Indian cricket November 13, 2013

The Mumbai that made Tendulkar

Sidharth Monga and Amol Karhadkar
As the cricketing world goes into a farewell frenzy, the city's humble maidans and school playgrounds that moulded Sachin Tendulkar into the cricketer he is today remain as simple and unpretentious as ever
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They're naming gymkhanas after him, they're minting gold coins with his face on it, politicians are falling over each other to honour him, jealous administrators are trying to pull the rug out from under each other's feet, but thankfully they have left alone the places that made Sachin Tendulkar, some of which were made by Tendulkar. More than any other cricketer of his era, Tendulkar has been about his fans. How nice it would have been had the politicians, businessmen and administrators running Indian cricket sent some of them to visit these places in the weeks leading up to his farewell.

The unkempt maidans (fields), the unassuming school, the residential buildings, they all have something genuine to say about Tendulkar. Mumbai cricket even. Mumbai even. They don't stand out or lose their simplicity just because Tendulkar was there. In the week in which Tendulkar will end his international career, it is business as usual in the places where Tendulkar has spent most of his life outside international cricket.

Shivaji Park in Dadar has kids playing even at 11am because the Diwali holidays are on. Different clubs, teams and individuals own plots here, as on other maidans, where they hold their nets sessions, training and games. Some parts of the ground are bald, some have long, untended grass, and some are well taken care of. There is no boundary rope, and no white-paint markings anywhere, though. The young Tendulkar's coach, Ramakant Achrekar, used to teach at the Kamat pitch. Not all the players here can point to it. It is not a patch of great interest.

The Kamat pitch is close to the centre of the ground, leaning towards the northeast. Next to it, a serious match of cricket is on. The whites worn by the kids - no older than 15 - are immaculate, there is no sightscreen, the umpire moves to the other end at the end of the over, and the keeper wears a helmet. The field is pretty attacking, but there is no boundary here either. That's the Mumbai way: you don't think of hitting boundaries, you just bat. You have to run your runs, and are not allowed to hit in the air. "Hawet maaraycha nahee."

These kids have picked up a lot of mannerisms from televised cricket, but the coaches here are making sure they play proper cricket, at least in their formative years. The Bombay school of batsmanship lives on, at least for the time being. There is something peaceful about Shivaji Park despite its being bang in the middle of busy mid-town Dadar. You get to watch innocent cricket, sit in the shade of the many trees, eat sing dana (peanuts) and wonder what others whiling away their time here are up to. Some of them are fast asleep on the benches.

About three kilometres to the southeast is Shardashram, Tendulkar's school since 1984. Except you can't spot it without having gone past it two or three times. The Shardashram residential society opposite the school is more prominent. The school doesn't have a single photo of Tendulkar. The only signs that he - and others like Chandrakant Pandit, Pravin Amre, Vinod Kambli, Ajit Agarkar and more than 100 Ranji cricketers - studied here are the trophies in the cabinet in the principal's office. The board outside is small, the front of the building is rented out to a bank and a gym, and its simple colour scheme makes it look every bit like a school meant for, as principal Krishna Shirsat puts it, the "lower-middle and middle class".

Shirsat used to teach maths and chemistry when Achrekar brought Tendulkar here in 1984. Cricket was the sole reason for his move from a school in his suburb, Bandra. Shardashram would even move its internal exams when they clashed with the cricket. And cricket was all Tendulkar did.

"We used to win everything," says Shirsat. "Harris Shield, Giles Shield, Vinoo Mankad, Matunga Shield… And because we won everything, there would be a first round, second round, third round, and so on. So as soon as the cricket season started in July, you would rarely see Sachin in school." Shisrat would always be available to help Tendulkar, should he need help with maths and chemistry after school hours. When he was selected for Mumbai in 1988-89, the match clashed with a practical board exam, and Shirsat tried to use all his influence to make a special allowance for Tendulkar so he could take the exam after the match.

About two years after Tendulkar enrolled, along came Ragini Desai, a physical training and Hindi teacher, a jovial woman with an expressive face and constantly moving eyes. Achrekar was Shardashram's cricket coach, she was the team's manager. She was present when Achrekar blasted Tendulkar and Kambli for batting on and on and putting on a 664-run partnership against a weak team. She knows of all the vada-pav (a street food) escapades of the two friends, and she has a valuable notebook titled "Cricket".

