He was to cricket what Daniel Day Lewis is to acting: impeccable, superb, inimitable and simply put, a God-gifted player.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, described by millions of fans as the god of cricket, has finally decided to call it a day at the age of 40. His last hurrah was in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium where he played his last and 200th test match, ending a career which has been instrumental in breaking all records recorded in the annals of the game.
Indubitably, India’s finest cricketer ever to grace the pitches of the cricketing fields of the world, Tendulkar, is universally admired not only on the field but also off the field for his humble and soft spoken nature. It is indeed noteworthy to mention that during his entire professional career spanning 24 years there has not been a whiff of any scandal attributed to his name, a remarkable feat in an age where match fixing and spot fixing has been rampant in cricket circles.
He first emerged on the playing field at the tender age of 16 at Karachi’s National Stadium in 1989 and ever since there has been no turning back. The next year he made his maiden century in England. It would be impossible to chronicle all his feats in one piece but it is suffice to say that he has bagged 100 centuries 51 in Test Cricket and 49 in ODIs. His total scorecard of 15,921 runs in Test Cricket and 18,426 in ODIs unparalleled in cricket history.
Despite being under intense media scrutiny during the course of his illustrious career the ‘Master Blaster’ never gave an opportunity to the paparazzi as well as tabloid news hounds to smear him in any manner at all. His life has been exemplary, which does India prou. It is a justifiable reason to confer on him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award.
For the man himself, whose last 24 years revolved around the 22-yard cricket pitch, it will be difficult at first to enter private life. As a player he will be dearly missed but all good things must come to an end and it is gratifying to note that Tendulkar ended his career on a majestic note.
It goes without saying that Tendulkar will be swamped with offers from companies vying for him to become their brand ambassador, for he has already endorsed hundreds of brands both Indian and international, amassing a fortune of $22 million a year according to Forbes.
It is quite likely that the United Nations may approach him to become a global goodwill ambassador, a role befitting him for sports icons like David Beckham, Lionel Messi, and Ronaldo to name just a few are revered as heroes and can contribute immensely to worthy causes like world peace, healthcare and global famine.
People like Tendulkar are born once in a life time and soar high above India’s billion plus multitudes. Adios, Sachin, for as long as cricket is played you will be remembered and revered as not only India’s but the world’s finest.