Saturday, November 16, 2013

SACHIN TENDULKAR - Hats off to you, God of Cricket! You too are retiring. What a Life! = WHAT NEXT?


SACHIN TENDULKAR – in many ways – is ONE IN A BILLION. He is my favorite cricketer, just as, he is YOURS. Today, he is on every TV screen for so many hours, in place of movies, episodes, news and all other programs – for an unpalatable reason. He is signing off from CRICKET and  that is not a heart-warming reason for any one of us.

But that is how life is. We all retire from our professions some time or other. Sachin’s retirement is of course, tremendously special, because, a billion pair of eyes are watching him sign off from Test cricket. Perhaps much more than a Billion, if we include  spectators from all other cricket loving nations. Are Sri Lankans watching CHGM or SACHIN – it will be interesting to find out.

If you hadn’t sees SACHIN with TEARY EYES all these years, today was the day to catch him with teary eyes. 

Which were his best Partnerships in cricket - I don’t know. But, his Best partnership, as Sachin confirmed today, was / is with Anjali, his lifelong partner and wife. And, today, you could catch her with teary eyes too. That’s not all. You could see tears in the eyes of many young boys and many not-so-young BOYS AND ELDERS too.

He had always made people hilarious and made them go into raptures with his batting (and at times) bowling miracles. Today, he made people sad and teary–eyed, after making 74 runs at the crease. He walked back after those 74 runs. And, it was HISTORY.

I don't feel there is any need for me to recall any of his Greatest feats. I am anyway sure - he is the greatest Cricketer of this Generation. 

As I see from Wikipedia and other web sites - he was born on 24 April 1973; started his cricketing at the age of eleven; made his  test debut against Pakistan at the age of sixteen; was the first player to score one hundred International Centuries;  was the first player to score a double century in a  one day International; thus far the only one to complete 34,000 runs in international cricket; now quitting test cricket - after 200 tests ; Cricket Pundits can perhaps reel out many, many more Great achievements of Sachin Tendulkar – with greater accuracy and uptodate statistics. Unfortunately for them, there will be no more UPDATES. 

For me, what I Know of Sachin is enough indicator of his Greatness in Cricket and his greatness as a human being too. He undoubtedly is the most famous cricket legend from India – and perhaps from the world – for these 24 years that he has been around in cricket.

As is inherent in any such great sport -  money, riches and Fame also came to him naturally. He was the icon sought after by Ad Agencies for many products - Like Band-aid of Johnson and Johnson, Boost, Gillette, Action shoes, Pepsi, worldTel, Visa, Philips, MRF tyres, Adidas, Colgate Total  and so on, as I find from some of the web sites. There may be more and some of these here may be insignificant ones.

It is not that, he was beyond criticism in his life. He was criticized by many on occasions; like - when he requested for a Customs duty waiver on his Ferrari, which was gifted to him by auto major Fiat, or when he made a request to the Maharashtra Government to grant him extra Floor Space Index to set up a gymnasium at his plush house. But, in my view, these are trifles and small stuff.

He was bitterly criticized when he failed with his bat for long periods – on the  cricket ground. People cried for his blood. People said – he was more interested in his own statistics – not in his country’s winning.  Sometimes, even his cricketer colleagues had said that it was time he retired. But, all these happen, in any sportsman’s career. He can’t always be hitting centuries or Half Centuries.
A cricketer in his blues can hit plain Ducks, incredible zeroes, when people are expecting a century or a double century to shore up his Country’s image. Times are not always with anyone. 

But then, people expected centuries only from him – not even from Captain Dhoni, not also from any other recognized batsman in the team. Only Sachin was expected to hit centuries – and not hitting one – was regarded as an unpardonable sin. It is all part of the Love-Hate game with the Fans.

Any mad love is bound to have elements of hate embedded within. But, the hate is still love. Had Sachin quit then, the fans would have been madder.

Now, let us see the recognition that he got - for these achievements. 

Sachin was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting honour. Tendulkar won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards. In 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He was also the first sportsperson and the first one without aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force. In 2012, he was named as an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia

I think, more and more honors will get heaped on Sachin - now that he is quitting the Test cricket.

Many call him God of Cricket. it is their love for him. For those who have nothing to do with cricket in the world, what does he mean to them? I don't know.

There is talk that he may be given Bharat Ratna. Does he deserve the award. He does. But, there is still time for it. Forget for a moment what India got from Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin Tendulkar also got much more from India.

