November 13, 2009

The Sachin I know

Tendulkar has found the urge, and the solutions, to be able to play for 20 years. That is a landmark to be celebrated
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Sachin Tendulkar may have inspired others to write poetry but he batted in robust prose. Not for him the tenderness and fragility of the poet, the excitement of a leaf fluttering in a gentle breeze. No. Tendulkar is about a plantation standing up to the typhoon, the skyscraper that stands tall, the cannon that booms. Solid. Robust. Focused. The last word is the key. He loves the game deeply but without the eccentricities of the romantic. There is a match to be won at all times.

But Tendulkar too was a sapling once. And his brother Ajit sheltered him from the gale, kept him focused. Sachin looked after his cricket, Ajit looked after Sachin. Twenty-two years ago, I was asked by Sportsworld to do an article on this extraordinary schoolboy. It wasn't Sachin I had to speak to, it was Ajit. When the time for the interview came, at Ramakant Achrekar's net in Shivaji Park, Ajit was there with a cyclostyled copy of Sachin's scores. And Achrekar admonished me for spoiling his child, for fear that Sachin would get distracted.

The interview was done. Sachin was neither overwhelmed nor garrulous; indeed he was so limited with his words that you had to hold on to every one of them. It was sent to Sportsworld in Calcutta by courier (or was it just put into a normal post box?) and then came a request for two photographs. Again it was Ajit who produced them. When I got the cheque, I noticed they had paid me an extra 100 rupees for the photographs. They weren't mine but Sportsworld had a policy of paying for them and so I wrote out a cheque to Ajit for Rs 100. It was acknowledged and accepted gratefully. We lived in different times then!

It was also my first realisation that young men in the public eye needed to be sheltered so they could focus on playing cricket; that they needed an elder brother, or an equivalent, to put a gentle hand on the shoulder and, occasionally, lay one the back side. A lot of other young men today see Tendulkar's runs, eye his wealth, but their brattishness comes in the way of noticing his work ethic. For Tendulkar's life is not the story of extraordinary ability but of an extraordinary work ethic.

Twelve years later, on a cold evening in Bristol, preparing for a World Cup game against Kenya the next day, I saw him in dark glasses, fiddling around with his kit. Aimlessly, like he was searching for something to do. At most times he would be bounding around with energy, bowling off 18 yards, taking catches, shouting thoughts to other batsmen.

I approached him hesitantly, I couldn't see his eyes because they were shrouded by these huge dark glasses, probably the only time they were used to cover rather than to adorn, for he had just lost his father. I asked him if he would talk to us about coming back to play. He nodded his head and only briefly took the glasses off. His eyes were red and swollen; you could see he had been crying copiously. For the interview he put them on, and once the camera had stopped rolling, admitted he didn't want to return, that his mind was all over the place, that he felt anchorless. It was the only time he didn't want to play for India but he had been forced back by his family, aware that only cricket could help him overcome his grief. When he got a hundred the next day and looked heavenwards, some other eyes were moist. Even in his grief there was resolve, for he wanted that century. It might only have been Kenya but he was battling himself, not the bowlers.

It has been fantastic having a ringside view of this journey, watching a cricketer, and a person, grow. But one thing hasn't changed. He still approaches every game like a child would a bar of chocolate, feeling happy and fortunate

Four years later he agreed to do an interview for a series of programmes I was then doing. Our producer thought we would make it special, and to our surprise and joy, Amitabh Bachchan agreed to introduce the programme. In the first break Sachin whispered, "That was a beautiful surprise." Little did he know there was more to come.

Sometime earlier he had told me he was a big fan of Mark Knopfler and we thought it would be great if we could get the great Dire Straits man to talk to us.

"I'm recording all night but immediately after that, before I fall asleep," Knopfler said, and somehow we persuaded Sachin to do the programme in the afternoon rather than in the morning. And when the moment came, we patched the line on and when I said, "Hello Mark," Sachin looked puzzled. A minute later his eyes lit up when he realised which Mark we had on the line. And then he was like a child, tongue-tied, fidgety, excited - much like most people are when they first meet Tendulkar. Even the stars can get starry-eyed!

And there have been moments of surprising candour. When asked, as batsmen tend to be, which bowlers had troubled him the most, he smiled an almost embarrassed smile and said, "You won't believe this." When probed, he said, "Pedro Collins and Hansie Cronje."

"In fact," he said, "I once told my partner 'Will you please take Hansie for me? I don't mind playing Allan Donald'"

Tendulkar's batting has been much chronicled over the years. Indeed, I believe he has been the most analysed cricketer in the history of the game. Yet he has found the urge, and indeed the solutions, to play on for 20 years. Now that is a landmark to be celebrated, not the many inconsequential others that we exploit for our own need. It has been fantastic having a ringside view of this journey, watching a cricketer, and a person, grow. But one thing hasn't changed. He still approaches every game like a child would a bar of chocolate, feeling happy and fortunate.

Read the Sportsworld article from 1988 here

Harsha Bhogle is a commentator, television presenter and writer

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SatyajitM on November 15, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Listening to Harsha has always been a pleasure. I guess I heard him first time in All India Radio (may be mid 80s). He was talking in Hindi (I believe). What striked me most was the way he was so detailed and yet very refreshing. In those days we had quite a few commentators who were banal and had limited understanding of the game. On the other hand Harsha was someone with a sense of purpose. He remains my favorite commetator till today due to his knowledge of the game. His non aggressive style and ability to see the perspective even in a tense situation is what separtes Harsha from many other commentators (However, I would agree that the general standard of commentry has improved a lot after the financial revolution in cricket which resulted in many retired top cricketers joining commentary panels).

  • SatyajitM on November 15, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    @V.Gomes, I think you have used the wrong word 'envy'. Sachin fans and Indians in general would admire the fact that Jayasuriya or Ponting's teams have won world cup. They would also admire the 1983 Indian team for winning the world cup and not 'envy' them. Sachin himself has clearly said that winnng WC is one of his cherished dream, so there is not much confusion (or lack of clarity) on that one. But people who also understand the game knows tournaments are won by teams and not merely by individuduals (however great may he may be). You cann't overlook the fact that Sachin won Man of the series for WC03 even though India lost the final. That talks volumes about his contribution to the team cause. The fact that India won 1983 WC doesn't make Roger Binny a better cricketer than Sachin. I hope you got my point.

  • siddham2007 on November 15, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Harsha - champagne - article from a favourite scribe on my favourite famous person. Sachin's devotion and passion for Game and Country brought out shows in the part you wrote about the time of his father's death - something I relate to because I've been through that (I was very close to my father and was in the US when he died and I had to rush to Mumbai)

  • umesh_nawathe on November 15, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    V.GOMES....

    I understand your comment. But if u see Sachin's record in World Cups, he is still performing like a 20 year old child. We cant blame him all the time. Whenever Sachin plays a outstanding knock no one else plays with him till the end. We have experienced it too lately. Still everyone criticizing him not to be a Match Winner. Cant you remember the innings he played against pakistan in world cup 2008?...I guess youngsters like Yuvraj singh, MS Dhoni have to learn from him. I also obsered during the innings of 175 Sachin had nice help from Sehwag, Raina and Jadeja. But Yuvraj and Dhoni were not talking to him on the field about the situation.After all its my observation it may be wrong.But i guess youngster have to KEEP THERE FEET ON THE GROUND...!!!

