Apart from politics, there are only two things on which most of the Indians are crazy about. One is ‘Bollywood’ and the other is of course ‘Cricket’. Cricket in India has more followers than any religion has. Interestingly, unity grooms in every Indian heart when it comes to cricket. Though the craze exists from few decades ago in the country, the intensity of furore has got its superlative shape purely because of the supernatural human named “Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar” on the field. He inspired almost every cricket fan in the country from six to sixties. In fact, I believe in the popularly known factoid about him “Commit all your crimes when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord will be watching”.
Ironically, his recent announcement on retirement from ODI has been the emotional shocker not only to Indian but to world cricket despite the petty talks from useless critics. Nobody on earth is deserved enough to postulate this legend to move out of cricket field but seemingly the contemporary happenings forced him to take this decision. Anyways, he has created an unmatchable history of records in world cricket in all forms which no other human could get ahead in the near future.
He has been the most complete batsman of his time and has literally been worshipped by many including me. His experience is almost equivalent to my age and though being a diehard fan of Dada, I always used to agree that I am a deep follower of this little master. He has inspired me in almost all possible ways in cricket and I still remember in my childhood how me and my pals used to imitate all of his shots and tried to adapt his style of game like a mad. We hardly bothered any exams when Sachin was on the field the previous day. Even today, all commitments and engagements used to get deferred when Sachin is on the crease. His inspiration has potently persuaded across many generations.
Having Sachin on strike has been a nightmare to all the bowlers of the world. He has blasted the deliveries of all the famous bowlers of world cricket throughout his career. No matter whether the game is of test, ODI or T20 form, he has been the king of all records ever made. His strokes, drives, hooks, scoops could never been effaced from our memories. He is really more than Bradman of our time.
Following are few quotes about Master blaster which portrays how he has been conceived by people across the globe.
"During our team meetings, we often speak about the importance of the first 12 balls to Tendulkar. If you get him then you can thank your stars, otherwise it could mean that tough times lie ahead." – Allan Donald
"I have delayed my shoots many times to watch Sachin bat" – Amitab Bachan
“There are 2 kind of batsmen in the world. One Sachin Tendulkar. Two all the others. “– Andy Flower
“I am fortunate that I've to bowl at him only in the nets.” – Anil Kumble
"You get him out and half the battle is won" – Arjuna Ranatunga
“You might pitch a ball on the off stump and think you have bowled a good ball and he walks across and hits it for two behind mid wicket. His bat looks so heavy but he just waves it around like it's a toothpick. He is genius but I am a mere mortal. “ – Bret Lee
“He has been in form longer than some of our guys have been alive.” – Daniel Vettori
“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.” – Glen McGrath
"The way he has taken on the role of India's greatest sporting ambassador... He has, among other things, inspired a generation and more to play cricket." – Kapil Dev
“The pressure on me is nothing compared to Sachin Tendulkar. Sachin, like God, must never fail. The crowd always expects him to succeed and it is too much pressure on him. But, he rarely disappoints them.” – Mark Waugh
“I have seen God, he bats at no. 4 for India” – Mathew Hayden
"There will never be another Sachin Tendulkar." – Muthaiah Muralidharan
“Sachin made 9 centuries in one year but many cricketer did not make 9 centuries in their whole career.” – Saurav Ganguly
“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing us to breathe the same air as you do.” – Sharukh Khan
“It was one of the greatest innings I have ever seen. There is no shame being beaten by such a great player, Sachin is perhaps only next to the Don.” – Steve Waugh after losing with India in Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah
“Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders.” – Virat Kohli stated after winning the world cup
“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% perfect.” – Vivian Richards
“Certainly the best I’ve seen... People talk of (Sir Don) Bradman, but our generation and the ones immediately before us didn’t get to see him... Sure, he has an astounding average (99.94), but of the cricketers I’ve watched, Sachin’s the best. He can play that leg glance with a walking stick also.”
“I dont know what to bowl at him. I bowled an inswinger and he drove me through covers of the front foot. Then I bowled an outswinger and he again punched through covers of the backfoot. He is the toughest batsmen I've bowled to. He should live long and score lots of runs, but not against Pakistan.”
– Wasim Akram
World cricket is definitely going to miss this gentleman and the replacement is quite unimaginable in the offing. Both congratulations and thanks are emphatically understatements in depicting his contributions to Indian team. Eventually, the span of boon to Indian cricket has got over and we are going to experience a huge vacuum in the team which would ultimately be a herculean task for the rest players to fill up.
Miss you badly Little Master…!