On November 16, 2013, the world witnessed an emotional farewell as India's "Little Master", bid adieu to international cricket. At his home ground, the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the legend, bid an emotional farewell as an era came to an end. As he had throughout his illustrious 24-year career, Tendulkar, the greatest, most renowned, most adored, and most worshipped Indian player of all time, assumed center stage. Tears flooded the eyes of both fans and teammates as everyone witnessed the end of an era, chanting Sachin Sachin in deafening unison, a chapter in Indian history that will always be etched in the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.
Credit: The Statesman
But why was he so adored and admired by so many people?
In India, Sachin Tendulkar is regarded as a cultural icon. For millions of Indians, particularly young fans and for people in the 80s and 90s , he served as an inspiration and role model thanks to the success he brought to Indian cricket. People would miss work and school, just to see the Sachin bat.
Fun Fact: Sachin Tendulkar has been dismissed in the 90s a record 28 times.
Every time this happened, it was a heartbreak for all those who missed their jobs to sit and watch the legend play. People did the weirdest of things, indulged in superstitious activities, like sitting in the same position idly and watching the match. Some even sat just in front of the temple at homes and prayed that Sachin would play a huge knock that day.
And whichever bat he used, be it the MRF ones or the Adidas ones, people were ready to spend a fortune to get those bats. That was his impact on the people of India. With his performances, he showed people what they had never seen a player do on the pitch. He carried India alone with his 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup. Tendulkar's success and personality have transcended sports and entered Indian culture, where the game is practically a religion. When the sport a religion in the country, there is only one name that can be bestowed the title of "God of Cricket," and that name is Sachin Tendulkar.
The God of Cricket was known for his humble and gracious demeanor both on and off the field. Even those who tried to intimidate or slander him, he always showed respect towards his rivals. One well-known instance of his sportsmanship was during the 2011 World Cup match against the West Indies, when he left the pitch for a caught behind after being incorrectly given not out without waiting for the umpire's decision. He later said, "I knew I was out, so I walked."
Credit: Hindustan Times
From an early age, Sachin Tendulkar's talent and skill were obvious. He debuted for India at the age of 16, and in 1990 at the Old Trafford Ground, Manchester, he scored his first century against England. He continued on to set the record for the most international centuries ever scored by a batsman, 100, which still stands. Both fans and experts were in awe of his ability to consistently score runs under pressure. When asked about his nightmares, Shane Warne once said, "I'll be going to bed having nightmares of Sachin just running down the wicket and belting me back over the head for six."
Here are some innings that show The God of Cricket’s Class:
1- 200* vs. South Africa, Gwalior 2010:
Tendulkar unleashed a masterclass against a formidable South African bowling lineup, carving out the inaugural double century in One Day International history. The entire South African bowling line up proved futile and the day was a nightmare for them. Tendulkar's knock of 200 runs off 147 balls was a breathtaking display of controlled chaos, leaving the opposition gasping for breath.
Credit: NDTV Sports via BCCI
2- 114 vs. Australia, Perth 1992:
Sachin Tendulkar, an 18-year-old Indian batsman, displayed his brilliance by playing a flawless innings on a treacherous pitch and scoring an incredible century, which left the Australian bowlers speechless. It was a master class in how to handle competitive bowling in an by the youngster.
Credit: 100MB Cricket
3- 103* vs. England, Chennai 2008:
England had high expectations for a stunning victory in the 2008 Chennai Test, but then came the pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, who led India to a comfortable six-wicket victory. Tendulkar's 103-run innings gave India a comfortable six-wicket victory, a masterful performance of batting talent and an appropriate celebration of The God of Cricket's greatness.
4- 143* vs. Australia, Sharjah 1998:
Credit: India Today
A dust storm at Sharjah ground caused a revised target for India to secure a spot in the Coca Cola Cup final. Sachin Tendulkar, the master craftsman of the sport, stepped up and unleashed a blistering exhibition of batting artistry, scoring 143 not out with nine boundaries and five sixes. The next highest Indian score was 35, emphasizing Tendulkar's dominance on the day.
5- 119* vs. England, Old Trafford 1990:
When he was just a 17-year-old young boy, Sachin Tendulkar, was given the task of rescuing India against England. He scored his maiden Test century at the Old Trafford in Manchester, salvaging the game and guiding India towards an unforeseen stalemate. The world witnessed the emergence of a future legend, who later earned the name "The God of Cricket".
6- 100* vs. Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Mumbai 2011:
Tendulkar scored his first T20 century in an IPL match against Kochi Tuskers Kerala, which featured 3 sixes and 12 fours. Despite his heroics, the Tuskers were still able to chase the 180-run total and win the match by eight wickets. The God of Cricket demonstrated his dominance across all formats with a remarkable batting performance. He retired from the IPL after winning the trophy in 2013 as the team's biggest legend, and since then has been the Mentor and ICON for Mumbai Indians.
The sport of cricket has been forever changed by Sachin Tendulkar, known as "the God of Cricket." He has captivated fans all over the world with his wide variety of strokes and made bowlers struggle to contain him. His incredible talent and unwavering dedication to the game are demonstrated by his staggering career statistics, which include 34357 runs in 664 matches across all formats. To match the god of cricket’s extraordinary accomplishments, even the great Virat Kohli still has a long way to go. Tendulkar is an inspiration to aspiring players all over the world because of his unwavering pursuit of excellence and commitment to the game. His legacy will undoubtedly motivate future generations of players because of his unrivalled impact on the sport.