Sachin Tendulkar: The Man who Redefined the Game of Cricket
Some consider him great, some consider him greater but I consider him the greatest cricketer of this era and the second greatest in the history of the game. Undoubtedly one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, he leaves Sir. Donald Bradman far behind when it comes to scoring runs. Having broken and rebroken records considered feats until he stepped into the game, Sachin Tendulkar, in his almost quarter of a hundred years of playing cricket, broke almost every record a batsman would just imagine in his fanciest of dreams. From the local cricket grounds of Bombay to the most iconic venues in world cricket, Sachin Tendulkar left a mark everywhere.
Born on the 24th of April 1973 in Bombay (Mumbai) to a well-known Marathi novelist, Ramesh Tendulkar and insurance worker Rajni Tendulkar, Sachin is the youngest of their four children. He was brought to the game of cricket by his brother Ajit Tendulkar in 1984 who introduced him to the famous coach Ranakant Achrekar. Sachin went on to become Achrekar’s most notable student. After a great domestic season of 1988-89 where he outscored every other batsman and emerged as Bombay’s highest run-scorer, Sachin was selected to represent India for the first time in international matches in November 1989 aged 16 years and 223 days, thus becoming the third youngest cricketer to play international cricket ever. The team was India’s arch rival-Pakistan and that too in Pakistan. Already reputed as the Boy Wonder of Indian Cricket, Sachin disappointed in his first match scoring just 15 runs but was appreciated for handling the Pakistani pace attack. In that first Test series he played, he scored 215 runs averaging 35.83 and was dismissed for zero in the single One Day International match he played.
Awards conferred on Sachin Tendulkar by the Indian Government
Bharat Ratna in 2013
Padma Vibhushan in 2008
Padma Shri in 1999
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1997-98
Arjuna Award in 1994
In the New Zealand Test series that followed, he averaged 29.25 scoring 117 runs in all. Then came the England Series in 1990 and along came his maiden Test Century thus making him the second youngest cricketer to score a Test Century. Though he was scoring regular Test centuries, it took him 79 One Day International matches to score a century. It came on 9 September 1994 against Australia. Then came the 1996 world cup and the rest is history.
After playing in 463 One Day International Matches, 200 Test Matches and a single International T20 match in his career spanning 24 years, Sachin Tendulkar retired from all forms of the game on 16 November 2013. He had scored 18,426 runs with 49 centuries and 96 half centuries in ODIs and 15,921 runs with 51 centuries and 68 half centuries in Test matches; all being cricketing records. His highest score of 200 (not out) in ODIs was also a record, until his teammates Virender Sehwag and Rohit Sharma surpassed it in 2011 and 2013 respectively. He also has his highest score of 248 (not out) in Tests.
Awards and Recognition
Besides the numerous cricketing awards conferred on him for his impact on the game of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has also been granted many awards by the government of India. These include The Arjuna Award in 1994, The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting award in 1997-98, Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 1999 and Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award in 2008. On the 3rd of September 2010, he was made an Honorary Group captain by the Indian Air Force. He has also been conferred India’s highest civilian award, The Bharat Ratna, the day he retired from all forms of the game.
He was also made an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia by the Australian government on 6 November 2012. Also, the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2008 said that Sachin Tendulkar should be considered for Knighthood.
Sachin Tendulkar has also been the subject of many books.
Sachin Tendulkar's Retirement Letter
"All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India. I have been living this dream every day for the last 24 years. It's hard for me to imagine a life without playing cricket because it's all I have ever done since I was 11 years old. It's been a huge honour to have represented my country and played all over the world. I look forward to playing my 200th Test Match on home soil, as I call it a day.
I thank the BCCI for everything over the years and for permitting me to move on when my heart feels it's time! I thank my family for their patience and understanding. Most of all, I thank my fans and well-wishers who through their prayers and wishes have given me the strength to go out and perform at my best."
With almost 70 International Cricketing records Sachin Tendulkar has to his name at the time of his retirement, some will, in due course be broken, but a majority of those I confidently affirm will not even be touched in the coming decades of world cricket; may be even in a century or more. Adieu Master!!
My post Sachin Tendulkar: ODI Records and Statistics will highlight the One Day International Statistics of Sachin Tendulkar like never before. So, do not regret missing it.