When she went to matches with the team, Desai recorded brief scores in this notebook. She added clippings from newspapers next to the scores as the kids became more and more famous. She has preserved that notebook, and would love to show it to Tendulkar, but she hasn't ever had the opportunity to meet him after he left school. She hasn't tried to do so either. She would love to go to the Wankhede Stadium for Tendulkar's last match, but she is not complaining about how the chances of getting a ticket are minimal.

This school-playground duo is complemented by the tag team of Sahitya Sahawas and MIG cricket club, further north, in Bandra East. Along the way you pass two other influences on Tendulkar's life: the Siddhivinayak temple where he sneaks in to pray late in the night, and St Michael's church in Mahim, where his wife, Anjali, lights a candle for him every week.

Sahitya Sahawas literally translates to "literature living together". A building in Worli where Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajit Wadekar lived is named Sportsfield. Sahitya Sahawas is the Sportsfield of Marathi literature. It is where Tendulkar lived as a child. The Tendulkars have neither sold their house here nor rented it out. The guard - stern but not rude - says it will take an application to the secretary of the building a day in advance for him to even point to the window of the Tendulkars.

A stone's throw away, MIG is more open to intruders. A huge Tendulkar mural has come up only a couple of days ago on its main wall. So close to his childhood home, in a city with houses with no outdoor spaces to play sport in, MIG has been Tendulkar's personal laboratory. Over the years - 25 to be precise - MIG has fulfilled his odd wishes, says Aashish Patnakar, the club's secretary.

Before going to Australia, Tendulkar would practise on half-pitches with rubber balls; he got that here. Before going to England he wanted to bat against wet balls on moist, grassy pitches; he got that here. When he was recuperating from a back injury, he wanted to jog here, but not during the day; they would open up for him at 4.30am. During the busy season when all grounds are occupied, Tendulkar can come to MIG and expect to get a proper facility during the lunch break, which is extended to one hour for his benefit.

It is here that Tendulkar and his friend Atul Ranade used to do what technology has just started doing: simulate different bowling actions and release points on a bowling machine. Ranade was a master at doing impressions, and he would run in imitating different bowlers and help Tendulkar prepare for different actions. Even when Tendulkar moved to Bandra West - closer to the sea, posher - he would come here to practise.

In Bandra West, Shirsat went to meet Tendulkar about five years ago at his residence in his new building, La Mer. "I told his PA I wanted to meet Sachin," Shirsat says. "His PA said I would have to wait for 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes later, he came and told me Sachin was too busy. I got angry, and asked the PA to tell Sachin that Shirsat sir has come, does he want to meet him?

"And Sachin came running like a four-five-year-old kid comes running to his parents. And then we spoke for 15 minutes with him looking down. Even in school he would look down after saying something "

Tendulkar has now given up that apartment for a bungalow of his own, not too far away, in the same suburb. A police van outside the bungalow is a permanent presence nowadays. He is also a member of parliament, although the other day he drove himself far into the north of the city, to the suburb of Kandivli, for a Mumbai Cricket Association function. The bungalow now looks like a fortress.

When he was desperate to move in here, he got the workers to do double shifts. The noise in the night obviously disturbed the neighbours. The neighbours were each given a handwritten letter from Tendulkar, asking for their co-operation with the Tendulkars who needed to shift there as soon as possible. No one complained after that.

It's back in south Mumbai that the boy became a man in the world of cricket, playing Kanga League matches in senior sides on wet pitches at Oval Maidan, Cross Maidan and Azad Maidan. His debut as an 11-year-old came for a side housed at Azad Maidan, which is equally well known for being a venue for strikes and agitations. Two days before Tendulkar starts his final Test, about three kilometres from here, fasts until death are being observed for 100% subsidy by the higher-secondary school committee, for railway admissions under notification 1/2007; and an indefinite protest - among others - for an 8% reservation for a particular community. Big photos of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh and Che Guevara abound.

Many such protests would have been on when Tendulkar went into the tent of John Bright Club in 1984. These maidans are all heritage sites, so no club can build permanent structures here. The notices outside clearly ban any kind of commercialisation in the form of posters, banners or advertisements on the fences of the maidans; cooking, hawking, peddling et cetera are outlawed; water connections can only be used by proper authorities for "in general, only cricketing activities".

