Friday, 18 September 2020

Sachin Tujhe Salam

Updated: January 8, 2011 4:42 pm

One of the most asked quiz questions in early 60s and 70s was, who said it: “Now we have got Independence, the country belongs to all, Muslims, Hindus, Christians and other religions will all have same rights,” and answers invariably were wrong because few could fathom that author of this statement was none other than Mohammed Ali Jinnah—father of Pakistan.

                Now here is another quiz, who wrote this ode in praise of Sachin Tendulkar: “Putting Sachin Tendulkar’s latest feat in a strictly cricketing context would not be fair to the sportsman.” His achievements in the world of cricket need to be seen on a par with efforts in any field—science, art, literature, etc—to push the frontiers of human excellence.

                There is no doubt that scoring a half-century of centuries is a remarkable feat in itself. This achievement speaks volumes for the cricketer’s temperament and his ability to adapt to changing times in the sports world. In fact, 20 years is a long time in the international sporting arena. Surviving for that long takes courage and determination. It is, as such, also about having enough passion for the game over that long a period to keep one’s fitness level at the requisite level.

                Sachin Tendulkar, needless to say, has all these attributes and more class, for instance. It is no wonder that he has survived two decades, and has, in fact, ruled the cricketing world. His exploits even when he was less than halfway through his career caused people to draw comparisons with Donald Bradman, who is universally seen as the greatest cricketer ever. Tendulkar has established himself as the modern era’s equivalent of the iconic Don.

                “The many feathers in his cap appear to justify this perception. He has no more points to prove to anyone. For the cricketing world at large, it has been a privilege to watch Sachin Tendulkar demonstrate his remarkable skills. There is hardly anyone who would disagree with this, especially as his talent on the field has been observed for several years now.”

                “Today, it is just about celebrating a cricketing giant, who goes by the name of Sachin Tendulkar.” Well I am sure most of the readers will get it wrong because this is the tribute paid to the Little Master by Pakistan’s prestigious paper The Dawn. There is no doubt that 50th test hundred by Tendulkar has made him a matter of Cricket folklore but it has also proved one thing, if proof was indeed needed that there is a no final frontier for a determined, focused and disciplined human being.

                But before this, Sachin had the distinction of being the first batsman to have scored 200 in One Day International (ODI). Like his 50th ton at Centurion (SA), his 200 was also against South Africa in February and that double century found a place in the Time magazine’s top 10 sports moments of the year. “Certain sports milestones seem simply unreachable: In cricket, it’s the one-day double-hundred: no man had ever produced 200 runs for his team during a one-day international match,” The Time said.

                “In February, however, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, the greatest run scorer of all-time, hit the magic milestone against a powerful South African squad.” “Tendulkar smacked three “sixes”—the cricket equivalent of a home run—during his epic performance, and the build-up to 200 was exhilarating.”

                “When he reached 199, the home crowd in Gwalior waved Indian flags, and roared, knowing they were about to witness history. The diminutive Tendulkar, dubbed ‘The Little Master’ slapped a single past the South African fielders. The world’s 1.5 billion cricket fans had a moment they’d never forget,” it said.

                And that one thought was the best tribute paid to the Master at that time, but few thought that more will follow and that too so soon. The Indian thus achieved which no cricketer could have ever imagined to achieve. Having played International cricket for well over two decades, Sachin’s apatite for runs

and glory is shown no sign of dimnishing. He still is hungry for runs, has deep passion and commitment for the game thus proving the adage. “Impossible is nothing.”

                There are several players, who came with him and are now living a retired life, several came after him and several lasted not more than a series or two. “I have not seen anyone gifted with such natural technical batting, combined with hard work,” was the reaction of Pakistani legend Hanif Mohammad on Mastro’s 50th test hundred.

                And one more tribute came from none other than Javed Miandad, who said: “Being around for 21 years and doing justice to the God gifted talent is something anyone will be proud of.” Tennis ace Leander Paes, who has also been playing for over two decades and is now aiming for a medal in the London Olympics also feels that Sachin’s performance is awesome. “It was a phenomenal achievement. He is God gifted. I respect the longevity of his performance. The way he is going at 37, he seems likely to soon become the first batsman in history to also score 100 international hundreds… phew that is a record one can only dream about,” he said.

                “Where does Sachin Tendulkar end—seeing what he has been doing after the age of 35, I just think the Indian Cricket Board and selectors should let him play as long as he wants too. Because I know one thing about Sachin no one will need to tell him when to go… the sort of person he is I have a feeling he will go gracefully when he feels it is time to hang up his boots and when that happens, believe me, cricket is going to lose a lot of fans,” wrote former Pakistan Captain Wasim Akram.

