUR Indian team, this is such a sad time for us. Watching these guys go is so so very hard. And even worse, seeing upstarts and former players shoot off their mouths with respect to this group, hurts a lot. Indian cricket and Indians at large will do well, to stand up, shut up and applaud as each of these stalwarts makes their way off the center stage

  • POSTED BY sampath_r on | November 7, 2008, 3:51 GMT

    i too felt the same way .... these 5 guys r our part of life .... im sure i wont watch cricket once sachin retires .....

  • POSTED BY AJ_NM on | November 7, 2008, 3:49 GMT

    You hit the nail on the head, mate! I must confess it was a 'real' deja-vu feeling - its like you read my mind (or our minds should I say!). However if you did mention VVS' 281 - that would have made the article complete. Without VVS, I don't believe this team's greatness would have been anywhere near what it is perceived today. On a more positive note , however while I agree the Bhajji's, Sreesanths may not be the 'best' role models (although I love the in your face attitude, previous Indian crickets have been too pussy!), you missed out 'Dhoni'. While I have been a die-hard fan of Dada (believing no ne can be a better captain), I see in Dhoni a bit of Dada magic 'but' add the cool-headed nature. Add to that - a solid role model. Dhoni could (if success doesn't go to his head) become the greatest cricket of the next generation. This is the 'new Team India", the Fab Five have laid the foundation for success, I really hope the next set of lads take us a few notches higher.

  • POSTED BY gurudatt_9 on | November 7, 2008, 3:45 GMT

    Hi Siddharth,

    So true, we all grew up with Sachin, the earliest cricket memory I have India Australia series in 87 followed by Reliance World Cup and a hazy memory of Indo Pak series (that infamous Bangalore test).

    I remember following news papers, Cricket Samrat, Sportstar like crazy even before I turned 10.

    Dravid and Ganguly have been a late entrant to our lives but our generation literally grew up with Sachin and Kumble through 92 WC, Hero Cup, that drubbing of England and many other memories. It is difficult to digest Jumbo hanging up his shoes, even though we all knew it had to happen.

    I cant imagine what will happen to my cricket following when Sachin decides to put his willow in sheath. Let's enjoy the rest of the ride is what I can say. And when it ends, a part of us will die.

    Gurudatt

  • POSTED BY gurudatt_9 on | November 7, 2008, 3:40 GMT

    Hi Siddharth

    No one could have put this better.

    So many Indians like you and me, we grew up with Sachin, the earliest cricket memory I have India Australia series in 87 followed by Reliance World Cup and too hazy memory of Indo Pak series (that infamous Bangalore test) with myriad players like Rizwan-Uz-Zaman, Shoaib Mohammad and likes.

    I remember following news paper, Cricket Samrat, Sportstar like crazy even before I turned 10.

    Dravid and Ganguly have been a late entrant to our lives but our generation literally grew up with Sachin and Kumble through 92 WC, Hero Cup, that drubbing of England and many other memories. It is difficult to digest Jumbo hanging up his shoes, even though we all knew it had to happen.

    I cant imagine what will happen to my cricket following when Sachin decides to put his willow in sheath. Let's enjoy the rest of the ride is what I can say..

    Gurudatt

  • POSTED BY amarta on | November 7, 2008, 3:40 GMT

    Couldn't agree with you more Siddhartha...your writing really brought out my inner emotions.Dada, Anil they were household names and we almost took them from granted..and they brought joy to people...not only to us the middle class ones but also to the working class...after a tired day , a ganguly offdrive or a kumble massacre would have healed a lot of their pains...a new generation will come up but whether they would give us pleasure with their batting or bowling even if india loses remains to be seen...the signs are not good...however little we have watched the new generation in the one day games, none of them seems to elegant or stylish...they may be clinical and may win us games but they will not give us pleasure by their square cuts or their googlys...i only shudder to think about the day when sachin declares his retirement...i will probably stop watching cricket.

  • POSTED BY masterblaster666 on | November 7, 2008, 3:37 GMT

    The first cricketer to penetrate my childhood consciousness would have to be Sachin...and then maybe Azza. Bowlers happened much later, Warne, Donald first and then Kumble and Srinath followed as India managed to reach the semis in the '96 WC. Maybe I am more detached towards sport than you and like-minded folk because while I know I will miss a generation of cricketers who grew in stature as I progressed from toddler to young adult, I am quite looking forward to the next batch as well. There will be a motley new set of characters enacting their parts and I will watch enthralled just like before. As for new generation brashness, I have made a handful of friends on the internet and they don't look brash and impetuous to me :P, never judge a book by its cover, I say. People are the same, we just got a particularly gifted bunch of players in the same team for a long time and that's the thing I will remember most.

  • POSTED BY S.Shekar on | November 7, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    I cant agree with you better Siddhartha. Already the feeling is just starting to sink in....what do we after all the gods of our times retire... 2 wickets down already and 3 more in near future. To us the game and the love for it was determined more by these fab five.....they are indeed irreplacable. The Fab Five have given us 2 decades of amazing cricket, driven us mad, crazy and passionate all at the same time. The game to us will never be the same again. One fine day to our children and grand children, we will talk about the five cricketers who made the greatest impact in our lives.... and about how no one who came later is as good as them.... (sigh) its a whole new life from now on.

