A one-man happiness index

It's hard to imagine a cricketer who has shared as profound a bond with such a large number of fans. We at ESPNcricinfo know this first hand
Sambit Bal October 24, 2013

Tendulkar on his first tour to Pakistan: the audacity of youth © Getty Images

It would be a travesty if Sachin Tendulkar's career is remembered for his numbers. It is unthinkable that two of his statistical peaks - 100 international hundreds and 200 Tests - will ever be bettered, but numbers are a somewhat cold and impersonal way to remember sporting heroes by.

They are best remembered by the memories, by the way they touched our hearts and lit our lives. And on that count, Tendulkar is unlikely to ever be surpassed. If India, like Bhutan, measured its Gross Happiness Index, Tendulkar would be the single-largest contributor to it for the best part of his 24-year career.

Everyone is partial to a certain memory. Mine is from a 20-over match. But it was years before 20-over matches became the fashion. In 1989, ESPNcricinfo was yet to be born, mobile phones were unheard of, India relied on IMF loans to build bridges, the Berlin Wall still stood, and the six was a rare and spectacular sight. The World Cup had been won, but hope was still the oxygen for Indian cricket fans: we dared not expect. A 16-year-old schoolboy making his international debut in Pakistan? With the memory of Javed Miandad's last-ball six in Sharjah still singeing, Indian fans merely prayed for safe passage.

It's against this backdrop that Tendulkar danced down the pitch, every step a rhapsody in adventure, to launch Abdul Qadir for four sixes in one over.

I remember everything about those moments. The brand of the black-and-white TV I was watching the match on at a friend's house, the colour of the mat placed beside the TV, the flower vase alongside, the chair I was sitting on. And most of all, the sounds of "Wah, wah" from the stands, and Qadir's admiring applause at the end of the over.

Qadir and Tendulkar tell slightly different stories of the exchange that preceded the over. Qadir says he goaded the little boy to try to hit him for six so that he could make a name for himself. Tendulkar remembers it more as a dare. He had hit Mushtaq Ahmed, the younger leggie, for a couple of sixes earlier and Qadir, he recalls, challenged him with words to this effect: "Mujhe markar dikhao [let's see if you can hit me]."

India ended up losing the match, but the result didn't matter. The 50-over game scheduled for the day had already been washed out, but the teams had agreed to play a 20-overs-a-side exhibition match to repay the spectators who had waited all day. Qadir swears none of the sixes were a gift, that he bowled each ball to get Tendulkar out. He ended up with 53 off 18 balls and Pakistan was won over.

It would have felt inappropriate, almost discourteous, had Tendulkar gone without allowing his fans a suitable opportunity to bid him goodbye

Nearly a quarter of a century later, it's time to let go. It's almost as hard for his fans. Cricket for a legion of them has meant Tendulkar. Plenty of Indian cricket heroes have gone quietly. Sunil Gavaskar went without warning, Kapil Dev was nearly elbowed out. Among Tendulkar's own team-mates, Anil Kumble never came back from an injury, and Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman bowed out before what might have been their final home season. Only Sourav Ganguly announced it before his final match. "Just one last thing lads, before I leave," he said having finished a press conference, "this is going to be my last series." And that was that.

But it would have felt inappropriate, almost discourteous, had Tendulkar gone without allowing his fans a suitable opportunity to bid him goodbye. It's hard to imagine a sportsperson, certainly any other cricketer, who has shared as profound an emotional bond with such a large number of fans. Some invoke reverence, some inspire awe, some draw affection. Tendulkar found adoration and worship in equal measure, and they grew so strong and so deep that it became, at times, impossible to make sense of. It would be fair to say that at some point Tendulkar became more than a cricketer: he became a faith. It's hard to imagine that there will be another like him.

