Sachin's sweet surrender


Sachin Tendulkar.

If you asked any Indian, many will say that Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman or even cricketer the world has ever seen. That would be up for debate (with probably no conclusion), but Sachin is definitely up there.

 Soon, cricketing fans around the world (and India especially) will have to look for a new hero because Sachin will be retiring after playing his 200th test game against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in mid-November.

 This retirement has been a long time coming since Sachin has been a little shaky for a while now. Detractors argue that Sachin could reach certain records such as this milestone of 200 test games. Some would happily say that the “little master is finally retiring.

He retired from the one-day-international  (ODI) scene last December and from the Indian Premier League (IPL) in March this year.

According to an article on espncricinfo Sachin has averaged less than 30 runs in his last 25 innings, 20 runs off his career average.

So instead of retiring at his peak, Sachin faded away.  Many cricket fans believe that after helping India win the World Cup in 2011, Sachin should have retired.

I felt that too at the time, as he would have been on a high. I didn't really care that India won the tournament, but I was glad for Sachin.

He really deserved it. It would be like wanting Argentina to win the football World Cup because of Lionel Messi and nothing else.

Well, he is finally retiring and don't be surprised when Indian fans say they wished Sachin was playing when they are on the losing end in the future.

Ever since he burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old in 1989, India has looked up to him for inspiration.

The Mumbai born has accumulated 15,837 runs in 198 tests and 18,426 runs in 463 one-day internationals. Altogether he has scored more than 34,000 runs in all international formats of the game.

He’s been said to have done more for India than any other person. It’s true because Sachin’s performances have lifted the country many a time.

And I can say that I was lucky enough to witness Sachin score 141 of these runs against West Indies in the DLF tri-series tournament played at the Kinrara Cricket Oval in 2006.

This came about after a long lay-off from injury.

I can’t claim to be such a big cricket fan but it was like a dream come true to see Sachin scoring runs for fun, although they lost the game because of rain.

I also watched when he scored only 12 runs in a game against Australia in the same tournament.

A friend of mine was lucky enough to get his autograph and said that he was very down to earth unlike some of the other players around.

Cricket is a religion in India and Sachin is a demi-God (or some might say God), but he still possesses humility. Not many world-class cricketers let alone athletes can proclaim to be that down to earth can they?

Tributes poured out from all over the world when news of his retirement . Legendary wicket taker Shane Warne of Australia described him as the greatest batsman of his generation.

"Sachin was easily the best player over the last 20 years & will be remembered as one of the all time greats! Truly an amazing player,” he said in a tweet.

He is the only player to have scored 100 centuries in international cricket. Imagine a striker scoring 100 hat-tricks!

Many believe that his records will never be broken because Sachin has had 24 long years in cricket and the game has changed. For some, that might have been too long but for many others, he was unlike anyone else ... there can only be one Sachin!

The views expressed are entirely the writer's own
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