So what? – readers  will ask. I have a strong request to make to Sachin. Think of Bill Gates. Think of Warren Buffet. Think of our very own Wipro chairman, Azim Premji. Think of Ratan TATA. They too earned. They too made equally great and permanent miracles, in their respective spheres. But now, they are sharing what people gave them – their riches, their compassion, their time, their heart - with the poorest, the suffering people of the world. 

Now, is your opportunity, Sachin. For all that I know of your humane nature, you may already be doing something in that direction. For doing some service to cricket, you will of course be the natural choice. But, for doing something to the poor and suffering people of India, You will have to choose yourself. Nobody else will do it for you. When you will choose yourself for the service of the poorest and the suffering, You will realize that you are REALLY THE GOD ON EARTH. After all, LOVE is God. Compassion is God. I wish you a long, long life, in the service of Humanity.



“When Sachin Tendulkar traveled to Pakistan to face one of the finest bowling attacks ever assembled in cricket; Michael Schumacher was yet to race a F1 car, Lance Armstrong had never been to the Tour de France, Diego Maradona was still the captain of a world champion Argentina team, Pete Sampras had never won a Grand Slam.
    When Tendulkar embarked on a glorious career taming Imran and company, Roger Federer was a name unheard of; Lionel Messi was in his nappies, Usain Bolt was an unknown kid in the Jamaican backwaters. The Berlin Wall was still intact, USSR was one big, big country, Dr Manmohan Singh was yet to “open” the Nehruvian economy. It seems while Time was having his toll on every individual on the face of this planet, he excused one man. Time stands frozen in front of Sachin Tendulkar. We have had champions, we have had legends, but we have never had another Sachin Tendulkar and we never will.”      =  Time magazine
Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don't know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their TV sets and switch off their lives.  =  BBC
The joy he brings to the millions of his countrymen, the grace with which he handles all the adulation and the expectations and his innate humility - all make for a one-in-a-billion individual. =  Glenn McGrath
I'd like to see him go out one day and bat with a stump. I tell you he'd do OK…. I just get the feeling because of his mental strength that Sachin will be definitely the best player of his era and probably the best 2-3 of all time.  =  Greg Chappell
I had to remind Gary Kristen often that he was in the covers to field against Sachin not to applaud him. =  Hansie Cronje
We did not lose to a team called India... we lost to a man called Sachin.  =  Mark Taylor, during test match in Chennai (1998)
Sachin was so focused. He never looked like getting out. He was batting with single-minded devotion. It was truly remarkable. It was a lesson.  =  Martina Navratilova - Tennis legend
On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was a halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing century, batting on 98. The passengers, railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This genius can stop time in India!  =  Peter Roebuck, Aussie journalist
The last time I watched Sachin was last week when he was on his way to a spectacular 175 and once again I felt that I was watching a player who comes but once in a century. It can be said that he is the Bradman of our times and I do feel privileged to have played a lot of cricket against him,”  =  Steve Waugh
He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also. =  Waqar Younis
I have delayed my shoots many times to watch Sachin bat = Amitabh Bachchan
There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others.  =  Andy Flower
Sir Don Bradman: "I saw him playing on television and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I felt that this player is playing with a style similar to mine, and she looked at him on Television and said yes, there is a similarity between the two...his compactness, technique, stroke production... it all seemed to gel!"
Brian Lara : "The only batsman I would love to see by paying for the tickets and sitting in the stand just to watch him is none other than Sachin Tendulkar" and "Sachin is a genius. I'm a mere mortal"
Vivian Richards : "I think he is marvellous. I think he will fit in whatever category of Cricket that has been played or will be played, from the first ball that has ever been bowled to the last ball that's going to be. He can play in any era and at any level. I would say he's 99.5 per cent perfect."
"I have seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India," = Australian batsman Matthew Hayden
A placard at the SCG: Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching.
Hashim Amla: Nothing bad can happen to us if we're on a plane in India with Sachin Tendulkar on it.
There are over 200 million illiterate women in India. This low literacy negatively impacts not just their lives but also their families' and the country's economic development. A girl's lack of education also has a negative impact on the health and well-being of her children.  =  Sachin Tendulkar
Schools across India do not have teachers, libraries, playing grounds and even toilets. I do not want to see empty classrooms, empty libraries. I do not want to see cattle grazing on fields meant to be cricket or football grounds.  =  Sachin Tendulkar
Today’s TV channels give the Stats as : 664 matches, 34357 runs, 164 Fifties, 100 Hundreds, 200 wickets. God of cricket

Hats off to you, God of Cricket! You too are retiring. What a Life!

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