  • POSTED BY malay009 on | November 7, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    This is so true. For so many of us between 20 - 35 age groups, cricket is an integral part of the life. And Sachin, Kumble, Dravid and Ganguli are needless to say an integral part of the game. so when Kumble, Ganguli retires you feel that you have lost something. What a great Statesmen they are. We surely will miss them.

  • POSTED BY wiseass_in on | November 7, 2008, 3:36 GMT

    Hi Siddhartha, Nice article....totally agree with u ! ....though i was expecting it ...kumble's retirement was a kind of jolt....couldn't quite believe it !

  • POSTED BY TrexTrainer on | November 7, 2008, 3:35 GMT

    Agree completely. I am 32 and I grew up watching all of them. I was one of those who had the skill but, not the means or desire to make it to the top. We lived our dreams through these role-model cricketers. I remember almost being on the verge of tears when Viv Richards left cricket and I barely knew him. Now, that these greats will be gone soon I feel like there will be something amiss in my world.

  • POSTED BY Unnikuttan on | November 7, 2008, 3:35 GMT

    Sid - Wonderful article.Pretty sums up what any Indian in that age group would have gone through. 1989 was THE year when SRT made his debut. gosh i was in the 8th then. And sachin is still playing. with almost the same intensity. Amazing isnt it..20 years and not being dropped

  • POSTED BY rv_posts on | November 7, 2008, 3:33 GMT

    Excellent article, Sid. Of late I thought your writing was a bit off, copy book style and then this one. Exactly embodies everyones thought process on a lazy saturday evening wondering how did the years pass by.

  • POSTED BY SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on | November 7, 2008, 3:32 GMT

    Having watched these five for the past 12 years has been an absolute privilege that I have taken for granted considering that they have been regular fixtures in my life. Their impending departures have made me feel as if I have a 5-part soul, and God is taking each part away one by one, leaving me with nothing. They have been my childhood heroes, and when they are all gone, I will never EVER be able to support India with the same vigour as normal knowing that I will never again see Dada wave his shirt around like a rebel, never see another crisp Jammy cover drive that is an example of technical rectitude, never see a VVS flick from outside off to leg which seems to defy logic, never see Jumbo pin hapless batsmen on the back foot and never see Sachin play a wristy square drive to an inswinger. It is a sad time folks, for India's greatest middle order and bowler are heading into the sunset. They are simply irreplaceble, so cherish these final memories. Nothing will ever eclipse them.

  • POSTED BY teamofrivals on | November 7, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    I felt the same when Agassi and Zidane retired. I loved this piece, not sure what cricket without Tendulkar would mean to me (if it would mean anything at all).

  • POSTED BY mailmaadi on | November 7, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    Neat article Siddhartha ! Apt title. Saurav, Rahul, VVS and Kumble going away is one thing, but the worst of them all is going to be Sachin Tendulkar's. That will be the saddest day for Indian cricket and my cricket. I remember very well how Tendlya has kept us on our nerves each and every match, though the feeling is not the same when we watch his game today, which is more matured. This article sums up the same feelings that I and most of my cricket-loving-friends experience.

  • POSTED BY Sportsfan3333 on | November 7, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    This is a brilliant article. I belong to this generation and can identify with ever word written. I don't think cricket is ever going to be the same again after this crop leaves. The memories are just awesome. I had the pleasure of being at the Wankhede stadium during the 96 WC game you referred. I stood in the ticket queue for 7 hours so that I could watch Tendulkar under Mumbai lights or the first time. I don't think the new generation of cricketers will ever evoke this kind of passion from the Indian public.

    Well, childhood is indeed ending.

  • POSTED BY jkplatinum25 on | November 7, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    such a touching story..reminded me of the time when ambrose, walsh and even lara retired

  • POSTED BY common111 on | November 7, 2008, 3:24 GMT

    I am 27 and I can totally vouch for every word here. But I think Dhoni (if not his company) promises to be a better ambassador for Indian cricket. By the way it is true that Harbhajan is a brat!

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | November 7, 2008, 3:24 GMT

    I didnt know you were a grad student too! This is soo freaking true.. With sachin's retirement the cricket will end for me.. Cmon, its circus now anyways, hindi music? Women host(no offence but most chosen are brainless)? 20-20? Cricket reality shows for IPL? Test cricket will perish and it will be painful if you watch.. No technique no reason for youngsters to stay at crease when a quick buck can be made in other formats.. Its dead for us and alive for 12 yr olds, who are already doing "Whassup buddddyyyy did ya see Dhoni's new hairstyle man"! Enough said.. but am relishing on whatever I get to see these last few days

  • POSTED BY zzsbzz on | November 7, 2008, 3:21 GMT

    Siddhartha, You've captured my thoughts to the T. Cricket for me started with the 1989 series. I vaguely remember Gavaskar's last innings and the '87 world cup. I'm in the US too so I don't know how my passion for cricket will carry over to the new generation of India's cricketers. I for sure will be nostalgic when Ganguly gets out for the last time. Thanks for a great article!

