Farewell Sachin Tendulkar India's Greatest Cricketer
Sachin Tendulkar has finally announced his decision to retire after playing in two Tests against West Indies in November, 2013. It brings to rest all speculations about when he would retire. The calls for his retirement would become louder whenever he failed to score runs. He had already retired from the One day and T20 formats of the game. His critics are also now singing his praises.
He has scored a total of 50,000+ runs in all versions of the game. This is the highest by any cricketer in the world. Will any one break this record in the future only time will tell. But today we can say with confidence that it will be very difficult to surpass this fantastic achievement of Sachin. He has run cumulatively more than 650 miles or nearly 1000 kms in compiling 50,000 runs against his name.
After scoring a century in his debut Ranji Trophy match for Mumbai in December, 1988 at the age of 15 years, he became the youngest Indian to do so. Subsequently he made debut centuries in Deodhar and Duleep Trophy matches also. A fantastic manner to start one's career. Till date he is the only player to have scored a century in all three debut matches.
In 1989 at the age of 16 years and 223 days he was selected in the Indian team touring Pakistan. The future great batsman made his Test debut in Karachi against Pakistan in November, 1989 making a paltry 15 runs and Waqar Younis had the distinction of dismissing him first time in his Test career. He was dismissed for a zero in his first One Day International on this tour.
He went on to score his first Test century against England in 1990 tour at Old Trafford in Manchester. It took him 79 ODI's to score his first One Day century against Australia in 1994 at Colombo, Sri Lanka. He became the highest run scorer in his first World Cup appearance in 1996. He has played in six World Cups and finally realised his dream of lifting the Cup when India won it in 2011 defeating Sri Lanka in the finals.
He went on to score his coveted 100th international century at Mirpur against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup tournament on March 16, 2012. It took relatively a long time for him to sore his 100th 100 and it was one of the most talked topics at that time. Sachin himself said he was under stress as people had forgotten his 99 centuries and the 100th had become the most important. It is a great milestone for the master blaster.
By now he held almost all records that were available for being broken. Every time he ran it was a record. An aging body meant he had to stop participating in faster versions of the game. He announced his retirement from ODI's in December 2012 bringing to an end a glorious chapter in One day cricket. Some of his scoring shots are etched in the viewer's minds for ever.
He retired from IPL after his team Mumbai Indians won the tournament in 2013.
The petite 5ft 5 inches Sachin bats, bowls and throws with his right hand but writes with his left hand. His straight drive is considered to be picture perfect and have come in for praise by cricket legends like Lara, Gavaskar and even the great Don Bradman who believed that Sachin batted like him. A great tribute which the Little Master cherishes very highly. Another shot which is a treat to watch is the scoop over short fine leg.
He also has build up a good reputation as a bowler who can break partnerships. His haul of 154 wickets in ODI's has made him the 10th highest Indian wicket taker.
It is but natural that Sachin should have a massive fan following not only in India but abroad also. In Australia they like him a lot for the many determined centuries he has scored consistently on tours to their country. Indian fans frequently refer to him as the God of cricket while saying that cricket is like a religion in India. He has consistently kept himself aloof from controversies. He does not get agitated and also is ever smiling and cheerful. At every opportunity he declares how proud he feels when he plays for India and this makes the fans like him more. He has many times said that representing India was his childhood dream. It is to his credit that he did so maximum times and not only brought laurels to himself but often brought great glory to his country.
In a country which does not have many successful world class achievers, Sachin gave a billion plus Indians something to celebrate repeatedly. Indians abroad would flock to see him perform but more than that they wanted to bask in the glory he brought to India and Indians. Sachin became an icon and brand Sachin generated trust and respect. His respect towards his elders and constant encouragement to his juniors made him a most loved figure among young and old Indians alike. He went on to prove that how so ever big one may become it is humility which counts.
Little must have his elder brother Ajit realized when he took him to Ramakant Achrekar a famous coach to get him introduced to cricket, because can you believe, Sachin was a bully in his childhood and would often pick up fights with new children in school. Rest is history.
Sachin Tendulkar has given us countless moments of joy and pride. May he have an equally illustrious career post retirement. Hold it he is only aged 40.
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