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Celebrating Sachin Tendulkar's 20 glorious years [Update: 28th year]

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Harsha Bhogle: The Sachin I know

Sachin Tendulkar may have inspired others to write poetry but he batted in robust prose. Not for him the tenderness and fragility of the poet, the excitement of a leaf fluttering in a gentle breeze. No. Tendulkar is about a plantation standing up to the typhoon, the skyscraper that stands tall, the cannon that booms. Solid. Robust. Focused. The last word is the key. He loves the game deeply but without the eccentricities of the romantic. There is a match to be won at all times. But Tendulkar too was a sapling once. And his brother Ajit sheltered him from the gale, kept him focused. Sachin looked after his cricket, Ajit looked after Sachin. Twenty-two years ago, I was asked by Sportsworld to do an article on this extraordinary schoolboy. It wasn't Sachin I had to speak to, it was Ajit. When the time for the interview came, at Ramakant Achrekar's net in Shivaji Park, Ajit was there with a cyclostyled copy of Sachin's scores. And Achrekar admonished me for spoiling his child, for fear that Sachin would get distracted. The interview was done. Sachin was neither overwhelmed nor garrulous; indeed he was so limited with his words that you had to hold on to every one of them. It was sent to Sportsworld in Calcutta by courier (or was it just put into a normal post box?) and then came a request for two photographs. Again it was Ajit who produced them. When I got the cheque, I noticed they had paid me an extra 100 rupees for the photographs. They weren't mine but Sportsworld had a policy of paying for them and so I wrote out a cheque to Ajit for Rs 100. It was acknowledged and accepted gratefully. We lived in different times then! It was also my first realisation that young men in the public eye needed to be sheltered so they could focus on playing cricket; that they needed an elder brother, or an equivalent, to put a gentle hand on the shoulder and, occasionally, lay one the back side. A lot of other young men today see Tendulkar's runs, eye his wealth, but their brattishness comes in the way of noticing his work ethic. For Tendulkar's life is not the story of extraordinary ability but of an extraordinary work ethic. Twelve years later, on a cold evening in Bristol, preparing for a World Cup game against Kenya the next day, I saw him in dark glasses, fiddling around with his kit. Aimlessly, like he was searching for something to do. At most times he would be bounding around with energy, bowling off 18 yards, taking catches, shouting thoughts to other batsmen. I approached him hesitantly, I couldn't see his eyes because they were shrouded by these huge dark glasses, probably the only time they were used to cover rather than to adorn, for he had just lost his father. I asked him if he would talk to us about coming back to play. He nodded his head and only briefly took the glasses off. His eyes were red and swollen; you could see he had been crying copiously. For the interview he put them on, and once the camera had stopped rolling, admitted he didn't want to return, that his mind was all over the place, that he felt anchorless. It was the only time he didn't want to play for India but he had been forced back by his family, aware that only cricket could help him overcome his grief. When he got a hundred the next day and looked heavenwards, some other eyes were moist. Even in his grief there was resolve, for he wanted that century. It might only have been Kenya but he was battling himself, not the bowlers. It has been fantastic having a ringside view of this journey, watching a cricketer, and a person, grow. But one thing hasn't changed. He still approaches every game like a child would a bar of chocolate, feeling happy and fortunate Four years later he agreed to do an interview for a series of programmes I was then doing. Our producer thought we would make it special, and to our surprise and joy, Amitabh Bachchan agreed to introduce the programme. In the first break Sachin whispered, "That was a beautiful surprise." Little did he know there was more to come. Sometime earlier he had told me he was a big fan of Mark Knopfler and we thought it would be great if we could get the great Dire Straits man to talk to us. "I'm recording all night but immediately after that, before I fall asleep," Knopfler said, and somehow we persuaded Sachin to do the programme in the afternoon rather than in the morning. And when the moment came, we patched the line on and when I said, "Hello Mark," Sachin looked puzzled. A minute later his eyes lit up when he realised which Mark we had on the line. And then he was like a child, tongue-tied, fidgety, excited - much like most people are when they first meet Tendulkar. Even the stars can get starry-eyed! And there have been moments of surprising candour. When asked, as batsmen tend to be, which bowlers had troubled him the most, he smiled an almost embarrassed smile and said, "You won't believe this." When probed, he said, "Pedro Collins and Hansie Cronje." "In fact," he said, "I once told my partner 'Will you please take Hansie for me? I don't mind playing Allan Donald'" Tendulkar's batting has been much chronicled over the years. Indeed, I believe he has been the most analysed cricketer in the history of the game. Yet he has found the urge, and indeed the solutions, to play on for 20 years. Now that is a landmark to be celebrated, not the many inconsequential others that we exploit for our own need. It has been fantastic having a ringside view of this journey, watching a cricketer, and a person, grow. But one thing hasn't changed. He still approaches every game like a child would a bar of chocolate, feeling happy and fortunate.
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The article from Sportsworld 1988

Author's note: This piece was written 21 years ago for Sportsworld magazine (and was only retrieved thanks to Mudar Patherya, who was a young cricket writer then). Sachin Tendulkar was 15, a year and a half away from playing Test cricket and four months short of his first-class debut. I was not yet 27, in an advertising job out of business school, with one Test match and a handful of one-dayers on Doordarshan behind me. We were both looking ahead in our own spheres. What a time it was, it was, a time of innocence... All of Bombay's maidans are a stage. Where every cricketer has a role to play. And his seems to be the blockbuster. Ever since he unveiled Act One early last year, audiences have been waiting, a little too eagerly at times, to watch the next scene. Sachin Tendulkar is only, so far, acting in a high-school production. Yet critics have gone to town. And rave reviews have not stopped coming in. I guess it can only happen in Bombay. That a schoolboy cricketer sometimes becomes the talk of the town. Why, at the end of every day's play in the final of Bombay's Harris Shield (for Under 17s) everybody wanted to know how many he had made. For he does bat three days sometimes! And for all the publicity he has received, Sachin Tendulkar is really still a kid. He only completed 15 on 24 April. And is very shy. Opening out only after you have coaxed him for some time. As his coach Mr Achrekar says, "Aata thoda bolaila laglai" [He's started talking a bit now]. And it's then that you realise that his voice has not yet cracked. His record is awesome. He has scored far more runs than all of us scored looking dreamily out of the window in a boring Social Studies class when we were his age. For a prodigy, he started late. When he was nine years old. And it was only in 1984-85 that he scored his first school-level fifty. But 1985-86 was a little better. He scored his first Harris Shield hundred and played for Bombay in the Vijay Merchant (Under-15) tournament. And 1986-87 was when he blossomed. Still only 13, he led his school, Shardashram Vidyamandir, to victory in the Giles Shield (for Under-15s). He scored three centuries - 158*, 156 and 197 - and then in the Harris Shield scored 276, 123 and 150. In all, he scored nine hundreds, including two double hundreds, a total of 2336 runs. By now everyone had begun to sit up and take notice. The beginning of the 1987-88 season saw Sachin at the Ranji nets. Once again the top players were away playing Tests and perhaps the Bombay selectors felt it wouldn't be a bad idea to give Sachin first-hand experience of a higher category of cricket. He was named in the 14 for the first couple of games, and manager Sandeep Patil kept sending him out whenever possible - for a glass of water or a change of gloves. All along Sachin probably knew that he was still at best a curiosity, and that while Bombay was giving him every blooding opportunity, he had to prove himself on the maidans. And that is exactly what he did. Season 1987-88 was a purple patch that never ended. Playing in the Vijay Merchant tournament he scored 130 and 107 and then at the Inter-Zonal stage he made 117 against the champions, East Zone. Then in the Vijay Hazare tournament (for Under-17s) he scored 175 for West Zone against champions East Zone. Then came the avalanche. A 178* in the Giles Shield and a sequence in the Harris Shield of 21*, 125, 207*, 329* and 346*! A small matter of 1028 runs in five innings! And in the course of that innings of 329* he set the much talked-about record of 664 for the third wicket with Vinod Kambli, who, it is not always realised, scored 348*. Perhaps the most fascinating of them all was the innings of 346*. Coming immediately, as it did, in the shadow of the world record, a lot of people were curious to see him bat. Sachin ended the first day on 122, batted through the second to finish with 286, and when the innings closed around lunch on the third day, he was 346*. And then came back to bowl the first ball. In April's Bombay summer. "People don't realise that he is just 15. They keep calling him for some felicitation or the other. The other day he was asked to inaugurate a children's library. This is ridiculous. These things are bound to go to his head. He will start thinking he has achieved everything." Tendulkar's coach, Ramakant Achrekar But when did this story begin? Like all children, Tendulkar took to playing "galli" cricket. His brother Ajit was a good player and persuaded Mr Achrekar, probably Bombay's most famous coach, to look at him. Achrekar recalls, "When he first came to my net four-five years ago, he looked just like any other boy and I didn't take him seriously. Then one day I saw him bat in an adjacent net. He was trying to hit every ball but I noted that he was middling all of them. Some time later he got a fifty and a friend of mine, who was umpiring that game, came and told me that this boy would play for India. I laughed at him and said that there were so many boys like him in my net. But he insisted. 'Mark my words, he will play for India.' My friend is dead now but I'm waiting to see if his prophecy comes true.' Tendulkar is taking first steps towards getting there. He discovered that his house, being in Bandra, would not allow him to be at Shivaji Park whenever he wanted. He now spends most of his time at his uncle's house, just off this nursery of Bombay cricket. When he is not actually playing, that is. Quite often, he is playing all day; important because it has helped him build the stamina to play long innings. "I don't get tired," he says, referring to them. "If you practise every day, you get used to it." And what about that world-record innings? "I could bat very freely then because my partner Vinod Kambli was batting so well that I knew that even if I failed, he would get enough runs for the side." Isn't there a lot of pressure on him now? Everyone assumes he will get a big score? "Only in the beginning. Till I get set. Once I get set, I don't think of anything." Wasn't he thrilled at being invited to the Ranji nets? "Definitely. After playing there I got a lot of confidence." Everything in Tendulkar's life has so far revolved around cricket. Including his choice of school. A few years back he shifted to Shardashram Vidyamandir, only so that he could come under the eye of Achrekar. "It helped me tremendously because 'sir's' guidance is so good," he says. Strangely his parents were never very keen about cricket. His brother Ajit says, "They were not very interested in the game, though they gave him all the encouragement. You see, in our colony all parents were training their children to be engineers and doctors. And they would say, "Gallit khelun cricketer hoto kai?" [You don't become a cricketer by playing in the alleys]. I am so happy he is doing well because now people think he is doing something." The question that arises then, given all the publicity is: Just how good is Sachin Tendulkar? "For his age, unbelievable," says Sharad Kotnis, Bombay's veteran cricket watcher. "He is definitely comparable to Ashok Mankad, who had a similar run many years ago. But remember Ashok had cricket running in his family and his father often came to see him play. I think Tendulkar's strongest point is that he is willing to work very hard." Luckily for Sachin, there is a calming influence over him, just so he doesn't get carried away by this acclaim. His coach Achrekar knows exactly what he is talking about. "He is not perfect yet. Far from it. In fact, I would say he is not even halfway there. He still has a lot of faults, particularly while driving through the on, which is an indicator of a class batsman. He still has a long way to go, but what I like about him is his ability to work hard. I don't think we should get carried away by his scores. After all, one has to take into account the nature of the wicket and the quality of the bowlers. By his standards the quality of the bowling he faced was not good enough. "His real test will come this year when he plays in the 'A' Division of the Kanga League. [sachin will play for the Cricket Club of India, which for him has waived the stipulation that children under 18 are not allowed inside the Club House!] He should get 70s and 80s there and not just 20s and 30s; particularly towards the end of the season, when the wickets get better." Achrekar, in fact, is quite upset about the publicity Sachin is getting. "People don't realise that he is just 15. They keep calling him for some felicitation or the other. The other day he was asked to inaugurate a children's library. This is ridiculous. These things are bound to go to his head. He will start thinking he has achieved everything. I hope all this stops so he can concentrate and work hard." Yet both Achrekar and Kotnis agree on when they think Sachin will become a Ranji regular. "I think he should be playing the Ranji Trophy next year. I think it is unfair to compare him to the [Lalchand] Rajputs and [Alan] Sippys yet, but I think he should play next year," feels Kotnis. And Achrekar adds, "Inspite of what I said about him, if he maintains this kind of progress, he should play the Ranji next year." Clearly the curtain call is still a long way off for Sachin Tendulkar. He has a lot of things going for him. Most importantly he is in Bombay, where the sheer atmosphere can propel him ahead. In how many cities would a 15-year-old be presented a Gunn and Moore by the Indian captain? And in which other city would the world's highest run-getter write to a 15-year-old asking him not to get disheartened at not getting the Best Junior Cricketer award? Sunil Gavaskar wrote to Tendulkar to tell him that several years earlier another youngster too had not got the award and that he didn't do too badly in Test cricket. For him the letter from his hero is a prized possession. Another great moment was a meeting with him where "… he told me that I should forget the past every time I go to bat. I should always remember that I have to score runs each time." He is in the right company. And the right environment. The next few years will show whether he has it in him the mental toughness to overcome the over-exposure. If it does not go to his head, surely there is a great future beckoning. This is really just the beginning and I will be watching this little star with avid interest for the next three years. If he is still charting blockbusters, I'd love to do another review then.
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Wonderful interviews DomainK and Glory. Hope you'll put some more. Here some of his friends are telling us how is Sachin like in his personal life. Friends forever GOOD SAMARITAN As his mother-in-law Annabel Mehta tells us, Sachin takes his responsibilities very seriously The smallest hint of Sachin Tendulkar’s presence at a given place on a given day is enough to guarantee a huge turnout. But that wasn’t the case, six years ago, when he arrived at a function for a Mumbai-based NGO, Apnalaya. “In 2003, we launched our sports programme and Sachin was invited to be chief guest,” said Leena Joshi, Apnalaya director. “No one believed that he would come. So the number of people who turned up for the event was a lot less than we anticipated.” It was a thing of disbelief for the people of Shivaji Nagar, in the Mumbai suburb of Govandi. More than six lakh of them are housed on a small area around the dumping ground. They live in conditions where even basic needs are a struggle. Their world is far removed from the world Tendulkar lives in. Over the years, he has contributed to making their lives easier. The cricketer has been associated with Apnalaya — meaning Our Home — since 1994. He came to know about the organisation, which operates in a number of less-privileged areas in Mumbai, through mother-in-law Annabel Mehta. Apnalaya was established in 1973, the same year that Tendulkar was born. “Sachin’s dad was a teacher. That’s why he was really keen on doing something for the education of children, so he started with sponsorships,” said Mehta, who has been with Apnalaya for 35 years. “He donates money to the charity every year and even gives the money he makes from auctions or interviews to it. He supports us financially and morally. I am sure he would like to do a lot more with Apnalaya but it is not always possible.” His celebrity status takes care of that. Though Tendulkar is by far the most popular cricketer in the country, neither party has sought to leverage publicity from the association. “It’s just the kind person he is,” adds Mehta. “He doesn’t like to speak about it. Though people have told us that we have got such a great brand ambassador, we are uncomfortable about using his name.” Recently, Tendulkar donated the Rs 12 lakh he got from a charity coaching auction on ebay to the charity. Two people tied for the winning bid of Rs 6 lakh, and the batsman agreed to do personal clinics for both, with the proceeds going to Apnalaya. With the publicity, the Apnalaya communities are more aware of their association with the superstar. “That’s why we haven’t called him for a function now,” says Joshi. “Because now that everyone knows, we are going to get so many people coming in that we won’t be able to manage it!” (For more on Apnalaya’s work or to contribute to the cause, please visit www.apnalaya.org) voncec.jpg DID YOU KNOW On the 1991 tour of Australia, Sachin stayed awake all night once as he had to bat the next morning. THE MASTER BLASTER IN NUMBERS 186* The highest score by an Indian in an ODI. Sachin got this against NZ on Nov 8, '99. 5000 The no. of runs he had amassed when he was 23 years and 29 days old -the youngest to do so. He loves movies and loves to dance 2d0w8n.jpg I’ve known him since he was born. My family moved to Sahitya Sahawas in Mumbai’s Bandra in 1967 and Sachin’s family moved into the society in 1972, a year before he was born. He enjoyed cricket and was okay at it as a kid and for all of us, he was just a normal kid, till he was about 10. That’s when he went to Sharadashram and things changed. 1.jpg Sachin enjoys his holidays, all of us do. Our families go to Lonavala together, and have been to Euro Disney (in May 2004) and to Iceland in July 2009 among other places. 2.jpg This summer, Anjali said we had to vacation in Iceland. Initially, we didn’t think Sachin could join us. It was therefore a pleasant surprise when he dropped in from England. It turned out to be a fabulous week. We had informed the hotel staff that they were going to have someone more famous than the President of India. So when Sachin did get there, our local driver, who had driven the former President of India, Abdul Kalam, around Reykjavík a couple of years ago, was taken aback. He had probably expected someone with a rockstar attitude. What he got was Sachin’s simplicity. 3.jpg We took speedboats out on ice and also went horse riding. It was one of the rare times that Sachin actually sat on a horse, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. He invariably does. Sachin and his son Arjun would also play cricket in the hotel’s passage and luckily for them, most of the rooms were unoccupied. Incidentally, Sachin is a good dancer and though most people don’t know this, he enjoys dancing as much as the Yuvrajs and Harbhajans of the Indian team. He is the perfect host, makes an effort to involve everyone in conversation, and it’s almost tradition that he prepares everyone’s first drink. Sachin’s wife, Anjali, meanwhile, is like a group mother for our bunch of closely-knit families (Sachin’s, Atul Ranade’s, Sunil Harshe’s, mine, and that of two other friends’). She’s always well informed and sensible and we take her advice on everything, even stuff like changing schools for our kids. The way she handles things, with poise and grace, is quite amazing. So what is Sachin like? What he’s always been like! This probably sums it up. On his return from Pakistan after his Test debut, we had a party in our colony on New Year’s Eve. Early next morning, over 10 of us crammed into in an Ambassador and went off to Madh Island (in Mumbai). Because of the crush, Sachin perched on a friend’s lap. There, because of the crowd that gathered around Sachin, we left. On our way back, the car, inevitably, broke down. Sachin came home in an auto, no fuss, nothing. Thanks to Sachin, I have become a better human being. (Vivek Palkar, a friend of the family, spoke to G. Krishnan) Amol Muzumdar on Sachin w1vgy8.jpg My favourite Sachin innings His first double hundred, 204 for Mumbai against Australia at Brabourne Stadium (Mumbai) in 1998. It was an unbelievable innings and I watched it from 22 yards away. It was hitting at its best and the ball travelled from his bat at supersonic speed. I have never seen a cricket ball being hit so hard. He went in to bat one hour before lunch and 30 minutes after tea, he had a double hundred. My other favourite innings was the 233 for Mumbai vs Tamil Nadu in the 1999-2000 Ranji Trophy semifinal. The manner in which he got the double was out of the world. His greatest strength His mind is his greatest strength. His greatest quality is the way he thinks out of the box, only a genius can be that way. If he sets his mind on something, he has to achieve it. Weakness What weakness can you point out about Sachin? His only weakness, as far as I know, is his passion for cars and the fact that he drives so fast you have to fasten your seatbelt and hold on tight. He has a fascination for speed and is often drawn into long, intense discussions on the speeds of BMWs and Ferraris. Sachin & me He is very mischievous. About 10 years ago, he was coming to my place for dinner and we had prepared a lot of things and were eagerly awaiting his arrival. He called me from downstairs to say he could not make it. I was completely zapped because this was so unlike Sachin. Two minutes later, my doorbell rang. I was very upset and did not answer. In walked Sachin and made my day. I was so happy that I still remember his face and the bright red T-shirt he was wearing. The aura around him is something unbelievable, this despite knowing him from our school days. My message to Sachin Just carry on, but please, a humble request! Leave one odd record for someone else to get to! (As told to G. Krishnan)

