Manjrekar shocked at Sachin accepting RS seat
New Delhi: As former cricketers and sportsmen welcomed his nomination to Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Manjrekar, who had played with Sachin Tendulkar, said he was shocked by his decision to accept the government`s offer.
There were others who too shared the views of Manjrekar who said Tendulkar was not known to expressing his views on public issues. Asked for his reaction on Tendulkar being made a Rajya Sabha member, Manjrekar said, "Actually shocked by the story itself. First by the nomination as it came without any warning. And that Sachin has accepted it is even more shocking.
"When I visualise what Sachin could possibly do after retirement, I thought something connected to cricket, coaching and all that, may be some business or social activity. But Rajya Sabha MP after retirement or even at this stage of career is something that was not even in my wildest guess," Manjrekar said.
Manjrekar, however, said that Tendulkar could find time to take part in Parliament proceedings if he wants to. "Nowadays he does not play in each and every match India plays. He does out play for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy. If he wants to take out time (for Parliament) he can and that is what people would expect. He is not going to be there everyday, in each Parliament session. He can be there for enough time to make a difference. But it has taken me completely by surprise. I had known him as a certain kind of person. I don`t know he had this kind of inclination that would make him accept this offer", he said.
Manjrekar said it would be a different challenge for Tendulkar who is a quiet person by nature and has has not taken stand even on cricketing issues.
Cricket commentator and analyst, Harsha Bhogle, felt that Tendulkar does not have the experience to be an active Parliamentarian. "Lot of people are now trying to get mileage out of Tendulkar. I am not sure if it is the greatest idea. If the idea is to honour Tendulkar by giving him a seat in Rajya Sabha that`s OK, but if you want to see Tendulkar as an active Parliamentarian, looking after social causes, having a say in the future of this country he does not have the experience," Bhogle said.
"I have known him so closely. His life has been surrounded by cricket, out and out in cricket. He is that kind of person. I expect him to be playing another 12 months and take it from there. So he will be playing for 12 months and the cricket calendar is so tight and he also misses series due to fitness issues. So I don`t know how he will have time for Parliament."
Former India opener Aakash Chopra said that Tendulkar can make a change in the sporting landscape of the country. "That Tendulkar has accepted the nomination, I believe he has accepted to bring change in the world of sport. He should work for the underprivileged sportspersons and for other issues like politicians running the sports federations," he said.
"How he is going to find time for this and make his voice heard remains to be seen. But if he is there in Parliament it is for right reasons," he added.
Tendulkar`s teammate Virender Sehwag tweeted, "My first ipl game against a Rajya Sabha member. Hope the weather holds n we get a full game today."
Former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia welcomed Tendulkar becoming a Rajya Sabha member, saying that it will benefit Indian sports. "I think it`s a completely personal decision, if Sachin thinks he should join politics and he can make a difference, it`s most welcome. For a sportsperson, I think people like Sachin coming in is always good, because it`s going to benefit sports. I think Sachin is one person everybody looks up to and am sure he will do a great job. We need good politicians, good, honest people in the Parliament," said Bhutia.
IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya said he was delighted that Tendulkar will become a Rajya Sabha member. "Delighted to hear on the news that Sachin has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Befitting an extraordinarily accomplished Indian," he said.
Former IPL chief Lalit Modi wrote on his Twitter page, "Amazing to see the storm that Sachin`s nomination has generated. I think he`d have preferred a Bharat Ratna after all."