We know this first-hand. He made our website buzz. Consistently, and by a distance, his player page, has been the most visited of all. This year alone, it registered more than 2 million views. The next best was Ashton Agar, with 500,000. Tendulkar was, almost always, among the most-searched players on the site every month, and stories about him featured unfailingly among the most-read pieces year in, year out. When he was about to become the first double-centurion in one-day cricket in 2010, fans mounted such an onslaught on our servers that they took the site down.

When his final Test comes around we will hopefully be ready for eventualities of that sort. Meanwhile, this microsite will be both a chronicler of and witness to Tendulkar's final month in international cricket. Every day we will bring you tributes, memories, photographs, stats and trivia, archival pieces, quizzes and other nuggets. And it will also be a platform for you to participate by posting your own memories, creating video tributes, taking part in polls and the like.

Get on the ride. This is as much about you as it is about Tendulkar.

Posted by vshyamsunder on (November 3, 2013, 13:09 GMT)

Sambit, I am a big fan of your reporting especially for its honesty and integrity. However, this is the best deed you have done. Thank you!

Posted by GrindAR on (October 29, 2013, 1:05 GMT)

I respect him as a player who achieved what he has so far and until his last match. Wait a min, nobody got the esteemed treatment from influential places as he did. I can relate to one thing... he was made a symbol of hope for India for over a decade while denying everyone else who equally amazing or flamboyant in their prime... keeping them on bench. And, when out of form, nobody got the persistent run as this man was provided with. I do not undermine his capabilities... All I am saying is, there were so many players just shown a small drop and completely got their life plugged out.... In the midst of so much of lost talent in the midst of politics from influential heads denying all to preserve one and for sure this only one person... It will be dishonor to the sportsmanship... for this huge favorism to this one man... He did not accomplish this due to his consistent show deeming his contribution to team... Many free run of lean patches he got when other were shown the door.... UNFAIR

Posted by GrindAR on (October 29, 2013, 0:51 GMT)

Winning habit as main line agenda started with Saurav Ganguly as a leader. Until then the whole of country watched cricket match for this one person play, regardless of the result of the match. I was proud of team India when the team as a unit winning most of the matches. And let down by key players in important matches ( many WC finals). When we got the next WC, it was the all round display that won us the match, very same as the first cup won. In both cases, it was the leadership and having the unit having aggressive fighting spirit that won us the Prestige. For me, in the post Kapil era players like Azar, Jadeja, Robin Singh, Saurav, Dravid, VVS, Prasad, Kumble, Zaheer etc, just did not play their part, but also mentored the younger unit and kept the winning frequency better every where. In those times, I could see SRT contributing in line with his team mates, some times more some times less. None of the self made players listed above was let to play enough. SRT had exclusiveness...

Posted by CricFan24 on (October 27, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Sachin Tendulkar - The Greatest there was , is and ever will be. The best that may be said about some of his contemporaries - Lara,Sehwag,VVS, etc is that a few of their top inniings may perhaps be better. Thereafter, it is simply impossible to look beyond Tendulkar..Any where, any conditions, any time, an bowlers, any format- There is only one Master...And forever the Greatest batsman of all time.Period. Farewell Tendulkar...and thank you for the irreplaceable memories.

Posted by   on (October 27, 2013, 3:32 GMT)

If one has to pick a single batsman from the post 90s era, it has to be Brian Lara. He scored against the best of the era and his style of batting never changed through out his career. The same can not be said about Tendulkar. (Hint - Check how many matches Tendulkar has played against a McGrath, Gillespie combination in their prime. He has not played against Darren Gough, Wasim, Waqar etal in their prime) Too much indian media hypo and commentary have heavily influenced the general public opinion to believe otherwise. Tendulkar became one of the most boring batsmen post 2000, when he started to play for self preservation. His worst batsmanship was when he poked and prodded his way to 240 odd runs against Australia at Sydney where he never played a single cover drive, where as Lara even on the last days of his career was ever so stylish and flamboyant taking the bull by its horn, playing the game as it should be.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

And on the 7th day - God made Tendulkar !

