Sachin Tendulkar: End Of An EPOCH
Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from all formats of cricket has brought an end to an era in cricket. Days of our lives are generally banal. They start and end without leaving any mark on our lives, but on 15th day of November 1989, something happened. It was on that day a 16- year-old boy entered the field wearing Indian jersey. That boy was Sachin Ramesh Tendulakar. From being the youngest member of the Indian contingent that toured Pakistan in 1989 to being the patriarch of the Indian team that won the 2011 50-over World Cup, his cricket career encompassed practically the whole cricket sphere. In the 1990s, Indian cricket became synonymous with Sachin Tendulkar’s name. India’s success hinged on Sachin’s success. In fact, there was a time in the 90s when people would simply turn their television sets off the moment Sachin got out. It was believed that with Tendulkar’s dismissal, the hopes of India’s win had sunk for good. With each passing series, Tendulkar’s persona and stature grew by leaps and bounds. Placards that read “Cricket is my religion, Sachin Tendulkar is my God” became a common sight in stadiums across the country. His valiant knocks against the mighty Australians in the Coca Cola Cup of 1998 gave him a god- like stature in the cricketing sphere. His tons in the qualifying match and the final that followed put him in the pantheon of the all-time greats of Indian cricket. In 2002, Tendulkar scored his 29th Test ton equalling Don Bradman’s tally. Don once remarked that Tendulkar batted the way he used to in his heyday. It was an ode to the upcoming cricketing legend by a legend.
For the last 24 years Sachin has become an example, who has defined generations. From a magical boy to an experienced vanguard, he has played his role very brilliantly. With power comes responsibility, a western idiom, who can understand this better than Sachin Tendulkar. The way he carried himself shouldering the many expectations of millions in India and overseas during his 24-year-long career is quite amazing. Whenever he walks out to bat, people expect a century or a double century. He had to live up to the pressure of that kind of expectations. It must be very tough for Sachin, yet he remained so calm and dignified. He had a huge impact not only on my generation but, I am sure, on future generations as well. His abiding love for cricket is unmatched. As the legend goes, he used to sleep with his cricketing gear during tours. He survived so many challenges playing with different cricketers, different generations, across the globe and in all formats of the game. His attitude hugely contributed to his success.
After Tendulkar announced his retirement from Test cricket, his fans have rode on all platforms to express their feelings. From Amitabh Bachchan to Brian Lara to the common man on the street, everybody has same expressions. After smashing an unbeaten 77 off 35 balls to script a six-wicket win for India against Australia in a T20 international in Rajkot recently, Yuvraj dedicated his effort to Tendulkar. “I don’t think I am going to let him go away. I am going to catch hold of his feet and not let him leave the dressing room. It has been amazing to play with him for so many years,” an emotional Yuvraj remarked. People are not able to think cricket beyond Sachin. It is for nothing that he is called the “God’ of the sport. Sachin might feel embarrassed at such tribute, but with a human having 16,000 Test runs, 18,426 one-day run and 100 international centuries in his kitty, he is nothing short of being godly. Above all, his cricketing excellence with incredible longevity, staying modest all round his career in spite of super stardom, has made him ‘God” in public eye. He is at that stature because his cricket has been pure, his approach to cricket has been divine and he is a role model for generations. Australian leg-spin great Shane Warne wrote in his book Shane Warne’s Century: “The way he conducts himself and handles fame and everything that goes with being Sachin is a great example for all sportsmen.”
Dec 11, 1988: Makes first-class debut at the age of 15 and scores an unebaten century against Gujarat at the Wankhede Stadium. Becomes Youngest Indian to make a hundred on first—class debut.
Nov 15, 1989: Makes his Test debut in Karachi against Pakistan at the age of 16. Makes 15 on debut.
August 14, 1990: At the of 17 years and 112 days, becomes the then
second—youngest to score a Test century.
April, 1992: Signs up for Yorkshire and becomes the first overseas signing for the English county.
Feb 11-12, 1993: Gets his first Test century (165) at home against England.
March 27, 1994: Opens the innings for the first time in an ODI against the New Zealand.
Aug 8, 1996: Becomes the Indian captain at the age of 23.
Feb-March, 1998: In the best of his form against Australia in a home Test series got his maiden double hundred.
March 31, 2001: Becomes the first player to score 10,000 runs in ODIs en route to his 139 against Australia in Indore.
Aug 22-23, 2002: Surpassed Don Bradman’s tally of 29 Test centuries.
