It’s all over: Tears flowing, Tendulkar bid emotional farewell to cricket
Mumbai, November 16
At exactly 11.47 am on a balmy Saturday morning, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar bid a tearful adieu to international cricket after an illustrious career lasting exactly 24 years and a day in which he played 200 Test matches, 463 ODIs and a lone T20 scoring 34,357 international runs. It wasn’t a jam-packed Wankhede Stadium like Friday but at least 25,000 were still in attendance to witness one of the most poignant moments in the history of Indian cricket as the last West Indian wicket fell.
The 40-year-old maestro, who had rarely let emotions show on his cherubic face, began to break down after being presented a souvenir stump by his teammates. Wiping tears, he trudged back to the dressing room but not before acknowledging the fans and shaking hands with the West Indian cricketers at the boundary line.
The West Indies players personally congratulated Tendulkar as he accepted each and every emerging hand with the same grace and humility that has been his hallmark for almost two and half decades.
The crowd was on its feet, so were each and everyone in the press-box. He was back on the ground for the presentation accompanied by his wife Anjali and children, Arjun and Sara.
After being presented a couple of mementos, Tendulkar gave a speech to thank every contributor to his 24-year-career before taking a lap of honour.
The TV crew tried to catch each and every contour of Tendulkar’s facial expression before the likes of Dhoni and Kohli hoisted him on their shoulders.
The master was seen waving the tri-colour as he acknowledged his emotionally-overwhelmed fans. He came back to the ground one last time and touched the 22-yard strip with his hands as a mark of respect.
His family was with him throughout and they were also vociferously cheered by the crowd. It was one moment where emotions were difficult to control.
Some had moist eyes, those who know how to conceal their emotions probably hid it under their shades.
Everyone knew that the moment would arrive today but will vouch for their lives that they didn’t want it ever to arrive.
For once, fans wanted Marlon Samuels not to hit that ugly stroke, they wanted Chris Gayle not to edge that cut shot so that Tendulkar could stay on there for a little bit longer.
For a generation that grew up during 80’s and 90’s, it was difficult to live a life and not love Sachin Tendulkar. For those of the earlier generation, it was difficult not to compare with him their hero Sunil Gavaskar.
There were some great players like VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble but they were all supporting actors in the great saga called Indian cricket as there was only one hero – that five 5’5 man from Bandra.
He touched hearts when he dedicated his century against England in the Chennai Test in 2008 to the victims of the Mumbai terror attack.
Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar retired from international cricket quietly, so did Dravid and Laxman holding their customary press conferences. Ganguly and Kumble got a farewell but it was much muted by those standards. But when it came to Tendulkar, who has truly transcended all boundaries, it was only fitting that a billion people would be swayed by emotions.
The adjectives will get exhausted but the legend of Tendulkar will continue to stay on with us. Simply put, there won’t be another Sachin Tendulkar. They don’t make cricketers like him anymore.
Sachin honoured with Bharat Ratna
Mumbai, November 16
In a fitting finale to what has been a glorious career, batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was on Saturday chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, making him the first sportsperson to be bestowed with the honour.
The 40-year-old icon, who called time on his glittering international career today, was chosen for the top award soon after his farewell Test against the West Indies ended in Mumbai.
A brief statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Venu Rajamony said the President has awarded the Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar, who retired from the International cricket today.
Tendulkar bows out as the most successful batsman in international cricket with 15,921 runs in 200 Tests. In his ODI career, which he needed last year, Tendulkar amassed 18,426 runs in 463 matches.
The Mumbaikar is the only batsman in international cricket to score 100 centuries. He was the first batsman to get a double hundred in one-dayers.
The award is a perfect send off gift to Tendulkar whose career spanned 24 years making him an inspiration for an entire generation of cricketers.
There have been continuous demands for him to be conferred the honour for a long time and the eligibility criteria of the award was revised last year to accommodate sportspersons as well.
Tendulkar, who became the first active sportsperson to become a Rajya Sabha member last year, is being given the honour along with Professor CNR Rao, the man behind India’s maiden
ICC hails Tendulkar as a ‘sporting genius’
Dubai, November 16
The ICC on Saturday paid rich tributes to Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket on Saturday after playing his 200th Test match, with its chief executive Dave Richardson saying that “sporting geniuses like Sachin are rare phenomenons”.
“He was an exceptional cricketer who earned the utmost respect of his peers, team-mates, opponents and fans all over the world through his talent, performances and fierce competitiveness,” said Richardson, who played 10 Tests and 26 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Tendulkar between 1991 and 1998.
“Sporting geniuses like Sachin are rare phenomenons and we are privileged to have seen him in action. On behalf of the ICC and the entire cricketing family, I thank Sachin for his unprecedented services to our sport and we wish him well in the future,” he said.
“His 664 internationals, 34,357 runs and 100 centuries over 24 years not only illustrate his determination and commitment to the game but also his mental and physical toughness which are the vital ingredients to reach the highest pedestal in any sport,” Richardson said in a statement.
Richardson also highlighted some of Tendulkar’s achievements during his glorious career.
“Sachin always put his team ahead of himself during his illustrious career, but he picked up a number of personal accolades which highlights his brilliance,” the former South Africa wicketkeeper- batsman said.
“He was declared player of the tournament at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2010, was the top-rated Test batsman for a total of 139 Tests, was the No 1 ranked ODI batsman for 112 matches or 354 days, played with 104 Test team-mates and faced 477 Test opponents,” Richardson added.
India wrap up comprehensive win
Mumbai, November 16
India handed Sachin Tendulkar a winning send-off as they crushed the West Indies in three days in Mumbai.
Tendulkar had scored 74 as India had built a commanding 413-run first-innings lead on day two – meaning only a miracle would see the Little Master stride out to bat again.
However it wasn’t to be as the Windies – who were already on the ropes after slumping to 43-3 at stumps on Friday – were dismissed in double quick time for 187, sealing victory for India by an innings and 126 runs.
Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels had attempted to frustrate the hosts with a 31-runs stand for the fourth wicket.
However a moment of madness from Samuels, who was stumped for 11 after completely missing a delivery from Pragyan Ojha, set India on their way.
Ojha struck again in his next over as Gayle edged a quicker delivery straight to MS Dhoni for 35,
Narsingh Deonarine failed to trouble the scorers as he chipped a simple catch straight back to Ojha for the spinner’s fourth wicket.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin dug in valiantly with a stand of 68, however two quick wickets had the Mumbai fans on the edge of their seats.
Chanderpaul was trapped leg before for 41 by Ravi Ashwin, while Darren Sammy fell the same way to Ojha – his 10th wicket of the match.
The Wankhede Stadium were treated to a couple of overs of spin from Tendulkar however he could not claim a career-ending wicket.
And the return of Ashwin to the attack saw Shane Shilliingford removed lbw for eight, while Mohammed Shami then clean bowled Shannon Gabriel to seal the win.
Tendulkar was given a standing ovation by the crowd as well as a guard of honour as he walked off for a final time.