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

thank you sambit for bringing out the essence of the sachin phenomenon.every cricket lover who admires him will agree to what you have said.

Posted by alarky on (October 26, 2013, 12:04 GMT)

Sindbad No, you're correct to say that cricket would never be the same again. In fact, it's already much better for India: The young India firebrands with the bat, are showing batting class never seen in the history of India's cricket before. And now they're given the opportunity, they're beating every teams everywhere - something they could not do when you all had Tendulkar holding up India's cricket, and being afraid to protest. Imagine Virat 'The Firebrand' Kholi has shown that he's in every way, a better player than Tendulkar, by far too - his very short record has already outstripped that of Tendulkar, in terms of impact for the Indian team'; in his first 5 ODI years, Kholi has made 16 scintillating 100s, most of them to help India win; while Tendulkar did not even score a single 100 in his first 5 years. Yet, we are not hearing or seeing the kind of over-hype for Kholi, as there still is for Tendulkar! I think that this is very shameful and shows how extremely LUCKY Tendulkar is!

Posted by CAJEGANKUMAR.M on (October 26, 2013, 10:06 GMT)

cricket never will same after sachin retirement - sachin god of cricket

Posted by mrgupta on (October 26, 2013, 9:28 GMT)

I am sure there can be no one who can make the whole nation wince (when he gets out) and ecstatic (when he scores) the way Sachin did. I can say that for sure about the people of my generation who are born in the 70s and 80s. For me and all my friends it will be a extremely sad day to see the Master bid adieu to the game. Cricket, for us, will never be same again.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 9:16 GMT)

My Tribute to Sachin Sachin is to India what Sir Don was to Australia. Leaving platitudes from sports journalists and magazines aside, this is my own personal journey with Sachin. I have never doubted his greatness and I never will, His victories were mine and his failures were mine too. At various stages of my life as a cricket fan, I have to agree I stopped following the Indian cricket team and started following Sachin and Sachin alone. I remember early or rather late 80's I went to watch him play against Arun lal XI in Ahemdabad, he was in superb form but all I wanted was for him to get out so he could past me as I waited near the dressing room. When he went past I said "Well played Sachin "and to my surprise he turned and thanked me. My second close encounter was at MCG, A close friend of mine and a fellow cricket tragic smuggled us in to the MCG members area, we were at the front and Sachin was fielding right in front, Phil my friend wanted a picture so he learnt what to say in Hi

Posted by BillyCC on (October 26, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Fantastic article by Bal.

Posted by Emancipator007 on (October 26, 2013, 5:53 GMT)

Want to inform youngsters & non-Indian cricket aficionado here that Tendulkar came VERY CLOSE to playing Test cricket on 25th March, 1989 in West Indies as a 15 year old against Bishop,Ambrose,Walsh,Marshall !!!- so outrageously talented & fearless was he as a teen. In an interview with Indian actor (available on YTube) Tom Alter for a news program, he expressed disappointment that he was not picked for the WI tour(reports are that he cried inconsolably when not selected despite a very good debut domestic season) & that he was OK with facing the dreaded WI quartet! But then selection committee was wary of blooding him against WI pace &the traumatic effect it would have on a fragile teen if he was hit or failed(WI tours then were the bloodiest for all batsmen for 2 decades).Waqar did hit him in debut series but the teen fought back. In all of cricket history, SRT has been the ONLY batsman who was a Test- ready batsman at the age of 15 & showcased the same sound Test game till age of 40.

Posted by   on (October 26, 2013, 3:39 GMT)

Sachin - The Greatest. Cricket will never be the same again.

Posted by EverybodylovesSachin on (October 25, 2013, 23:07 GMT)

The joy and excitement of Sachin playing on a given day is going to be missed very much and at the end of the day more joy following his success on that given day...

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 20:05 GMT)

sachin the great...