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I've never seen Tendulkar throw tantrums: Ganguly What can I say about Sachin Tendulkar that has not already been said or written about? Isn't it enough to say that players of my generation have been lucky to share the dressing room with him? Having known him from very close quarters right from our days we used to play under- 15 cricket, I have marvelled at the manner in which he has built his career, admired his single-minded approach to batting and the way he has handled fame and fortune. After I took over the captaincy from him in 2000, I have often benefited from his cricketing wisdom. In my book, there are three aspects to being Sachin Tendulkar: the batsman, the person and the superstar. The batsman Simply put, he is the best batsman that I have seen or played with or against. He is head and shoulders above the rest and there is no comparison. Having opened with him in over 200 ODIs and been at the other end of the wicket on hundreds of occasions, I've marvelled at his ability to play shots that lesser mortals would not even think of attempting. With a cricket bat in hand, Sachin is supremely confident. There is no better sight in cricket than Sachin in full flow. The person The best thing about Sachin is that despite scaling new peaks of popularity, he has both feet planted firmly on the ground. That's the reason he has not only survived for 20 long years as a top-level athlete but continues to prosper in all walks of life. In life as well as in cricket, Sachin always strikes the right balance. I have no doubt in my mind that he will continue to do the country proud with the bat for as long as he chooses to play. The superstar In a cricket-crazy country where everyone wants a piece of him, I have never seen Sachin throw tantrums, on or off the field. He is a role model for the youth and carries himself with dignity. He also has very deep-rooted values and stands by them. He is easily India's biggest sporting icon of his generation. (As told to Sumit Mukherjee)
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/interviews/Ive-never-seen-Tendulkar-throw-tantrums-Ganguly/articleshow/5224626.cms

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Sania Mirza applauds India's super bat

Thorough gentleman The best thing about Sachin Tendulkar is that he's completely rooted, down to earth, and a thorough gentleman. He's probably the best thing to have happened to Indian cricket and maybe Indian sport as a whole. When he completed 17,000 runs in ODIs, I sent him a congratulatory SMS. He replied immediately. He's obviously a champion, but despite everything he has achieved he remains a really gentle person. First meeting I think it was at a press conference. After that we chatted, and we've met quite a few times since. I've even played umpire for an exhibition tennis match that he was involved in and it was fun. His achievements I don't know if I want to rate any one of his achievements over the others. He has achieved a lot, and I think it would be unfair to rank it, simply because a lot of effort has gone into each knock. That he has lasted this long on the international stage is fantastic. For years, I've been reading about how he shouldn't play ODIs, and then he comes up with a knock like the 175 (in Hyderabad last week against the Australians) and silences everybody. I'm no expert on this, but it looks like he still has some good years of cricket left in him.
Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/interviews/Sania-Mirza-applauds-Indias-super-bat/articleshow/5224606.cms

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Samir Dighe peers inside Sachin's mind to discover what keeps the genius ticking. I've known Sachin since I was in the tenth standard. He was then about twelve. He's four-and-half years younger to me and we went to Ramakant Achrekar's academy at almost the same time. I've also been privileged to have played in a few teams with him. Yet, just like many others, I'm still trying to figure out if he's a normal human being. The only thing I know for sure is that Sachin never shows his emotions. He always seems happy and never gets angry, but again, it's difficult to figure out what is going on in that mind of his. He's basically a very shy and reserved person who keeps to himself. At the same time, if he likes someone, he will spend quality time being free and mischievous. While that is his other side, it's his cricketing skills that make you wonder what makes him so great. I guess it's his discipline, focus, commitment and deep passion for the game. On tours, Sachin is meticulous to a fault. Even off the field, if you happen to be in his room after a day's play, you'll find him quietly busy. He'll make you comfortable but go on with little chores, like putting out the laundry, placing his bats in one place, making the bed and keeping the room tidy. This routine hasn't changed in 20 years. His focus is unparalleled and his desire to play is insatiable. In the last five years, specifically, he has learnt to keep his body in top shape. He knows that fitness is the key if he has to play more. Just the other day, he fielded for 50 overs, batted for 47 overs and made 175 unforgettable runs. You may have noticed his body doesn't break down as often now, thanks to new fitness regimes. Recently, I was party to one of his training sessions in Goa during Diwali. While the nation was soaking in the festive spirit, Sachin was sweating it out for no less than three-and-a-half hours everyday in the October heat. Sachin continues to visualise being on the field while training. He will imagine he is batting out there in the middle, then think of a particular nerve or muscle that has maybe troubled him. He then trains to strengthen that specific area. Sachin has grown up with the game and has had to sacrifice many things along the way. He has even shunned some favourite foods. Wicketkeeper Samir Dighe played six Tests and 23 ODIs for India.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/interviews/If-he-likes-you-Sachin-can-get-very-mischievous/articleshow/5224594.cms

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A 16-year old boy still lives within me: Tendulkar

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who will complete 20 long momentous years in international cricket, on Friday said his hunger for runs never died at any stage. "The day I wore my India cap my most memorable moment. I was on cloud 9. The dream was to play for India. Nothing bigger than that. Very fortunate to be living that dream. Walking in the playing eleven the journey began there." Sachin accepted the fact that his first tour in 1989 was not easy. "45 days, party time, first tour. Wearing a moustache and lipstick, it was a party time. But the cricket in Pakistan was very tough." "From 1989 thing have changed, T20, TV umpires. The most noticeable change is because of T20. It's forcing batsmen to try new things with Test and ODI cricket. And now we see a lot more results in Test cricket", said the milestone man. Tendulkar said he changed his batting style according to changing times. "Along with time I've changed too. I've tried to make myself a better cricketer. Always believe there has to be a purpose when I practice. It's a never-ending process. You need to be on your toes." The ace batsman also took the opportunity to thank his family and the kind of support he as been bestowed with. "Its a lot of hard work. There are a certain things that all sportsmen have to follow. For me, I was very lucky to have my family. My mum fed me well, my dad supported me and my brother guided me. I represent my family. I'm there alone when I go out there. But I have great support. That's why I've managed to stay out there for so long. And for that I also have to thank people of this country." "I've not made any effort to stay humble. It's just my upbringing. Nobody in my family got carried away by my success. That is where my family made sure my feet were on the ground." "My brother Ajit contributes to my learning the most. He knows my batting more than any other person. I also seek Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri's advice." He also thanked God and fans for showering blessings upon him. "God's been kind. I've worked hard. And support and wishes have helped." The Little Master, who is known for his amicable behaviour on and off the field, said aggression should help one in progressing. "Aggression should be inside, not on the outside. Aggression should help you, not the opposition." On captaining Team India again, Tendulkar said, "Everything's working just find. I'm happy to play the mentoring role. It doesn't matter who's captaining the side as long as we're all contributing for India's cause." David Boon was also one of those who gave the young Sachin some useful tips. "David boon I met is Australia in 91, I hadn't played the West Indies fast bowlers. We were playing a triangular series in Australia. And I'd watched boon so I thought I should pick up tips from him." Sachin mentioned the fact that he went through special training to face the legendary bowler Shane Warne. "I prepared differently for Warne. I asked all my colleagues to keep bowling round the wicket in the rough outside leg stump. L Siva also helped in the process." When asked to pick either Warne or Muralitharan as his favourite, the ace Indian batsman said, "I think anyone who goes past 500 or 600 wickets. Both are match winners and fabulous bowlers. I can't choose." When asked about his most memorable on-field moment, Sachin recalled his first series and said, "When I got hurt by the Younis bouncer in Sialkot, I clearly remember. A lot of people get shattered when you get injured. I've been hurt before on my nose. So the fear of getting hurt was not there. I decided I'm not going to move." Sachin expected to get selected before Pakistan series in 1989 but his studies came in his way. "I remember Raj bhai was the chairman(of the selection committee). We were playing semis against Delhi. There were talks that I would go to the West Indies (before pak series). But Raj bhai very clearly told me that I had to give my SSC exams and would not be selected." When asked about match fixing and its impact, Sachin said, " It was a dark phase. What was fascinating was the series we played against Australia right after. Both these series were instrumental in bringing the crowds back." Sachin's respect for bowlers only increased with every passing game "Nothing is easy. I want to prepare to the best of my ability. I was always confident. I won't take anything for granted. "I felt earlier I could hit every ball. But after playing international cricket it taught me to be more selective, build and innings and to respect a bowler." Having completed 20 years in international cricket, Sachin said his teenage years of cricket is still in him. "Cricket lives in my heart. Somewhere still a 16-year-old boy lives within me. I don't have to make an effort to be enthusiastic."
Source: http://cricket.ndtv.com/cricket/ndtvcricket/storypage.aspx?id=SPOEN20090116646

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^^ Most of them are interviews of other people talking about Sachin
NDTV, CNN-IBN, Times Now, Hindustan Times, TOI, PTI.. to name a few who interviewed Sachin on this occasion.

