My friend Navin inadvertently gave me a goldmine of a source for material. A forward doing the rounds right now is about Sachin's appraisal meeting with his boss. Here's what was not Chronicled. It's Sachin's tete-a-tete with his real boss- the spokesperson of The Cricket Fan(TCF), the 'Zara Hatke' version of the Indian Cricket Fan(ICF). These are people who 'Stand out' rather than 'Fit in' among the millions of Cricket Fans. Here are the minutes of the meeting:
TCF: So Sach, congratulations on the success of Gwalior. Your performance was truly unprecedented. We cannot imagine another individual who could have displayed such a stellar performance that day.
Sachin: Thank you, Sir. You are kind. I owe it to the Indian Cricket Fan, who has supported me for 20 years. And stood by me all through all the ups and downs in my career. I dedicate my performance to the ICF.
TCF: We at the TCF are truly honoured to have this meeting with you. It always gives us immense pleasure to see somebody as talented as you are reach great heights. And always wish you greater success.
Sach: Thank you, Sir.
TCF: But now, let's be objective about your performances at large. Allow me to give you some background, for you to understand our disposition. We are people who love your work, but then we do not let our emotions impair our judgement.
Sach: I understand your position, sir.
TCF: We are aware of your demi-god status among the ICF, and your popularity among other departments, including the Australian Cricket Fan (ACF), and the Pakistani Cricket Fan (PCF). So much so that some members of the PCF applauded your performance, which bettered PCF's one-time blue-eyedMr. Anvar's performance in '97. That speaks volumes about your attributes, which make you a good role model.
Sach: I was only doing my job, sir.
TCF: At this stage, we thought it apt to discuss the ICF's claims of you being the best ever. You see, it took Sir Don some performances at stratospheric levels to assume his position of the greatest ever. And many have aspired to take his place. Probably Sir Viv was making great progress, and came closest to Sir Don. And you come form a time when there were quite a few who have given you a run for your money. I wont take any names, but you are aware.
( Sach nods.)
TCF: You see Sachin, we live in terribly competitive times. Being the best one in your team is just not good enough for you to become the best ever, even if your team is the second-best in the world. None of us will ever remember the runners-up, will we? I'm sure you are a great asset to the team, but unless you carry your team forward with your performances, you cannot lay claims for such an appraisal. I mean, this project at Gwalior was great, but what about the one at Hyderabad in '09. Or worse, the one at Chennai in '99. Now I'm not going to bring up your other performances like Edgbaston in '96 or Newlands in '97 or Sydney in '08. But you get the drift. For every success of yours, your bosses will remember three of your team-failures. And though you may have performed exceptionally as a team-player, those failures of the team are also your personal failures.
So keep up the good work. Stay focussed, and one day, you'll get what you really think you deserve, i.e. a better ranking among your peers worldwide. All the best. Make us proud.
(shakes hands with Sach)
The authour is known to switch loyalties between the ICF and the TCF, based on the outcome of the assignment.