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 19:24 GMT)

There arent enough words here to describe Tendulkar here. In short he is a role-model as a man in almost all walks of life:

1) A Believer in Perfection. Always striving for it and continuously improving. He probably never got there but thats what has helped him achieve unrivalled levels of Excellence. The reason I went from being a hater due to the hype to a die-hard fan

2) A graceful, modest Human being with the highest amount of humility despite all the success and wealth he had earned. I don't think any other human being is even capable of this

3) A dedicated simple man who kept things clear and simple. Love my job and do my best

4) A bringer of hope and joy by doing his job to his best capacity that is score runs against the worlds best lifting the pride, hope and belief of the whole nation

5) India's most valuable treasure forever for all his values, achievements and intangible contribution to the country giving us hope to do our best in whatever we do and that we are capable

Posted by IPSY on (October 25, 2013, 16:16 GMT)

Sambit, Not because I've been Sachin's most caustic critic over the years (see Google.com), I too want to acknowledge his illustrious contribution to the game that he and I love so much - not that I have any apologies for my criticisms! But, when Cricinfo and others exaggerated about his exploits, I think I had a responsibility to create a fair argument on behalf of other plas who were much better than him, but who were not as fortunate as him, to have a PR medium to showcase them to the world. It's correct that Sachin holds the record for "the most searched player' on Cricinfo. And I think that I hold the record for carrying out the most of those searches, in order to put the records straight - which caused even more searches.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 15:41 GMT)

a complete goose bump article sambit;tears are runnng of ther own from my eyes after readng it;i still remember the very first day on which i fell in love with my "tendalya"-23rd may1999 though it was really surprising even for me that how a 8 year old boy(me)could be in deep love wth sm1 whose name he has heard just a match before aganst zmbabave;as i started followng crcket from that match only;after nda's defeat by 3 runs n that match my father sad"agar sachn hota toh aaj hum zaroor jeettay"that was the frst tym i heard hs name and snce the match aganst kenya i don't remember even a sngle nstant n these 14 years that i've not ether kssed or touched the feet of my tendalya whenever saw hm on tv or in a pcture will miss my tendalya for the rest of my life;there is a dream to meet him smday snce the day i've heard of his retrement there s not a single day whenever i read abt hm my eyes ddn't gotwet;thus i was gnorng to read anythng abt hm but today t was hard for me to stop myself.lov

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 15:14 GMT)

sir Sachin,for your die hard fans and cricket lovers...cricket will never be same again..I wish to see postage stamp issued on him

Posted by premendrasinghal on (October 25, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

First time ever I planned to watch a Cricket Match Live in a stadium. My father and myself are big fan of cricket and Sachin. I reside in Bhopal, and that was an ODI being played between India and South Africa at Gwalior. The ticket was too costly 6000 Rs each. Anyhow I managed to buy that a day before the match. And what a match that was. Sachin scored his first double hundred in ODI. It was great to watch him live. India won the match easily. After the match when I asked my father should we plan again to watch more matches in future. He said never. I surprised after a great experience of have such a nice performance from India and Sachin he does not wish to watch more matches in future. He said I do not want to spoil this experience by watching next match. what if Sachin gets out on a low score or India losses. So its better to keep what good we have in our memory. He said PAISA VASOOL.

Posted by Neal_88 on (October 25, 2013, 11:47 GMT)

I can't bear the sight of him going away from cricket but what can i say every beautyful story has an end and so was that of tendulkar's too..... can't really beleive this is happening inspite of knowing that he is getting old but i thoulght he would be playing till his 50;s like some england players like Rhodes, hobbs etc. Well i was really optimistic about it still....

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Tendulkar is one of the greatest batsmen of this era. No question about that. But to be considered as the greatest batsman of this era, I think one has to have highest average. He has a lesser average than Kallis, Ponting and Sangakkara. Does that mean he will NOT be considered as the greatest batsman (number one) of this era?

