On Thursday, Sachin Tendulkar scored a century, his 40th in Test cricket. Going purely by form and fitness, and the hunger for runs that distinguishes the really great from the merely good, he looks good for a few more seasons.
True, cricket is becoming a young man’s game, and, with the growing popularity of Twenty20, it will become a younger man’s game, but to measure youth by calendar years would surely be unfair. Website Cricinfo tells us that at the time he scored his 40th century, Tendulkar was 35 years and 196 days old. He will be 38 when the next World Cup comes around. Will that be too old? Not really.
In many ways, the problem the Indian cricketing establishment faces with respect to Tendulkar is the same many companies face when it comes to promoting talented young people to top slots. In a meritocracy, age shouldn’t matter.
Applying the same logic, it would be unfair to ask a still-good cricketer to step aside just because he was born 35 years ago.