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Sachin was a star from day one- Kiran More

Former India [ Images ] wicket-keeper Kiran More relives Sachin Tendulkar's [ Images ] debut Test against Pakistan in Karachi on November 15, 1989. More, who went on to head India's selection committee, recalls how Pakistan were left stunned by the 16-year-old's batting prowess. He still remembers the day when Tendulkar cried after getting out on 88 against New Zealand [ Images ] after missing out on a well-deserved century in 1990. Two years later, More was witness to one of the greatest innings in Test cricket when Tendulkar smashed a cracking century on a green pitch against Australia [ Images ] at Perth in 1992. "I knew Sachin very well because I played a lot of cricket in Mumbai [ Images ]. I knew how he had done in junior cricket. When he came to Baroda with the Mumbai team for a Ranji Trophy match -- he was around 14 or 15 -- he came over to my place for lunch. He was certainly a star from day one. For me, he was a class player right from the start. I think history was made in Peshawar when he got a chance to play an exhibition match. The game was washed out and we played a 20 overs match. Ravi Shastri and I had gone shopping to buy some jutis (traditional shoes) from the local market in Peshawar. When we came back we heard the crowd shouting and cheering from a distance. When we reached there, we saw this young boy hitting Abdul Qadir all over the place. After seeing that dashing innings we knew that Sachin had it in him to succeed at the highest level. When we played a Test at Sialkot, on a green pitch, he batted for around three-and-a-half hours and scored 59 to save the match. He was facing the best bowling attack in the world in Imran Khan [ Images ], Wasim Akram [ Images ] and Waqar Younis. They deliberately targeted him with short deliveries and once got hit on the nose by a bouncer from Waqar. He refused to take medical assistance despite blooding dripping from his nose. That day it proved he was not shy of battle and ready to fight it out for his country. He was a young boy, but showed he was born tough and man enough. Test cricket was tough those days because there was no limit on the number of bouncers you could bowl in an over. And playing in Pakistan, in front of an aggressive crowd, is always tough. But Sachin showed his class and delivered under pressure. That day I knew he had tremendous talent and would go on to break a lot of records. The Pakistani players used to call him 'Gittu'. They always would say, 'Get this 'Gittu', then we will get the others.' I heard Imran Khan saying this; they were scared of his hitting. I have never seen anyone comfortable against Wasim Akram, but Sachin played him so confidently even though he was starting out in international cricket. We had a partnership in New Zealand where he got out for 88 (at Napier [ Images ] in February 1990). He cried when he got out, because he wanted to score a century. So when he got that hundred in England [ Images ] (at Manchester in August 1990), it was big relief for everyone in the dressing room, because he was a young guy and had come close to a hundred on a few occasions before. I still remember what a knock it was under pressure, against a good bowling attack. We could have lost the match, but Sachin's century ensured that we saved it. One of the best innings I've seen him play was in 1992, in Perth, when he scored a brilliant century (114 off 161 deliveries including 16 boundaries) on one of the fastest pitches you will ever see. There were big cracks on the wicket and Australia had quite a few fast bowlers with fielders surrounding the batsmen, but he came up with one of the best innings one will ever witness. He has been quite sensational this year with his batting and it seems he is reminding us that he still has it in him to score big centuries. The way he is batting, I wish he keeps performing at this level and wins the 2011 World Cup for India, which is his dream. He is the best cricketer ever to have graced the game. Despite the amount of pressure and expectation he has to endure from fans and the media he has conduced himself so well. The best part about him is his passion to play for the country, which shows in his eyes. I think that keeps him going year after year."
Source: http://cricket.rediff.com/report/2009/nov/13/kiran-more-salutes-sachin-tendulkar.htm

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Sachin, don't quit till you are convinced- Manoj Prabhakar

The first Test between India [ Images ] and Pakistan in Karachi, which began on November 1989, was memorable for some Indian players. It was Kapil Dev's [ Images ] 100th Test, making him the first bowler to then play so many matches. Mohammad Azharuddin [ Images ] stepped in for Raman Lamba and sealed a near permanent spot in the Test side. On the first morning, a fanatic attacked Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth, who escaped unhurt. But the reason the Test will always, always, be remembered is because it was the first Test for a 16-year-old resident of Sahitya Sahawas, a housing colony for writers and their families in Bandra East, north-west Mumbai [ Images ]. Yes, it was the first time the cricketing world glimpsed Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in a Test. On the occasion of the legend's 20th anniversary in international cricket, Manoj Prabhakar, who also played that Test (bagging five wickets), salutes Sachin. "Very early on in that first tour it became obvious to everyone that this kid was here for the long haul. Both Indian and Pakistani players were showering praise on Sachin," recalls Manoj Prabhakar. The teenager handled the Pakistani fast bowlers with aplomb. "The way he played that deadly attack was fantastic. The kid showed he had the guts to perform at that level. Some senior Pakistani players said: "Yaar, bachcha kahan se pakad ke aaye ho? Is ki lag laga na jai (From where did you get this kid? Nothing should go wrong for him)." Early on in the match, Tendulkar was hit on the face by a fierce Wasim Akram [ Images ] delivery. Prabhakar remembers a follow-up incident in Sharjah a few years later. "Akram hit Sachin on the head once again in Sharjah. The next ball disappeared even before Akram could finish his follow through. That is Sachin. He can say everything without speaking a word." Though the 1989 series unveiled the legend-in-the-making, Prabhakar remembers Tendulkar from a year before. When he heard that a 16-year-old would be joining him on the tour to Pakistan, the Delhi [ Images ] all-rounder instantly knew who it was. "We (Delhi) were playing Bombay. Maninder Singh was bowling fantastically. Then, out of nowhere, this kid jumped out of his crease and hit Maninder for a six. I was shocked, because when Maninder was on song, even an experienced batsman could not step out to him. He was striking the ball well. It reminded us of Sunil Gavaskar [ Images ]." Tendulkar, who came in after the spinners had come on, scored about 30-odd runs in that game, but did not face Prabhakar. "I don't think he had enough patience at that time," says Prabhakar, adding, "He was looking to score all the time. I did bowl to him soon after in another domestic match." Prabhakar was determined to get him out. "I tried a slower ball. He hit me for a six. I then tried a bouncer. He hit me for a six. That is when I realised that this kid is not easy to get out. My frustrations that day must have been shared by a lot of international bowlers in the years to come." Another early trait, Prabhakar points out, that stood out in Tendulkar was his body language. "His body language was very positive... sort of arrogant. When he was on the field, if you did not look at his face, you wouldn't know it was a kid. He walked and behaved like an adult," Prabhakar, off whose bowling Tendulkar took his first-ever Test catch, says. Though the opposition may have been taken in, Tendulkar's on-field aggression never fooled any of his senior teammates. Sample this story with a touch of innocence. "After the Pakistan series we were touring Zimbabwe. Sachin and I were batting together and we went to the toilet during a break. When I was done, I saw Sachin was still standing there. I asked him what the matter was. He said, 'Yaar, aa nahi raha hain' (Friend, it's not coming out)." The teenager then asked Prabhakar to turn on the tap. "Listening to the water running got him going. When he came out I asked him if he was done." "'It was just like when I was a child and some elder person in the family had to make a hissing noise for me to pee,' he said." Prabhakar wishes Tendulkar, who will turn 37 next April, at least five more years of international cricket. "If you keep fit, nobody can touch you. You are not a Gooch or a Border (Englishman Graham Gooch and Australian Allan Border [ Images ], two batsmen who were still playing when they were a year short of 40 and pushed by the selectors to quit). Whatever you achieve from here on is your own milestone," Prabhakar tells Tendulkar through this feature, adding, "You only live one life as Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ]. Don't miss anything in that. Don't quit till you are convinced it is the end." "I want him to get 100 international centuries. I know it is not easy, but it is also not very hard for Sachin!"
Source: http://cricket.rediff.com/report/2009/nov/13/manoj-prabhakar-salutes-sachin-tendulkar.htm

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When Sachin Tendulkar played the role of a fan- by Sandeep Dwivedi

In these days of intense frenzy about Sachin Tendulkar, Thursday was an unusual outing for the man who is two days away from completing 20 years in international cricket. While the entire nation has been undertaking a collective trip down memory lane, recalling the tales of the boy wonder who travelled to Pakistan for his first international tour in the late 80s, Tendulkar got a chance to play a starry-eyed fan to three 70s stars he has grown up idolising. It was a delayed 60th birthday party for cricketing legends Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath, and the silver screen’s towering personality Amitabh Bachchan dropped in to honour them. With such a starcast on stage, Tendulkar’s status as chief guest for the function didn’t guarantee him all the attention. The occasion was a refreshing change for the 36-year-old, who has rarely been away from the media glare since adolescence. All through the evening, it was an out-and-out Sunny and Vishy show. As footage of their schools, old tales by family members, loving recollections of friends, images of a clean-shaven batsman playing breathtaking straight drives and the one with a stubble essaying delicious late cuts played on the screen, Tendulkar and Bachchan joined those in the audience to smile and shake their heads in awe. Compelling aura But so compelling was the aura of the Fab Four that each of them seemed unwilling to play the star and was overwhelmed on encountering the hearty appreciation of the other. After the tributes were over and the four walked on stage, there was a reluctance to take the spotlight. Vishy wanted Bachchan to take the central seat while Sunny seemed to be moving to the side chair. The order was soon restored as the birthday boys were made to sit in the middle flanked by the special guests. The presence of such strong personalities on the dais meant they all had been used to dealing with the pressure of public expectations, and there ensued a discussion on the frequent appearance of ‘butterflies in the stomach’ before a big game or when facing the camera. Bachchan acknowledged that the cricketing greats next to him were making him struggle for the right lines and Tendulkar too talked about pre-match anxiety. “When you are nervous, that means you care about what you are doing. And I care about cricket,” he said. The mutual admiration on stage continued for a while as each spoke about the other’s greatness. If Tendulkar wanted to know about Bachchan’s preparation for his award-winning role in the movie Black, Viswanath spoke about how Sunny’s power of concentration and his ability to judge the length of a ball was unparalleled. Tendulkar relived the moment when he got a special phone call from Gavaskar after getting his 34th Test century and described it as one of the most memorable moments of his life. The boyish grin on his face and the halting shy tone brought back memories of the days when the Indians stumbled upon a 16-year-old batting phenomenon in 1989.
Source:http://www.indianexpress.com/news/when-sachin-tendulkar-played-the-role-of-a-fan/540846/0

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Sachin is one of world's greatest sportsmen- Lewis Hamilton

Ican't claim to be an expert on cricket. I've been involved in a couple of matches with Vodafone when we visited New Delhi and Melbourne; and while I used to play at school, I wasn't particularly good, so I'm not the best person to speak to about Sachin Tendulkar. But having said that, I think I know enough about the game and its history and his career to know that he's an absolutely incredible cricketer - one of, if not the greatest, batsman in cricketing history. In the same way that a racing driver has an extremely personal connection with his car, Sachin has that same, innate association with his bat and a cricket ball. When Sachin is batting, it's almost as if he can anticipate how to attack each shot before the ball has even left the bowler's fingers; he takes on shots with a feel that few others possess. But that's not what makes him a great cricketer -- it's Sachin's belief, determination and passion for the game that truly marks him out as one of the sport's greatest superstars. He's always hungry for victory, he wants to win, and he wants to uphold the honour of India through even the toughest of situations. And that's great about him. It was only when I visited India that I fully appreciated just how important cricket is to the country. In Sachin, the country has a superstar of whom it can be hugely proud - not only is he a national sporting hero, but he is also one of the world's greatest sportsmen. (The writer drives for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and won the Formula One championship in 2008)
Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/report_sachin-is-one-of-world-s-greatest-sportsmen_1310934

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Bradman wouldn't be Don if he had played for 20 years- David Frith

Don Bradman played till he was 40. By then he was not a fit man. He had lost the war years and was never quite the same batsman after 1938. It is reasonable to suppose that had he been subjected to the intensive workload and travel of today's cricketers over the 20 years separating his first Test and his last (52 Tests only), he would not have averaged 99.94. Just how many runs and centuries he might have amassed is anyone's guess -- in one-day cricket as well as first-class -- not forgetting T20. I'm sure he would have "had a ball" but the average must surely have suffered. The very fact that we are analysing the supreme Don alongside Sachin Tendulkar speaks volumes I think. I first saw Tendulkar bat in the Old Trafford Test in 1990 when as a 17-year-old he registered his first Test century. It was a breathtaking performance by one so young and small. He won the Man of the Match award and was given a large bottle of champagne. We heard him shyly tell the presenter, in his boyish voice, that he didn't drink! That hundred saved India and it ranks with a handful of brilliant performances by young cricketers such as Archie Jackson, who stroked 164 on Ashes debut in Adelaide in 1929. If somebody had asked me in 1990 if this wonderful little batsman would still be around 20 years later, I would have been strongly inclined to say: "No chance". I last saw him "live" in the Sydney Test in January 2004 when he made a small matter of 241 not out and 60 not out. India made 705/7 and Tendulkar put on 353 with VVS (Laxman). And Australia wondered what was going on. It was like Bradman was back, only playing for the wrong side. I've watched Tendulkar many times since on television. He seems a permanent part of my life. His maturity was evident at the age of 17. Has anybody thought to check his birth certificate?! The standard features of Sachin, I'd say, are his dignity and a lack of flashiness. What separates him from the rest, apart from his exquisite skill, is that dignity. The exhibitionists should think hard about what type of player enhances this wonderful game best. Had Tendulkar been an Englishman it's hard to see how he could have broken into international cricket much before he was 20 or so. More young cricketers have been blooded by England's selectors than is generally realised but Brian Close, at 18, remains the youngest ever and I think Sachin might have had to hang around another couple of years had he not been an Indian. That first Test century of his remains, I think, the most vivid memory for me -- allied with that Sydney double-century which provided a sort of completion of a wonderful pair of brackets -- though I'm glad to see him marching on still further. I like his cover drive. It is the mark of class, and it's astonishing how one so diminutive can get over the ball and lash it through the covers. There is certainly a romanticism in his batting that amazes the purist in me. Today batsmanship is vigorous, aggressive and sometimes ugly and violent: but not from this little genius. The writer is a formereditor of Wisden Cricket Monthly --As told to Vijay Tagore
Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/sport/report_bradman-wouldn-t-be-don-if-he-had-played-for-20-years_1310933