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

No doubt the cricketer who had evoked more emotion than any other. Certain stories of Bradman echo similar national sentiments, but Tendulkar the World's toast, appeared at at a time when India had little to cheer about. Government in shambles, cricket uncertain, Economy still hopelessly sluggish, and Indian Sports was a footnote except for some hope in Chess. The fact that he has not only thrilled and brought a nation to frenzy, but has lasted through frequent changes of leadership, injury, fan worship and ire, through match fixing scandals honourably, through sledging, through ball tampering accusations, slow murmurs of "he is finished" respsonded by strong performances especially 2011, is a most incredible feat. His legendary partnerships with Ganguly, bringing 8000+ runs, his 135 in 1999 in Chennai, his 175 in a losing cause by 3 runs, his century in a winning cause against England, his 1998 Sharjah exploits...and many more outweigh hisseemingly sluggish recent form. God Bless.

Posted by Philippe on (October 25, 2013, 10:00 GMT)

A game was going on between India & West Indies in late 1990s and I had a TV on in my room which has a window open along the walking road side. Several people who walked by asked me "Tendulkar hai?" (Is Tendulkar still batting?) And when I replied 'yes', they just used to smile and walk on - not bothering to ask about the score even. & he has kept this thing alive in his all fans for not 5, not 10 but for 24 years! if the guy can carry bring smiles to a billion people, can make them forget their routine pain...whenever he walks on the ground... I think he still deserves the accolades.... I want to add this particular thing for Sachin's haters & few journalists who think that Sachin has been playing for money over all these years & his humility is a façade. Don't you realize that one can pretend for few years but not for 24 years.. We salute him for defining to most of the people what is DETERMINATION & FOLLOWING THE DREAMS.

Posted by AbhijeetC on (October 25, 2013, 9:23 GMT)

The single biggest achievement of Sachin is that he made us forget that cricket is team game. I started watching cricket, just to watch Tendulkar bat. I still remember holding my breath every single ball he used to bat. and the despair when he eventually used to get out and then we used to stopped watching that match. In early nighties, Sachin is India and India is Sachin, we friends often used to argue that how Sachin does not finish the game single handedly, ofcos he was not meant to be. but he did that many times. I sometimes wonder what would have been if he was playing an individual sports and not a team game.

Posted by SinSpider on (October 25, 2013, 8:43 GMT)

A lot is written and will be written about Tendulkar's talent and records. However, not many can imagine the enormous discipline and hard work this little man has put into his profession. As he performed year after year the expectations from the fans grew exponential. I remember in the mid-90s, a billion fans ruthlessly took it for granted that Sachin "has to" at least score a half century (no matter who the opposition were). And Sachin had never criticized or commented on these expectations. He did his best every time he was on the pitch. From a profession point of view, this is what every human should learn from Sachin - the epitome of Discipline, Hard Work, Dedication and Self belief.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 8:37 GMT)

Starting from peeping from the window of my neighbor's house to watch his batting to witness his assault against australia at chinnaswamy stadium.The only time i saw him batting in stadium (not on tv) when he and murali vijay scored century against Australia in Bangalore (chinnaswamy stadium) and can never forget the moment because, as soon as i entered the stadium. Sachin hits a six and completed his century, the moment passed in just blink of an eye but it will be warm in my heart for life long. I won't be able to make my children or grandchildren understand that how a Man made whole country one and stand still too. How the heart pounded when he is on strike and becomes normal as soon as he is on non-striker's end.. Reading all the above comments.. i don't know but i felt goosebumps and mist eyes. God bless the great man and keep him happy forever.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:58 GMT)

Every Indian owes a piece for this man as he have given so much delightful moments with piece of cake.