  • DattatreyaHeroor on November 15, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    A great tribute from a great commentator/gentleman to a great cricketer/gentleman. Many present Indian cricketers have lot to learn from Sachin. Many players have talent but do not have the temperament and they do not carry themselves well on and off the field. Most of them have got distracted by the hype that they are getting from the media. Any player who plays just 1-2 good innings becomes hero and then the players gets endorsements and money. Which have spoiled them. They don't play for the country's pride any more, they just play for the money. I wish many present players in Indian team had elder brother like Ajit to look after them so that they would have concentrated on the game more than on the other things off the field.

    A salute to the Great Cricketer. The only and only Sachin Tendulkar.

    Thank you Harsha for such wonderful article.

  • federer007 on November 15, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Hey V.Gomes, Without a doubt, I'd throw a world cup in garbage if it means not having the sachin tendulkar experience. I, like many Indians, are more invested on how Sachin does than the team results. We get joy when Sachin scores big, regardless of the result. Kipling said "if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same". It's true. Results in themselves don't have any impact but the effort through dedication and relentless ambition is what moves people, what inspires them. Sachin inspires us through his actions and world cup has no place in any of it unless of course it's through Sachin.

  • Bang_La on November 15, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    A preamble: Harsha, my favourite commentator, (who mixes true humour and life in cricket commentary which was kill-me-grumpy before), thank YOU for writing another emotional piece showing no emotions!

    I am older but luckier to watch Sachin, this unbelieving cricket-God, now my son has joined the fan club. What more can we do?

    Hope I live till 2015 to see the God off from the green!

    Our heartiest regards from Bangladesh.

  • HJoshi on November 15, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    Sachin, because it is because of your values in life and not simply your achievements that the world bows to you.

  • pcraajendiran on November 15, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    I am so privileged to be born in the country, for which Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar plays cricket. I've taken him as a role model, not because of my love for the game. But the reason being, his commitment, his dedication, his passion and most of all his Indianess. I may not be excited when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sends a manned mission to Moon, but for, when this man scores a century. I may not feel dejected when some of my nearest or closest depart, but for, when this man hangs his boots and I will bid adieu to the game of cricket once he does.

  • mayank on November 14, 2009, 21:39 GMT

    I agree with Harsha Bhogle that he is by far the most analyzed batsman in the history of the game. Yet he has survived with bowlers and other players able to study him and his game more with assistance of technology. That speaks volumes about his commitment, focus and passion to contribute, improve and innovate with every game. Congrats to the master for these glorious twenty years and thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • SatyajitM on November 15, 2009, 14:38 GMT

    Listening to Harsha has always been a pleasure. I guess I heard him first time in All India Radio (may be mid 80s). He was talking in Hindi (I believe). What striked me most was the way he was so detailed and yet very refreshing. In those days we had quite a few commentators who were banal and had limited understanding of the game. On the other hand Harsha was someone with a sense of purpose. He remains my favorite commetator till today due to his knowledge of the game. His non aggressive style and ability to see the perspective even in a tense situation is what separtes Harsha from many other commentators (However, I would agree that the general standard of commentry has improved a lot after the financial revolution in cricket which resulted in many retired top cricketers joining commentary panels).

  • SatyajitM on November 15, 2009, 14:12 GMT

    @V.Gomes, I think you have used the wrong word 'envy'. Sachin fans and Indians in general would admire the fact that Jayasuriya or Ponting's teams have won world cup. They would also admire the 1983 Indian team for winning the world cup and not 'envy' them. Sachin himself has clearly said that winnng WC is one of his cherished dream, so there is not much confusion (or lack of clarity) on that one. But people who also understand the game knows tournaments are won by teams and not merely by individuduals (however great may he may be). You cann't overlook the fact that Sachin won Man of the series for WC03 even though India lost the final. That talks volumes about his contribution to the team cause. The fact that India won 1983 WC doesn't make Roger Binny a better cricketer than Sachin. I hope you got my point.

  • siddham2007 on November 15, 2009, 13:04 GMT

    Harsha - champagne - article from a favourite scribe on my favourite famous person. Sachin's devotion and passion for Game and Country brought out shows in the part you wrote about the time of his father's death - something I relate to because I've been through that (I was very close to my father and was in the US when he died and I had to rush to Mumbai)

  • umesh_nawathe on November 15, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    V.GOMES....

    I understand your comment. But if u see Sachin's record in World Cups, he is still performing like a 20 year old child. We cant blame him all the time. Whenever Sachin plays a outstanding knock no one else plays with him till the end. We have experienced it too lately. Still everyone criticizing him not to be a Match Winner. Cant you remember the innings he played against pakistan in world cup 2008?...I guess youngsters like Yuvraj singh, MS Dhoni have to learn from him. I also obsered during the innings of 175 Sachin had nice help from Sehwag, Raina and Jadeja. But Yuvraj and Dhoni were not talking to him on the field about the situation.After all its my observation it may be wrong.But i guess youngster have to KEEP THERE FEET ON THE GROUND...!!!

  • DattatreyaHeroor on November 15, 2009, 6:49 GMT

    A great tribute from a great commentator/gentleman to a great cricketer/gentleman. Many present Indian cricketers have lot to learn from Sachin. Many players have talent but do not have the temperament and they do not carry themselves well on and off the field. Most of them have got distracted by the hype that they are getting from the media. Any player who plays just 1-2 good innings becomes hero and then the players gets endorsements and money. Which have spoiled them. They don't play for the country's pride any more, they just play for the money. I wish many present players in Indian team had elder brother like Ajit to look after them so that they would have concentrated on the game more than on the other things off the field.

    A salute to the Great Cricketer. The only and only Sachin Tendulkar.

    Thank you Harsha for such wonderful article.

  • federer007 on November 15, 2009, 5:37 GMT

    Hey V.Gomes, Without a doubt, I'd throw a world cup in garbage if it means not having the sachin tendulkar experience. I, like many Indians, are more invested on how Sachin does than the team results. We get joy when Sachin scores big, regardless of the result. Kipling said "if you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same". It's true. Results in themselves don't have any impact but the effort through dedication and relentless ambition is what moves people, what inspires them. Sachin inspires us through his actions and world cup has no place in any of it unless of course it's through Sachin.

  • Bang_La on November 15, 2009, 4:41 GMT

    A preamble: Harsha, my favourite commentator, (who mixes true humour and life in cricket commentary which was kill-me-grumpy before), thank YOU for writing another emotional piece showing no emotions!

    I am older but luckier to watch Sachin, this unbelieving cricket-God, now my son has joined the fan club. What more can we do?

    Hope I live till 2015 to see the God off from the green!

    Our heartiest regards from Bangladesh.

  • HJoshi on November 15, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    Sachin, because it is because of your values in life and not simply your achievements that the world bows to you.

  • pcraajendiran on November 15, 2009, 2:34 GMT

    I am so privileged to be born in the country, for which Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar plays cricket. I've taken him as a role model, not because of my love for the game. But the reason being, his commitment, his dedication, his passion and most of all his Indianess. I may not be excited when the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) sends a manned mission to Moon, but for, when this man scores a century. I may not feel dejected when some of my nearest or closest depart, but for, when this man hangs his boots and I will bid adieu to the game of cricket once he does.