  • POSTED BY dyogesh on | November 7, 2008, 3:14 GMT

    Dude, Perfect. Probably for me Tendulkar will mean more than anybody else. The first match, I saw was 1992 world cup India vs Eng. Ravi was stonewalling , in-walked Sachin. Free-flowing and was breath of fresh air. And since then, i have only become crazier over tendulkar. Of course, the memories of cricket will be mostly around these Fab 5. probably, no more will the passion be so strong for Indian team

  • POSTED BY Prash_C on | November 7, 2008, 3:13 GMT

    This is so true. I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched Sachin bat yesterday. Dunno how many more times we're going to get to watch a live sachin master class. So gotta cherish it while it lasts.

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  • POSTED BY Prash_C on | November 7, 2008, 3:13 GMT

    This is so true. I was thinking the exact same thing when I watched Sachin bat yesterday. Dunno how many more times we're going to get to watch a live sachin master class. So gotta cherish it while it lasts.

  • POSTED BY dyogesh on | November 7, 2008, 3:14 GMT

    Dude, Perfect. Probably for me Tendulkar will mean more than anybody else. The first match, I saw was 1992 world cup India vs Eng. Ravi was stonewalling , in-walked Sachin. Free-flowing and was breath of fresh air. And since then, i have only become crazier over tendulkar. Of course, the memories of cricket will be mostly around these Fab 5. probably, no more will the passion be so strong for Indian team

  • POSTED BY zzsbzz on | November 7, 2008, 3:21 GMT

    Siddhartha, You've captured my thoughts to the T. Cricket for me started with the 1989 series. I vaguely remember Gavaskar's last innings and the '87 world cup. I'm in the US too so I don't know how my passion for cricket will carry over to the new generation of India's cricketers. I for sure will be nostalgic when Ganguly gets out for the last time. Thanks for a great article!

  • POSTED BY Dhanno on | November 7, 2008, 3:24 GMT

    I didnt know you were a grad student too! This is soo freaking true.. With sachin's retirement the cricket will end for me.. Cmon, its circus now anyways, hindi music? Women host(no offence but most chosen are brainless)? 20-20? Cricket reality shows for IPL? Test cricket will perish and it will be painful if you watch.. No technique no reason for youngsters to stay at crease when a quick buck can be made in other formats.. Its dead for us and alive for 12 yr olds, who are already doing "Whassup buddddyyyy did ya see Dhoni's new hairstyle man"! Enough said.. but am relishing on whatever I get to see these last few days

  • POSTED BY common111 on | November 7, 2008, 3:24 GMT

    I am 27 and I can totally vouch for every word here. But I think Dhoni (if not his company) promises to be a better ambassador for Indian cricket. By the way it is true that Harbhajan is a brat!

  • POSTED BY jkplatinum25 on | November 7, 2008, 3:26 GMT

    such a touching story..reminded me of the time when ambrose, walsh and even lara retired

  • POSTED BY Sportsfan3333 on | November 7, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    This is a brilliant article. I belong to this generation and can identify with ever word written. I don't think cricket is ever going to be the same again after this crop leaves. The memories are just awesome. I had the pleasure of being at the Wankhede stadium during the 96 WC game you referred. I stood in the ticket queue for 7 hours so that I could watch Tendulkar under Mumbai lights or the first time. I don't think the new generation of cricketers will ever evoke this kind of passion from the Indian public.

    Well, childhood is indeed ending.

  • POSTED BY mailmaadi on | November 7, 2008, 3:28 GMT

    Neat article Siddhartha ! Apt title. Saurav, Rahul, VVS and Kumble going away is one thing, but the worst of them all is going to be Sachin Tendulkar's. That will be the saddest day for Indian cricket and my cricket. I remember very well how Tendlya has kept us on our nerves each and every match, though the feeling is not the same when we watch his game today, which is more matured. This article sums up the same feelings that I and most of my cricket-loving-friends experience.

  • POSTED BY teamofrivals on | November 7, 2008, 3:31 GMT

    I felt the same when Agassi and Zidane retired. I loved this piece, not sure what cricket without Tendulkar would mean to me (if it would mean anything at all).

  • POSTED BY SRT_Jammy_Dada_VVS_and_Anil_legends on | November 7, 2008, 3:32 GMT

    Having watched these five for the past 12 years has been an absolute privilege that I have taken for granted considering that they have been regular fixtures in my life. Their impending departures have made me feel as if I have a 5-part soul, and God is taking each part away one by one, leaving me with nothing. They have been my childhood heroes, and when they are all gone, I will never EVER be able to support India with the same vigour as normal knowing that I will never again see Dada wave his shirt around like a rebel, never see another crisp Jammy cover drive that is an example of technical rectitude, never see a VVS flick from outside off to leg which seems to defy logic, never see Jumbo pin hapless batsmen on the back foot and never see Sachin play a wristy square drive to an inswinger. It is a sad time folks, for India's greatest middle order and bowler are heading into the sunset. They are simply irreplaceble, so cherish these final memories. Nothing will ever eclipse them.