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The League Of One- TOI editorial

As Sachin Tendulkar completes 20 years in international cricket on Sunday, it is time to go beyond cricketscape to fully comprehend his contribution to India's sporting history. Sir Donald Bradman too had played international cricket for nearly two decades between 1929 and 1948. However, with not more than a handful of Test matches scheduled per year and with no ODIs and T-20 matches cramping the cricket calendar then, let alone the IPL, his body hadn't endured half of what Sachin's has. This statistic coupled with the pressure of a billion expectations that Sachin has played under in each of his 159 Tests and 435 ODIs makes him the greatest-ever sportsman to have played the game. In fact, it is now passe to suggest that Sachin is India's greatest-ever cricketer. Rather, it is time to step up the comparison and compare him with the world's greatest, to come to terms with his place in the global sporting pantheon. At a time when Sachin emerged on the international scene in 1989, India was gradually falling prey to escalating international and domestic tensions. Kashmir was on the boil, ULFA was eating into the edifice of Assam and the demand for Gorkhaland was gathering momentum in Bengal. It wouldn't be wrong to say that our democracy was at risk and the concept of Indianness was being threatened by secessionists and insurgents. In this atmosphere of growing political instability, Sachin emerged, someone who helped us feel uniquely Indian everytime he stepped out into the middle to espouse the national sporting cause. Be it at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, at the Kotla in Delhi or at Chepauk in Chennai or indeed any stadium in this country he was always greeted with the same intensity and cheer. He helped carve out a truly pan-Indian imagined community. It is this singular contribution that places him on the same pedestal as a Jackie Robinson or a Jesse Owens. While Robinson's breaking the colour line in 1947 justly continues to be hailed as a huge breakthrough in major league baseball and went a long way to address the race issue in America, Owens standing up against the Nazi might in 1936 remains a significant sporting fairytale. His achievement helped in giving coloured sportspersons a respectability they had craved for years. Sachin's case is somewhat similar. Just as the nation was reeling under the impact of the Mumbai terror attacks and needed something to lift the collective national spirit, Sachin scored a match-winning fourth innings century at Chennai against the English in December 2008. His determination to do it "for India" was sure to rub off on every Indian sports fan. His gesture of dedicating the century to the memory of the victims of 26/11 did much to elevate Indian sport to a different level. He provided a salve for a troubled nation. Sachin's innings of 136 against Pakistan at Chennai in 1999, while suffering from severe back pain, was a pointer to his dedication to playing for the nation's cause. Kargil wasn't a far-away memory. The resilience and the will to fight were what we most wanted to see in our icons. Striving for success for the country at times of adversity while enduring maximum pain was the best message Sachin could offer his fellow citizens. If Chennai 1999 ended in tragedy, with India losing the match by a meagre 12 runs, Centurion, South Africa, in March 2003 marked a spectacular resurgence. In one of the most intensely fought World Cup encounters in the history of the competition, India triumphed over Pakistan thanks to Sachin's 78-ball 98. The impact was such that he was worshipped across the country alongside Lord Shiva on Shivratri. Sachin's aura isn't restricted to Indians at home. In the ever-growing Indian diaspora, Indian professionals will inevitably have a desktop scorecard open on their computer monitors every time Sachin steps out to bat. It is an instant connect with things Indian that helps unite the diverse but powerful Indian community in the West. While we can compare Sachin with legends like Nadia Commaneci, or more recently Usain Bolt, it is important to remember that Sachin is member of a collective and for a large part of his career has had to wage his battle with a mediocre team behind him. While Shane Warne had a Glenn McGrath or a Jason Gillespie to back him all through his career, Sachin, for most of the 1990s, was India's only answer to the best that world cricket hurled at us. For those who still need convincing of his stature as India's best-ever cricketer, his stay at the top of world cricket for 20 long years is the answer. Two long decades at the helm of international cricket, and still counting.
Source:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/The-League-Of-One/articleshow/5223802.cms

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20 years on, India icon Tendulkar takes fresh guard- by Kuldip Lal

NEW DELHI — Sachin Tendulkar begins a third decade in world cricket next week, insisting he is still as passionate to play for India as he was as a wide-eyed teenager 20 years ago. "My love for cricket and the honour of playing for my country have kept me motivated all these years," said Tendulkar, 36, ahead of the first Test against Sri Lanka starting in Ahmedabad on Monday. "Cricket is my life and I am lucky and absolutely honoured that I have been able to wear the India cap for 20 years." The Ahmedabad match will be Tendulkar's 160th Test appearance -- surpassed only by retired former Australian captain Steve Waugh's tally of 168 -- since his debut aged 16 against Pakistan in Karachi on November 15, 1989. He has risen to become the world's most successful batsman in both Test and one-day cricket, a result of both his unparalled genius with the bat and amazing longevity in the game. The world was a different place when Tendulkar began. No one sent e-mails or browsed the world wide web, Nelson Mandela was still in jail, the Soviet Union had not broken up and mobile phones had not become a way of life. When he started, Tendulkar's current captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was an eight-year-old schoolboy and team-mates Ravindra Jadeja and Virat Kohli were barely a few months old. "We call him 'grandpa' in the dressing room," joked compatriot Yuvraj Singh. "But he is just amazing. He has achieved everything there is to achieve, but still wants to improve with every game. "Frankly, I can't think of an Indian team without Tendulkar." Among post-war cricketers whose careers spanned 20 years were Pakistanis Imran Khan and Mushtaq Mohammad, West Indian Garfield Sobers, Colin Cowdrey of England and Bobby Simpson of Australia. But Tendulkar has scaled the summit, scoring more Test runs (12,773) and centuries (42), and more one-day runs (17,178) and hundreds (45) than any other batsman. And he is not done yet. One of his cherished dreams is to win the World Cup in front of millions of worshipping home fans when India co-hosts the 2011 showpiece with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Tendulkar has appeared in five World Cups and helped India reach the final in South Africa in 2003, but Sourav Ganguly's men failed to emulate Kapil Dev's winning feat in England in 1983. Tendulkar, born in a middle-class family of a Marathi novelist and named after famous Bollywood music director Sachin Dev Burman, is a multi-millionaire in a country where he is revered like a demi-god. But retirement has not even crossed his mind despite the wear and tear of a 20-year grind that has left him nursing injuries to the shoulder, elbow, back, hamstring and feet. "I know there is lot of cricket left in me because I am still enjoying it," said Tendulkar. "I am not thinking of retirement. At some stage, I will have to, but I don't need to think of it right now." Team-mates and rivals alike rejoice at his feats. Australian spin legend Shane Warne rated Tendulkar as number one on his list of 50 contemporary cricketers prepared for the London-based Times newspaper. Former captain Ganguly calls him "the king of cricket", West Indian great Viv Richards, one of Tendulkar's childhood heroes, regards him as "99.5 percent perfect." Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara says the Indian is the "greatest modern cricketer." For his countless fans, Tendulkar is a joy to behold. For there may never be another like him again.
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gZe7uELTJ9I4XtNt6nMg1aQVBI5A

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Not a run machine- Rajdeep Sardesai, Editor-in-Chief , IBN Network

Where were you on November 15, 1989? I know where I was: glued to the TV watching a 16-year-old boy with curls and rosy cheeks take on Pakistan’s fast bowlers. Twenty years later, the locks are showing a hint of grey but Sachin Tendulkar is still doing what he does best: score runs for India. Much has changed in the world around us in the last 20 years. One thing hasn’t: the presence of Tendulkar on the cricket crease. Remember 1989? It was the year that the Berlin Wall fell, Rajiv Gandhi lost the general elections and V.P. Singh was transformed into a middle-class hero. It was the year that the militant’s gun first echoed in the Kashmir Valley while the bugle of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was sounded in Ayodhya. In 1989, $500 was your forex limit, Manmohan Singh was far from being the finance minister, there were no private TV news channels and India was still struggling with the Hindu rate of growth. To many Indians of my generation, there is only one link between then and now: the batsmanship of Tendulkar. Forget the runs and the records. That is for historians and statisticians. For the genuine cricket fan, Tendulkar has always been much more than a run machine: he has played the game the way it was meant to be played — with passion, unbridled enthusiasm and, above all, dignity. It’s true that the gay abandon with which he lit into Abdul Qadir on his first tour to Pakistan has given way to a more methodical approach to batting. Yet, as he showed in Hyderabad, the core of his being is still in playing attacking cricket. Incredibly, even towards the end of his epic, he was running faster than his partners who were almost half his age. It can’t have been easy. Cricket’s history is littered with stories of prodigies who never quite made the transition to the big league. Not only did Tendulkar make the great leap, but he did it in the span of less than two years. Lesser men would have simply buckled under when hit on the face as he was in the first series by a Waqar bouncer. But he didn’t. In that one fleeting moment, when he dusted himself up, a teenager became a man. We all have our favourite Tendulkar moment: was it the sliced cut off Shoaib Akhtar for a six in the 2003 world cup? Maybe, it was the emotional century within a week of his father’s death? Or was it his demolition of Shane Warne in Chennai? Or the Sharjah innings that remains his signature one-day knock? Or the double century in Sydney? Or the match-winning innings last year against England within weeks of the 26/11 terror? When you’ve scored a staggering 87 international centuries, then picking a single cricketing achievement isn’t easy. But his real achievement is beyond the boundary. We live in an age of instant stardom and mini-celebrities, where fame is an intoxicant that can easily consume the best of us. Sachin, remarkably, has been almost untouched by the fact that he is contemporary India’s biggest icon, arguably bigger than even an Amitabh Bachchan or a Shah Rukh Khan. As Khan revealed in an interview, at a party there was a big noise when Big B entered. Then, Sachin entered the hall and Bachchan was leading the queue to grab hold of the cricket champion! Through the many highs and a few lows, Tendulkar’s balance has never wavered both on and off the field, driven by a single-minded devotion to the game. He has avoided controversy, remaining a private individual. He may not have gone to college, but life has perhaps taught him more than he could have ever learnt there. He is aware of his commercial value but his badge of identity is that he is the Maharashtrian middle-class boy who has remained true to his roots. He may lack the gravitas of Sunil Gavaskar, but on cricketing matters he can be just as articulate. In a sense, the passing of the baton from Gavaskar to Tendulkar represents the coming of age of Indian cricket and a new India. Gavaskar was the architect, who built every innings with a clinical precision, that perhaps was symbolic of a Nehruvian India when neither Indian cricket nor the country could afford any form of extravagance. Tendulkar is the free-spirited artist who bats with the freedom of an India unshackled of its socialist baggage, where cricket is now part of a lucrative entertainment industry. So, how much longer will Tendulkar continue? Sir Don Bradman, statistically the greatest-ever batsman, played for Australia for 20 years, interrupted by war and benefiting from the fact that cricket was then a seasonal sport. Sachin, whom the great Don likened to himself, has been playing virtually non-stop for two decades in the most high-pressure environment that modern sport can throw up. Maybe, the body is creaking a little, but the mind doesn’t seem to have given up yet. Maybe, the goal of the 2011 World Cup is still the ultimate motivation. Of course, he will retire one day, but till he does, we must savour the magic. A banner in Sharjah once said it all, “I will see God when I die, but till then I will see Sachin!” Amen.
Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Not-a-run-machine/H1-Article1-475748.aspx

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Tendulkar@20: Gavaskar pays tribute

In November 1989, a 16-year-old from Mumbai made the most anticipated debut in the history of Indian cricket. In November 2009, that boy was 36, but he was still batting and battling for India, playing an innings which left those who saw it breathless. In 20 years, Sachin Tendulkar has become a constant indulgence. Superlatives fail those who go in search of them. Tendulkar at Twenty is a modern colossus, a genius beyond compare: the boy from Bandra who lorded over the cricketing world. CNN-IBN celebrated two decades of Sachin Tendulkar's glorious international career with Sunil Gavaskar on a special edition of Sunny Side Up. Tendulkar owns almost all the records in the cricketing world, but this is an achievement of playing two decades of international cricket, and he still wants to keep playing. "Apart from Sir Garfield Sobers, nobody has played 20 years of international cricket," Gavaskar told CNN-IBN in a tribute to Tendulkar. "Playing at the highest level and playing to the highest standards for 20 years is an achievement beyond compare." "No praise can be too high for this young man," he added. "He is young, because as far as his enthusiasm for the game is concerned, he is almost child-like. That's what is keeping him going on and on, and I hope he keeps going on for a few more years." When he quit the game, Gavaskar spoke openly of how his desire to play was waning. What keeps Tendulkar going? "The way he played that innings (of 175 against Australia) at Hyderabad and the emotions that he expressed after India missed out by just three runs, I don't think it's waning," he said. "It is an indication that he is enjoying the game thoroughly, and as long as he is doing that, he will continue to play. "The moment the game starts to get a little tedious or monotonous or something which he doesn't quite enjoy, I think he will be the first one to quit," Gavaskar added. There has been a Bradman, there's been a Garry Sobers, there has been a Sunil Gavaskar, Shane Warne, Viv Richards. Is Tendulkar the greatest cricketer to ever play the game? Gavaskar doesn't quite agree.
Source: http://cricketnext.in.com/news/tendulkar20-gavaskar-pays-tribute/45080-18.html

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Tendulkar is god of Indian cricket- Kiran More