  • mayank on November 14, 2009, 21:39 GMT

    I agree with Harsha Bhogle that he is by far the most analyzed batsman in the history of the game. Yet he has survived with bowlers and other players able to study him and his game more with assistance of technology. That speaks volumes about his commitment, focus and passion to contribute, improve and innovate with every game. Congrats to the master for these glorious twenty years and thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • SandipShahane on November 14, 2009, 20:59 GMT

    Congratulation Harsha to you too! You have come a long way since that first Commentary on DoorDarshan! :) And thanks for yet another beutiful portrayal of Sachin... I still remember Sachin's interview on Star or ESPN that you had taken and I could feel you being awestrucked by the mere presence of Sachin and you actually interviewing him... may be this is an exagerration of an emotional fan but that one particular interview was simply awesome though not content wise but to see you asking him some straight_from_heart questions and HE answering with usual humbleness....You two guys, keep it up! :)

  • nikhs77 on November 14, 2009, 17:19 GMT

    Great words for an astonishing PERSON named SRT. I have been an ardent fan of the maestro since 1986 and am rightifully fortunate ( as other have mentioned) to watch unfolding of Sachin's cricket life. Glaring differences which sets him apart from his contemporaries are the performances under sheer weight of expectations, with depleted Indian bowling sides at times in his career ( resulting into a continuos battle of saving matches and salvaging the team from insurmountable positions), longevity of just being a part of the top 11 in a 1.2 billion cricket-crazy country and an uncanny regime to stay away from controversies. This once-in-an-era cricketer has been adroitfully worded by another master-class journalist Harsha Bhogle. Harsha- I have been reading your columns with equal anticipation as Tendlya's innings and request you to consider writing a biography on the man whose cricket skills and humility, we have been lucky to witness. Do keep writing and commenting!

  • V.GOMES on November 14, 2009, 15:59 GMT

    I'm sure Sachin and India would give-up all the 17,000 runs that he has scored in the past 20 years for just 1 World Cup. I am sure deep down inside both Sachin and India envies players like Ponting and Jayasuria who have won World Cup(s),.. but I sure neither Sachin nor India would ever admit to it.

  • Notout_Naveen on November 14, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    Sachin completing 20 yrs in international cricket..

    This is an occasion to congratulate him so i dont wanna miss!!! i regularly shower praise about him though!! I have been his fan all through my life.Sachin is my role model.Every time i was watching him play i was taking all god names to see him play more and more..i still do that.All through i have always fighted against evryone who raised bad comment against him thats all i could do for him for the immense joy he has given by his cricket.But Sachin has answered all his critics with his bat.I dare to say no one now can point finger at him or dare to critcize him..Its been such an amazing journey!!it contineous..I want Sachin to get worldcup 2011 for us or its rather i request Indian team to achieve 2011 world cup for Sachin.In both way it would be a gr8 end to an incredible career.

    I pray god to give him energy to play as long as possible and reach new heights.

  • VipulPatki on November 14, 2009, 15:43 GMT

    A superb article about a legend by another legend. To play 20 years of cricket reflects a greatness which we can only wonder about, let alone achieve it. Readers reading this article, please dont click on the link "Read all N comments" just to read Srinis1 comments. It only reminds me of the hindi adage "Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swaad". Thanks Harsha also for reminding readers that Sachin became the legend only because of his work ethics, and as you yourself say, "Take care of runs and dollars will take care of themselves". Somebody please tell Sreesanth the definition of toughness please!

  • immit13 on November 14, 2009, 15:00 GMT

    Harsha you are simply outstanding as a TV presenter/commentator AND writing articles as this. You do it your typical way and its GREAT! JUST KEEP IT UP! I know you would as you too follow Sachin's policy on that... let critics do their job and you do your own. Sorry Srinis1 according to me you got bad taste in listening cricket commentry or watch cricket presentation...AND YES SACHIN IS SACHIN! THATS IT. Don't compare him with others... its worthless... compare all in cricket world with him as he himself is the STANDARD which noone will match up to than he himself.

  • sandeepvaidya on November 14, 2009, 14:40 GMT

    I must say a well scripted article written by a Honest commentator for a Honest cricketer world has ever seen..... Its been always asked What makes tendulkar so special, well its simple, its his simplicity towards the game and a honest soul which he posses makes him special and this can be seen in his stroke especially the straight drive..... I feel myself lucky that I m born in the era where I m fortunate to see crafted batsmenship of the maestro and the near to genius named Sachin Tendulkar... Last but not least Harsha has used well scripted words in his article and a pleasure to read it....

  • splendorskies18 on November 14, 2009, 13:34 GMT

    Nice work Harsha sir..I love the line that u said " He still approaches every game like a child would a bar of chocolate, feeling happy and fortunate''.

  • umesh_nawathe on November 14, 2009, 10:25 GMT

    Well this is an awesome article by my favourite television presenter. I enjoyed almost all the events from this article.Specially i had some drops in my eyes by reading the interview at the time of his father's departure.Its an honor to see this man on TV. I just watched him closely during the match against Srilanka at Pune. Well that time I just kept looking at him. I dont have words to explain that experience.

    Even i have a superstition, when Sachin starts batting i have a particular chair and place to sit. I never get out of that chair until he is there.

    He is truely the ONE...!!!

    and on one thing i want everybody's opinion: As far as i guess the Master deserves the SIR added before his name.Please put your opinions friends.

  • Rony312 on November 14, 2009, 10:19 GMT

    I keep wondering if the game will cease exist or start getting less atention at the world stage, once this man decides to hang up his boots... I can't even think of a situation coz for me and will the case be for many others Cricket means Sachin and Sachin means Cricket

  • antique123 on November 14, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Thanks a lot Mr. Harsha Bhogle for giving us such a wonderful account of the greatest ever batsman in the world. It is actually shocking to hear that Pedro Collins and Hansie Cronje troubled Sachin the most. According to me i have never seen Sachin being troubled by any bowler. We know that he has got out chealpy sometime even to the partimers. But those were all once in a blue moon types. Anyways thanks a lot for such a wondeful portrayal of this Legend. I also read this article "Is Sachin Tendulkar the greatest schoolboy cricketer ever?". Man it was awesome. Reading this article and then switching over to the present scenario as to where Sachin is actually, wowwwww that was phenomenol. Thanks a lot.... CHEERS!!!

  • virtualshah on November 14, 2009, 7:47 GMT

    Cricket still worth watching as SRT playing, after that Cricket will be Synonym of wrestling. SRT IS NOT A INDIAN ONLY... HE IS UNIVERSAL.

  • kalpit on November 14, 2009, 6:47 GMT

    Players will come and go. Somebody may break some of his records but no one can ever reach near the love that he has got from the nation.. Nice article Harsha. You are also like a child. After so many meetings with him, We can still see those starry eyes every time you interview him. Your love for this game is also incomparable..Harsha, I have also written an article on Sachin in my blog.

  • Notout_Naveen on November 14, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    I would love to see Sachin taking both man-of the-match and man of the series award!! and India Wining the 2011 worldcup!! what a sight it would be!! A fitting super climax to the super star cricketer for India. God pls make this happen!!!

  • sree78 on November 14, 2009, 3:57 GMT

    Thanks Harsha for such a fantastic article. As a 10 year old I still remember walking out from my school to go see the last few overs of the exhibition match between India and Pakistan 20 years ago in some strangers home across the street from the school..Sachin stepped out to hit Akram for a six and he was pretty adament with the other batsman at the crease that India can hit what looked like almost an impossible target - Today I have my own kid and it is just amazing (almost unbelievable) to see the same spirit in Sachin after this many years. Hat's off Sachin not only for making country proud, achieving what you did, but also for entertaining and inspiring an entire generation of youth. Its a privilage to have been a witness to such an amazing saga!