                At 37, Sachin by his virtuous performance has ignited a debate about his being the greatest batsman of all time and interestingly even in Australia, the birthplace of much revered Sir Don Bradman, most of the cricket fans feel that the Mumbai-based Indian is the best batsman of all time.

                Every Indian and most of the cricket fans in the subcontinent, South Africa and West Indies regard Sachin as the best ever batsman but everybody was surprised to find that the Master Blaster has emerged runaway winner over Don Bradman in Australia.

                Sydney Morning Herald conducted an online poll—“Who is the best batsman of all time, Bradman or Tendulkar?” The Indian received 67 per cent of the votes as against Bradman’s 33 per cent. About 20768 cricket fans voted.

                “I am Australian. I love Don Bradman… But my unbiased thought is Sachin is Greater. Sachin has more than 30,000 runs. He is playing in an era where every ball is analysed and taken note of. Yet 12 nations have not found the way to stop this man. When Bradman played cricket… it was not analysed as we do it today. Bradman only played Test and that to only in England and Australia. This 30,000 runs, 50 test hundreds, 46 ODI hundreds, 200 runs in ODI stands out for Sachin and that’s why he is greater,” a cricket buff wrote, giving his reason why he voted for the Indian.


             SACHIN: THE RUN MACHINE


Jigar Mehta, a poet based in Mumbai and a great lover of Sachin Tendulakr soon after the legend scored his 5oth Test century penned this poem:

My heart was beating but said all would be fine,

when God was on a nervous 199!

History was to be made and new record to be set,

When fast came running, the African Langeveldt.

The ball was a bit wide and on the offside,

The ball knew that only Sachin was his perfect guide.

And went for a ride towards the ”gully side”.

Off went Sachin and finished the historic run,

To achieve it on this planet he was the only ”one”,

The whole world saluted ”India’s” favourite son.

Up went his arms thanking the mighty Lord,

Even his critics started chanting he is a ”Cricketing God”.

At the end of the innings ”technique” was his tool,

We heartily thank ”last over single” by our Captain Cool.

Never did it look that he was out of fuel,

He made the world realise over ”cricket”, we rule.

The African bowlers were battered and bruised,

With great flowing drives his innings cruised.

Opposition captain was totally fused,

Master made a point that ”every shot in the book” was used.

He was on the go he was on the kill,

Watching him bat the whole country came to a ”stand still”!

Tired bowlers sledged him for a while,

But all Master did was give a very ”cute” smile.

Answered with his bat in an absolute grand style,

Which meant the fielders had to run for yet an another ”mile”.

Hardly he misses, hardly does he flops,

This ”run machine” never ever stops!

In the end it was his tribute to his well wishers and dears,

like ”us” who stood by him all these years!

A big salute to the Master, a big salute to the ”Men in Blue”,

A die hard SACHINIST wants to tell you a ”Thank You”!

                When Sachin Tendulkar flew in to Australia to meet cricket legend Sir Don Bradman, the great Aussie cricketer who is a legend now saw some videos of the Sachin and after watching him Sir Don said, “he reminds me of myself.” There used to be debate when Sunil Gavaskar used to play and a comparison was made between Gavaskar and Sir Don. When Sachin landed in the international cricket scene as a teenager and went to Pakistan Gavaskar was fading out and Sachin was the new star in the horizon. Sachin entered the international arena when he got more opportunities in international cricket than Gavaskar enjoyed. More test matches, more series and more one-dayers. The game has undergone transformation and T20 has come as a “fata-fat cricket”. Yet, there is an ongoing debate as to who is the greatest Bradman or Tendulakar pushing Gavaskar into oblivion. But there are many, who say that Tendulkar can unquestionably be called the ‘face of modern cricket’. He only follows Don Bradman and Viv Richards as his generation’s most successful batsman. The only close competitors Tendulkar faced were Brian Lara and, in more recent times, Ricky Ponting. Statistically, while Don Bradman scaled unreachable heights, Tendulkar, by his sheer consistency in longevity, marked his area with expansive width that shall, like Bradman, probably never be conquered.

                If Bradman started high and ended low, Tendulkar started low to rise unfathomably even miles before his end. A coveted World Cup next year that remains a lone elusive unfulfilled dream of this lone warrior would be a fitting crescendo for the most supreme batting marvel of his time.