Tendulkar's next club, SF Sassanian, is like John Bright in betraying no signs that Tendulkar was first seen by the cricketing world while playing in the Kanga League for them. All it has for a dressing room is six ramshackle benches and a few cupboards.

All this, Tendulkar's world before he scored a century on first-class debut, hasn't changed much over the years. Everywhere you go, Shivaji Park, Oval Maidan, Azad Maidan, Cross Maidan, you can imagine that curly-haired boy squeaking away - he was quiet only while teachers were around, every teacher of his says - from net to net, from maidan to maidan riding pillion on Achrekar's scooter, having fun with not a bother in the world, eating vada-pavs, going to school once in a while.

You can find a bit of Tendulkar all over Mumbai. And you don't need plaques, commemorative coins or extravagant felicitations to establish that bond.

Click here to look at pictures that mark a few of the important places in Sachin Tendulkar's journey

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • stormy16 on November 13, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    What a great story and what strikes me most is "humble". Its an awfully difficult trait for people to handle but more so for a star but for a chap like Sachin, it would be that much harder but he has always been humble even as a god of the game. Reading about his early years makes it easier to understand just where this guy comes from. I can relate to some of the parts learning to play cricket on grounds that had a sprinkling on grass in a corner which usually flooded at the first sight of rain. The rest was just bare earth and matting wicket. There were no boundaries - the ball had to go in to the drain to score a boundary. The matting had to be carried out by the boys before and after each session and there was one set of pads for everyone, the gloves had rubber spikes and no one had heard of a thigh pad. Ok Sachin is a bit younger than me but cricket was learnt the humble way in the hands of teachers who were devoted to the game and the kids.

  • on November 16, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Tendulkar may well be the greatest batsman the game hasever produced, arguably the best of all times, but yet again his personality & humbleness is more of an achievement than his legacy, at times when critics voiced their sentiments against him, it was his personality & humbleness that came forward; in fact he would always let his bat do the talking. Salute to one of the greats, will sure miss those spanking drives & crisply timed cut shots. However there is a downfall to all of this, and that is to elevate such a humble "human being" to status of "God", that is most ridiculous; and an insult to such a champion. Whatever he is or has achieved; at the end of the day he is still a human being, who was born into this world; grew up as any other child would; who eats, drinks, has a family & lots more.

  • on November 14, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    well sachin is walking into the sun set with head held high..but spare a thought for kambli..who also dreamt big and failed..

  • on November 14, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Great articles..kudos to cricinfo team for coming up with yet another master piece!!!

  • shaykumar on November 14, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    He has been playing cricket since the day I was born... it is going to be so strange to watch India play without the great man! Apart from the cricket I want to thank you Sachin ji for being such an idol of india for so long. I have seen so many innings of the great man but against the might of Pakistan bowling, in the 2003 world cup chasing 273, he was smashing Shoaibh Akthar around the park, who was then the worlds fastest.... What a treat! Thank you for everything hope you get whatever you want in life!

  • on November 14, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    shachin Tendulkar Is One Of The Greatest Player For Cricket World

  • reality_check on November 14, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Advise to ESPNCricInfo. Take one day and dedicate the entire site to Tedulkar. After that please come back to business as usual. It's getting boring every time you logon and all you see are Tendulkar posters and tributes. Thanks. Please publish.

  • chechong0114 on November 14, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Great vision by ESPN Cricinfo to advertise the Pakistan, South Africa series in such a BIG way on this website. This is the kind of vision that cricket needs and hats of to u guys for taking the initiative to do it, awesome!

  • on November 14, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    i just want to say whenever i'll meet you i'll kiss your hands although i'm a Pakistani, but your greatness in beyond boundaries . The greatest batsman of all times. I love u a lot. The resemblance between you and me is both of us born in 1973.

  • on November 14, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    i just want to say whenever i'll meet you i'll kiss your hands. The greatest batsman of all times. I love u a lot. The resemblance between you and me is both of us born in 1973.

  • stormy16 on November 13, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    What a great story and what strikes me most is "humble". Its an awfully difficult trait for people to handle but more so for a star but for a chap like Sachin, it would be that much harder but he has always been humble even as a god of the game. Reading about his early years makes it easier to understand just where this guy comes from. I can relate to some of the parts learning to play cricket on grounds that had a sprinkling on grass in a corner which usually flooded at the first sight of rain. The rest was just bare earth and matting wicket. There were no boundaries - the ball had to go in to the drain to score a boundary. The matting had to be carried out by the boys before and after each session and there was one set of pads for everyone, the gloves had rubber spikes and no one had heard of a thigh pad. Ok Sachin is a bit younger than me but cricket was learnt the humble way in the hands of teachers who were devoted to the game and the kids.