    Harsha, unlike the other comment made, I think you make a great commentator as well..you bring that zing to your commentary and make us laugh a lot! keep it up along with your writing.

  • Itchy on November 14, 2009, 2:40 GMT

    Sachin - best batsman the world has seen since Bradman (and it's impossible to compare them). Not sure about the god/demigod adulatory comments but I do remember the standing ovation SRT received when he walked out to bat at the SCG last time - spine tingling.

    As for scoring records, I think journos and spectators are far more interested in who is at the top than Sachin, Ponting or most other cricketers. Players know that you are a long time retired so play until they can't.

  • mdg_2 on November 14, 2009, 0:30 GMT

    I have great respect for Harsha Bhagle, but I do think the correct line should be: "For Tendulkar's life is not ONLY the story of extraordinary ability but ALSO of an extraordinary work ethic"

  • ToTellUTheTruth on November 13, 2009, 23:17 GMT

    Great piece. Please Harsha. Do us all Indian cricket lovers a favor and stick to writing. Please do not venture into commentating on the TV. You are simply insufferable on the TV. But love your writing.

    I am sure there are over a million plus Indian cricket fans who agree with me on this.

  • sidharth_madhav on November 13, 2009, 21:57 GMT

    My role model. I am in awe of the master. Genius par excellence! If anyone deserves a Bharat Ratna, it is he!.. You have given a billion Indians boundless joy countless times! Harsha is spot on when he mentions Sachin's focus. Legendary focus on the game, personal discipline and emphasis on sticking to one's values and ethics!

    Do not look further for role models. They cannot get better than him!

  • no-ball on November 13, 2009, 21:28 GMT

    G'Day Harsha,

    Fantastic article. Great to be able to get some insights into Sachin. He is certainly a great batsman. He is to batting what you are to commentary. I love listening to your commentary-one of the best if not THE best, in my view. I look forward to hearing you when you come to Aus, though I wish they would put you on TV and not only radio! Thanks for the excellent article.

  • 10Devils on November 13, 2009, 19:50 GMT

    Sachin is playing not because he is afraid of someone or will break his record. Records are set to be break. And Sachin is still playing because there is nobody out there who can play like him. You simply rock sachin !!

  • SachinGr8 on November 13, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    Thanks Harsha for taking us near to the our God Sachin Tendulkar.....getting a little bit selfish, I am celebrating my 20 years when started watching Sachin Tendulkar playing in his debut match against Pakistan and started learning and liking cricket.....and then seeing Sachin growing in front of you match by match, just like seeing you child for continous 20 years.

  • LevenLeven on November 13, 2009, 19:39 GMT

    Salute to the gentile man who brought immense joy watching, reading and some times imagining the way he conducted himself for 20years if not 35+ years of his life. I never missed his batting except the very first match of 1989 in Pakistan; of which the entire days play was commentated offline by a cricket passionate school teacher for an hour the next day; and good amount of it about this Genius, and how we kids have to be growing up- I was 9 and in 5th class. There are great people around to be chosen as a role model; I choose Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar!

  • PratUSA on November 13, 2009, 19:31 GMT

    Thanks Harsha for taking us on backstage with Sachin. This is your second best piece on Sachin I have read, after that amazing column 'A dozen years later, another Greek tragedy' in The Sportstar back in 1999 which had turned you into my favorite cricket author.

  • shaurya on November 13, 2009, 19:31 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar..it means God. ..He is my inspiriation in life. What a man..Just no words..Evn though i could nvr be a criciketer..I had decided that whtever i do ..i will be a champ at it just they way he is.What a humble man adn a grea8 human being..I love u sachin..An enigma..A salute to the greatest sporstman that ever lived and wil remain untouched forever..

  • ArunKB on November 13, 2009, 18:38 GMT

    Response to Vasi_Sachchi : I agree with you that this is a personal not by HBregarding SRT. However, this particular one day has been typical of Sachin's career. Brilliant, but not getting the job done on most occasions. I just needed an outlet to vent my feelings and this was the only article were you can still post comments.

  • third_man on November 13, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    Great Article. My fondest memory from childhood is running back to my building from the bus stop after school to make it in time for the 2pm starts and watch Sachin and Dada batting in the event that we batted first. Nothing made me happier than watching Tendulkar bat. My generation of twenty something cricket fans have truly been blessed. Thanks Sachin, for a wonderful 20 years!

  • Jarr30 on November 13, 2009, 18:13 GMT

    I still remember when he scored a century in 99' world cup after his father had just passed away. It is sooo tough to come out and play after losing your father just 10 days ago and to top of it score a century shows what a class act he is.

    Sachin is not just a GREAT player but also GREAT human being.

  • Apu_the_ripper on November 13, 2009, 17:07 GMT

    Thank you for these words, Harsha. I will always remember them. Thank you, God, for giving us Sachin & making him an Indian.

  • waspsting on November 13, 2009, 16:42 GMT

    Funny about Cronje and Pedro Collins. I remember Tendulkar struggling against Collins in West Indies, and I put it down to Sachin playing poorly - he kept uncharecteristically playing across the line to the straight ball. Shows that it made quite an impact on him, though. The Cronje thing is just bizarre... i don't know what to make of it. I think Tendulkar's basic humility and level-headedness (which is the essential point Bogle is making in the article) is what's allowed him to last this long, especially when you consider the pressures he's had to bear throughout his career.

  • Rajasub on November 13, 2009, 16:15 GMT

    Words fail me when I think of Tendulkar. Despite the accolades the world has showered on him, despite the doubts that were expressed by several when his elbow tormented him, he fought off all his demons and detractors with the same affable, self effacing attitude and focused on just what his country asked of him. A true soldier of India who wished more for India's victory than for personal aggrandisement ( and no one can fault him even if he became a shade arrogant- a highly unlikely scenario). Thank you Harsha for contiinuing to bring this great man to the fore in front of us and for reminding us of the true quality of greatness. Humility and respect for elders ( like Rama), focus (like Arjuna of Pandava fame), Righteous conduct ( like Yudhishtira), simple faith ( Bhima) Skill as in( Krishna). One could also point out that when Tendulkar felt that captaincy was not his best contribution to India, he relinquished it in favor of Ganguly thereby advancing the cause of India. Ask no more.

  • Ishtiaq1982 on November 13, 2009, 16:07 GMT

    Amazing Harsha... You have really taken me 20 years back when I was just 6.

  • rajpalreddy_334 on November 13, 2009, 15:58 GMT

    Nice one harsa! Every time i watch cricket only to see sachins batting,and every time he reach any milestone i feel that milestone belongs to me and i gets emotional.I cant imagine indian cricket team without sachin.He should be awarded BHARATA RATNA before retiring from the international cricket. Thats the only way to thank him for all this years who has given happiness for billion people.

  • fraser1 on November 13, 2009, 15:57 GMT

    Sachin; A Great Player but I think he wants to cintinue ONLY because he is afraid of PONTING & Michael Clarke - the 2 people who will break his record

  • hbgsingh on November 13, 2009, 15:50 GMT

    I have been living in US for last 6 years and have been following cricket as crazily as i can. I am playing league cricket(thanks to less competition in my area) here as well. Sachin is so amazing and has inspired so many people. I like the honesty,dedication and sincerity for his work. I also love the fact, he doesn't get involved in controversies.

    About you, when did you get your toupee?(Must be seinfeld's remark, not me). I love your commentary, wish i can hear more from you(I am now resorted to a cricinfo addict, can't see matches here).

