Even though there is a silent war raging in the corridors of power, you cannot ignore the latest noises coming from India.
Sachin Tendulkar, who seems to have played international cricket forever and a day, will finally leave the stage next month. The ultimate ambassador for the game, he deserves every single one of the plaudits that have poured in since he announced his intention to call time on his fairy-tale journey with the game.
Of course, there was a time when it looked like his 200th Test match would be in Cape Town, against the best attack in the game.
It seems 200 has become a common number these days, what with number crunchers suggesting that those are the number of millions Cricket South Africa will miss out on now that the Indian rug has been pulled from under them.
Tendulkar once slayed 200 off the Proteas’s attack in a one-day international, but we will never see him swish his brilliant blade against our compatriots again. Sadly, when surly old men in suits start believing they are bigger than the game, the man on the street suffers most.
Cape Town would have been a fitting finale for Tendulkar, but that ship has sailed now. The last time “The Little Master” was at Newlands, he chalked up his last Test century, despite a fierce examination by swing and speed from Dale Steyn.
For those who were privileged enough to be there, it was a joy to behold.
The eyes may not have been as sharp as they used to be, and the toes may no longer be as Billy Elliott-esque as they were at the height of his powers, but there are still few more irresistible sights in the game than a Tendulkar cover drive.
Team glory may have arrived in the autumn of his career, but no one begrudged him the 2011 World Cup, in front of his delirious fanatics. He, more than any other, has paid his dues.
They say you get what you deserve, after all.
Jacques Kallis, holding on to his 2015 World Cup dream, will hope that his own fairy tale comes true, before he, too, strolls into the sunset.
Kallis and Tendulkar are alike in many ways, having carried their teams so often and for so long, without complaint.
But the South African all-rounder hasn’t had the glare of a billion people watching his every move, their lives seemingly dependent on his very existence at the crease.
And it was never enough for Tendulkar to just survive; he had to thrill, make the impossible look simple.
As the game moves ever closer towards baseball-like slugfests, where burly bashers are lauded, while meticulous manipulators of the ball are left feeding off scraps, Tendulkar is the last of a rare breed.
Even Kallis, once regarded as old-fashioned, has changed gears swiftly to stay relevant. A final dance between the timeless two-some, at the foot of Table Mountain, would have been apt.
But India write their own scripts these days, and the rest of the cricket world get the bit-parts.
Yet, cricket has a funny way of evening out the odds.
Next year, there are elections in India, which will coincide with the IPL. The last time that happened, they were forced to move the tournament to their “great friends of cricket”, South Africa.
A certain Gerald Majola opened his arms – and a new bank account, perhaps – and the show went merrily on.
After this summer of discontent, one wonders if the childish S Srinivasan may yet learn that, what goes around, comes around.
After all, we all get what we deserve. - Sunday Independent