  • on November 16, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Tendulkar may well be the greatest batsman the game hasever produced, arguably the best of all times, but yet again his personality & humbleness is more of an achievement than his legacy, at times when critics voiced their sentiments against him, it was his personality & humbleness that came forward; in fact he would always let his bat do the talking. Salute to one of the greats, will sure miss those spanking drives & crisply timed cut shots. However there is a downfall to all of this, and that is to elevate such a humble "human being" to status of "God", that is most ridiculous; and an insult to such a champion. Whatever he is or has achieved; at the end of the day he is still a human being, who was born into this world; grew up as any other child would; who eats, drinks, has a family & lots more.

  • on November 14, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    well sachin is walking into the sun set with head held high..but spare a thought for kambli..who also dreamt big and failed..

  • on November 14, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Great articles..kudos to cricinfo team for coming up with yet another master piece!!!

  • shaykumar on November 14, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    He has been playing cricket since the day I was born... it is going to be so strange to watch India play without the great man! Apart from the cricket I want to thank you Sachin ji for being such an idol of india for so long. I have seen so many innings of the great man but against the might of Pakistan bowling, in the 2003 world cup chasing 273, he was smashing Shoaibh Akthar around the park, who was then the worlds fastest.... What a treat! Thank you for everything hope you get whatever you want in life!

  • on November 14, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    shachin Tendulkar Is One Of The Greatest Player For Cricket World

  • reality_check on November 14, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Advise to ESPNCricInfo. Take one day and dedicate the entire site to Tedulkar. After that please come back to business as usual. It's getting boring every time you logon and all you see are Tendulkar posters and tributes. Thanks. Please publish.

  • chechong0114 on November 14, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Great vision by ESPN Cricinfo to advertise the Pakistan, South Africa series in such a BIG way on this website. This is the kind of vision that cricket needs and hats of to u guys for taking the initiative to do it, awesome!

  • on November 14, 2013, 11:29 GMT

    i just want to say whenever i'll meet you i'll kiss your hands although i'm a Pakistani, but your greatness in beyond boundaries . The greatest batsman of all times. I love u a lot. The resemblance between you and me is both of us born in 1973.

  • on November 14, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    i just want to say whenever i'll meet you i'll kiss your hands. The greatest batsman of all times. I love u a lot. The resemblance between you and me is both of us born in 1973.

  • on November 14, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    Today's Sachin not out

  • muzika_tchaikovskogo on November 14, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    What an article! It really made me nostalgic about the years spent growing up in Mumbai. Ah those hours in the local trains, the joys of eating vada pao, the Mumbai monsoon, Marine Drive...

  • on November 14, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    such a nicely written piece guys, thank you for sharing so much information which is not readily available elsewhere.

  • on November 14, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    Little Master departs from test cricket !!!! Watching him bat has always been a feast for the eyes. It is going to be difficult to fill his shoes ..... A brilliant batsman, phenomenal cricketer and an amazing person. His bat will rest, not his legacy..... Take a bow master !!!

  • on November 14, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    we love him because he is our god for 24 years of entertainment inspiration we learned a lot by seeing him, his humble the way he lead his 24 years of journey, no human will overcome his caliber. truly a legend that born to steal million hearts forever n ever. we may watch cricket c the runs scored by young chickens but to whom we ask is tendulkar is Dr? when we think of it eyes are filling wd tears ,echo was raising high ,but we really miss u SACHIN, ur my passion ur my role model n ur my Cricket GOD. wd out god the universe never exist wd out u cricket is no more a game for me. with love ---a tiny fan of u.

  • bijja on November 14, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    Farewell, Master! You are simply The Greatest!!

  • on November 14, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    wow Sachin Tendulkar what a legend

  • Paki-Cricketlover on November 14, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Sachin Fever is full on...! I am a Pakistani, I wish i could be there witnessing last match of a great Sachin tendulkar.to talk about Sachin's class and brilliance the words are not enough. His stats and love from the cricket lovers all around the world says it all..the reason for becoming great is his humbleness..not only a great cricketer,he iz a very good person,there's hadly a single scandal u associate wid Sachin...A scandle-less man...People in India say that virat Kohli or R.Sharma would be da next Sachin...No doubt both ov these are remarkably talented players...but it would be quite a big getting for these to reach Sachin's caliber...Very Long journey ahead...We'll miss u aloTtttt sachin...hats off to u....Jo jeeta wohe Sachin...!!!

