Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 to bring back so many good memories

Legend Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 on Monday and will spark celebrations all over.

Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 to bring back so many good memories

Sachin Tendulkar

For a genius who scored 100 centuries in international cricket, all formats included, what is 50? Well, if you go through the news over the last few days, across all platforms, — print and digital — Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar turning 50 on Monday, April 24, has been raging.

Sport and numbers are interlinked. Whatever the game, stats come into play, be it runs scored, wickets taken, or catches pouched if it is cricket. Football, obviously, relates to goals scored and World Cups won. The same goes for almost all sports, where digits come into play.

How does a half-century really matter for a human with reference to Sachin Tendulkar? Well, if he was batting, you could be dead sure, if he was on 50, the 100 was loading. Right now, one is talking about the icon’s real life. He has been on Mother Earth for 50 years, giving fans joy all over the world. And he continues to be one of the most loved superstars simply because he is Sachin.

Heroes are deified, they are put on a pedestal and worshipped. The respect accorded to them borders on reverence. When one talks of Sachin, almost everyone loves him. If there is a question asked as to why he is loved so much, there is just one answer: he is Sachin Tendulkar. Elite athletes have a shelf life, yet some are remembered forever. Sachin belongs to that club.

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Young Sachin (Image via ICC-cricket)

That even today Sachin remains in the collective consciousness of millions explains why hitting a half-ton in real life has become a landmark! Sample this, when the boy batted in his teens, he was a maestro. From boy to man, as he traversed the journey called cricket for almost 25 years, he became synonymous with much more than milestones.

Fans have this habit of poking into the lives of their heroes. Even one small negative is put under the microscope and analyzed. Opinions are formed and then debated. Perhaps Sachin Tendulkar is a unique character who embodied so many good facets. You always loved him. There has been simplicity in the man and it continues. Perhaps, that is one reason why, across continents, Sachin’s 50th birthday has become some kind of celebration. You should not be surprised if in your neighborhood on Monday, people cut cakes, and offer prayers for the God of Cricket in places of worship. That has been SRT’s connection with the masses.

Sachin was the delight of cricket writers when he began his career. As the years progressed, Sachin became more than a cricketer, a figure who bestowed respect. A man who was loved and is still loved for his smile, his charisma, and how he kept things simple. You will rarely hear anything negative about Sachin, be it as a cricketer or as a personality in real life.

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Sachin at 50 is God’s gift to Indian sport

Sachin Tendulkar turns 50 to bring back so many good memories
Sachin Tendulkar

For those who have seen the journey of Sachin in various stages of life, each facet is remembered, and each moment of joy is there in the RAM — random access memory – of the human brain. There were champions before Sachin and there are champions after Sachin stopped playing cricket. Perhaps it’s Sachin’s DNA he is always seen as a positive person, selfless, and full of energy.

Sample this, as one who realized very soon captaincy was not his cup of tea, Sachin had no problems playing under various captains. It is a sign of his greatness. He played under captains with different leadership styles. In all, Sachin played under six captains, though the Mumbaikar himself rates MS Dhoni as the “best captain” after India won the ICC World Cup in 2011 April in Mumbai.

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Sachin Tendulkar has always expressed admiration and appreciation towards MS Dhoni (Image via Reuters)

Today, MS Dhoni is still relevant in cricket. So, for Sachin to have rated him as the best skipper meant he had analyzed various captains through different eras and then given his verdict. There was no bias, for, in SRT’s lifetime, winning that World Cup was so special. Sachin was part of the win. He wanted to kiss the trophy like a child hugging toys or dolls. That was his love for cricket, with the dream of India winning the big title finally realized. That accomplishment alone was not the reason why Sachin rated MS Dhoni as the best skipper.

Dhoni believed in a process. He was proactive, he spoke, he discussed with his men and he ideated. Sachin was also part of that process. That brings fans to the next question: why did Sachin not handle captaincy in the long run? There is only one reason. As a player, Sachin had set the highest standards for himself. He may have been expecting the others to also play at that level, and give more than 100 percent. When Sachin realized that was not happening, he gave up captaincy. Honestly, he could have got it back as well, but he never clamored for it.

Cricket is a team sport, yet there are individuals who light it up with their effulgence and energy. Most of us have not seen Don Bradman bat, but we have seen the genius of Kapil Dev, India’s best all-rounder, the magic of Brian Lara, and the charisma of MS Dhoni. He won two ICC titles, mind you. Sachin achieved so much as a cricketer, it can be spoken of for hours together.

You can never say once he was a selfish batsman (batter these days). He gave his best as a player, a total team person, and a bowler who could flummox batsmen. The spark in Sachin was almost infectious. Yet, it was that radiance that ensured India won matches as long as he was at the crease. The trademark drive in the “V” with the heavy bat and tonking that six, Sachin produced so many delirious shots.

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(Image via AFP)

People talk of champions as personalities, as role models. Sachin is the gold standard and continues to be the epitome of the best behavior in every walk of life. He did not get the Bharat Ratna title just like that from the Government of India. Those who have shared the stage with Sachin on and off the field will have many stories to tell you.

Bottom line, Sachin at 50 is God’s gift to Indian sport. So what if Sachin has retired? The very mention of the man’s name brings out so many emotions in each one of us. Ordering a cake on Monday? You bet this guy will ensure bakers do roaring business on Monday, April 24. Good luck Sachin.

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