Former India stumper Kiran More, who played in the 1989 Test against Pakistan in which Sachin Tendulkar made his debut, pays tribute to the legend. Though I had heard a lot about a 14-year-old Mumbai lad with loads of talent, it was only during the 1989 tour of Pakistan that I got a good look at the future face of India cricket and my first impression was ‘this lad is really amazing and will go a long way’. An India-Pak series is always an high intensity series and the players, especially the younger ones, are normally tense and slightly nervous as they know fully well that it would be a make-or-break series for them but not this little fellow from Mumbai, who was on the contrary, oozing with confidence and was eagerly looking forward to facing the than most feared fast bowlers in the world – Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Not many fast bowlers would have given a second look at the curly haired, chubby faced young lad always interested in practicing with a tennis ball thrown at him from all angles. But the Indian players had already heard about his talent and knew quite well that the pocket dynamo was ready to explode given a chance. In fact Sachin was so confident of making his debut in the match, his mere presence in the dressing room had made quite a few seniors a bit nervous about their chances of playing in the final eleven. He was dynamic, highly potential and was like a rocket ready to explode into the skies. He was mentally very strong, like most of the Mumbai players are, that he could grasp all the advices given to him by the seniors and wanted to know the strong points as well as the weaknesses of the opposition players. His body language had to be seen to be believed and gave an impression as if he was playing international cricket since he was born. In my mind, I had no doubt about Sachin Tendulkar would serve the country for a long, long time though nobody must have expected him to last for two decades. He could manage it simply because of his fearless approach to the game and his ability to bounce back from career threatening injuries. I was also aware that young Sachin would invariably be compared, as he grew in status, with the little master Sunny Gavaskar as they were both identical in many ways. Both were small built with curly hair, both had all the strokes in the game, both could concentrate for hours together and more importantly both had a positive body language while facing the best of spinners or the fast bowlers in the world. Perhaps the only difference I can point out is that Sachin is more aggressive and hungry for runs than Sunny, who was more patient and would build his innings brick by brick. Whenever, we speak about Sachin, we praise only his batting and forget that he is a very talented bowler and one of the finest fielders I have seen. Not many know that Tendulkar loves to practice his bowling as much as his batting in the nets. I have found him to be a very hard worker and enjoy his fielding as much as he enjoys his batting and bowling. I remember during his early days as an international cricketer, he and Ajay Jadeja used to compete against each other to save runs and effect run outs and it was very difficult to pick a winner between them. Sachin Tendulkar has been criticized for his captaincy and later for not accepting it but I can tell you the captaincy was offered to him at a very early stage of his career and I am sure if he had got the opportunity to lead say a couple of years later in his career, he would certainly have succeeded and probably would have ended up being one of the best in the country. Not leading the country for a longer period of time has proved to be a blessing in disguise for the Indian team who have benefitted immensely. To me he is a perfect cricketer, whose innovative batting in the One-Dayers has led to more innovations by the Twenty20 players around the world. The best thing about Sachin is whatever he does, he does it in style and all the youngsters in the present Indian team have benefitted with his advice at some point of time in their career. I think all the hard work he has put in as a youngster has also helped him to keep himself fit and I am sure he will continue to entertain the world as long as he enjoys the game. I call Tendulkar the god of Indian cricket simply because he has made cricket popular among all ages and in a way has changed the face of cricket in the world. A cricketer of his caliber is born only once in a century and we are lucky and proud that he is an Indian.
Source: http://cricketnext.in.com/news/tendulkar-is-god-of-indian-cricket/45031-13-2.html

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Playing for India my greatest pride: Tendulkar

Mumbai: Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged his international debut in Pakistan in 1989 as the most important moment of his life. Speaking at a press conference to mark his completing two decades in international cricket, the Little Master said, "playing for India for the first time" was the most important moment for him. "Playing for India for the first time was the most important moment for me," he said, adding that the innings against Pakistan at the 2003 World Cup was his best knock. Playing for the country was my childhood dream and I have fulfilled my dream. I am fortunate to have played for my country for so many years," he added. Asked what changes have occurred in the game in the 20 years of his career, Tendulkar picked the advent of Twenty20, television assistance for umpiring decisions and batting innovations as the major changes that have taken place. "From 1989, the game has changed a lot from the introduction of third umpire and Hot Spot system to the introduction of Twenty20 and so many things," he said. "The most significant is that lot of innovative shots which were earlier occasionally used but left are being played by the batsmen now," Tendulkar said. "There is a lot more risk taking by the players now. Because of this, the total in the one-dayers have increased. Nowadays, 275 on a good pitch is not a great score. "The same is the case in Test also. There are a lot more results now than in the past. Earlier, people used to get bored of Test cricket because there were few results but nowadays there has been more results and that has made it more entertaining," said the 36-year-old champion batsman. Asked how much has changed in his game in the 20 years, Tendulkar said, "I have changed a lot. I am trying to improve myself every game. It is a never ending process as everyday is a fresh challenge. So it is hard job to be on your toes everytime." "A combination of factors made me remain focussed on the game. My parents, brothers, sisters and wife supported me all through. My mother does not know cricket but will pray for my success and for the country. I discussed cricket with my elder brother a lot. The other brother and the sister also supported me. With my wife, I talk about cricket to her also and that is the main reason why I was able to last such a long time," he said. "Above all, the affection and support from the cricket fans of the country was immense. You need people to share your success and I have more than a billion people. That is more than enough for me," Tendulkar said. Since his debut Test against Pakistan in 1989, Tendulkar has played 159 Tests, scoring 12,773 runs with 42 centuries at an average of 54.58. From the 436 ODI matches he played since December 19, 1989 against Pakistan in Gujranwala, he had amassed 17,178 runs at an average of 44.50 with 45 hundreds.
Source: http://cricketnext.in.com/news/playing-for-india-my-greatest-pride-tendulkar/45122-13.html

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A Tribute by Geet Sethi At the pinnacle of his career, yet grounded seq7hi.jpg Geet Sethi I interacted with Sachin a few years ago in Bangalore. I was invited by the Indian cricket board to give a talk to the Indian team during their camp there, just before they were to leave for a tour of Australia. I talked about concentration and focus and about techniques to build concentration. I remember him as being most earnest, genuinely interested in the talk. 90un7t.jpg In fact, he was the only one who came to me later and wanted to talk more about the subject and sharing a situation similar to what I had referred to during the talk. His intensity, willingness to listen and, most importantly, his calm impressed me tremendously. Here was a guy at the pinnacle of his profession, which had made him unarguably the most famous person in India. Yet, he was completely grounded, completely at ease with himself and so very earnest and enthusiastic. (Geet Sethi is a former six-time world professional billiards champion) A Tribute by Sunil Harshe 102mqmp.jpg Some people are lucky to be rich. Some people are lucky to be born intelligent. Given our belief in destiny and the virtues of past lives, I think I probably did something very good to be Sachin’s friend in this one. In good and bad times, Sachin has always been there, to help out in some way or just to provide comfort. Beyond that public persona, is just a very regular guy, friendly, impassioned, loving. e0lbo2.jpg For instance, Sachin is not just father to his children. He is their friend. But, he insists on certain things with them. Like, the fact that both kids call him baba (father in Marathi). Growing up in a society (Sahitya Sahawas) full of literary stalwarts, Sachin chose cricket instead, that in itself was out of the ordinary. He chose his career at the age of 10 and then became a totally different Sachin. He was from a middle-class family and it was after Sungrace Mafatlal took him on, that he got to see new pads, new bats. His first seasoned bat though, his sister got him from Kashmir. He comes from a close-knit family and enjoys spending time with his friends. Among the things he loved was watching Marathi comedy movies. His favourite actors were Laxmikant Berde and Ashok Saraf. Even now, whenever Sachin has the time and is in Mumbai, we go out to the movies. The other thing about him is that he loves junk food! But he’s also a fabulous cook and loves experimenting with different cooking methods and styles. He’s quite precise in his preparations for cooking, much like he is in cricket. It’s also quite amazing to see that it’s been 20 years since he first made his debut. May God be with him and give him and his family good health. (Sunil Harshe, Sachin’s childhood friend from Sahitya Sahawas, spoke to G. Krishnan) A tribute by Rajdeep Sardesai Not a run machine rajdeep.jpg Rajdeep Sardesai Tendulkar is a free-spirited artist who bats with the freedom of an India unshackled of its socialist baggage Where were you on November 15, 1989? I know where I was: glued to the TV watching a 16-year-old boy with curls and rosy cheeks take on Pakistan’s fast bowlers. Twenty years later, the locks are showing a hint of grey but Sachin Tendulkar is still doing what he does best: score runs for India. Much has changed in the world around us in the last 20 years. One thing hasn’t: the presence of Tendulkar on the cricket crease. Remember 1989? It was the year that the Berlin Wall fell, Rajiv Gandhi lost the general elections and V.P. Singh was transformed into a middle-class hero. It was the year that the militant’s gun first echoed in the Kashmir Valley while the bugle of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement was sounded in Ayodhya. In 1989, $500 was your forex limit, Manmohan Singh was far from being the finance minister, there were no private TV news channels and India was still struggling with the Hindu rate of growth. To many Indians of my generation, there is only one link between then and now: the batsmanship of Tendulkar. Forget the runs and the records. That is for historians and statisticians. For the genuine cricket fan, Tendulkar has always been much more than a run machine: he has played the game the way it was meant to be played — with passion, unbridled enthusiasm and, above all, dignity. It’s true that the gay abandon with which he lit into Abdul Qadir on his first tour to Pakistan has given way to a more methodical approach to batting. Yet, as he showed in Hyderabad, the core of his being is still in playing attacking cricket. Incredibly, even towards the end of his epic, he was running faster than his partners who were almost half his age. It can’t have been easy. Cricket’s history is littered with stories of prodigies who never quite made the transition to the big league. Not only did Tendulkar make the great leap, but he did it in the span of less than two years. Lesser men would have simply buckled under when hit on the face as he was in the first series by a Waqar bouncer. But he didn’t. In that one fleeting moment, when he dusted himself up, a teenager became a man. We all have our favourite Tendulkar moment: was it the sliced cut off Shoaib Akhtar for a six in the 2003 world cup? Maybe, it was the emotional century within a week of his father’s death? Or was it his demolition of Shane Warne in Chennai? Or the Sharjah innings that remains his signature one-day knock? Or the double century in Sydney? Or the match-winning innings last year against England within weeks of the 26/11 terror? When you’ve scored a staggering 87 international centuries, then picking a single cricketing achievement isn’t easy. But his real achievement is beyond the boundary. We live in an age of instant stardom and mini-celebrities, where fame is an intoxicant that can easily consume the best of us. Sachin, remarkably, has been almost untouched by the fact that he is contemporary India’s biggest icon, arguably bigger than even an Amitabh Bachchan or a Shah Rukh Khan. As Khan revealed in an interview, at a party there was a big noise when Big B entered. Then, Sachin entered the hall and Bachchan was leading the queue to grab hold of the cricket champion! Through the many highs and a few lows, Tendulkar’s balance has never wavered both on and off the field, driven by a single-minded devotion to the game. He has avoided controversy, remaining a private individual. He may not have gone to college, but life has perhaps taught him more than he could have ever learnt there. He is aware of his commercial value but his badge of identity is that he is the Maharashtrian middle-class boy who has remained true to his roots. He may lack the gravitas of Sunil Gavaskar, but on cricketing matters he can be just as articulate. In a sense, the passing of the baton from Gavaskar to Tendulkar represents the coming of age of Indian cricket and a new India. Gavaskar was the architect, who built every innings with a clinical precision, that perhaps was symbolic of a Nehruvian India when neither Indian cricket nor the country could afford any form of extravagance. Tendulkar is the free-spirited artist who bats with the freedom of an India unshackled of its socialist baggage, where cricket is now part of a lucrative entertainment industry. So, how much longer will Tendulkar continue? Sir Don Bradman, statistically the greatest-ever batsman, played for Australia for 20 years, interrupted by war and benefiting from the fact that cricket was then a seasonal sport. Sachin, whom the great Don likened to himself, has been playing virtually non-stop for two decades in the most high-pressure environment that modern sport can throw up. Maybe, the body is creaking a little, but the mind doesn’t seem to have given up yet. Maybe, the goal of the 2011 World Cup is still the ultimate motivation. Of course, he will retire one day, but till he does, we must savour the magic. A banner in Sharjah once said it all, “I will see God when I die, but till then I will see Sachin!” Amen. Rajdeep Sardesai is Editor-in-Chief , IBN Network