  • Vasi_Sachchi on November 13, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    Great article. A true legend indeed. When the time comes for him to hang his boots I too, along with millions will shed a tear reminscing the memories and treats provided by this legend...just a thought for one commentator, ArunKB...wrong timing? your comment sure is. Read what the title says. it's about Harsha writing a personal note on Sachin..not about the last one dayer...so zip it

  • Aamod on November 13, 2009, 15:38 GMT

    There have a lot of articles coming on the occasion of Sachin's 20 th anniversary in international cricket, but this one certainly stands out.

  • eddy501 on November 13, 2009, 15:33 GMT

    SRT is a 'great' player and an even greater man. I have always, and continue to believe, BCL hit greater heights and caused more debate and excitement on the cricket pitch. BUT SRT is the one still standing 20 YEARS LATER. I take my hat off to the little genius. He is no doubt the greatest international batsman ever.

    eddy - london

  • NKSUDHIR on November 13, 2009, 15:30 GMT

    Well Done Harsha!!! Beautiful article for a well deserved personality. My heartiest congratulations to Sachin for his great, successful 20 years in cricket. I wish Sachin many many more!!! Harsha keep writing good articles like this. There are very few commentators who do not chamge their words with passing years. Keep up the good work!!!

  • souryabose on November 13, 2009, 15:29 GMT

    Indeed a beautifully written column on the little man!! I hope like many Indians that he signs off with the World Cup in Wankhade. Jai Hind Sourya

  • I_am_Ram on November 13, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    I agree with all of you fans above. When it comes to cricket Sachin and Harsha stand out. They say when Sachin says something everyone listens. Whenever Harsha comes live on commentary, I just forget about cricket and listen to Whatever he says...Great commentator.....Great Article......

  • Kirth on November 13, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    Awesome article Harsha..Million thanks to you!

  • suni_kumar on November 13, 2009, 13:43 GMT

    Thanks Harsha, that was one of the nice articles I have read in the recent times, he is inspirational figure to millions and probably billions, agree with you very few people see the person behind the cricketer, I remember his line.." when he is his zone.. he can't see anything but the ball".. like Arjuna in Mahabaratha.. focused,sincere,harworking, and simply the greatest cricketer ever to walk onto the 22yards strip.. he is already a Bharat Ratna for me..

  • aavi242 on November 13, 2009, 13:41 GMT

    HARSHA u rock............if SACHIN is god of cricket u r none less if it comes to writing or commentary...it was truly awesome article and its quite touching to read or hear the unfolding of such a great man's life.

  • markV on November 13, 2009, 13:21 GMT

    I totally agree with Siddarth. You are to cricket commentary what Sachin is to Cricket !! I have closely followed Sachin and Harsha all these years and it simply cant get better than this. Both of you have the most amazing work ethic I have seen in my life and both of you are truly the Masters the game.

  • ibest on November 13, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    A well described glimpse of one of the best sports person in Cricket. Thank you Harsha. He is the epic in Indian Cricket. I feel fortunate thinking that I grew up watching him. Beyond all the controversaries, young-old hypothesis, he remains the focussed star who believes that it is the battlefield of cricket where no crosswords of game politics can tilt him a little bit. I still see him with the same abilities as I saw him while thrashing Australia in Sharjah. Many foreign cricketers has tried to explain how he should play at this age! I think if they would have known what he is, then probably they would have tried the same. So, I say.. don't explain him from your experience on the cricket field. Rather wonder how he does this and with admire say that I want to see you playing. Let's hope that he will play another few years......

  • abu_zayr on November 13, 2009, 13:18 GMT

    Harsha, wonderful article! I liked the part where you mentioned about the day before the Bristol ODI vs Kenya.. I watched the game live on TV here in Toronto and was extremely touched at the time when he looked skywards.. I mean only someone like a Sachin could just go out there & score a hundred the way he did with all that had happened to him (I mean losing his father a couple of days back).. I seriously believe that he's the greatest player to have ever graced the cricket field.. I have'nt seen Sir Don, but I mean to play under soo much pressure and expectation for 20 years is simply insane.. I wish he signs off at Wankhede with the World Cup 2011 in his kitty, what a moment that will be for not just all Indians but for the entire cricketing world.. Jai Ho Sachin!!

  • Denisha12 on November 13, 2009, 13:09 GMT

    Great article, anything about the little Master is great! Just the thought of him retiring...very scary indeed. I wish him 20000 ODI runs before retirement. He is without a doubt the greatest player of all time.

  • jassimtisekar on November 13, 2009, 12:57 GMT

    Great article from a genius about a genius.No one else could had have written an article on Sachin better than you.

  • Baria00 on November 13, 2009, 12:44 GMT

    Great Article again from Harsha..there is a distinct admiration, passion and love of a big brother when he talks about sachin either on tv or in his article...i basically grew up with sachin, watching since i1989 as a 13 yrs old..i never knew that he will be the catalyst for me to go on and play cricket as long as he does..the day he hangs up, that would be the end for me on the cricket field..i will shed tears on his last innings...genius like him do not born every day...just a great human being, got a chance to talk to him when he was in toronto in 1990s playing againts pakistan..his ability to take the pressure of 1 billion + all the NRIss every game is just amazing....i salute the litle master for an unbelievable longegivity in a tough sports...his talent, hunger and pride of playing for india is there for everyone to see...Thank You Sachin Tendulkar

  • Sujata.88 on November 13, 2009, 12:39 GMT

    Wonderful article Harsha....I have always been a fan of your writing style...Thanks for sharing with us such inspiring moments from Sachin's life...Sachin will always be a true inspiration for the youth not only because of his extraordinary cricket talent but because of all other qualities he possesses...

  • Hoggy_1989 on November 13, 2009, 12:35 GMT

    Brilliant stuff Harsha. You're one of the very few commentators these days I will actually listen to/read avidly.

  • ArunKB on November 13, 2009, 12:22 GMT

    Wrong time for this article. I am still not over the fact that Sachin lost us the Hyderabad one-day and still called it one of his best knocks. Someone also gave him the man of the match award which actually should have gone to Watson for his 90 and three wickets including two in one over. Sachin would have been probably have been "benched" for loosing the match for India. Yes, he played a great innings, was brilliant to watch, but DID NOT finish the job. With 19 runs needed in three overs, you cannot play a silly shot and get out. You have to play to win the game. Sachin should not be satisfied by playing "one oh his best innings" if it does not help the team win. We have to realize that a loss is a loss, whether you loose by 150 runs or 3 runs. If you loose by only three runs it is NOT as good as winning. This result was no different than if Sachin had scored 30 ro 40 and we lost by 200.

  • virennarula on November 13, 2009, 12:15 GMT

    Hi! Harsha, Great article! As always, you write from the heart. I first saw Sachin in a Ranji game against Hyderabad, he was 15 and seeing him Vengsarkar( who was the Indian captain then) did not look as comfortable against Venkatpathi Raju's spin as Sachin!!! we all knew he would do great things. I have been a fan of yours since the 90's....Infact, I conveyed this to you through my sister in Hyderabad a few years ago (as I live in Brazil and play for Brazil National Team). Do wish u all the best and continue writing the way u do!! Cheers, Viren

  • Gazza038 on November 13, 2009, 12:00 GMT

    The best article I've read on cricinfo. Yomeshk, he hasn't just been handling the hopes of the entire nation. Even the oposition want to see Tendulkar score runs. My ideal would be for NZ to beat India despite Tendulkar scoring a century.

