28 September, 2020

Maria Sharapova

Never knew not knowing Sachin was a crime in India.

Illustration by Saahil
Maria Sharapova
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The social media venom was unbelievable. More than 50,000 vitriolic hits on Twitter questioning my intelligence just because I did not know who Sachin Tendulkar was. I thought Indians loved me. I had been to their country a couple of times, they draped me in expensive saris and got themselves photographed with me. Their champion Sania Mirza boasted she would beat me in straight sets provided I was in a sari and she in tennis clothes. Possibly I would be holding the sari in one hand and the racquet in the other.

Never knew not knowing Sachin was a crime in India. I talked to my colleagues in the circuit, all were ignorant on the Sachin factor and the facts, tens of thousands of the ‘runs’, a century of centuries, thousands of matches, honours galore, something called ‘Bharat Ratna’ and a seat in Indian Parliament. That is something. 

No wonder my ignorance about this Indian god appalled Indians. It seems I have become as much a hated figure as some Pakistani cricketer called Javed Miandad who hit a last ball six off Indian bowler Chetan...

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