Cricket has always been a game of emotion in countries which are absolutely crazy for the game. The fans not only get excited for the new talent in the team, but also support the veterans in the team, whom they have supported with huge hearts for decades.
Moreover, when legends (according to the fans) are playing their last match before retirement, it seems like a war. It makes the farewell even better, ending on a positive note. But, cricket never allows dream farewells. Even great children of destiny bowed out quietly and were forced to leave without fanfare or royal guards or laps of honour on the shoulders of teammates.
Legends like Sachin Tendulkar received a Guard of Honour after his last match he played on his home ground. He ended up giving an emotional 21-minute speech to the spectators, many of whom were even seen crying.
Some great players had it all- like Steve Waugh. While other greats like his sibling Mark Waugh, become sacrificial scape goats, who have walked into the sunset of their careers, sometimes forgotten, sometimes nudged, and sometimes even shoved.
Today, Sri Lanka prepares to bid farewell to the cricketer they’ve voted as their greatest ahead of Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardene or Aravinda de Silva. Australia is preparing to look forward to a life after Michael Clarke, whose career has been abruptly ended by a devastating Ashes loss.
Australia is on the other side now; they have made plans of destroying Brendon Mc Cullum’s farewell party by defeating New Zealand. They claim that they would hammer New Zealand and reclaim their No. 1 spot in ICC Test Rankings.
The last few international matches for the veterans have now become equivalent to making a debut. It seems that they want to end on a similar note, on what they started. But, the oppositions have clearly made it a battle and due to the pressure, maximum veterans have not succeeded in a fruitful farewell.
If we look at the game, it is perfectly right to say that no team would like to lose a match just for the sake of bidding farewell to an opposition player. After all, you have to be at the top of your game, always.