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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar - a Legend, an Icon and a Champ.

I am finally back from my sabbatical. Had so much to do that i simply could not devote enough time to blogging. Sorting out my dreams , dealing with personal issues, excelling at work and a host of other problems barraged me from time to time.I simply could not do what i love to do in my free time. But today i promise to all my viewers never to take such a long break. Its well said that unless you miss something, you don't know what its worth.

Today's post is dedicated to Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar- the best cricketer the world has ever seen, no arguments here, and probably will ever see. No only because of all the records he has broken, the numerous runs he has scored, his hundred 100's but also because of the way he has handled all this success. Admit it, we all like to brag.Especially in India people like to crow about everything: grades, money, relationships, gadgets, property, kids,pets, the list is simply endless. Crux of the matter is we are experts at ostentatious displays. Understand what i mean and you will start appreciating the God already. I call him the God, yes the God of cricket. You might think i am getting carried away like millions of other Indians in calling SSRT(an extra S for Sir) the God. No i am not getting carried away, read on to find out why.

Tendlya(don't run a spell check, one of the many synonyms that I will use for Sachin) got his first bat when he was 11. Love the fact that he was rejected by the Dennis Lille bowling academy in 1987.At the age of 14 he scored a mammoth 329 in a school match in a world record partnership with Vinod Kambli. Naturally many of the selectors had noticed this small ,curly haired chap making news all over the country.A year later he scored a century on his first-class debut for Bombay (Mumbai), and at age 16 years 205 days he became India’s youngest Test (international) cricketer, making his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989. The career changing tour was the tour down under in which he scored 2 centuries. Our little chap announced himself on the world stage and there was no looking back from there on.

He was the first overseas player to represent the Yorkshire team in 1992, now i know why Geoffrey boycott admired him so much. He was also the youngest Indian cricketer to play in a county cricket match. Not that the journey has been a smooth ride for our Tedlya. He was out for a duck on his International ODI debut,had to wait for 79 innings to get his maiden ODI century, charged with ball tempering on a tour of South Africa, indifferent form after a career threatening tennis elbow injury,supporting Harbhajan in the Monkey episode but he did what he does best, let the bat talk and answer his critics. He is also infamously remembered for the Chennai Test loss to Pakistan in 1999 but very few people know that the reason he did not turn up for the presentation was that he was crying in the dressing room. This clearly shows the level of commitment and responsibility he had for the sport and specially for his country.Let's get to some startling facts :he is the only Indian to be in the Wisden's World X1, the greatest ever ODI batsman and the second best Test batsman. He was named the player of the tournament in two different world cups, the 1996 and 2003, sadly India lost in semis in the former and in finals in the latter. The only cricketer to have scored hundred international 100's, more than 30000 international runs, 8705 runs in Test away from home and amass the first double hundred in ODI. I do want to list all the records he has broken but the list is so big that i simply cannot. Tendia was awarded with the Arjuna award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan. He was also awarded with Bharat Ratna,the highest civilian award in India,on 16th November 2013 soon after retiring from international cricket.

People say he was not a match winner for India. I laugh at them because these people simply overlook the fact that Cricket is a team sport. The Indian team of the 1990 era was not good enough to win a lot of matches but still there are many matches that tendlya won for us. Don't forget he was an opening batsman too, do you expect him to bat through the innings and win every match for us. A batsman is there to bat, a bowler to bowl and the fielders to field. If we had even 3 SSRT in our team of 11, i bet India would have won every other match and a host of international tournaments. But that's not possible because a sportsperson like sachin is born only once in a decade or probably once in a century or a millennium. I back this pretension with the fact that tendia has won 62 man of the matches award in his career, the most by any cricketer, followed by Jayasuriya with 48 and Kallis with 32. If people don't think he is a match winner why do we love him so much. I have seen it myself - when i was a kid my dad and uncle used to come from office early just to see him bat, i have seen the crowds gather outside TV retail shops just to get a glance of SSRT's cover drive, i have seen people in my office cramp up the room when Sachin was at the crease and leave as soon as he got out, i have seen people cheer his name in the stadium like we cheer for our motherland, i have also seen people dance and clap whenever he would hit a four or six. Why all this euphoria if we don't think he is a match winner. I will tell you why, because we love him so much that we expect him to score a century and win every match for India. Anything less and we start blaming him for the loss - everyone has a reason to blame him. The day we understand the meaning of the sport and stop getting carried away by our emotions will be the day we would truly understand Sachin's legacy.

For me cricket is not the same without the little master. I have lost my interest in the sport not because it has become boring but because my love was never for the sport. My love was always for the genius who played the sport from 1989 - 2013 and the day he retired is the same day i too retired from watching cricket. Not that i do not watch cricket but i simply do not enjoy it now. There is no reason for me now to run home to watch a match, check online scores every second,clap and shout hysterically, embarrass myself in the cafeteria shouting Sachiiiiin Sachiiiin, call around just to check if he is still batting- there are simply no emotions left in the sport. Cricket was my love when you were there but now its just a sport. Even now while i am writing this blog, my GF asked me: Is Sachin mad for not playing at least the IPL. Shows you how much we miss you SSRT.

I am proud to say - I was alive when Sachin played cricket!!!!!

My love and admiration will always be for you , Sir Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

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