  • on November 14, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    what a player ... it was always a treat watching him bat !

  • rosuppiah1981 on November 14, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    If Tendulkar is GOD , why is it that the statistician Ananth Narayan did NOT include even a single test century in his study of the 100 best ? VVS Laxman''s 281 was ranked very high but Sachin's name was conspicuous in its absence in the 100 best test centuries.Lara also was featured prominently for his solo match winning kncoks.

    Dravid , Laxman , Sehwag , Gavaskar and Vishy have played more match winning knocks than GOD - Also when the going was tough , specially in the second innings of a test march , Tendulkar faltered- In this regard , Laxman was supreme

    Let us put things in perspective , Sachin was a very good batsman but he was NOT GOD - Personally , I would rank Lara , Laxman ,Dravid , Gavaskar above Sachin

    If Tendulkar is GOD , why is it that the statistician Ananth Narayan did NOT include even a single test century in his study of the 100 best - VVS Laxman''s 281 was ranked high but Sachin's name was conspicuous in its absence ?

  • on November 14, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    Being so composed for over 24 years in International Cricket is Just unbelievable. SRT's Dedication towards the Game is Phenomenal. Sachin can never be compared to anyone. He can be compared to him alone. He has proven it by his Bat by his simplicity and by his Humbleness even after achieving so much. India is Proud to had him on field over the 24 years and I hope he will continue to contribute to the Indian Cricket in the future. Salute to the man who Lead even Not Cricket Lovers to start Loving the Game of cricket. I still rememebr once when my father asked me "How many Goals Sachin made".

    Great Article; It just taking us to walk through the streets Sachin walked; bat through the pitches Sachin batted. We Will Miss You Sachin.

  • Fast_Track_Bully on November 14, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    A great player who justifies the 'gentleman's' game in all means. You cannot find him abusing opposition. Even if others use sledging an option, he will reply with his bat only. Just ask Mc graths, Warnes, Akthars...He smashed the legends all over the park it may be Walsh, Murali, Donald, Pollock or Akram all of them got it. Even if a bowler got his wicket in one game, he thrashed him with runs in the next game. There were comments from few arrogant players like he has fear facing particular bowler or he afraid of me- NO need to reply such comments, history proves it all. All the best Sachin!

  • satishsasikumar on November 14, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Over the years despite many changes in India, Sachin's dedication to the game, his humility and his growing list of admirers haven't changed... He stood tall in his era and would continue to inspire many in the days to come… …It is difficult to ignore and admire the number of positives in this mortal being and I could only say he was born to be great!

  • satishsasikumar on November 14, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    One could go on describing the greatness of the phenomenon called Sachin Tendulkar. On the occasion of his farewell to cricket, I began to recollect the days when he played his first few cricket matches..the days when owning a colour television, a Maruti car was a luxury and people were struggling to come into terms with the economic state in India..His entry into cricket coincided with beginning of satellite TV in India and redefined not only the game, but the ways common man overcame the daily struggles.Many began to identify his cricketing success with their lives and he was able to instill the belief in the middle class society that success could be achieved by dedication, hardwork and focus though remaining rooted to the ground…no wonder his growth in sports paralleled the economic transformation and the job market in the country and in all terms he become the symbol and pride of India. How many countries can boast of a sportsman who positively transformed the lives/thoughts?

  • on November 14, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    Squalor and stagnation justified with sentimental mumbo-jumbo.

  • on November 14, 2013, 2:25 GMT

    humble beginnings of the great man. Never let success go to his head............ deserves all the accolades he is getting now and even that is less.

  • on November 14, 2013, 1:18 GMT

    Souvenir Sachin Tendulkar

  • imm78678 on November 13, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    as a cricket fan we all will miss sachin a great guy, great player, and a true gentlemen even though from pakistan im sure the whole country is sad the little genius has hung up his boots , but nothing lasts for ever and im sure our bowlers are relieved in some way!

  • satishsasikumar on November 13, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    @ Samar_Singh..Sorry but Sachin is the first ever kind of guy to retire from cricket...humility, greatness, no controversies etc...wouldn't you agree with that?