  • vvr_vasu on November 13, 2009, 11:56 GMT

    Wonderful article!! The great work ethic that Sachin has followed for 20 years inspite of possessing so much of natural ability, has a lesson for every one in it. Congrats to the great man!!

  • Neel1011 on November 13, 2009, 11:43 GMT

    Twenty years playing cricket and remain on top all the time is a phenomenal achievement. These are tales that even the legends are not made up with. Whilst others have faded away with time, Sachin remains. Whilst other may have been bored with beautiful game, Sachin stays focussed and enthused. Whilst others may have become celebrities, Sachin remains a sacrosanct legend. Whilst others may play cricket, Sachin follows his religion.

    Bhogle has put this piece beautifully, in few, but apt words indeed.

  • sudhirtendulkar on November 13, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    this is the best article about i have read.the best thing about this article is that i gave an in depth information or u can say somethings that most of us dont know.just great work mr.harsha bhogle and thanks a lot for this article

  • KiwiRocker- on November 13, 2009, 11:29 GMT

    Boring arcticle. As for article; Sachin Tendulkar is most over rated batsman in history of cricket. He has been scoring against weaker teams and hardly won anything for India. Tendulkar's record against 4 Best bowlers of 90's Ambrose and Walsh was average and against Wasim and Waqar rather poor. India hardly played against Pakistan thanks to Indian Govt. Article is also misleading as Tendulkar is well known to be arrogant and hardly praises other cricketers. India's best batsman was Sunil Gavaskar. A True sportsman!

    I find it hillarious how Indian call this guy a God or Genius! either one makes no sense. Einstein was a Genius as far as I know!

  • TequillaGuy on November 13, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Hello Harsha,

    I am not a big fan of your commentary (I'll not get into WHY as people here would kill me :) ) but this is a very well written piece. You have touched on aspects which no one usually talks about. People keep saying that Sachin has immense talent, he has scored so many runs but rarely they touch on his work ethic and what makes him so special. As you pointed out, young cricketers today see his runs, talent and money, but are not willing to accept that they will have to work hard too.

    Thanks for a wonderful insight and thanks for getting Mark Knopfler to talk to Sachin! You have his number by any chance? :)

  • FaizHoda on November 13, 2009, 10:56 GMT

    Hi Harsha,

    I take you back to days before Sachin's debut, even before you did this first interview with him. 1985. I think he had already made a mark as a schoolboy wonder. You were invited to Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad as the sports quiz host at some inter-varsity competition we were hosting. I was one of those responsible for your welcome and hospitality. After that I have always had a special fondness for you and make it a point to read your articles. I am an avid fan of Cricinfo so I get ample opportunity!

    Keep up the good work and may you have happiness and a good life.

  • rameshkan on November 13, 2009, 10:54 GMT

    Thanks Harsha for a wonderful piece.Though I have heard you talk about Sachin innumearble times, this is really special. The aspects mentioned by you about Ajit and Achrekar are really touching. As someone has rightly said, 'they don't make them like Sachin anymore!'

  • Mervo on November 13, 2009, 10:40 GMT

    I agree that Tendulkar is a wonderful cricketer but I suggest that he has not changed the course of many games. In many respects he has been an enduring cricketer, much like Alan Border, but perhaps an overrated one for his impact. He is not as respected as much outside of India and his recent test performances have been well below his best. Maybe it is time to go to let a young talent emerge?

  • saint_1980 on November 13, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    It's a wonderful article Harsha. Sometimes we need to instrospect before we comment about anyone. Sachin has been the most special batsman in the history of cricket

  • MikeZito on November 13, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar... nothing less than a demi-God. Words can't describe such am influential personality. He has several records against his name, perhaps they will never be beaten by a single player in our generation. Though I have great respect for him, know that he is a great team player... maybe we should all acknowledge that he is the only player in the history to have played 6 world-cups and never won for his team. There are many players like Michael Bevan, Steve Waugh, Imran Khan, Ricky Pointing, Great Adam Glichrist, Brain Laras and these players have contributed more to their respective teams than what Tendulkar did for India... what do we Indians do now? Celebrate his personal records OR look forward for a team player? It needs a paradigm shift in the thinking... we aren't yet ready for it and here I quit cricket as we are celebrating unwanted events.

  • RealCrickter_82 on November 13, 2009, 10:17 GMT

    were won not because of the runs Sachin got opening, but because Dravid and Yuvraj completed the job, though sachin took all the credit. Even that world cup match against pakistan when Sachin scored 98. If Dravid and Yuvraj had not completed the victory with their 50's , it would have been in vain, simply because Sachin cannot complete a job. He can only go and dominate when the fielding restrictions are there. So he has to open in one dayers. But he is not willing to don the role in tests, even though Dravid has sacrificed himself so many times like recently in the first 2 tests against Australia. When Dravid finally got his number 3 position and He scored 93, the highest score by an Indian in that match, result India won. So this discussion is useless.

    Yes Sachin is a great one day player, but not comparable with Dravid in tests. But Dravid is like Steve Waugh. the team is paramount. Only today Sachin keeps saying team winning is more imp because he missed out on his century....

  • ursvela on November 13, 2009, 10:15 GMT

    Hi Harsha, thanks for this lovely article. I still remember the century against Kenya. But still my eyes were flooded when I was reading here.

    His passion for cricket is really crazy.. Sachin rockz.

  • RealCrickter_82 on November 13, 2009, 10:15 GMT

    90's and 80's.YOU LOOK at statsitics only. 3) One Day Centuries- 39 [out of 39 centuries India Won 28 times and lost 10 times,1 century in a rain affected match ] 10 centuries gone in Vain.. ...Who is responsible? Sachin alone, because he did not complete the job, was selfish. Got out after scoring century thoinking his job was done. All his records are useless for this reason alone. Take Dravid's case in tests : 24 centuries and only one loss, 10 victories. Compare it with Sachin. India have lost almost ten times when he has scored century. And if you talk of the others in those tests, why did not Sachin complete the job. GiveN the example of Dravid in Adelaide 2004....4) Sachin is not a team man simply because he always wants to open in onedayers and will not like to bat lower down the order. Many matches in one days ..cont

  • RealCrickter_82 on November 13, 2009, 10:10 GMT

    Here it goes for everyone...only for records...he stays/plays...no doubt he has become a national hero...Great Batsman till date...but not a great Crickter.....it starts like this....Comments & Answers: 1) 194 knock against pakistan: Sachin played the above knock in atest when Viru scored 300 and we were thinking of declaration to win the test and we did win it. 2) 169 [201 balls] against South Africa in 1997 at Capetown : 92 [120 balls] against West Indies in 1997 at Bridgetown; 155 [191 balls] against Australia in 1998 at Chennai ; 79 [ 85 balls] against Australia in 1998 at Kolkata; 100 in 123 balls against NewZealand in 1999 at Wellington[he scored 113runs in that inning]; 155 [183 balls] against South Africa in 2001 in Bloemfontein...What was the result in all the above tests? Except for Chennai-Australia in 1998, all tests India lost. His knock in Calcutta 1998 against Australia, why do you forget Azhar's contribution and talk only of Sachin. Even Sidhu, Laxman and Dravid ...cont

  • no-ball on November 13, 2009, 9:59 GMT

    Great article Harsha!

    You are my favourite commentator. My only regret is taht when India come to Aus, they put you on the radio and not TV, which means the commentary doesn't line up with what's happening on TV!

