And with his legion of fans still in their early teens, Sachin will not fade away in a hurry | File/AP
TNIE online team's tribute to the Master Blaster : 10 favourite Sachin Tendulkar memories
What I remember of Sachin mainly is the Sharjah game and the Desert Storm. I still remember that game. Sachin was thrashing the Aussie quickies Damien Fleming and Glenn McGrath. It was such a delight to watch the dirty yellow fellows being hammered. Then suddenly the Desert Storm came and interrupted the match. Sachin could hardly wait for the storm to pass. And then when it finally did, the master started again and carried off from where he left. What a match! What a player!!
When Boris Becker took home his first Wimbeldon, he became an idol for a generation – my generation. It wasn’t long after that a generation, especially in the south of India, and subsequently in the cricket loving south Asian diaspora had one idol. That sporting idol went with the name Sachin Tendulkar. Soon the preferred name to address him was plain Sachin. That generation faded, but Sachin didn’t. He has been idol numero uno for many generations since. And with his legion of fans still in their early teens, Sachin will not fade away in a hurry.
The cult that has grown around him is most plainly evident if anybody dares to evenly mildly criticize the master-blaster. The offending person should have a gall of steel to withstand the vituperation coming their way. Now the eras are changing. Now at this solemn juncture is upon us. Let us with unadulterated admiration, thank Sachin for decorating a gentlemen’s game with just grace.
I am not a great cricket buff, therefore can't recollect scores, matches or the venues. However, my best Tendulkar memory was a plastic bat that had a Tendulkar autographed sticker on it, along with that an MRF sticker next to it. I got it in Class 4. The stickers are missing now, but the bat still remains.
I remember Sachin’s debut in the Pakistan series. He failed there. I was a serious cricket watcher, so I wondered why he was given a long rope despite failing there. Then he made a comeback. I was surprised. I admired the young fellow. One of my earliest memories of Sachin was when he opened the innings for the first time. It was during the New Zealand series when Sidhu woke up with a sore back. Sachin partnered Srikkanth. What followed was hell for the bowlers. The baby-faced Sachin was a very shy person during press conferences. And then the nightmares he gave Shane Warne when Australia toured India. As journalists we enjoyed it. When his father passed away during the 1999 World Cup, Sachin came back and scored a century and dedicated it to his father. To my knowledge he was the first one to do that. Since then, it has become a trend.
For me, there is no one favourite memory of Sachin. Or maybe it's too painful to revisit all his heroics with the bat and do a 'pick' after the news of his retirement broke. Sachin announced himself on the big stage with his world-record partnership (Recently, it was broken) with his childhood buddy Vinod Kambli. There are many other 'blasts from the past' I could recall. But I chose not to make it an emotional thing since my tear glands have gone dysfunctional.
Being a guy who had the chance to watch his two five-wicket hauls live in Kochi, I'd rather dwell on his 'underrated' bowling skills. India was playing Australia. The whole stadium erupted into loud cheers when Sachin walked into the field. The hearts of the cricket fans turned into a bubble waiting to burst. The feeling was so tacit that you could tell it from the look on their faces. Contrary to the crowds' expectations, Sachin fell cheap. The Mexican waves came to an ebb.
The twist in the tale came when the captain handed the ball to Sachin. The chips were down and India was staring at defeat. Sachin did a 'Shane Warne' and ended his spell with five wickets in his kitty. I especially remember the return catch off Steve Waugh, where he juggled the ball, making fun of all the Kangaroo batsmen he had sent to the dugout.
And who can forget the 'magical googly' he bowled to dismiss Moin Khan in the last ball of the day against Pakistan. I rest my case, for want of time.
When I hold my bat and start playing on the pitch I always try to replicate Sachin's batting style. An unforgettable person in the history of cricket and I guess I don't have to tell the next generation about him because history speaks about him. Tendulkar has been a complete batsman of all times and most prolific batsman too. It is unimaginable that any other person can do the same. It is like there can be only one God. I am so happy that I am in the era when Sachin made all his records in the game of cricket. Good luck for him for his future endevour.
All I know is he hit a double century. He had the courage to dream big. People always had expectations from him as he always proved to be an outstanding cricketer. At least I don't look at him as just a cricketer, he's also a good role model. He always followed his passion and that reminded us to follow ours. He always dreamt of being a cricketer when he was younger and he worked hard at achieving his dream. At the same time he’s humble.
My favourite Sachin moment has to be the 98 he scored against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup. Although he missed a century by two runs, he plundered the Pakistani attack, boasting of Akram, Shoaib and Waqar, to set up one of India's finest overseas victories.
Considering the pitch, quality of bowlers he faced, this innings has to rate as one of his best!
I started watching cricket when India was scaling heights in the game under the captaincy of Mohammed Azharuddin; after he made the smart move to pair up Ganguly and Sachin to open the innings.
As children we would sit around a radio glued to the cricket commentary as television was a rarity in those days in our place. Sachin never failed to amuse me ever since I started watching cricket. He was a complete team man who always put team ahead of his personal interests.
Sachin has seen it all - the highs and lows of the game on and off the field. Sachin's contribution was immense when India faced its worst crisis in the form of match-fixing scandal. His clean image and dedication to the game helped India see through its bad time. His talent as a performer in the field is undisputed. But he always caught my imagination for his humility off the field.
I was in college when I got my ears pierced for the second time. I cried. But they were tears of happiness. The occasion was a Sachin century. The trend followed. I would pick a day and Sachin would slam a ton. Two more sets of earrings made my ears glitter in tri-colour -- saffron, white and green studs.
I carry my Sachin memory in my ears, even today. The tricolour studs may be missing, but the fading marks on my ears still tell a story. Thank you Sachin for all the memories.