  • EverybodylovesSachin on November 13, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    rosuppiah1981 Sachin is GOD of cricket with the best technique world has ever seen in a batsman... He is the best ever.. match winning depends on how blowers of a winning team performed. Laxman's 281 was not the reason India won because of quality spin bowling favored by the conditions. I would put Sachin's 114 at Perth and his first century in England higher than the guys you mentioned.

  • avmd on November 13, 2013, 20:52 GMT

    He is an all time great cricketer, the best produced by India and deserves all the respect from any cricket follower over the world. But there should be a limitat to and same is applied to his farewell. There has been other great cricketer retired, no one plays for ever. Richard, Akram, Waqar, Murli, Shane Warn and Lara , all retired but cricinfo was never obsessed with posting stories after stories and pictures and articles about one cricketer, like no one else matter and nothing else is going on in cricket world. I'm just waiting all this to be over soon. He should have retired 3 years ago, I wish.

  • crikkfan on November 13, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Samar_Singh - yes obviously - Sachin is the first and only one of his kind to retire from cricket. If don't get it we sympathize with you!

  • Lach-Ferragh on November 13, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    Tendulkar has been a great ambassador for this sport as say Stephen Hendry has been for snooker; Schumacher was for Formula 1; and Federer has been for tennis. Even as a Pakistani, you can't help but feel proud of this humble man who's carried this sport along the way with such dignity. If cricket players were half as honest and dedicated to this sport as he's been, we wouldn't have the many scandals we've had over the past two decades.

  • India-Do-Well on November 13, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    @Muneeb_Dawood - no matter how boring it is, you still have (a) the choice not to read it (b) not waste your time commenting. However to quote Yoda - the hate is strong in this one. No worries if you didn't get it.

  • India-Do-Well on November 13, 2013, 17:02 GMT

    @immi2711 - if you have followed cricket and over the last 15 years seen one or two innings from Tendulkar then you need to get cable TV and not watch only PTV (or whatever the DD version you have in Pakistan). When you say that you lose all credibility and frankly anything you say after that has no meaning.

  • rosuppiah1981 on November 13, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    If Tendulkar is GOD , why is it that the statistician Ananth Narayan did NOT include even a single test century in his study of the 100 best ? VVS Laxman''s 281 was ranked very high but Sachin's name was conspicuous in its absence in the 100 best test centuries.Lara also was featured prominently for his solo match winning kncoks.

    Dravid , Laxman , Sehwag , Gavaskar and Vishy have played more match winning knocks than GOD - Also when the going was tough , specially in the second innings of a test march , Tendulkar faltered- In this regard , Laxman was supreme

    Let us put things in perspective , Sachin was a very good batsman but he was NOT GOD - Personally , I would rank Lara , Laxman ,Dravid , Gavaskar above Sachin

  • immi2711 on November 13, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    From Pakistan : Everyone is talking big about Sachin's big cricket achievements. Honestly, in the last 15 years I have been following cricket I have maybe seen 1 or 2 substantial innings from him....BUT THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANTED TO SAY HERE...

    Everyone fails to recognize what made him great. It was NOT his cricket achievements, because there is someone better than him around the corner, and someone better than him...greats will keep coming, but who makes the mark in this world and who establishes their legacy....SACHIN did that by his humbleness, by his demeanor, by his kindness. He came in quietly, did his work, without an ounce of showmanship, and left, there were no presentation, no drama, no interviews. Just his game, thats what I remember of Sachin, very much like DRAVID. You can say they dont make them like that any more. Virat so far looks like a good player, but he does not have the humbleness of Sachin/Dravid. Hope some of these new players of Indian cricket watch this man.

  • mk49_van on November 13, 2013, 14:45 GMT

    Great story - except it was not "Mumbai" in those days. It was Bombay!

  • ralankara on November 13, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Fantastic career and deserves all the excitement and felicitation going into his last game for Team INDIA !! Big thank you to Sachin for entertaining us for last 25 yrs, i cant still forget the thrashing he gave Abdul Qadir (at his peak ) for consecutive sixes in pakistan when he started off his international career.The present clout of BCCI and the culture/spirit of the team INDIA is just because of your contributions and the core you were around most of your playing days (Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman, Kumble, Sehwag).

    Hats off and all the best for your post cricketing career.