Posted by NEIL_GD_S10 on (October 25, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

Some people might not understand but Sachin is a perfect example and role model to follow as said in 3 idiot bollywood movie with identifies with Sachin "beta kabil bano, kamyabhi to jhak marke apne aap apke piche piche ayegi". Feel the hunger of making runs and play for India, records will automatically follow. I am very proud that he is my role model and want to follow his way of handling things on the field and off the field.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:45 GMT)

When you compare numbers, he is anyways unmatchable. But what is more remarkable is that he turned a mere game into a religion. That was his biggest achievement. Records will be broken, new records will be set, but I doubt we will again see a 16 year old who with a bat in hand ruled the hearts of billions and gave them their moments of joy, their moments of pride, their moments of tears and their moments of laughter. There wont be a SRT again!!

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:43 GMT)

I am hoping I know how to let go. I think I should be able to. The master deserves it. But my only disappointment is when the clock strikes 05.30 pm (on the 18th of November or earlier), the age of test cricket atleast to us Indians would come to a stand still.

And on a personal note, I am 24 and would probably be married in about 3 years time from now. Id probably have a kid and am upset that I wouldn't be able to get that kid of mine to experience the chorus of sachin.... sachin! Dum Dum Dum! in a stadium once. He will just have to know about this experience from memoirs and understated emotive explanation even by the greatest of his fans.

Posted by Shahed.Akhtar on (October 25, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

A phenomenon that transcends space, continents, eon, race. People around the world have cherished the existence of Tendulkar. I am one of them. Yes, I remember that AbdulQadir over, the hit on the jaw, the booming drives that made Waqar, Wasim, McGrath, Steyn & the ilk look like schoolboys. Aww!! Yes, I remember the 85 odd of 40 odd balls against the Kiwis. I remember the Sharjah onslaught. I hold the Perth knock as his best though in terms of sheer human determination and control, the Sydney 240 would stand out - it should be a must lesson to any budding batsman on how to avoid peril. I remember the Chennai rear guard with Yuvi, coming at the back of the Mumbai tragedy. I remember the hero cup final over. I remember the Moin Khan dismissal. and above all, I remember the gulp and the emptiness at seeing him get out to rank newcomers! To me, he's the Greatest sportsperson ever - no, not Ali, Pele, Bradman, Jordan or Owens. Sorry, it is Sachin. The only International Happiness Index -

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:22 GMT)

I luv sachin.He is the most precious stone in Indian sports history.world cricket is unimaginable without sachin.It will be a very painful day when sachin retires.I only started watching cricket due to him.He is a great human being.Will miss u a lot.God bless u.....

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:08 GMT)

I was 10 and watched the game in Peshawar , it was a 16 over a side game not 20 but yes I remember that over exactly ball by ball as if it was yesterday

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 7:06 GMT)

For the 15 years or so the only sport related articles I have read are the one about tendulkar. I started following cricket because of him in 1997-98 which incidently was also his best year in cricket. he can play almost all the shots in the book and many more but the ones I really love are those cheeky shots he used to play behind the stump, there was a hint of mischief in them and I thought he was the first one to bring so many innovative shots in ODIs.

Posted by ravi-1967 on (October 25, 2013, 6:51 GMT)

Amazing cricketer. I first saw him when he faced Waqar, Imran and other bowlers in Pakistan. I was doing my MSC then in Physics. Today I have completed about 22 years of professional work and he is still around. What a man. The next opportunity was to listen to the radio commentary of his first test ton in England. A strong head on a very yound pair of shoulders.

I have been watching his game ever since and he has always given joy. I would be missing him. Cricket would not be the same without him but we would continue to support India in all its matches going forward and hope to see Tendylya in a commentary box.

Great job Sachin we are all proud of you. Enjoy your life away from the game

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 6:50 GMT)

I saw sachin first time in the field 10-10-2010 at bengaluru, where he had scored a double century in that test match. I still remembered, after making his century the sidescreen in stadium had shown 10-10-ton-dulkar instead of tendulakar.I love sachin because not only of his attitude also he is inspirational to the nation. A great living legend and the only human being is eligible for BHARAT RATHNA. After sachin retirement, Tests will loose its legacy.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

I don't know why my eyes gets moist whenever I read something on sachin Tendulkar.