March 16, 2005: Scores 52 against Pakistan and becomes the fifth man to score 10,000 Test runs.
Dec 10, 2005: Becomes the highest centurion in Test cricket as he overtakes Sunil Gavaskar’s 34 en route to his 109 against Sri Lanka in Delhi.
Nov 5, 2009: Gets to 17,000 runs during his 175 off 141 balls in a 351-run chase against Australia in Hyderabad.
Feb 24, 2010: Becomes the first player in the history of the game to score 200 in a single innings in a one-day international.
Dec 19, 2010: Gets his 50th Test hundred against a difficult South African attack in Centurion.
April 2, 2011: Realises his childhood dream of winning the World Cup. March 16, 2012: Gets the 100th international century, scoring 114 in an Asia Cup match against Bangladesh in Mirpur.
Dec 23, 2012: Tendulkar announces his retirement from the ODI format.
Oct 10, 2013: Tesndulkar announces his retirement from Test cricket.
The adulation and the aura he has created all through these years is simply ashtonishing and its impossible to be reinstated by someone else. Not just for the innumerable number of records, but for the kind of human he is, this is the biggest loss for Indian cricket indeed. He is the epitome of batsmen ship and he has been the ever growing kid with the same hunger he had two decades back. The day everybody dreaded has finally arrived. We all know this was expected, this was due, so on and so forth. But, just like everybody would like their loved ones to stay with them as long as possible, whatever be their age, physical condition etc, one could never think of an Indian squad without Sachin Tendulkar in the playing 11. As he gears up to take the field for the final two Tests of his 24-year long career, a majority of fans in the country have started running helter-skelter to get their hands on tickets. Thousands will occupy the stands in the hope to experience the epilogue of Tendulkar’s well-documented and vastly- celebrated international career. The fan painted in India colours all over his body will wave the country’s flag in joy again, the chants of ‘Sach-in…Sach-in’ will grow in decibel level with each passing moment again, and the crowd will erupt with joy at the slightest involvement of the champion player in the game again. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar’s stature in the cricketing sphere can be summed up in Australian opener Mathew Hayden’s words : “I’ve seen God. He bats at no.4 for India.”
As an unabashed fan of yours, thank you Sachin for all the joy you have given us on the field of play and being an enormous source of joy.
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- Sachin Tendulkar was named after the great musician Sachin Dev Burman. Sachin’s father’s, Ramesh Tendulkar was a big fan of SD’s music.
- When young Sachin fell from a tree on a Sunday evening during his summer vacation, while Guide was shown on national TV, his infuriated brother (and mentor) Ajit sent him to cricket coaching class as punishment.
- During the 1987 world cup, Sachin was a ball boy for the match between India and Zimbabwe at the Wankhede Stadium. He was 14 then.
- Sachin Tendulkar fielded for Pakistan as a substitute during a one-day practice match against India at the Brabourne Stadium in 1988.
- Tendulkar has 13 coins from his coach Ramakant Achrekar. He would win a coin if he could get through an entire session of nets without being dismissed.
- In October 1995, Sachin became the richest cricketer when he signed a five-year contract worth Rs 31.5 crore with World Tel.
- Sachin Tendulkar was the first international batsman to be given out by the third-umpire. In 1992, on the second day of the Durban Test, a Jonty Rhodes throw caught Tendulkar short of the crease. After watching TV replays he was adjudged out. Karl Liebenberg of South Africa was third umpire in the match.
- At 19, Sachin Tendulkar became the youngest Indian to play county cricket.
- The first brand which Sachin Tendulkar endorsed was the health drink ‘Boost.’ He was seen alongside Kapil Dev in many of their ad films, the start of which happened in 1990.
- Sachin Tendulkar started off with centuries in his debut matches in the Ranji, Duleep and Irani Trophy.
- Sachin Tendulkar uses a very heavy bat at the crease, weighing 3.2lbs. Only South Africa’s Lance Klusener used a heavier bat in world cricket.
- Sachin Tendulkar went to watch the movie Roja in 1995 with a beard and disguise. It all went wrong when his glasses fell off and the crowd in the cinema hall recognized him.
- Sachin Tendulkar has been granted the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri by the Indian government. He is the only Indian cricketer to get all of them.
- Sachin used his favourite vampire bat during the innings in which he scored the historical 50th Test ton.
- Sachin Tendulkar batted in his debut Test against Pakistan wearing the pads gifted to him by Sunil Gavaskar.
- Sachin loves Kishore Kumar and rock group Dire Straits.
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