I think there are two kinds of declines. Or maybe two stages of one decline. Anyway, there's the stage where a player isn't quite as infallible as his superhuman former self and there's another when he becomes a liability.
I'd never mark down a player for continuing when he's at the first stage, often he'll still be the best option available to his country (it'd be interesting to compare Botham's post-86/87 career to that of any of the Beefy manques that came in his stead if anyone could be arsed) but equally one hopes players have the self-honesty to know when they reach the second stage of decline amd exit the spotlight before they become travesties of themselves.
However, I don't think that even when former greats reach that regrettable stage that their legacy necessarily loses any lustre for those who saw them in their cups. It's only maybe future generations whose first introduction to players is often the brute stats of their career figures who'll need to be convinced.
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I remember this article on Cricinfo when Brian Lara was playing ICL, and sucking balls. It was about how he should be careful not to hurt his legacy and have people remember him for that
Not sure why people are making such a 'beat-up' over this. I already pointed out that by 'tarnish' his legacy, I meant 'blemish' and not 'ruin'. If you don't agree it would be sad to see Tendulkar continuing playing on and failing, that's fine, but quit making out people have been suggesting his whole career will be ruined, because that just isn't the case. Talk about blowing things out of proportion.
Crowe certainly had an end of career slump. In the last year of his career he was extremely average. He only managed to average about 19 after the 1994 tour of England. That was probably mainly due to the fact that at that stage he couldn't really put any pressure on his right leg anymore, and that's probably why his legacy wasn't remotely tarnished by it.
At times you have talked about Tendulkar's average dipping.
Then you've also talked about it just being sad to see him struggle as if he can't hold a bat.
They are two different things. One is you saying his average falling below 55 will hurt his legacy. The other is just a general sadness of seeing a former great no longer be any good.
Everyone agrees with your latter point. But not everyone agrees with your first point.
if he plays the upcoming border-gavaskar series and inevitably fails in it too, then yeah it'll be a tiny blemish.
maybe he's thinking that if he has one good series for the final time, he'll go out on a bit of a high and all will be rosy, cosy.
another possibility could be that BCCI don't want him to go yet as it will no doubt affect their income significantly.
they apparently blocked dhoni's axing earlier this year for perhaps the same reason.
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I wouldnt be surprised if he is going for 200 tests if he is that close.
again, there are two cases here :
1. performing quite a bit below the player's own high standards, but still contributing well enough to the team , that shouldn't hurt the legacy that much ....
2. performing well below average by a decent batsman's standards for an extended amount of time ..... that would hurt the legacy quite a bit ...
as far as ponting goes, he'd been out of form in tests for quite some time ( minus the India series ) ..
for sachin, the time has been lesser comparatively ( since 2011 WC ), especially when compared to someone like gambhir in the same team who hasn't done that well since 2010 ....
but its about time that he performed well in the next series or two .... absolute shame that he didn't capitalize in Aus, where he looked in excellent touch ....
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