  • Hiren09 on November 13, 2009, 9:55 GMT

    I was 10 yrs old when in '88 my brother took me to watch SACHIN, a special kid in a ranjt match at wankhede. From that day till today I think I'm watching cricket only for that kid and champ call SACHIN who for me is a SUPERSTAR. Earlier I had bunked school to watch his game and today i go missing in office to watch him play. Tears roll from my eyes when I watch him hit century against Kenya in world cup '99,when he lost his father. I can't imagine cricket without Sachin and very scared to think of his retirement. Unfortunately in India we don't treat living legend and sachin is no excluded. I will sign off from cricket the day he hang his bat.

  • sandip28 on November 13, 2009, 9:49 GMT

    Nice artical harsha this is the very good artical i have seen here and thanx for writing such s good comments and line up expecting more on this in future

  • Siddharth_Pandit on November 13, 2009, 9:05 GMT

    Very well written harsha !! You are to cricket commentary what sachin is to cricket !!

  • RJMJ on November 13, 2009, 9:02 GMT

    Harsha, it's nice that you have touched the most important aspect of Sachin's personality, i.e. his sincerity, his devotion, his commitment and his innocence in everything he does.....it's more important to be a good human being....and Sachin has proved that success follows nice human beings only.........Congrtulations to the legend........wish i could see/meet him some day.....

  • KVAM on November 13, 2009, 8:38 GMT

    Let me thank Harsha for a wonderful article on Sachin. Simple and sweet. When we talk about Sachin, we go exhausted of superlatives. He should be termed "The Pride of Cricket" instead of "The Master Blaster". Cricket now a days is looked upon as a religion amoung lovers of this game. And Sachin is one of the loved deity. To be on peak for 20years and have the same passion is no small deed. Thanks once agian Harsha for the article. Now who is this Murtaza83 to comment Harsha's work. I agree to the comments of sphagetti, very childish. The channel for which Harsh's works and specially the Millions of Audience world wide seems to be fools and he is the only wise guy. Spoil Sport.

  • kabirmistry on November 13, 2009, 8:30 GMT

    Sachin is the true sportsman. He has played test cricket for 20 years and counting. I hope that the younger players worldwide learn from him and focus on cricket, hard work as appose to endorements, image and money.

  • IniyaMurugan on November 13, 2009, 8:17 GMT

    Dear Harsha....Its been really wonderful to read such article. Yes..reading such article itself makes someone's eyes moist. I know how an ioto size of matter matters to guys like us...In fact.. these small small incidents only makes a man's character or so called personality over a period of time. While everybody starts thinking about how the cricket world would look like without Sachin... I thing we can surely have tons of thing on Sachin/about Sachin to talk though or watch/debate in ones life. I think the real factor behind his success ( i feel) could be.. Extra ordinary work ethic than than the extra ordinary talent. I could see the same when i worked with him during one of the ad film shooting in Chennai. You must see him - preparing himself for a shoot with cricketing gears...as if he is going to play match.. Thank you Harsha.. Pl. share such moments with us in future too.. We are really touched by this article.

  • Ganes.V on November 13, 2009, 8:00 GMT

    Harsha- this is a very nice article. Makes one feels good and me a little jelous that I don't know sachin personally! Lucku YOU!

  • HKrocks on November 13, 2009, 7:28 GMT

    Im one of those who believes that Cricket is religion and Sachin is God..........absolute brilliance shown over the last 20 yrs......he is not just a cricket icon but a gr8 inspiration for most of us to be FOCUSSED. I really liked the statement made by HB on Sachin being focussed relentless over the last 20 yrs allowing the bat to spk. The joy when he shows the makers name wid his straight drives is inexplicable.......what hurts me most is when ppl talk abt how he isnt good enough....he has epitomised the word consistency in the last 20 yrs....wish u continue for as long as 'U' wish Sachin.

  • ww113 on November 13, 2009, 7:13 GMT

    Greetings,Harsha.I read your articles with the delight of a child who has got his hands on a piece of chocolate.

  • yomeshk on November 13, 2009, 7:00 GMT

    A very nice article...it get scared thinking about the day when Sachin wuold be walking for his last innings...my eyes get filled with tears and I think I am not the only one with that fear.....For 20 years he has been handling the hopes of the entire nation...the moolah that BCCI is making he is mainly responsible for that...since he popularized cricket to every corner of the nation... Thanks Harsha for writing such a wonderful article...As mentioned earlier by others please share other such moments from Sachin's life because he has not only a criciketer for me but a source of inspiration....

  • sphagetti on November 13, 2009, 6:58 GMT

    A very different perspective of Sachin. Thanks Harsha for taking us up close and personal with Sachin. Nice and simple article. Not sure why murtaza83 is so upset and disgraceful in this conduct. Ignore that kid! Thanks

  • bachao on November 13, 2009, 6:50 GMT

    Sorry for being picky Harsha but your articles in cricinfo are very similar to Indian Express! It would be great if you could write about different things :) .. I know its being demanding but I think it would be more fodder for us

  • bibhutiking on November 13, 2009, 6:42 GMT

    hey harsha! dont you get bored writing this guy whole your life. Or it is just because more indians read cricinfo. would you ever write about the more talented and even more charismatic lara ever. waiting to read something on lara in this space.

  • spbendekar on November 13, 2009, 6:40 GMT

    nice article !!!! i am fighting the fact that how am i going to watch cricket once Sachin retires

  • SachinIsTheGreatest on November 13, 2009, 6:34 GMT

    I think the best touch to this piece was that link to the Sportsworld article. I remember when he was on the tour to Pakistan I vehemently argued with my dad and my brother that he is too young to be playing Int'l cricket. Twenty years later he has been such a part of my life(as am sure he has been of many others') I am not sure if I would watch cricket anymore once he retires.

  • Theena on November 13, 2009, 6:23 GMT

    What a lovely article. Thank you for sharing, Mr Bhogle.

  • puneetla on November 13, 2009, 6:21 GMT

    @May4sBeWithThem - Brilliantly put. I was only 3 when Sachin started his career, but I can almost relate each year of my growing up to what Sachin did in that year. The joy this guy has given us, the hope that he even now continues to create in us, is just something no one else can match. Over the past few years, Dhoni & Co have given me the confidence that we will be able to move on once Sachin does decide to go, but hes like the first love, you can never really let go :).

    Thank you Sachin, for being "Sachin" :)

  • harsh.kataruka on November 13, 2009, 6:00 GMT

    I'd been waiting for your article to appear on this momentous feat. As usual,an endearingly refreshing article about one of the greatest cricketers of our age.. Love the article you wrote in 1988 too.. Its going straight into my archives.. :)

  • JogeshPanda on November 13, 2009, 5:55 GMT

    Sachin is not just a cricketer, during last 20 years he has been a child wonder, prodigy, a national hero, an idol for many, an inspiration for a developing country, a hope in dismay. It not just Indian cricket but the whole world cricket applauds the achievement of this genius who has taken batsmanship and sportsmanship into a different level.