                Tendulkar is an icon or a beyond a cricketing icon to a role model and a prized treasure for the oft-tarnished image of the sport. He has been very careful to ensure that his image does not get tarnished.

                The “Little Master” was also one of the very few, who came out with his head held high as always, following the match-fixing scandal. He knows how to make money the honest way and till recently his record of earning from endorsements and advertising was overtaken by MS Dhoni. Some called him Gandhi of cricket, when he refused the offer of Vijay Mallaya, who wanted to pay him Rs 20 crore for the United Breweries ad campaigns. Tendular refused to do the campaign as his father poet Ramesh had told him not to encourage alcoholism in any way.

                The icons are loved and cared by their fans and after denying many publishers who wanted to publish his biography, Sachin has come out. It would be Tendulkar’s opus an autobiography with a difference. But only rich among his fans and friends would be able to read it as it would cost Rs 35 lakh.

                The book will be published in 2011 after the World Cup to be hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and there would be just 500 copies limited edition.

                The publishers Opus Media Group of London and Dubai sent its team for promos before the launch of the book next year in July. The promos were held at Jaipur and at Delhi.

                An opus is different from an autobiography the opus features different writers, stunning images displayed on an epic scale and presented in a beautifully-designed luxury format. Opus deliver stories in a unique and cinematic way.

                “ Atleast 50 per cent of all content that is exclusive, an Opus consist of original interviews and features, plus hundreds of rare and previously unpublished images and beautiful photographs. Strictly limited in edition worldwide, personally signed by legendary figures and presented in silk covered clamshell, every Opus is a collector’s item to give pleasure for generations to come. In the past opus on British football team Manchester United FC, incredible life of Michael Johnson and Ferrari automotive were all a grand sold out. Yes, the 50th century in test would also be part of the opus and you would find real exclusive pictures of this epic momemnt, Said Karl Fowler, CEO of Opus Media Group, which has Dubai-based MAS Clearsight as its exclusive financial partners.

                The epic publication was conceived when Sachin was presented with the monumental United Opus by Manchester United legend, Sir Bobby Charlton at Old Trafford in 2007. Tendular at once decided that he will go for this kind of an opus for his fans that would tell his story in a similarly cinematic style. The official Sachin Tendulkar opus will be richly illustrated with photographs tracking his extraordinary life and career, each displayed on an unprecedented scale and complemented by personal reminisces.

                “Each copy will be signed by Tendulkar and as each copy would be signed by him it would become a beautiful collectors’ item. The fact that iconic institutions like Ferrari, Formula 1, Manchester United and now Tendulkar to name a few would make it a prized possession.The total project would cost Rs 9 crore,” said Anish Bhatia head of MAS Clearsight Ltd of Dubai, who has worked out the financial details of the project.

                Tendular has a fan force of 1.5 million and the publisher would invite to upload pictures of themselves to www.tendulakropus.com and become part of a super high-resolution image created by Shoothill, the world’s leading developer of Microsoft Deep Zoom technology. The mosaic would include a record breaking one million images, thus showing, literally the depth of passion for Tendulkar. Viewed online using Deep Zoom, fans will be able to focus on their own photograph in superb detail with the final digital mosaic being released after the World Cup 2011.

                However, publisher forgot to say that this book is out of reach from common fans and will be just showpiece in big showrooms. Ten special copies had already been pre-ordered, but who have ordered this, is not informed by the publisher to media due to contract. All copies will be signed by Tendulkar and all proceeds from the sale of these books would go towards Tendulkar’s charitable foundation to help build a school in Mumbai.

                This costlier book comprises 852 pages edge in gold leaf will weigh 37 kg and measure half-a-metre square and also have other unique features in it. Publisher proved that it is not everyone’s cup of tea and taste. To accommodate the lower among the upper crust and whose wallets do not fancy the hefty price tag, for them a regular edition will be available at Rs 94,000 to Rs 1,41,000.

                The Number 1 copy will include additional special features and be reserved for auction for charity purpose.

                “We have ensured that this premium publication is accessible to as many Tendulkar’s fans as possible several other products has been planned. The Official Sachin Tendulkar Opus Classic Edition will be super-sized will have select content of the original. The Official Sachin Tendulkar Opus Gems will be a boxset of mini-books featuring iconic pictures, fascinating facts and great quotations from the original Opus.”

                “And the Official Sachin Tendulkar Opus App would deliver content to a mass audience to download for the iPhone and iPad, as well as designed for the Android phone and smartphone,” informed Fowler.

