Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story - India Today

Salaam Sachin
Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day Kunal Pradhan October 11, 2013 | UPDATED 11:04 IST Tweet [1]

Sporting epitaphs are meant to be easy to write. You string together a few poetic lines, add a dash of statistics, sprinkle some memorable moments, and voila, you have a farewell note that passes muster in the half light. But writing a Sachin Tendulkar eulogy is different-a personal investment for anyone who has been touched by his bounty. His career is not his story. It's the private history of every Indian with a passion for this crazy game. Most days in our lives are unremarkable. They start and they end, without leaving behind any lasting memory. But there was something different about Wednesday, November 15, 1989. It was the first time that a curly-haired 16year-old stepped on a cricket field in an India shirt. We remember where we were that day. Just as we remember what we were doing when he first opened the innings in a one-day match on a chilly morning in Auckland in 1994. When he single-handedly dismantled Australia at Sharjah in 1998. When he waged a lonely battle against Pakistan in Chennai and fell just short in 1999. When he amassed 241 in Sydney without hitting on the off-side in 2004. When he pushed the boundaries of the one-day format with a double century in Gwalior 21 years into his career. And when he was carried on their shoulders by a bunch of delirious teammates after India won the 2011 World Cup at the
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India Today Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. dour lives will no longer be enlivened by his genius.426 one-day runs. he is more than just a feeling or sensation.html 2/6 . to understand his impact. but perhaps hardest to resign to how our own dry. From boy wonder to superstar to elder statesman. will be his last. sometimes under intense pressure from his interviewers. He has decided that time is now. But Sachin had long said. He's not like Viv Richards. 40. announced on October 10 that the forthcoming two-Test series against West Indies. that he'd quit when he felt he wasn't enjoying the game enough.intoday. which will take his personal Test match tally to a staggering 200. 100 international hundreds-that you wouldn't need to have been here.000 Test runs. 18.in/story/sachin-tendulkar-retirement-200th-test-match-against-west-indie/1/314196. harder to imagine cricket without Sachin. whose one hopping cover drive was worth the price of a season ticket. It's a milestone retirement-something that doesn't always sit well with critics who want team players to be relentlessly selfless and disappear without ceremony. Over the last 24 years. Sachin has become a metaphor that has defined a generation. whose aura was magnified when he walked to the pitch lazily chewing gum. Or like Brian Lara. It may not be his best-timed shot considering how desperately the Indian team would've needed him on the away tour of South Africa in December. He's collected such incredible numbers-nearly 16. It's hard to imagine Sachin without cricket. indiatoday. in our life and times. Sachin. he's fulfilled every role. But unlike many other sporting greats.10/22/13 Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story .

intoday.India Today Sachin's story can be told through scorecards alone. Sachin took batting to a statistical high-point where the sheer volume captures the entire story. coinciding with a newly liberalised India.200-crore deal in indiatoday. playing up to four games a day. Ironically. His emergence.G. The early part of his journey is as engaging as what we've seen on television. some of his opponentsAustralian leg-spinner Shane Warne for one-couldn't sleep either. match to match. He still can't sleep well before a Test. and Donald Bradman the perfectionist who made the bat a natural extension of his limbs. made Sachin even more majestic. Sachin's first earnings as a cricketer were the 25 paise coins that his coach would give him if he went through an entire net session without getting dismissed. worried about what Sachin would do to him the next morning.html 3/6 . He'd ride pillion on Achrekar's scooter.in/story/sachin-tendulkar-retirement-200th-test-match-against-west-indie/1/314196.100-crore contract in 2001 and the Rs. If W. Grace was the first batsman to play both on the front foot and back foot. He did so much for so long that he made class tangible. going from venue to venue. Taken to Ramakant Achrekar as a mischievous pre-teen after he was caught stealing mangoes from a tree. The Rs. Preparing for matches became an obsession.10/22/13 Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story .

Sachin stepped in with a memorable one-liner: "Paani sar se ooncha ho gaya hai. But the Indian line-up without Sachin's name in it will take some getting used to. Anil Kumble.in/story/sachin-tendulkar-retirement-200th-test-match-against-west-indie/1/314196. In one of them. "I have seen God. and Virat Kohli will perhaps be pushed up as Sachin's successor at the number four slot. he sat on a chair flicking cricket balls with a stump as 'Govinda ala re' was replaced by 'Sachin ala re' in the background. With great power comes great responsibility. As the first of the golden generation to arrive and the last to go. Sachin's departure on the back of the exits of Sourav Ganguly. Sachin's cricketing narrative. (The water has risen to dangerous levels)". of course. Sach-in. when it seemed the Indian cricket board would not sever ties with coach Greg Chappell. Luckily for India. His personal worth is now estimated to be around $120 million (Rs. 4 for India. always happy to play the role model. Always polite.10/22/13 Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story . If he was the new God.720 crore). It will be one last opportunity to hear a partisan crowd cheer the fall of the second wicket. is not all over yet. he usually keeps cricket opinions close to his chest. television commercials put him in heaven. shuffle before he faces his indiatoday. has suddenly gained tremendous significance. There is an epilogue to follow in the two Test matches against West Indies-an otherwise meaningless series. He bats at No. But there have been occasional forays into uncharted territory that have established the weight of his words. The BCCI had no option after that-Chappell was sacked and order was restored. and Sachin understands this pop culture dictum better than most. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman over the last four years finally puts the spotlight on a new Indian team. the core of the middle-order is in some sort of shape.India Today 2006 were all stories that a fast-transforming nation was aspiring for. To an extent that he sometimes gives the impression of being too self-obsessed with his own batting to care about larger issues such as administration and direction. Cheteshwar Pujara is a player in the Dravid mould.intoday.html 4/6 ." Not for much longer. do a couple of mandatory sit-ups. perhaps put together for his farewell. Australian opener Matthew Hayden once said. seamlessly switching to Indian sport's most famous four-syllable chant: "Sach-in. After the 2007 World Cup debacle." He will mark his guard.

you will remember where you were the day he walked back to the pavilion for the last time.10/22/13 Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story . the upper-cut for six.use #WillMissUSachin 1. Rest assured.intoday. and the hope of a bright future. Government paralysis. the Internet. Once. the on-drive for four.com/share indiatoday. https://twitter. But after these two matches. we could turn to Sachin to forget about these troubles for a while.html 5/6 . and rising crime against women. he'll play it towards mid-on and gesture to the non-striker that there is no run. Who will we turn to now? Follow the writer on Twitter @_kunal_pradhan To tweet about the story. He predates everything-flashy cars. six-figure starting salaries. Sachin Tendulkar's career is emblematic of a young. In all likelihood. mobile phones.in/story/sachin-tendulkar-retirement-200th-test-match-against-west-indie/1/314196. He is the most emphatic symbol of how being young and successful could make you iconic. rising India. and the bat raised to the heavens with his head thrown back after yet another milestone will be relegated to nostalgic video clips. laptops.India Today first delivery. It's perhaps fitting that he's stepping away at a time when the mood of the nation is sombre because of a stumbling economy.

10/22/13 Salaam Sachin: The world's greatest cricketer calls it a day : Cover Story .html 6/6 .India Today indiatoday.in/story/sachin-tendulkar-retirement-200th-test-match-against-west-indie/1/314196.intoday.