  • PMDE on November 13, 2009, 5:47 GMT

    The year was 1988 and the occasion was the U-19 West Zone tournament in Pune. I was sitting with Vasu Paranjpe (My son Anand was playing in the match for Maharashtra and was later selected for India for the Youth World Cup in Australia). Vasu spoke about a young boy who he said "was certain to play for India within a year". Mentally I dismissed it as the typical Mumbai man's pumping for a Mumbai cricketer. My impression was confirmed when the future India batsman did not bother the Maharashtra bowlers in either innings. He was not selected even in the U-19 West Zone team. Today I marvel at Vasu's insight into cricket and the ability to see such potential in so young a lad. Although to this day, I maintain that my elder son Abhijit was as good as the young Mumbai lad, the father in me gives way to the connoisseur of cricket and takes his hat off to Mumbai cricket pundits for their splendid devotion to the cause of cricket - Tendulkar was lucky to have started in Mumbai.

  • Percy_Fender on November 13, 2009, 5:07 GMT

    Many many years ago in one of his articles, Sunil Gavaskar had made a mention of one prodigous kid who went by the name of Sachin Tendulkar. It is not often that such predictions come true. So today when one hears flowing tributes to this man over his completion of two decades as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, one cannot help being thankful for having watched this great carreer unfold step by step. I remember Sachin made I think just 15 in his first Test innings and was hit on the nose in the second and then a small score. But what set him as a special talent was his hoisting Abdul Qadir for 3 sixes in a ODI later on this debut tour.I remember his having fallen for 88 in New Zealand when in sight of his first Test century which was quite disapponting.It came in Perth against Mcdermott and Hughes. We lost but the sight of Dean Jones running up to congratulate Sachin after he got out is etched in my memory.It has indeed been a great privilege to having seen a legend unfold.

  • cricket_DD on November 13, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    @adyeel, my friend little you understand how much we all adore Sachin. I do not mind a bit reading an article about Sachin everyday, no infact every hour, and coming from someone like Harsha Bhogle makes it even more special. We know HB is similar to us in adoring and idolizing the little master and he would always talk about things which we want to know, not analysis like Ian Chapell or Boycott.... Great article HB, share more stories about sachin if you have.. and like everyone else i am fighting the fact that how am i going to watch cricket once Sachin retires... even the thought scares me....

  • CricFan24 on November 13, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Very well written. ppl like murtaza83 sicken me. if u dont want to read the article -buzz off. these clowns talk as if they have played test cricket- probably never held a bat! but Tendulkar- i wish he plays for 20 yrs MORE!!

  • Mina_Anand on November 13, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    Beautifully written, with the inimitable Harsha Bhogle touch.

    The Indian cricket fan is "happy and fortunate" to have a Sachin in their midst.

  • adyeel on November 13, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    is harsha bhogle here only to talk about sachin tendulker and his legacy? hes a great speaker but will he only going to talk about India vs Australia or sachin vs gavasker? there should be more people on cricinfo to talk about new zeland bangladesh ireland sri lanka zimbabwe and few more minnows icc is trying to devlop more interest in the game but have they tried bringing more publicity to teams money talks.

  • Dravidfan315 on November 13, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    Very nice article, well written.

  • May4sBeWithThem on November 13, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    In 1988, I was 13 years old. People of that age group, who follow any cricket - which is most in India, I guess - have literally grown up with Sachin - so what he means to our psyche is immeasurable. He can hold his own in a comparision with any cricketer for the greatest cricketer ever in pure cricketing terms - but he is undoubtedly the cricketer who has had the greatest impact on the collective Indian mindset over the last 2 decades, as we found our feet as a nation. Its not just about what he is, its what we became in his presence.

  • anuk12 on November 13, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Sachin is God!! I swear,I would stop watching Cricket after Sachin retires.

  • MalikNadeemAwan on November 13, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar one of the greats of all time and the best batsman in the world in his era alongwith lara, ponting, Inzamam. People always says that when tendulkar gets runs india losts. i think it is unfair that he is a master and if he gets 100 and the other whole team cannot get required runs what he can do. in last series where he made 175 no one of the others was playing well with him. so what is his fault in this. He is great and will remain legend. so keep it up Sachin.

  • DamithPathirana on November 13, 2009, 3:36 GMT

    For Indian cricket he is a role model. I'm a Sri Lankan but we also love him. The way he bats I dont think any one can does da same. When u discuss about Cricket Sachin always there n a corner. The best inning that I saw from him is the inning that he played in Australia last year(CB cup semi) .

  • Nata on November 13, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    You are India's pride Sachin! Thanks for all the pain you have endured to give us smiles all these 20years!!! You are a role model to not only Indians but to the entire world. Wishing you all the best!

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  • Nata on November 13, 2009, 3:26 GMT

    You are India's pride Sachin! Thanks for all the pain you have endured to give us smiles all these 20years!!! You are a role model to not only Indians but to the entire world. Wishing you all the best!

  • DamithPathirana on November 13, 2009, 3:36 GMT

    For Indian cricket he is a role model. I'm a Sri Lankan but we also love him. The way he bats I dont think any one can does da same. When u discuss about Cricket Sachin always there n a corner. The best inning that I saw from him is the inning that he played in Australia last year(CB cup semi) .

  • MalikNadeemAwan on November 13, 2009, 3:49 GMT

    Sachin Tendulkar one of the greats of all time and the best batsman in the world in his era alongwith lara, ponting, Inzamam. People always says that when tendulkar gets runs india losts. i think it is unfair that he is a master and if he gets 100 and the other whole team cannot get required runs what he can do. in last series where he made 175 no one of the others was playing well with him. so what is his fault in this. He is great and will remain legend. so keep it up Sachin.

  • anuk12 on November 13, 2009, 3:58 GMT

    Sachin is God!! I swear,I would stop watching Cricket after Sachin retires.

  • May4sBeWithThem on November 13, 2009, 4:07 GMT

    In 1988, I was 13 years old. People of that age group, who follow any cricket - which is most in India, I guess - have literally grown up with Sachin - so what he means to our psyche is immeasurable. He can hold his own in a comparision with any cricketer for the greatest cricketer ever in pure cricketing terms - but he is undoubtedly the cricketer who has had the greatest impact on the collective Indian mindset over the last 2 decades, as we found our feet as a nation. Its not just about what he is, its what we became in his presence.

  • Dravidfan315 on November 13, 2009, 4:22 GMT

    Very nice article, well written.

  • adyeel on November 13, 2009, 4:27 GMT

    is harsha bhogle here only to talk about sachin tendulker and his legacy? hes a great speaker but will he only going to talk about India vs Australia or sachin vs gavasker? there should be more people on cricinfo to talk about new zeland bangladesh ireland sri lanka zimbabwe and few more minnows icc is trying to devlop more interest in the game but have they tried bringing more publicity to teams money talks.

  • Mina_Anand on November 13, 2009, 4:32 GMT

    Beautifully written, with the inimitable Harsha Bhogle touch.

    The Indian cricket fan is "happy and fortunate" to have a Sachin in their midst.

  • CricFan24 on November 13, 2009, 4:48 GMT

    Very well written. ppl like murtaza83 sicken me. if u dont want to read the article -buzz off. these clowns talk as if they have played test cricket- probably never held a bat! but Tendulkar- i wish he plays for 20 yrs MORE!!

  • cricket_DD on November 13, 2009, 4:54 GMT

    @adyeel, my friend little you understand how much we all adore Sachin. I do not mind a bit reading an article about Sachin everyday, no infact every hour, and coming from someone like Harsha Bhogle makes it even more special. We know HB is similar to us in adoring and idolizing the little master and he would always talk about things which we want to know, not analysis like Ian Chapell or Boycott.... Great article HB, share more stories about sachin if you have.. and like everyone else i am fighting the fact that how am i going to watch cricket once Sachin retires... even the thought scares me....