“And that’s a six! Second ball of the over and it’s a four! And 3rd ball watta shot towards cover drive, it went like a rocket!” A commentary piece from the 1998, India vs Australia match where this man stood confident, courageous and played a wonderful game. A man who challenged every bowler he came across. A legend who made the country proud by winning the world cup. A hero not only to be remembered on his birthday but every game he plays is equivalent to a festival. The master blaster, The little master, Mr. Wet pants, The living legend and God of cricket – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, an epic himself.
Since I was 12, I grew up in awe about this man. He has been an inspiration not to me alone but to several other young boys who dream of sharing the field with him. I still hold a dream to bowl to Sachin or share the dressing room space with him. My dream may have not materialized but I would like to express my respect and admiration to the great legend by sharing some facts that continue to inspire me.
Sachin Tendulkar was named after his father’s favorite musician S.D. Burman. At the age of 19 Sachin became the youngest player in the country. Sachin went to Sharadashram Vidyamandir School where his coach Ramakant Achrekar recognized his batting potential and molded him into a perfectionist. Surprisingly, Sachin was then known for picking up fights and challenging his peers. Being a big fan of the tennis legend, John McEnroe, Sachin pleaded his parents to get him a headband and wristband similar to that of his idol. And now, no points for guessing who inspired his hairstyle!!
Sachin is a package of accomplishments. Right from his early years, he began to be known for his unbeatable records. His career kicked off with triumphant centuries in his debut matches in Ranji, Duleep, Irani Trophy. No other domestic cricketer till date has been able to break his record; that must be the reason why Sachin never had fans but followers. Respect that.
Sachin was the prodigy who started playing for Indian cricket team at the age of 16. I still remember around 2001-2002 when he reached 10,000 runs in ODI, news channels were all praise for him. He stood as an idol for all of us. He is loved not just as a good player, but as a good human being. Apart from being a cricket sensation, Sachin has an inspiring other side. Away from the field Sachin makes sure he sponsors 200 under privileged children’s education every year, truly validating his belief: “Charity begins at home“.
Sachin stands to be the only Indian cricketer to be awarded Rajiv Khel Ratna, Arjuna award and Padma shri by the National government. What’ more? Guess who got to be the only individual ever to be honored with the rank of Group captain by the Indian Air Force without any aviation background; it’s none other than the Little Master himself.
I might have to illustrate an entire book to sum up his accomplishments, but may be some of these just have to be mentioned. Being the first person to score the much awaited 100 centuries in ODIs, Sachin created a whirlwind in the nation’s media, the sporting world as well as in his fans’ hearts with his latest record. A much unique record added in to his account, this time without his trustworthy bat, is the whooping count of 1,00,000 followers on Twitter- a social networking website, in just the first 24 hours of his joining it. Statements like “Don’t bowl him bad balls, he hits the good ones for fours” and “Commit all your crimes when little master is batting they will go unnoticed, because even God loves to watch his batting” are an epidemic in the cricketing world. His straight drive and cover drive always make commentators and experts run out of adjectives and expressions of wonder and comparison.
With the latest reports of the approval of his nomination recommendation as a Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament, are we on the verge of a new political innings befitting this iconic sportsman’s ideals? Well, politician or not one fact remains: One Nation, One Belief – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. When he plays cricket, everything else is irrelevant.
I never thought I would get goosebumps while I write this piece. And it definitely counts as a miniature tribute from me to a great player. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the legend for being a role model to millions of Indians. The cricketing world will never be the same after he retires. Wishing him good health and success in the days to come.