  • Fan1969 on November 13, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    Excellent write-up by @ntalgeri. Mumbai stars, including Rohit have been propped up far beyond imagination. Yes Mumbai did produce great batsmen but the best talent is now coming from other Ranji teams.

    Glorify Tendulkar, by all means, he deserves it but hopefully cricket writing will start being more sensible soon!!

  • MuhammadJawadShayeq on November 13, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    I met Tendulkar & his family couple of years back at a Luxury fashion brand outlet. Me & Sachin had 1-1 chat for 10-15 mins.His fashion taste was impressive & so was his humbleness . A true legend !

  • on November 13, 2013, 13:19 GMT

    Aiyeega ... I miss the Vada Pav ... my Matunga Gymkhana where I toiled hard and bowled to Ravi Shastri and this guy used to hit almost all my balls to Podar College. Damn .. article brings back memories. This article illustrates Tendulkar .. the always humble human being .. not many in this world like him. Thank you Sachin for serving Indian cricket for a quarter of a century and may you go riding into the sunset with you head held high!

  • ntalgeri on November 13, 2013, 13:06 GMT

    The article is about Sachin and that's great. However, constant romanticizing the "Bombay school of Batting" is disrespectful to other zones. One would find similar stories in Najafgarh, Bellary, Raipur, Jhansi, Solan, Ajmer, Guntur. It's just that there aren't enough cricket commentators and writers gloating over it in teary eyed interviews and editorial columns. Indian cricket has progressed much more in the times where no one state has dominated, but some people continue to live in past, overrated glory. Gavaskar's 34 centuries , Shastri's and Manjrekar's "Khadoos" batting styles etc., pale in comparison to the sheer joy of a young CROSS-CULTURAL Indian team winning the '07 (T20), '83, '11 (ODI) world cups and the CT2013!! All those wins were not propelled by the Bombay school, but we still have a tendency to hold on to the past, where individual records were broken in plenty, but the team hardly won anything.

  • timeless_steel on November 13, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Excellent write-up on SRT's home ground Bombay, now Mumbai! I think every player grows from the strong roots however once successful, it is the person himself whose conduct determines his future success or growth and Sir Sachin scores 100 even on this front. The importance of learning with undoubtedly supremely knowledgeable coaches and competitive fellow mates on Mumbai turf has allowed Sir Sachin to give his best performance every time. And thereby, it has been a amazing experience for his fans like me to follow him every time he came to batting.

    I think his benchmarks shall be followed by not only entire aspiring Indians but more so by upcoming Mumbai players which shall ensure Indian batsman ship to blossom further. The last match, thereby should be a celebration of Indian Cricket under the aegis of the Master who has ensured the fans that the cradle has passed into the right hands!!!

    Saluting the Master Sir Sachin!!##Fans forever##

  • on November 13, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar is a Great Player. will never see him again playing for India.

  • a133936 on November 13, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Same Mumbai crowd that booed Sachin off the field when he got out to a low score against England in 2006? Pathtic .... very pathetic! I hope, they don't do the same this time.

  • Rathan-S on November 13, 2013, 12:36 GMT

    Nice article. enjoyed every bit of it.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on November 13, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Wow, another article on Sachins retirement. I think this is the 6th on in 4 days. Its going to be a long couple of months on cricinfo....

  • on November 13, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    great article , the little master will always be remembered for his great batting skills . to be honest Vinod Kambli would have better as good if not better ,pity the politics of Indian cricket didnt allow us to see the full story.

  • rohan024 on November 13, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    Ok, here is a small confession. Yesterday night at around 1 AM, i went to Sachin's house on perry cross road, and seeing no one around, slid a small thank you letter under the guard's door. Doesn;t matter whether or not that letter would ever reach SRT, i just wanted to thank him for giving us so many fond memories. Good Luck Sachin!

  • on November 13, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @Samar_Singh, No Samar he is not first, But no one contributed like him for 25 years. Keeping the hope of 1.3 billion people in ODI and Test are not simple thing, He earned that, Nobody told him to do this much, But everyone (except sachin's haters) are personally involved on it.

  • on November 13, 2013, 11:43 GMT

    I will cry for him from my inside every-time i will hear about cricket. I don't understand why he is retiring? He could play both oneday and test at least till 2015. My guess Indian people criticize him too much because of his last 1 year performance. Indian fan killed him mentally. Thats why he retired

  • on November 13, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    Hand written letter to each n every neighbour!!!Man this is why u deserve all the respect u get.....Humility is in ur blood and vein...greatness does nt come to everyone and Sachin deserves all of it...Salute to the greatest ever cricketer who always saw cricket with so much respect and love!!!

