Sachin Tendulkar, a true inspirational figure


S. R. Suryanarayan


COLUMN

Bystander


Feet firmly on the ground and committed to the core, Sachin straightway presented himself as a rare breed. That he carried the same attitude throughout his career is one big reason for what he ultimately became in the sport.

Talk of reflections during the Coronavirus-hit times, when sporting activity everywhere has come to a standstill and what better than delving into the greatness of India's cricketing legend Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.

There is also another reason for this. The great man had turned 47 just a few days ago and typical of him he decided this was not the time for celebrations, which is usually a national affair thanks to his legion of fans, but do that extra bit as the world fights the deadly disease.

Reams have been written on him, his performances, right from the time he stepped on to the cricketing world as a 16-year-old for what was a baptism by fire in Pakistan in his debut series in 1989. The kid turned a man overnight there and he never looked back thereafter. And still there seems to be so much more that can be said of him because he was not just a great cricketer, a world beater or a batting-charm but a polished human being too who could stand the test of excellence in whatever he did.

Memories go back to 1994 when I first met him in Vijayawada during the Wills trophy cricket event (now defunct). It was a quarterfinal match, Sachin was leading the Bombay side against Bengal. As a representative of a leading national English daily from South, I was there to cover the event and as part of my duty, had to meet him on the day prior to the match for what we call the curtain raiser. So there I was at the Indira Gandhi Municipal stadium quite early in the morning hoping for a glimpse of him and grab a few words from the already turned super star.