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A humble and helpful phenomenon

Published: 12th November 2013 03:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th November 2013 03:50 AM   |  A+A-

Sachin-kolkata-farewell_PTI

Sachin Tendulkar is definitely the cricketer who performed under the most stringent scrutiny. From the media and public of the global cricket community, he was under observation since 15. General consensus is, he is one of the best if not the best batsman that has ever been. There is no need to get into what substantiates this claim. But how is he as a person?

It is again widely regarded that Tendulkar is very humble, though not much is known beyond that. Like his batting, he has remained impregnable when it comes to guarding himself. Not many know his level of commitment, why he has stayed the way he was, what went behind the making of his marathon career or how he conducts himself off the field.

“It is difficult to imagine how down to earth he is. Controversy follows people when they attain stardom, but in Sachin’s case there is none. Given the kind of attention he got, it was natural to get swayed. Not only did he remain unbelievably humble, he lived with the middle-class values he grew up with and inculcated the same in his children,” says former medium pacer and Mumbai captain Paras Mhambrey, who has seen Tendulkar as part of India, Mumbai and Mumbai Indians teams.

If this is one aspect everyone associated with Mumbai cricket concurs on, they also talk about his dedication. “Right from the age of 15, he has been completely focussed on cricket. He was bent on perfecting his game and for that, he would do everything. That he has done that till date shows how much he sacrificed and how methodical he has been,” feels Sairaj Bahutule, former leg-spinner and Mumbai teammate who now coaches Vidarbha.

Former Mumbai captain Amol Muzumdar tells a story to illustrate Tendulkar’s dedication. “He was abroad and coming to Mumbai just before a domestic game. He landed at around 6am and headed straight for practice at Wankhede Stadium. That’s how committed he was. His intensity is seen to be believed and it has not dropped,” says the second highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy.

To play at the highest level, one needs the qualities Tendulkar’s Mumbai teammates mention. What they also harp on is the fact that he retained the same attributes throughout. To do that for a decade or so is not very commonplace and to do that for about 25 years is unheard of. Tendulkar went on because there was no full stop in his backstage activities.

And he never behaved like a star. “Sachin was the first one to welcome a newcomer to the dressing room. He was always approachable and helpful to youngsters. He was the first at the nets and last to leave for his entire career whichever team he played for and it’s unthinkable,” adds former left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, the only Indian to have taken a wicket with his first delivery in Test cricket.

His teammates say that once done with cricket, Tendulkar likes to be with his friends. “Although he is a private person, he is human. If he is in mood, he is the most jovial person,” says Muzumdar. Once in a lifetime batsman, apostle of commitment, grounded and helpful – Mumbai can go on and on saying how unique a cricketer it has nurtured.



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