By Prakash Bhandari


There is huge number of fans in India, who accept that the achievement of Sachin will remain unmatched for decades to come but assert that Sunil Gavaskar was the best batsman ever produced by India. “Sunil played in an era, which was dominated by the fast bowlers and no Indian but Gavaskar showed the guts to face them without fear or awe,” said JB Singh, a cricketer from Jammu.

                “We used to watch Sachin facing fearsome West Indian pace quartet, or Australian. England and Pakistan fast bowlers on all grounds, while we used to get nervous watching those fast bowlers on television but Gavaskar faced them with utmost ease,” he said.

                However, even Gavaskar hailed Sachin’s record of 50 test centuries saying: “It (record) can only be compared to legendary American long-jumper Bob Beamon’s record setting leap at 1968 Mexico Olympics, which remained intact for 23 years. At that time it seemed it(long Jump record) would never be broken. Tendulkar’s this record is one such record, which does not look like being surpassed,” he said adding: “Sachin has always adjusted his game according to situations.”

                There are critics, who feel that Sachin is playing for records and to that the Little Master reply was cryptic and candid: “I don’t play for records, if that had been the case I would not missed test and ODI series. I did not play in 22-ODIs in last ten months after a series against South Africa in India.” Sachin is perhaps the only Indian cricketer at present who can choose, when to play and when not to play. Several players hide their injuries so to retain their place in the side but Sachin has no such problem. Many a times he opted out so that youngster(s) can get a chance.

                There is no doubt that Sachin is best thing to happen to cricket. His very presence gives inspiration to youngsters and his behaviours on and off-the-field has made him a role model for younger generation and ambassdor of the game.

His awesome performance has ever drawn attention of the New York Times, a paper which hardly writes anything positive about India.

                The paper famous for projecting India negative side, front paged a photograph showing collapse of an overbridge near Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium just before the Commonwealth Games and after that forgot about the Games because it could not find any negative story. But same paper paid handsome tribute to the Master of the Game, which virtually has no roots in that country. Under a heading “Batsman Tunes Out Troubles and Sets a Record”. How Richards lavishly praised the Little Master saying: “Sachin Tendulkar’s 50th score of 100 or more in five-day tests, achieved earlier this week in Centurion, South Africa, was more than just another personal landmark in a career already overflowing with them.”

                It was a significant moment for cricket as a whole. Cricket as a game thinks in fifties and hundreds and applauds, when players reach those marks. Until recently, it was unthinkable that any one man might score as many as 50 centuries in tests. Tendulkar not only met the old record, 34, set by his Indian compatriot, Sunil Gavasker, he smashed it. One more and he’ll have exceeded the original mark by 50 per cent.

                It is not unthinkable that somebody may one day overtake Tendulkar, though his closest pursuers right now—Ricky Ponting (39) and Jacques Kallis (38)—are far behind in his wake. It appears unlikely, barring some implausible explosion in the number of the matches or the emergence of an authentic Superman that we will ever see the next step, somebody scoring 100 centuries in tests, and that makes Tendulkar’s mark of 50, a truly special moment.

                For many of the Tendulkar’s millions of followers, he already is Superman. He is a rare sporting marvel, a child prodigy who not only fulfilled the awesome potential he first showed when he broke into India’s team at 16, but then showed the desire and durability that allowed him to maintain his top-level play later on in his career. It is as if Mozart had lived to be 70, composing fresh works of greatness all the while.

                That Tendulkar, 37, retains his underlying genius was evident in the first innings at Centurion as India collapsed around him. Tendulkar was facing the most effective and aggressive pace pairing in world cricket—Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel of South Africa—in conditions that perfectly suited them. He did not merely cope, but scored more than a run a ball, producing a succession of breathtaking strokes.

                In the second innings, when he reached his own landmark, he was battling for his team, desperately attempting to avert first defeat and then, when that became inevitable, the humiliation of losing by an innings. It was left to a South African, India Coach Gary Kirsten, to shed light on what is perhaps the secret to Tendulkar’s extraordinary durability: Practice.

                “He is the model of what an international cricketer should be, and has been for years,” Kirsten said: “I still reckon that I do more throw-downs to him everyday than any other member of the squad.” That comment brought to mind other great athletes, who had nothing else to prove, yet still had the inner drive to take them to the next level.

                “The 50th century is yet another addition to the monument being built by the man who, without a doubt, is the greatest living batsman.” One will have to do a lot of research to find out when this paper last wrote anything so positive about India or Indian.

Sachin Tera Jawab Nahin.

 By Harpal Singh Bedi

 

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