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Is Sachin Tendulkar the greatest schoolboy cricketer ever ? [21 years old article] Author's note: This piece was written 21 years ago for Sportsworld magazine (and was only retrieved thanks to Mudar Patherya, who was a young cricket writer then). Sachin Tendulkar was 15, a year and a half away from playing Test cricket and four months short of his first-class debut. I was not yet 27, in an advertising job out of business school, with one Test match and a handful of one-dayers on Doordarshan behind me. We were both looking ahead in our own spheres. What a time it was, it was, a time of innocence... All of Bombay's maidans are a stage. Where every cricketer has a role to play. And his seems to be the blockbuster. Ever since he unveiled Act One early last year, audiences have been waiting, a little too eagerly at times, to watch the next scene. Sachin Tendulkar is only, so far, acting in a high-school production. Yet critics have gone to town. And rave reviews have not stopped coming in. I guess it can only happen in Bombay. That a schoolboy cricketer sometimes becomes the talk of the town. Why, at the end of every day's play in the final of Bombay's Harris Shield (for Under 17s) everybody wanted to know how many he had made. For he does bat three days sometimes! And for all the publicity he has received, Sachin Tendulkar is really still a kid. He only completed 15 on 24 April. And is very shy. Opening out only after you have coaxed him for some time. As his coach Mr Achrekar says, "Aata thoda bolaila laglai" [He's started talking a bit now]. And it's then that you realise that his voice has not yet cracked. His record is awesome. He has scored far more runs than all of us scored looking dreamily out of the window in a boring Social Studies class when we were his age. For a prodigy, he started late. When he was nine years old. And it was only in 1984-85 that he scored his first school-level fifty. But 1985-86 was a little better. He scored his first Harris Shield hundred and played for Bombay in the Vijay Merchant (Under-15) tournament. And 1986-87 was when he blossomed. Still only 13, he led his school, Shardashram Vidyamandir, to victory in the Giles Shield (for Under-15s). He scored three centuries - 158*, 156 and 197 - and then in the Harris Shield scored 276, 123 and 150. In all, he scored nine hundreds, including two double hundreds, a total of 2336 runs. By now everyone had begun to sit up and take notice. The beginning of the 1987-88 season saw Sachin at the Ranji nets. Once again the top players were away playing Tests and perhaps the Bombay selectors felt it wouldn't be a bad idea to give Sachin first-hand experience of a higher category of cricket. He was named in the 14 for the first couple of games, and manager Sandeep Patil kept sending him out whenever possible - for a glass of water or a change of gloves. All along Sachin probably knew that he was still at best a curiosity, and that while Bombay was giving him every blooding opportunity, he had to prove himself on the maidans. And that is exactly what he did. Season 1987-88 was a purple patch that never ended. Playing in the Vijay Merchant tournament he scored 130 and 107 and then at the Inter-Zonal stage he made 117 against the champions, East Zone. Then in the Vijay Hazare tournament (for Under-17s) he scored 175 for West Zone against champions East Zone. Then came the avalanche. A 178* in the Giles Shield and a sequence in the Harris Shield of 21*, 125, 207*, 329* and 346*! A small matter of 1028 runs in five innings! And in the course of that innings of 329* he set the much talked-about record of 664 for the third wicket with Vinod Kambli, who, it is not always realised, scored 348*. Perhaps the most fascinating of them all was the innings of 346*. Coming immediately, as it did, in the shadow of the world record, a lot of people were curious to see him bat. Sachin ended the first day on 122, batted through the second to finish with 286, and when the innings closed around lunch on the third day, he was 346*. And then came back to bowl the first ball. In April's Bombay summer. "People don't realise that he is just 15. They keep calling him for some felicitation or the other. The other day he was asked to inaugurate a children's library. This is ridiculous. These things are bound to go to his head. He will start thinking he has achieved everything." Tendulkar's coach, Ramakant Achrekar But when did this story begin? Like all children, Tendulkar took to playing "galli" cricket. His brother Ajit was a good player and persuaded Mr Achrekar, probably Bombay's most famous coach, to look at him. Achrekar recalls, "When he first came to my net four-five years ago, he looked just like any other boy and I didn't take him seriously. Then one day I saw him bat in an adjacent net. He was trying to hit every ball but I noted that he was middling all of them. Some time later he got a fifty and a friend of mine, who was umpiring that game, came and told me that this boy would play for India. I laughed at him and said that there were so many boys like him in my net. But he insisted. 'Mark my words, he will play for India.' My friend is dead now but I'm waiting to see if his prophecy comes true.' Tendulkar is taking first steps towards getting there. He discovered that his house, being in Bandra, would not allow him to be at Shivaji Park whenever he wanted. He now spends most of his time at his uncle's house, just off this nursery of Bombay cricket. When he is not actually playing, that is. Quite often, he is playing all day; important because it has helped him build the stamina to play long innings. "I don't get tired," he says, referring to them. "If you practise every day, you get used to it." And what about that world-record innings? "I could bat very freely then because my partner Vinod Kambli was batting so well that I knew that even if I failed, he would get enough runs for the side." Isn't there a lot of pressure on him now? Everyone assumes he will get a big score? "Only in the beginning. Till I get set. Once I get set, I don't think of anything." Wasn't he thrilled at being invited to the Ranji nets? "Definitely. After playing there I got a lot of confidence." Everything in Tendulkar's life has so far revolved around cricket. Including his choice of school. A few years back he shifted to Shardashram Vidyamandir, only so that he could come under the eye of Achrekar. "It helped me tremendously because 'sir's' guidance is so good," he says. Strangely his parents were never very keen about cricket. His brother Ajit says, "They were not very interested in the game, though they gave him all the encouragement. You see, in our colony all parents were training their children to be engineers and doctors. And they would say, "Gallit khelun cricketer hoto kai?" [You don't become a cricketer by playing in the alleys]. I am so happy he is doing well because now people think he is doing something." The question that arises then, given all the publicity is: Just how good is Sachin Tendulkar? "For his age, unbelievable," says Sharad Kotnis, Bombay's veteran cricket watcher. "He is definitely comparable to Ashok Mankad, who had a similar run many years ago. But remember Ashok had cricket running in his family and his father often came to see him play. I think Tendulkar's strongest point is that he is willing to work very hard." Luckily for Sachin, there is a calming influence over him, just so he doesn't get carried away by this acclaim. His coach Achrekar knows exactly what he is talking about. "He is not perfect yet. Far from it. In fact, I would say he is not even halfway there. He still has a lot of faults, particularly while driving through the on, which is an indicator of a class batsman. He still has a long way to go, but what I like about him is his ability to work hard. I don't think we should get carried away by his scores. After all, one has to take into account the nature of the wicket and the quality of the bowlers. By his standards the quality of the bowling he faced was not good enough. "His real test will come this year when he plays in the 'A' Division of the Kanga League. [sachin will play for the Cricket Club of India, which for him has waived the stipulation that children under 18 are not allowed inside the Club House!] He should get 70s and 80s there and not just 20s and 30s; particularly towards the end of the season, when the wickets get better." Sachin Tendulkar with his coach Ramakant Achrekar in the mid-1980s Tendulkar as a wee thing with coach Ramakant Achrekar © Unknown Achrekar, in fact, is quite upset about the publicity Sachin is getting. "People don't realise that he is just 15. They keep calling him for some felicitation or the other. The other day he was asked to inaugurate a children's library. This is ridiculous. These things are bound to go to his head. He will start thinking he has achieved everything. I hope all this stops so he can concentrate and work hard." Yet both Achrekar and Kotnis agree on when they think Sachin will become a Ranji regular. "I think he should be playing the Ranji Trophy next year. I think it is unfair to compare him to the [Lalchand] Rajputs and [Alan] Sippys yet, but I think he should play next year," feels Kotnis. And Achrekar adds, "Inspite of what I said about him, if he maintains this kind of progress, he should play the Ranji next year." Clearly the curtain call is still a long way off for Sachin Tendulkar. He has a lot of things going for him. Most importantly he is in Bombay, where the sheer atmosphere can propel him ahead. In how many cities would a 15-year-old be presented a Gunn and Moore by the Indian captain? And in which other city would the world's highest run-getter write to a 15-year-old asking him not to get disheartened at not getting the Best Junior Cricketer award? Sunil Gavaskar wrote to Tendulkar to tell him that several years earlier another youngster too had not got the award and that he didn't do too badly in Test cricket. For him the letter from his hero is a prized possession. Another great moment was a meeting with him where "… he told me that I should forget the past every time I go to bat. I should always remember that I have to score runs each time." He is in the right company. And the right environment. The next few years will show whether he has it in him the mental toughness to overcome the over-exposure. If it does not go to his head, surely there is a great future beckoning. This is really just the beginning and I will be watching this little star with avid interest for the next three years. If he is still charting blockbusters, I'd love to do another review then. Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer. This article was first published in Sportsworld magazine in 1988 http://www.cricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/434247.html

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'Proud' Maharashtrian Sachin says Mumbai belongs to all Indians Even as politicians in Maharashtra like Raj Thackeray are increasingly using the "Marathi Manoos" card, iconic Mumbaikar Sachin Tendulkar on Friday walked a middle path and said the financial capital belonged to India. "Mumbai belongs to India. I am a Maharashtrian and proud to be a Maharashtrian, but I am also an Indian," said Tendulkar to a specific query at a media meet here on the eve of completing 20 years in international cricket. Tendulkar made his international debut against Pakistan in the first Test at Karachi in 1989 and is all set to play his 160th Test against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad, the venue of the first Test of a three-match series, on November 16. :adore: LINK

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'Proud' Maharashtrian Sachin says Mumbai belongs to all Indians Even as politicians in Maharashtra like Raj Thackeray are increasingly using the "Marathi Manoos" card, iconic Mumbaikar Sachin Tendulkar on Friday walked a middle path and said the financial capital belonged to India. "Mumbai belongs to India. I am a Maharashtrian and proud to be a Maharashtrian, but I am also an Indian," said Tendulkar to a specific query at a media meet here on the eve of completing 20 years in international cricket. Tendulkar made his international debut against Pakistan in the first Test at Karachi in 1989 and is all set to play his 160th Test against Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad, the venue of the first Test of a three-match series, on November 16. :adore: LINK
This is one guy Raj Thackray will not take panga with.

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Sachin fit to be an ambassador Ali Bacher _38782537_bacher203copy.jpg I met Sachin for the first time when South Africa played their first ever One- Day International on Indian soil at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on the 1991 tour. He scored 62 to win the game for India. I remember walking into the Indian change room to say well done to him. I have followed his progress since and have met him many, many times. Sachin is one of the greatest players the world has seen. But the most important thing for me is Sachin Tendulkar the person. His feet are on the ground, he's humble, he's respectful, and he never boasts about his achievements. He came to South Africa for medical treatment a few years ago. It was a Sunday and I took him out for lunch along with Lee Irvine, a great friend of mine who played Test cricket for South Africa along with me. After we dropped Sachin off, I remember Lee saying to me he could not believe the chap was so humble. He is an icon; he's a superstar. I have huge admiration for Sachin. If it was left to me, I would tell him ' Sachin, when you finish, I would like you to be the game's ambassador'. He is the ideal ambassador for world cricket and I would recommend him as strongly as I can. Not so much as to promote the game, but to promote the ethos, the culture and the good things about the game - what you do and what you don't do; what you say and what you don't say. He is a fantastic individual. A couple of years ago, I went to see Ratnakar Shetty ( BCCI's chief administrative administrator) and after he dialled Sachin's number I spoke to him. I told him, ' The last time I came here ( Mumbai) I went to your shop ( restaurant) to buy memorabilia for my eight grandchildren'. That night when I went to my hotel, I found there was stuff from him for my grandchildren, unannounced. He's an extraordinary person. I have no doubt that the media worldwide has tried to find skeletons in his cupboard. And I am sure they fished and fished, and found nothing. LINK

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Sach-a icon 2nkj5nc.jpg Mumbai: At 36 and 17,000 runs, Sachin Tendulkar continues to inspire children. In a DNA poll of 100 kids between the ages of 10 and 14, an impressive 40 percent voted for the cricket legend, making him a clear winner in our Kids Ka Icon Kaun poll. Most children said that he inspired them to be successful. Shah Rukh Khan, who narrowly lost out to Sachin Tendulkar, still remains a hot favourite. "He is an awesome actor and I love his hair-style," said 12-year-old Divya Kumar. Some children mentioned that the reason they idolised SRK was that he made 'lots of money'. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Kareena Kapoor (8 percent votes each) were favourites amongst girls. "She is very beautiful," said 10-year-old Dipti Shah when asked why she chose Kareena as her icon. Hrithik Roshan, who was a kiddie favourite since Koi Mil Gaya and Krissh, seems to have come down the popularity ladder, as has Aamir Khan after Taare Zameen Par. While tennis star Sania Mirza got 3 percent votes,the only businessman on the list was Anil Ambani (2 percent) and the only politician was Rahul Gandhi with 3 percent votes. LINK

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The Atlas who would not shrug - by Saurabh Somani Might be a bit over the top but i loved it... In Greek mythology, Atlas was the Titan who was cursed to hold the heavens on his shoulders, supporting the weight of the skies for all eternity. Ayn Rand thought this terribly unjust, and suggested that he didn't deserve the punishment, and he should shrug off the burden and end his suffering. In times to come, it is possible that the world Atlas would be replaced by a historical, non-mythological, living and breathing embodiment of the story. For twenty years, Sachin Tendulkar has given his blood, sweat and tears to Indian cricket and by extension to the whole of India. For much of those years, he has borne the burden alone, and not once has he given a hint of wanting to shrug it off. As he soldiered on alone in the fifth ODI against Australia, it seemed as if nothing had changed. The Indian team was supposed to be on the cusp of becoming the best ODI side - at least according to the rankings - but when it came right down to the crunch, it was the familiar old tale of one man standing up while the rest crumbled around him. It was impossible not to think of another improbable chase a decade ago, when India played Pakistan in a Test match at Chennai in 1999. Then, as now, India were facing a foe that made the intensity and quality of matches rise beyond the ordinary. Then, as now, India's efforts in the field and with the ball left something to be desired. Then, as now, one man alone stood between the opposition and an epic Indian victory. And tragically, then as now, India stood on the cusp of greatness before it was cruelly snatched away. Actually, Tendulkar stood on the cusp of greatness - the rest of the Indian team hadn't contributed too much to be deserving winners. When he came out to bat today, it didn't look as if he was going to compose a classic. He seemed weighed down by the impending 17,000 run landmark. Once he crossed it however, the Tendulkar of old started to re-appear. Vintage flicks, delectable cuts, power-packed pulls, and jaw-dropping straight drives all made their appearance as the innings progressed. Sure this was a weakened Australian side, but a bowling attack of Hilfenhaus, Watson, Hauritz, Bollinger and McKay was still decent enough. And when you have a total of 350 as a cushion, a decent bowling attack is more than enough to do the job on most occasions. All around him wickets continued to tumble, but the diminutive Tendulkar stood tall. As Indian fans despaired, he never gave up. And by continuing to dazzle, he rekindled hope in a billion hearts. With every stroke, every lofted shot, every tight single - the country lurched, stepped and danced to one man's tune. And as he got us closer and closer, we dared to dream about the impossible. And then it happened. The miracle ended. A debutant bowler had a wicket whose significance is unlikely to be matched in his international career. As Tendulkar's mis-timed paddle-scoop rose high in the air, a billion voiceless thoughts would have raced through the fans - through our - heads. "Let it carry over the short-fine leg. Please, God almighty let it carry over him." "Let him drop it. Let the pressure get to him." "No. He can't be out! It can't end like that! Noooooo!" The pin-drop silence in the stadium was a silent homage by ordinary men to the man who had given them so much more than they could. The silent applause gave way to the more traditional one as the Atlas of Indian cricket made a slow and interminable walk back to the pavilion. Was he too thinking of Chennai '99? Did he dare hope that his team-mates would do the job? Was he racked by the thought that he had left another chase unfinished? I don't know, and I don't presume to know. What I do know is that in his time at the crease there were 318 runs scored off the bat off 287 balls. He made 175 off 141, scoring more than 55% of the runs in less than 50% of the balls. What I know is that from a starting asking rate of 7 an over, to seeing it balloon to 8 an over, he departed leaving the batsmen to come after him with the task of getting just 6 an over for 3 overs. What I know is that everyone who watched even a part of his innings should feel privileged and honoured, because they have seen sublime genius at work. What I know is that he set out to achieve a win for India single-handedly. He had seen the generous bowling and fielding display which saw India gift Australia runs by the bucketful, he had seen catches that ought to be taken dropped, and in a rare gesture of symbolic defiance, he had thrown the ball to the ground in disgust, in frustration - after pouching a fine catch off the last ball of the Australian innings. Every stroke of his while batting seemed to say that no matter what the challenge, I will do it. What I know is that no matter how much pain the fans felt, no matter how hard Team India was hit by the loss, none of that could match the pain that Sachin Tendulkar felt. That he can feel more pain than the youngest team member and the oldest fan, is a fact that deserves a story by itself. But for me, that is enough to forget my pain and stand in unreserved applause for the man who makes me feel more Indian than any other.

