“When Sachin plays, big-city roads are easy and trains and buses ply empty at rush hour and the markets take a beating… When Sachin plays, grandmothers who know next to nothing about the game forget knitting and resting and medicines and pray to their gods as they sit frozen, staring nervously at their television screen… When Sachin plays , busy, ambitious executives ignore their calls and cancel their appointments and avoid their clients and miss their deadlines and put their careers on hold… When Sachin plays, college common rooms are dense and tense and hushed as an entire generation sits on pins and needles… When Sachin plays, school-yards are silent and playgrounds are deserted because those who normally make such a racket imitating their hero are all too busy watching him make batting look so ridiculously easy… When Sachin plays, fathers who want the news and daughters and mothers who always want soft stuff and brothers who fight for action, for once all agree on what to watch… When Sachin plays, bowlers and fielders and opposing captains feel their impotence and inadequacy like at no other time and curse themselves and wonder what they can do, if anything, to end the shame, the nightmare, the humiliation… When Sachin plays, commentators and experts run out of adjectives and expressions of wonder and comparisons… When Sachin plays, lay spectators have no need for words at all and just jump and scream and whistle and clap and hug each other and cry and wave their flags and banners and thank their lucky stars for being there… When Sachin plays, India forgets its differences and divisions and teeters between tensions and exhilaration and breaths and laughs and cries as one, as its heart fills with pride and joy and patriotism… WHEN SACHIN PLAYS, ALL ELSE IS IRRELEVANT”
Such was the impact of this one man army as quoted by Adidas in one of their commercials about Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. The greatest ever to have grazed the cricket field.
I started watching cricket at the age of 10. I really did not know much about the team then. In India, you can be a fan of any cricketer, but there is a fact that you can never really hate one man. This man redefined cricket in India. I had the privilege to watch him up close during one of the best test innings he had ever played. 136 against Pakistan on a grueling hot day at Chennai. Although India went on to lose that match after Sachin’s effort, it will stay etched in the memories of many for the sheer audacity and fight the man showed. And who can ever forget the twin centuries at Sharjah. You have to be a fool if that doesn’t get a mention on your blog post. And then my recent favorite best of Sachin would be the 175 vs Aus in the 2010 series where India were on the brink of a remarkable victory and lost by just 3 runs chasing 351. That one innings made me watch with awe at what this man had been doing for the past 20 years. It was a spellbinding innings with masterclass written all over it. If i begin to write what i like about this man, this one page can never be enough.
The man who shouldered a billion dreams every time he walked into bat and gave everyone a reason to watch cricket today called it a day to a glorious 23 year old ODI career. Things will never be the same again. The game of ODI cricket loses its greatest servant. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Legend, Sir. Respect for all your achievements & thank you for all those wonderful moments you had given us all along. Thy shall be missed!