Posted by Arrow011 on (October 25, 2013, 6:37 GMT)

I always felt talks on Bradman & Barry richards (the 4 tests wonder) being hailed as great is not doing justice to batsmen who have played in all sorts of turning pitches. Played in all types of weather, smog, crowd & varying cultures.Time has tested many players but only Sachin could go on & on to become the greatest of Cricket. If you listen to Greg chappel's & Tony Greig's commentary in 1991 (when he was just 18 years old) they used to say the little master is playing well. He was spotted very early by the great Indian selectors & lived all his career proving them right. There were many child starters like Hasan Raza (14 y), Imran Nazir (17) of Pak & Parthiv Patel (17) but they all never justified their place in any format even for over 2 years. Sachin has always been faithful to his fans, his family, his team mates & the country. A rare gem. I & my brother used to watch him play in TVs from outside shops, rly station platform TVs also. As soon as he got out, we would lose interest.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Tendulkar's career will be remembered for the memories rather than numbers and statistics … Totally agree. If you look at the numbers or statistics, with career spanned around 24 years may be achieved by similar talents and records are meant to be broken, X's have scored many 300 + score , Y's has the best individual score in test and one-day etc … but the memoirs that Sachin had provided through the years will be etched forever. The off drives and the flicks, the kid like enthusiasm in the field.. You will miss a legend in later part of the career in the ground behaving like any others player, that was his grace and humbleness. He will retire and will start exploring this country as he mentioned but from time to time do spend time to guide the generation next to build career on focus, depth in skills and work ethics that you have brought in to the game.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 6:09 GMT)

What spectacular Batsman, Although you played some most match winnings innings against Pakistan, but we still love you. Tendulkar A legend, no batsmen will never ever match him

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 5:57 GMT)

The last line sums it up pretty well.. This is as much about US as it is about Tendulkar!! When Sachin stops, we pretty much stop!!

Posted by magicaldeepak on (October 25, 2013, 5:48 GMT)

This is a very emotional piece. All these farewell articles give a feeling that you are dying everyday until the moment finally comes. When he actually leaves all of us alone in the cricket field..He was a great habit as harsha says. To us who are in the bracket of 25, it's hard to imagine life without listening something about Tendulkar when a cricket match is on.

No one ever has got such a farewell, no one ever will. I hope Cricinfo brings out a book of Incredible articles on SRT, like they did Timeless steel.

Posted by   on (October 25, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

I'm a fan oh him as well..

Posted by vish2020 on (October 24, 2013, 21:54 GMT)

When you talk cricket in India, Sachin story is always in it. He is far and ahead the best batsman to ever play the game. He played against one of the best bowlers from any age. Mcgrath, Wasim, Warne, Murli.. these four could take down any other decade and yes even the west indies 80's. And these bowlers would never let bradman have average of near 100. it will be around 50's. Bradman never played on turning tracks against pakistan's best spinners, or murli on a turner. give me break with bradman talk!

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Features

The man whom cricket loved back

Sambit Bal: Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness

Tendulkar's perfect balance

Sharda Ugra: While the team, the country and the sport changed around him, Tendulkar remained constant

Why do we insist on seeing the 'real' Sachin?

Rahul Bose: You can ask as much as you want for a more "human", more "feelable, touchable" Sachin, but he'll probably not change - and that's a good thing

Zaltz Stats

550,000,000
The approximate number of people in India today who had not been born when Sachin Tendulkar made his Test debut in 1989 (calculated from these figures). His batting has been so erotically outstanding that the global population has increased by almost 2 billion during his career, with the biggest increase, understandably, in India itself.

I have played cricket for 24 years, it has been only 24 hours since retirement, and I think I should get at least 24 days to relax before deciding these things.

Sachin Tendulkar doesn't want to think of what lies ahead just yet