The Heavy Ball

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Dear diary

A newly retired cricketer writes

What's life like once you quit the game? Challenging

As discovered by Samantha Pendergrast

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A
Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman stroll back after saving the Test, India v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 5th day, November 20, 2009
"'Double trouble' is already taken by the Waugh twins. Think harder" © AFP

March 10
Wake up. No training, no practice, no work. I could get used to this.

Sit down to read the paper. The tributes are pouring in. "Team man Tendulkar rubbishes retirement rumours", "Tendulkar will bring Asian glory to India", "Sachin sizzles at practice".

Doorbell. (Now that I'm home, got to get used to answering the door.) Some people asking for donations for the needy. I have plenty to give. Bats for those who need to dig deep, gloves for those need to get a grip, pads for… uh they left at that.

Told my wife: "China called. They want to sign me for an endorsement deal. What do you think?" She didn't get it. Am I the only one not allowed to make wall jokes? Instead she asked me to go get the kids from school. Again? That's the third time in three days!

The president of our housing committee came home in the evening and told me that now that I had time on my hands I should get more involved with the association's activities. Of course, I said, any experience in administration will help me if I take on cricket roles in the future.

"Dressing up as the Easter Bunny for festivities may not seem like a power-brokering role now, but it'll give you valuable insight into the importance of appearing harmless and loveable on the outside when you join the BCCI," my wife told me once the president left. I gave her a glare but the rabbit head made it look like Bugs Bunny with cataracts.

March 11
Jesse called from New Zealand. Says he's on a break too and we should definitely hang out, now that I don't have dietary restrictions or curfews. I said that would be nice, since I do indulge in a latte once a week these days and also stay up till 10.30pm on Saturdays. He spluttered and said he'd call Symmo instead. The dull, serious, early-to-bed avatar - works every time.

Frantic messages from Sachin and VVS. "What do we call ourselves now? Fab Four, Big Three…?" How about "Two Old" I suggested.

March 12
Felt fidgety early in the morning. Tried to control the urge but finally succumbed. Drove myself to the National Cricket Academy to have a hit in the nets. I hoped I wouldn't meet anyone there because I was sure I'd get those sympathetic "retirement can be hard" looks. Snuck in and had a happy half hour batting to the bowling machine when I heard a small noise. I looked up and saw Jumbo. "Want to play a single-wicket game?" he asked.

It's been a tiring first few days post-retirement. I have had to turn down several job offers too, including as a spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, PR for a construction company, and as an instructor at a bowling alley (they said I "had devised innumerable ways of getting skittled").

All quotes and facts in this article are fiction (but you knew that already, didn't you?)

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 27 
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Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Chandni on (March 15, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Fab four,Big three? Two Old...LOL......nice one..even though I still love Lax and Sachin...and Jam too!!

Posted by pinaki on (March 13, 2012, 2:40 GMT)

two good!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 13, 2012, 0:49 GMT)

The Jesse- Symmo touch was awesome..

Posted by Mehul on (March 12, 2012, 19:09 GMT)

I know its written in a light vein, but can't help feeling a little ruffled at the irreverent tone of the article.

Posted by Adeel on (March 12, 2012, 18:20 GMT)

LOL, The tributes are pouring in. "Team man Tendulkar rubbishes retirement rumours" Superb!

Posted by Vikram on (March 12, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

"Frantic messages from Sachin and VVS. "What do we call ourselves now? Fab Four, Big Three…?" How about "Two Old" I suggested." That was too good. Sadly, even if Dravid did say that, Sachin and VVS would still not get out of the game.

Posted by Sharad on (March 12, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Dear fellow "commenters", the writer is a female. Please look up her first name in google for proof. I would be nice NOT to address her as "man".

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

'Fab four, Big three.. what now? Two Olds.." and "China Wall" joke were awesome..

Posted by yas on (March 12, 2012, 14:58 GMT)

@Yolk_Eater it means that because his nickname is ''the wall'' china called him up (because they have the great wall of china obviously) to give him an endorsement deal.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 12, 2012, 14:43 GMT)

Yolk eater Great wall of china...Dravid the wall

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