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'FIRSTS' for Sachin FIRST COACH achrekar_sir1704_313.jpg Ramakant Achrekar is one of the most gifted cricketing coaches in India, and he has given the country one of its biggest sporting gifts. Like the shishya, the guru too remains humble about the role he has played in shaping this glittering cricketing career. “When I first saw him, it was clear that he had this immense hunger for doing well at whatever he was doing,†Achrekar says. The coach is not surprised by Tendulkar’s accomplishments. “He is a once-in-a-generation player, but the most important thing is that he has kept his feet firmly on the ground.†For any other man in Tendulkar’s position, that would probably have been impossible. FIRST SCHOOL Everybody in Dadar knows where Shardashram Vidya Mandir is. It’s not his first school, it’s the place where his cricketing journey began. It’s a mere coincidence that I end up asking its directions from a little boy in a school uniform. “That’s Sachin’s school,†he says enthusiastically, before adding “and mine.†The sense of pride is as evident in others associated with the school. The guard at the gate says he’s even had “tourists†coming to see the school which Tendulkar attended as a child. The teachers have changed since those days, but even the new ones drill into schoolchildren the idea that they have a legacy to live up to. FIRST FRIEND 008861.jpg05sach.jpg It’s a well-known fact that Vinod Kambli and Tendulkar were thick as thieves in their boyhood. But Atul Ranade, a former first-class cricketer, has known Tendulkar from his kindergarten days. “There has been no change in him in the last 30 years,†Ranade says. “He’s still the same guy who cared about his family and cricket with a single-minded focus.†Ranade recalls that the young Tendulkar was a prankster. Once he applied a balm on Ranade’s eyes and then pretended to be asleep. To compound the practical joke, Tendulkar handed Ranade a toothpaste to wash away the balm! Ranade adds, “He has never been intimidated by anyone, and even as a kid he was quite a bully.†Long-suffering bowlers around the world will vouch for that. FIRST CAPTAIN srikkanth_26092008.jpg Krish Srikkanth is proud of many things in his career. The 1983 World Cup win, the fact that he played a considerable amount of cricket for India. But one thing he remembers with particular pride is that he was the leader of the pack at the time when Tendulkar made his debut. “We were all aware about this young curly-haired boy’s exploits in domestic cricket,†he recalls. But no one, it seems, knew how good the prodigy actually was. Though shy and reserved, Srikkanth says, there was not an iota of fear in Tendulkar’s eyes. “In those days, a 16-year-old visiting our biggest foes was completely unheard of. He is a special, special cricketer and a wonderful man. His dedication to the game of cricket and country is exemplary.†We won’t see another Tendulkar for years to come, he says. FIRST CENTURY sachin_eng.jpg 1P_sdYPh71I One urban legend has become part of the Tendulkar folklore. An old man sitting in the stands at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester applauded Tendulkar’s first century. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is the best batsman to have graced the cricketing field,†the old man is said to have said. “And unlike you, I have seen Bradman bat.†Tendulkar was 17 when he scored his first century. Manoj Prabhakar was on the non-striker’s end, and says he had the best seat in the town. “Such maturity on young shoulders was breathtaking to see. He wasn’t fazed by anything,†he says. Prabhakar was also his opening partner when Tendulkar scored his first century in limited-overs cricket. He recalls that there was no case of nerves as the youngster approached his hundred. “I just told him to carry on and he would reach the magical figure.†Little did he know then that many such magical numbers would be attained in the future. FIRST AD CAMPAIGN 10sld1.jpg An ad for Band-Aid was the first one Tendulkar ever did. It was the Pepsi campaign, however, which put him on the A-list of celebrity endorsers. Ad-man Prahalad Kakkar says Tendulkar is a highly committed performer. He has no airs, is always on time and pays attention to details, says Kakkar, who has done a few ads with the cricketer. There was one occasion, though, where Tendulkar refused to shoot until the script was changed. In the ad in question, Tendulkar is shown hitting the ball with a stump in time with the jingle, which goes “Ae Sachin aaya re bhaiyyaâ€. This was the modified version of the ad. The original ad showed bowlers bowling to him and Tendulkar hitting the bowlers all over the park with a fly swatter. Tendulkar refused to shoot the ad, saying, “The commercial would indicate that I am bigger than the game.†Kakkar says Tendulkar’s humility “has left me spellboundâ€. You are not alone, Mr Kakkar. FIRST DUCK You can judge a person’s greatness when he is down, when some people make hay while the star’s sun temporarily ceases to shine. No one had heard of first-class cricketer Bhuvneshwar Kumar Singh until January 11, 2009, when he entered the history books by becoming the first bowler ever to dismiss Tendulkar for a duck in domestic cricket. “I will always cherish that moment,†he says. Though he was also part of the Royal Challengers IPL team, Singh’s claim to fame remains that duck. “He has only gotten out for duck just once, so it is a very special feeling for me,†says this bowler. FIRST INTERVIEW vmsj6o.png mNAzXh-58Eo “I just want to play cricket.†Those words, uttered in a squeaky voice, still echo in the heads of Indian cricket fans. Tom Alter interviewed Tendulkar for that programme. He remembers a boy who was supremely confident about his abilities. “He was shy, but confident and not at all nervous.†It was clear to Alter that he treated all the fuss as part of being a cricketer. “Remember that this was all when he was 15 and he wasn’t the phenomenon he has grown into,†says Alter. There were rumours that the cricketer was going to be picked for the West Indies tour of 1988-89. Yet Tendulkar was unfazed. “He said he was ready to face the fearsome West Indian quicks, and I was thinking ‘Boy, do you realise you are still 15?’†There’s something about adolescence which gives you that feeling that you can conquer the world. Tendulkar, however, actually did. FIRST BUSINESS VENTURE DSC02557.JPG When Tendulkar’s — the restaurant — opened in Colaba about seven years ago, the trend of celebrities having their own branded eateries was not as well-established as it is now. Tendulkar’s is not operational at the moment, but it used to be a shrine for Tendulkar devotees. The idea for the restaurant was Tendulkar’s own, but he set it up in partnership with Sanjay Narang. I remember having had a meal there once and having gotten a number of tidbits of information about the famous owner. The recipes included his favourites, and the cricketer offered a lot of inputs in the décor of the space as well. Though Tendulkar later opened another café, called Sachin’s, that too was shut after a cool response from the public. It’s still not clear whether Tendulkar’s has closed permanently. Stand-alone restaurants in India have, in general, not had an easy time. FIRST INJURY ? sw.0.jpg The term “tennis elbow†entered the vocabulary of Indian cricket fans in 2004, when Tendulkar was diagnosed with the injury. Many fans rushed to query their doctors about how it happens and, more importantly, how long it takes to recover. Orthopaedic specialist Dr Anant Joshi treated Tendulkar. He recalls how his patients suddenly wanted to learn more about tennis elbow! Joshi, who was then BCCI’s medical consultant, says that patience is the one thing which Tendulkar has in abundance. “He was anxious but knew that these things take time.†Tendulkar, says Joshi, is one of the most hard-working cricketers he knows, “Never shying away from extra training sessions, and he knows how his body responds to minor niggles.†FIRST BOWLING SPELL 0.jpg The 1993 Hero Cup will always be remembered for Sachin Tendulkar the bowler. In the semi-finals against South Africa, India was in a spot of bother. Then-captain Mohammed Azharuddin recalls that it was a gamble to throw the ball to Tendulkar for the last over. Needing six to win, putting in a part-time bowler could have backfired. “Not even once did he say ‘Don’t give me the ball’,†says Azhar. “[He] was confident that he would lead us to victory.†Both Azhar and Tendulkar would have been crucified if the gamble had not paid off. “As a captain,†says the captain, “you always had confidence that Sachin would deliver, be it with the ball or bat.†LINK

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Tendulkar thanks Gavaskar for letter written in 1987 Tendulkar recalls how a hand-written letter from Sunil Gavaskar helped him get over the disappointment of not winning MCA's best junior cricketer award The letter... Dear Sachin, I wanted to write earlier but something or the other came in the way. Then I thought it better to write at the beginning of the new season rather than at the end of the last season. Congratulations on your performance last season. What was most impressive was the way you batted alone when the others around you were not contributing much. Keep it up. Also please do not neglect your studies. My experience is that education helps you through bad patches in whichever career you choose. So go ahead and God bless. Regards, Sunil Gavaskar. PS: Don't be disappointed at not getting the Best Junior Cricketer award from BCA. If you look at the past award winners, you will find one name missing and that person has not done badly in Test cricket!! 15d7zud.jpg It was in August 1987, little over two years before he made his international debut that Sachin Tendulkar received one of his most prized souvenirs. It was a letter written by Sunil Gavaskar to a 14-year-old budding cricketer who was disappointed not to have been adjudged the best junior cricketer, by the Mumbai Cricket Association. Tendulkar, who will complete 20 years in international cricket in 48 hours from now, still can't thank his idol enough for personally writing in to him. "I remember when I didn't get the best junior cricketer award, he sent me a hand-written letter," Tendulkar said during a function to felicitate Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath on the completion of their 60 years. "A hand-written letter by someone who I worshipped, that too at that age helped me get over the disappointment of not winning the award. It's important to get right advice at the proper age." In the letter (left), Gavaskar cited his own example of missing out on the best junior cricketer award in the 1960s. Tendulkar was hugely inspired by the feats of his fellow Mumbaikar. And Gavaskar time and again has indicated that he is a huge Tendulkar admirer. "When I scored the 34th Test ton, I think Sir (Gavaskar) was in Nepal. In the evening, he called to wish me. When someone who has been your hero, whom you've idolised, makes an effort to wish on your achievement, nothing else can be bigger and better. "When I scored the 35th (ton), Sir told me: "Carry on from here on. Don't stop". I am trying to do just that." LINK

