25th June 1983 is a golden day in the history of Indian Cricket. The National Cricket Team won the Cricket World cup final at Lords by upsetting the giants of Cricket the West Indian Cricket team. Millions of Indians were glued to the Television and Radio sets on this day. The occasion was such that the then Prime Minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared a National Holiday to celebrate the victory.
Far away from London where the Indian cricket team was celebrating its victory against the firm favorites in the Sahitya sahwas cooperative housing society in Bandra east, Bombay, a Nine-year curly-haired boy started his dreams to play for India. The name Sahitya Sahwas gives away its origins as a home for writers. But the most famous resident of the society now is not a writer. He is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar the greatest cricketer to have ever played the game of Cricket.
Sachin’s Brother Ajit who himself was an avid cricket fan was amongst the first one to spot the talent in him. Ajit took him to Ramakant Achrekar for formal training in Cricket. It is here that Sachin Tendulkar honed and developed his early cricketing skills. Sachin initially studied at the Indian Education Society’s New English School in Mumbai. However, he, later on, shifted to Sharad ashram Vidyamandir (English) High School in Mumbai on the advice of his coach Ramakant Achrekar as the school had better coaching facilities and a better team.
Sachin quickly made a name for himself in the Bombay School cricket. It was here that Sachin Tendulkar along with Vinod Kambli in a never before seen appetite for runs, partnership added 664 runs against the St. Xaviers School, Mumbai. This partnership catapulted Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli to instant fame and record books and also paved the way for their selection in the Mumbai Ranji Team and ultimately the Indian team.
It was not long before Sachin Tendulkar was selected to play for India in the year 1989. India was scheduled to tour Pakistan for a Four test match series and the Indian cricket team roster featured the name of a Sixteen-year-old prodigy from Bombay, Sachin Tendulkar. The curiosity of the nation was high. How can a sixteen-year-old boy face the challenge of playing international cricket?
On 15 November 1989, Cricket changed forever. Sachin Tendulkar graced international cricket for the first time. Although he scored 15 runs in his first innings he displayed remarkable confidence in facing a fast and furious Pakistani bowling line up which had stalwarts like Wasim Akram and Imran Khan.
A journey which started in November 1989, continued till 2013 during which Sachin painted the canvas of International Cricket with his beautiful colors. He played a total no of 200 Test matches scoring a total of 15921 runs, the highest ever by any International cricketer. In a total number of 463 Limited over International matches that he played he scored 18426 runs another record for the maximum runs.
More than the records that he made it was the impact that he created on the game in India and abroad that will be special. There always had been special chemistry between the Indian Public and Sachin Tendulkar. When he batted streets would go empty and social life would come to a grinding halt. On his performances in the cricket field depended the mood of the nation. Tendulkar’s story is the story of Resurgent India. During one of the cricket matches in which Sachin was playing a group of supporters came up with the posters which said: “ If Cricket is our religion, then Sachin is our God”. This quote came in the age when Social Media was not so rampant as today. It was the Indian media who caught the Punchline and made it viral amongst the Indian public. The term God in Cricket has always been synonymous with Sachin Tendulkar, maybe because there was no better term to describe him.
Sachin Tendulkar has stopped playing International cricket but his legacy will continue forever and ever.