  • on November 13, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    Dedicated to all the Mumbaikars and fans of Tendulkar, Enjoyed every single word written for him. Truly Sensational Tendulkar!!!!!!!

  • Amit_13 on November 13, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    That is my Bombay, the Bombay I left behind :-(

  • concerned_cricketer on November 13, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Very nice to read about the early years and very heartening to note that most of it remains unchanged. Long live the Shirsats, Ragini Desais and Achrekars of cricket all over the world. Such dedication to a game or sport in general and to go to great lengths to impart that to generation after generation of children in a country that is developing and has to work really hard to feed itself is truly romantic and says so much about the human spirit. Long live that spirit. And thank you Sachin, for everything.

  • on November 13, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Hope he can score a century which he richly deserves. Being a Pakistan team fan I have always admired sachin. He is a great ambassador for the game of cricket. Sachin and dravid are one of the best the game has ever produced. Both have great personalities aswell. Can only wish him best for the future.

  • Samar_Singh on November 13, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Sorry but is Sachin the first ever guy to retire from cricket ?

  • batman_gothamcity on November 13, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Nice artcile it has captured the perfect ambience of the areas mentioned where the little kid became the Master Blaster . Brought back memories of my own cricket at Shivaji park 10 yrs ago .

  • Naveenc06 on November 13, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Legend will be missed across the Globe! Such is the Impact of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Can't wait for the match to start.. All the very best little Master..! We all miss you..

  • Nitin2208 on November 13, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Excellent article about the great man.. Tells you about a man who came from such a modest background & went on to becoming the sporting greats in the world. The stories like this happen once in a lifetime.. Proud to be a Sachin fan & all his achievements... Love you SIR sachin !!! -Nitin Pawar

  • AB_DeVilliers on November 13, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Oh how boring. Sorry, but this Tendulkar farewell is turning out to be such a tremendous anti-climax it's actually quite funny.

  • on November 13, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Great read Sid - very intimate piece.

  • SunilIDN on November 13, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    One of the very panic moment of everybody life...... without sachin cricket is nothing..... SRT we missss u and love you always...............................

  • BradmanBestEver on November 13, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Farewell to one of the great players

  • BradmanBestEver on November 13, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Farewell to one of the great players

  • SunilIDN on November 13, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    One of the very panic moment of everybody life...... without sachin cricket is nothing..... SRT we missss u and love you always...............................

  • on November 13, 2013, 10:00 GMT

    Great read Sid - very intimate piece.

  • AB_DeVilliers on November 13, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Oh how boring. Sorry, but this Tendulkar farewell is turning out to be such a tremendous anti-climax it's actually quite funny.

  • Nitin2208 on November 13, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Excellent article about the great man.. Tells you about a man who came from such a modest background & went on to becoming the sporting greats in the world. The stories like this happen once in a lifetime.. Proud to be a Sachin fan & all his achievements... Love you SIR sachin !!! -Nitin Pawar

  • Naveenc06 on November 13, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Legend will be missed across the Globe! Such is the Impact of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Can't wait for the match to start.. All the very best little Master..! We all miss you..

  • batman_gothamcity on November 13, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    Nice artcile it has captured the perfect ambience of the areas mentioned where the little kid became the Master Blaster . Brought back memories of my own cricket at Shivaji park 10 yrs ago .

  • Samar_Singh on November 13, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Sorry but is Sachin the first ever guy to retire from cricket ?

  • on November 13, 2013, 11:15 GMT

    Hope he can score a century which he richly deserves. Being a Pakistan team fan I have always admired sachin. He is a great ambassador for the game of cricket. Sachin and dravid are one of the best the game has ever produced. Both have great personalities aswell. Can only wish him best for the future.

  • concerned_cricketer on November 13, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    Very nice to read about the early years and very heartening to note that most of it remains unchanged. Long live the Shirsats, Ragini Desais and Achrekars of cricket all over the world. Such dedication to a game or sport in general and to go to great lengths to impart that to generation after generation of children in a country that is developing and has to work really hard to feed itself is truly romantic and says so much about the human spirit. Long live that spirit. And thank you Sachin, for everything.