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I don't even move when Sachin is batting: Goddess Tendulkar :hail: TOI: How easy or difficult is it to be Mrs Sachin Tendulkar? How do you cope with the pressures? ANJALI: For me, it's very easy because I've known Sachin for 19 years now. I understand him so well. So whether I am his girlfriend or his wife, it's the same thing, just an extension of that bond. I don't find it very difficult and I'm used to it. Maybe, it's also because I've not known any other person in my life except Sachin. Of course, there are many challenges and difficulties to being his wife but the whole family, including my children, has learnt to deal with it. TOI: Any regrets at all on the home front? ANJALI: The only regret, even though we've learnt to cope with it, is that he's not at home most of the time. I think even Sachin has realised this, now that the kids are growing up fast. Sara is 12 and Arjun is 10. We sometimes wonder where all the years have gone. Since he used to be away most of the time when they were growing up, now he tries to come home as much as possible. If a match gets over early, he'll come home, stay overnight and then leave again in the morning. Though he's trying his best to spend more time with the family, sometimes he's not at home for birthdays, special occasions or even for the kids' annual day at school. It matters a lot to the kids. TOI: Is it true you can't bear to watch Sachin live, and only see the recordings? ANJALI: I don't know where this came from. The fact is I watch every game, that too right from the start. Yes, I never go to the stadium but I watch it on TV. Actually, I have one particular spot in the house from where I can watch TV and also keep an eye on my Ganpati (Ganesha). I don't eat. I don't answer phones. I don't drink. I don't even move. I don't reply to any sms until he's out. TOI: What is it about his batting that you admire the most? ANJALI: I'm not a cricket connoisseur. I can't talk about particular shots. What I like about him is that no matter how tense he is, or how much pressure there is on him, when he goes out to bat you don't see any of it. I've often asked him how it's possible not to get distracted while playing in front of thousands of screaming people. I do have friends whose husbands are also in highly stressful jobs, but they are not being scrutinised by the whole world every minute. So the way Sachin deals with the burden of expectations and doesn't seem to get affected is what I admire the most. TOI: Do you enjoy watching him bat? Is there any knock of his that you rate as the best, or is etched in your memory? ANJALI: My problem is, unlike Sachin, who remembers each of his innings, each ball and how he got out, I don't. Because when I am watching him bat, I'm so stressed and so focused that I just want him to do well, I cannot enjoy or remember much. For example, his 175 at Hyderabad has come in for huge praise, but I cannot say I enjoyed it. I was stressed out. But yes, I do remember that his Sharjah centuries were special. Then again, it is faint memory. I had had my first baby then and my attention was divided. TOI: Do you lose sleep when he does well and the team does not, or vice-versa? ANJALI: It's much worse when he does well and the team doesn't. I know how much it affects him because, for him, the country always comes first. To me it doesn't matter whether he scores one run or 10 runs or even a 100. I'll still be happy because I know he's really trying hard. But I know how much it affects him when he does well and the team loses, like it happened in Hyderabad. It's very upsetting. It was a terrible feeling for me when I got up the next morning. In fact, it was devastating. Had he not done so well and had the team still won, it would've made us all feel much, much better. TOI: Does Sachin ever talk about the game with you? Or does he just shut himself out of all things cricket when he is with his family? ANJALI: I think what he liked about me was that I knew nothing about cricket when I first met him. But then, me being me, I read everything about the game. I came to know all the fielding positions but he doesn't like me discussing cricket at home. But at times when he is low or upset, I do talk to him about cricket. Again, it's not the game but things related to it that we discuss. TOI: Have you ever grown tired of waiting for Sachin to return from a tour? ANJALI: It's always been like that. These days, whenever he goes on a long tour, we usually try and plan a short holiday with the kids. Maybe during the school vacation or something. There's no other option for us. TOI: Don't you regret the fact that Sachin's fame prevents him from being a normal father? ANJALI: It's been like this from the beginning, so you accept it. It's part of life even for our children. They know their father cannot do certain things. So we take the trouble once every year and go somewhere where he can be a normal father. Like in London, he takes Arjun to the park to play. Even there people recognise him, but they don't mob him and give him his space. TOI: Please go back in time to when you met Sachin for the first time... ANJALI: (Laughs) We've not really told many people this. I first met him at the Mumbai airport when he returned from his first tour of England in 1990, after scoring his maiden Test ton. In fact, when I first saw him at the airport, I didn't even know who he was. It was purely by accident! I was there to pick up my mother and Sachin was arriving with the Indian team. That's where we saw each other for the first time... we had a courtship of five years and got married in 1995. We had got engaged a year before that in 1994 and that was in New Zealand. TOI: Do you believe in destiny? ANJALI: Yes, it is destiny and I believe in that. TOI: Sachin has been known to go out in disguise sometimes. Did he ever use a disguise to meet you? ANJALI: Yes he did, just once. We had gone to see the movie Roja. I was studying medicine then and a couple of my friends planned it. Sachin did try telling me that that it would be difficult, but I insisted that he come along. To make sure nobody recognised him, we even got him a beard. He wore specs as well and we went in late. We watched the first half of the film, but during the interval Sachin dropped his specs and people immediately recognised him! It was a bit of a disaster and we were forced to leave halfway. TOI: You could have been a very successful doctor... ANJALI: I loved medicine and a lot of people often ask me if I'm wasting my education. I don't think so. Though I loved every moment of my studying days and my days at the government hospital, it then came to a stage when I realised that I could not be married to Sachin and also have a full-time career. It wasn't possible because he depends on me for almost everything. It was my decision. I thought I should be at home with him and make everything perfect for him. In his childhood, brother Ajit did everything for Sachin, sacrificing his own interests. I thought I should do the same. Besides, mine would not have been a 9 to 5 job. I'm a paediatrician, so if there's a patient calling me or someone admitted at odd hours, I have to make myself available. With Sachin not around and me with two kids at home, it wouldn't have been possible. I took a decision and I have never, ever regretted it. TOI: How good is your Hindi? ANJALI: (Smiles). Not as good as my English. But my Marathi is better as I converse with my mother-in-law in that language. Actually, my mother is English so we spoke the language at home, but I studied Hindi without tuitions till the tenth standard. At St. Xavier's in the XIth and XIIth class, I studied Russian. My children speak Hindi much better than both of us. TOI: Have you ever dreamt of your son Arjun playing alongside Sachin? ANJALI: Actually, I have thought about it but, realistically speaking, I don't think it's possible. If it ever happens it will be fantastic. TOI: Are you aware there are emails being circulated with pictures of your new, under-construction shell house in Bandra? There are pictures of the interiors too... ANJALI: Yes. They're all fake! TOI: When will the house be ready for you to move in? ANJALI: It will take one more year. TOI: Can you tell us a bit about the new house? Will it look like a huge mansion or just a normal bungalow? ANJALI: It will be a normal house. If you look at Mumbai and its space constraints, we are lucky to be having a nice home which will have everything Sachin wants. If he wants to go and play cricket with Arjun there is a garden, not a big one but there is one. There is a parking area for our cars down in the basement, room for Sachin's mother and the kids. Sachin is very clear and sure about what he wants. A lot of things in the house are what he's always wanted. But we are in it together. Also, I'm the more scientific type, the more practical one. I'm only bothered about where the switches are going to be placed, where the TV connections are going to be, what the kitchen and bathroom layout is going to be. He's into the fancy and decorative side. TOI: No swimming pool? ANJALI: There is one lap pool on the terrace and a shallow one just for Sachin's fitness. A gymnasium will also be there. TOI: Have you ever driven the Ferrari? ANJALI: When Sachin got his Ferrari home I asked him to show me how to change its gears because they are near the steering and move with the fingers. To my surprise, he said, 'You don't need to drive my Ferrari.' In fact, I needed to know because at times we need to move it when he's not around. It actually happened once and we couldn't move it. I've been longing to drive his Ferrari. TOI: Any idea which is Sachin's favourite Lata Mangeshkar or Kishore Kumar number? ANJALI: There are so many, I can't name one. He always likes listening to them. Initially, I had no knowledge about Hindi movies and songs, it's only after marriage that I began watching movies and now I really enjoy Hindi songs. TOI: Do you have a big circle of friends and do you socialise much? ANJALI: No, we have a close set of friends. They are either Sachin's long-time friends or my friends from the medical field. We don't get much time to socialise but we do go out for family dinners whenever possible. TOI: What comes first in Sachin's life? Cricket, wife or family? ANJALI: I think it was cricket first but now things have changed, which I feel is a natural progression. So now, it is both cricket and family. TOI: Have you and Sachin ever thought about what life is going to be like after cricket, or how long he intends to play? ANJALI: People often tell us that we ought to start thinking about what he's going to do after cricket. But I feel that when you are playing, you need to focus 100%. You cannot even think of what you'll do after cricket. So I always tell Sachin not to think about it. I tell him, 'It doesn't matter, surely you'll find something to do, you have lots of interests.' Also, maybe we can just take some time off and travel the world and then look ahead. I always insist that he should not worry about the future. At the same time, he will be at a total loss because his whole life has been cricket.
Goddess Anjali devi :haha: :hail:

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Sachin Tendulkar: Making of a genius The young boy with his curly locks and chubby cheeks - for whom the world wasn't enough. Obliged by the early detection of his prodigious talent and hurled into the world of fame and glory. Never once did those young but firm shoulders give in - the nation rejoiced in hope and smiles to the messiah of the game. The willow that resounded even louder than the collective rants of all his cynics. CNN-IBN retraces those first footsteps - this is how the journey started for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. To give us an insight into his early years, a man who covered Tendulkar's first series in Pakistan, journalist Pradeep Magazine, and his first captain at a senior club level, Hemant Kenkre from Mumbai, joined CNN-IBN. Kenkre has known Tendulkar even before he started playing for India. He was his first captain at senior club level. It is understood that the Cricket Club of India had to alter its rules to accommodate an Under-18 cricketer to play for them. "It's a very strange thing," Kenkre says. "CCI was playing a game against Shivaji Park Youngsters at the famous Shivaji Park Gymkhana which is the cradle of Indian cricket. Ramakant Achrekar, who was his coach, asked me to come and watch him and also try to get the senior persons from the club there so that we could get him into the club. "There was nobody better than the President of the club who happened to be a former Indian Test cricketer, Madhav Apte, who was playing that game when Sachin played against CCI," he adds. "And on a rank bad turner, Sachin scored a brilliant 70-odd runs and Apte had no doubt that he had to change the rules. We did decide to take him as a playing member of the side, but none of us realised that he was not 18. And if you're not 18 even today, you can't enter the club. "Eventually, it was Milind Rege, Apte and the late Raj Singh Dungarpur, who convinced the club committee to change the rules and they did," he says. "Sachin Tendulkar then became the first person in the history of cricket in India who could enter the Club House at an age younger than 18." Veteran journalist Pradeep Magazine has followed Sachin Tendulkar ever since his first tour of Pakistan in 1989. Magazine recalls Tendulkar to be a frail 16-year-old, wondering if India had thrown him in front of sharks, referring to the Pakistan fast bowlers in their prime. "He got out in the first innings for nothing or very few runs," Magazine says. "Everyone thought we might have made a mistake. But then when he came back, hitting Abdul Qadir, one of the great leg-spinners, for all those sixes, standing up to Waqar Younis, Imran and Wasim Akram, one could realise that he wasn't just a boy. He had the strength and the technique to withstand any attack. To have seen him perform at that age, we knew there were great things ahead of him." Asked what was the perception of the media after looking at Tendulkar, Magazine says: "I don't think India had seen an attacking player like Sachin before. Yes. there were. There was Sandeep Patil and others who would tear into rival attacks. But even at that young age, Sachin gave you the impression that he not only had the temperament and technique to stay there, he had it in him to dominate an attack. "Once we saw that, we felt that maybe India had found a Viv Richards, someone who would be enjoying not just trying to save matches for India, but someone who would get back at rival bowlers. That impression gave a lot of thrill to everyone, and over the years he has successfully proved that whatever people thought of him was true," he adds. At a press conference reflecting on his journey in international cricket, Tendulkar recalled a particular incident of losing his Moran pads which Kenkre had gifted to him during an Under-15 camp in Indore. "I had a pair of Moran pads, which were given to me by a friend, who had inherited them from Sunil Gavaskar, they were very important to me. And in the middle of the camp of 12-14 days, that boy wasn't to be found in the camp," Tendulkar says. "I would love to be the person who stole them," says Kenkre. "The pads which were used by Sunil Manohar Gavaskar and then used by Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar are a piece of history. I was just a repository of the history in between those two legends. "It was (coach) Ramakant Achrekar who asked me to give him my pads," he adds. "He had rightly said that my cricketing career was over. I didn't even bat an eyelid and gave them to him. But when he came to pick the pads, I told him, 'Listen, I'm giving you a piece of history,' not realising whom I was talking to at the point of time. "'I'm giving you the pads which belong to Gavaskar,' which he wore while scoring 221 at the Oval where India almost 400 runs against England. He was astounded while looking at those pads," he concludes. LINK

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TOI: Sachin has been known to go out in disguise sometimes. Did he ever use a disguise to meet you? ANJALI: Yes he did, just once. We had gone to see the movie Roja. I was studying medicine then and a couple of my friends planned it. Sachin did try telling me that that it would be difficult, but I insisted that he come along. To make sure nobody recognised him, we even got him a beard. He wore specs as well and we went in late. We watched the first half of the film, but during the interval Sachin dropped his specs and people immediately recognised him! It was a bit of a disaster and we were forced to leave halfway.
WTF???:hysterical:

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15 Nov 1989 to now : His life, our journey MARATHON MAN From cherubic teen to the cricketing world's biggest brand, from golden boy to iconic legend; from the maidans of Mumbai to the moors of Yorkshire, Sachin's journey has also been ours. Kind of! 1y48c8.jpg2vdkutz.jpg YOU KNOW Sachin and Brian Lara reached 10,000 runs in an identical number of Test innings -- 195 Grew his hair and tied a band around it to copy his idol, John McEnroe. Batted the entire 1996 World Cup without a sponsor for his bat. Ended the event as the highest run-getter THE MASTER NUMBER 2009 Becomes the Ist to get 17,000 runs in ODIs. Got to this against Oz at Hyderabad on Nov. 3, when he scored a breezy 175. 2007 Was dismissed seven times on scores between 90 and 100. Believe it or not, he was out on 99 thrice that year. A tribute by Anil Kumble What keeps him going? He just hates losing! 2yy7a8j.jpg ANIL KUMBLE Sachin and I came into Indian crickt at around the same time, a seaon apart perhaps. There was just one difference -- he had to prove everyone right and I had to prove everyone wrong! It had always been predicted that he would be destined for greatness, that he would go on to be the highest runscorer for India, beat every batting record there was to beat, create history. He did all that and more. Speaking from the vantage point of having done almost 20 years of international cricket myself, it just isn't easy. Managing your time, your body and the expectations of millions, it takes a toll. But Sachin's dealt with it all with grace and determination. For instance, take his battles with injury. Shoulder, elbow, groin back... you name it, he's had it. Let me give you a little insight into injuries. The coming back process is painful and time-consuming and you need to have an unshakeable desire to succeed. You go through one rehab, two, three but where do you call the line? Some injuries take two months, some four, some stay on as constant niggles and others become more serious as you keep playing. You manage it all, often live with the pain and just focus on your game. Sachin's done that right through. Sachin has this uncanny ability to take in, analyse and assess things very quickly, much faster than others. That therefore, gives him more time to play a shot. That's why he's No 1. And he's enjoying himself. The last three-four years especially, he's been really enjoying his cricket and it shows in the way he interacts with the team. In terms of his preparation, he's always seriously involved. If there are a couple of innings where he's not scored, or if he feels he's not hitting the ball well, he invariably spends extra time working on whatever's wrong. The other thing is that despite who he is, he's always ready to listen to any advice. He's often gone up to a rookie and asked if he could look at his batting -- he has no hang-ups whatsoever. So what keeps you going through 20 years of playing a sport? Simply that when you go onto that field, you want to excel. I felt that way and I know Sachin does too. You put him in gully cricket, any cricket, even a TT match -- he doesn't like losing. You also have to shut out the burden of expectations and opinions about yourself. It is a no win situation. At low times, under-fire, you ask yourself this: Am I giving a 100 per cent? If you are, forget about the rest. It gets to you but you need to look ahead. The more you react to things people say, the more you feel like saying `I've had enough'. Sachin clearly hasn't, even through all he's faced as the man who's the answer to a billion prayers. I also think what keeps him going is an unwavering pride in performance and an ability to put the team's cause before his own. 2pruqf9.jpg When I decided to call it a day after almost 20 years in the game, it was a decision born purely out of the fact that my body couldn't take it. Sachin was one of the first guys I told. I went to him and said, "My time has come". He said `No, you can't quit, you can play a bit more'. I had to convince him that I couldn't go on. Finally, to stay on top of your game, to be able to handle everyone -- players, teams, public and sponsors -- wanting a piece of you, you need lots of support. He's had that in a wonderful, supportive family. They've been the key. (KUMBLE, THE FORMER INDIA CAPTAIN , WAS SACHIN 'S PICK FOR INDIA'S GREATEST PLAYER FROM AMONG HIS CONTEMPORARIES) A Tribute by Praveen Amre 2drn6q.jpg FORMER STATEMATE My Favourite Sachin inning I have three. His test ton against Australia at Perth in 1991-92, where the cracks on the pitch were so big it was very difficult to bat. The others are in ODIs, the 134 in the Sharjah final against Australia (1998) and the 175 in Hyderabad last Thursday. His greatest strength How he stays modest. His passion for cricket, commitment and his respect for the game are tremendous. Sachin and me This is from 24 years ago. I returned from East Africa with a pair of Adidas shoes and he liked it. I told him he could have it if he scored a century in his next schools game. He promptly did and the shoes were his! A weakness/something missing? Can there be one? You cannot play 20 years with a weakness. My message to Sachin Keep enjoying the game.

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