Today, as part of a Twitter campaign – the BCCI handle sent personalized messages with Sachin’s handwriting and his autograph to everyone who tweeted with a #thankyouSachin. Now, I don’t know why but this just hit home in so many ways. For a long time, I was unable to process the fact that an Indian cricket team without Sachin was to be the new status quo.
Neither was I any excited about the fact that Sachin was playing in his 199th test match and his second-last match in a long long time. This photograph, his handwriting – has suddenly made it all so real. And it hurts. It hurts that there will no longer be the Sachin Tendulkar constant in our equations.
Sachin, you may not figure in Indian teams anymore – but you are the gold standard. You are the end-all and be-all for fans like me. Thank you for making it come alive. Thank you for getting the cup back for the second time. Thank you – for you make the cup overflow – with emotions, happiness and eternal gratitude of a hero-starved nation 🙂
For all cricket fans across the subcontinent and the world, these three words are enough. The 100th 100. Everyone was wondering when it would happen. Everyone was nervous. Everyone was waiting. Everyone was slowly getting impatient.
The man in question, perhaps the best batsman this world will ever see – Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. It had been a year since his last international century. He had a great 2011,but he had a miserable 2012. He went with the Indian team to the tour of Australa. Cricket Australia (CA) even had a special trophy made in anticipation of his remarkable milestone. Few know that this trophy was never mentioned and ofcourse, never awarded to the little master.
The team returned home. He returned home. And then he went to play the Asia cup. His first innings was a disaster. And then today he played against Bangladesh. And he did it! He made his 100th century today. Just think of the number and the mind boggles. If your mind does not boggle – let me tell you that the person with the second highest number of centuries has 70. This man now has a 100. A HUNDRED!
Still there are people who will continue to pull him down, saying that he achieved this milestone playing against a ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Few will acknowledge the mammoth pressure he was playing under for the last year, with people and the media nagging him for the 100th century. Things had become really bad after the Australia tour with people and sportsmen alike asking for his resignation, thinking aloud even whether he was being selfish and just playing for a milestone.
But today is above everything else. He is above everything else today. He has time and again showed that he gives his opponents the same amount of respect – may the opponent be the formidable Australia or the ‘minnow’ Bangladesh. Sachin Tendulkar has achieved something that no mortal will probably achieve in his cricket career. He is an inspiration, an exception to the rule. He is everything that’s good in the game. He’s everything the game stands for – the class, the dignity, the integrity and the sportsmanship. In this country of a billion people, he is the perfect role model.
Thank you Sachin. Thank you so much. You never did need to prove yourself. But you did, over and over again. You are a true inspiration, Sachin. I am so lucky to be alive when you played at your best. I will always you love you Sachin. Thank you for everything.
Such a pity that it had to end like this. The master’s last match at the Sydney Cricket Ground – one of his most successful hunting grounds ever. It’s sad that team India lost today’s match to Australia. Some things are not meant to end on a good note, I guess.
Some moments from the match :
And this man proves that adage time and again.
As India take on the West Indies two days later in their First Test Match, everyone awaits the magical 100th 100. Sachin, I love you. We love you. We shall wait. For the simplicity. For the sophistication.
Hail the master.