When Sachin Tendulkar walked out to play his first ever International match against one of the finest pace bowling line up in the World, Virat Kohli was just a one year old boy. No one had heard of Lionle Messi or Usain Bolt, Michael Schumacher was yet to drive a F1 car.
Today after just over 23 years after playing his debut one day international against Pakistan on the 18th of December 1989, Sachin Tendulkar has decided it’s time to move on and leave the reins of Indian cricket in the hands of the younger generation.
“I have decided to retire from the One Day format of the game,” he said in a statement. “I feel blessed to have fulfilled the dream of being part of a World Cup winning Indian team. The preparatory process to defend the World Cup in 2015 should begin early and in right earnest. I would like to wish the team all the very best for the future. I am eternally grateful to all my well-wishers for their unconditional support and love over the years.”
For a man who gave a million hearts hope for over two decades there is so much we owe him, he waited through heart breaks of the 1996 and 2003 World Cup. He fought valiantly for us in 6 World Cups and then in the end in 2011 he gave it all to help lift the World Cup at home at Mumbai in front of his home crowd.
Virat Kohli famously said after the final at Wankhede Stadium “He carried the burden of the nation for 21 years, so it’s time we carried him on our shoulders”
Yuvraj Singh said “The team did it for Sachin Tendulkar”
Looking back on a long illustrious career there is very little Sachin Tendulkar will regret. He played his first match against Pakistan and his last ODI against Pakistan on 18th March 2012 in the Asia Cup. Today to make things easier for the selectors he announced his retirement on the day of announcing the team for Pakistan’s tour of India.
No one can ever forget his innings against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup where he ripped apart the likes of Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akthar and Waqar Younis.
Tendulkar played 463 ODIs, scored 18, 426 runs and made 49 centuries each of them a world record.
When Tendulkar made his ODI debut against Pakistan he got out for a duck, his first half century came in his 9th match and his first century after 79 matches.
Some of the highlights of his career was the Sharjah tournament of 1998, the 2003 World Cup, the first ever double Century in one day international, when he scored 200 unbeaten against South Aftrica and last but not least the World Cup glory in 2011.
So much can be told about a man who has his own statue at the Madame Tussauds. There is very little words can say, emotions and actions speak louder.
Sachin Tendulkar will be forever remembered not only in India but in every cricketing nation known to man. He is an idol, a leader a gentleman, a family man and the Hero of a Nation.
Not every man gets a standing ovation when he goes out to bat on a foreign soil, especially not at the Lords in England or the Sydney cricket ground. But when Sachin walked out to play against Australia for what might be his last Test there, the entire stadium was on its feet clapping for the little master.
Sachin – The Nation owes you so much, you have helped create unity and National Integrity that any other person has been able to do in the recent past. We wish you would walk out to bat in the blue of the Indian team for one last time so that we could all give you a standing ovation. You deserve it.
Thank You Sachin, for those wonderful memories, the 2011 World Cup, for all the hope you instilled in us. Thank you for everything.