The buzz

Sachin's British family connection

Meet the distinguished English social worker who didn't "really know anything" about Tendulkar before he became her son-in-law
November 12, 2013

Tendulkar's family are all likely to be at the Wankhede Stadium for this final Test © Associated Press
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The Telegraph's Ian Chadband meets Annabel Mehta, Tendulkar's mother-in-law.

This distinguished English social worker, who had made her life in India, knew the teenager played Test cricket and was considered a bit of a star but that was about it. "I didn't really know anything about him and, of course, I had no idea then, over 20 years ago, what was going to happen. But I mean, how could one ever know?"

How could one possibly ever know the way this coy, charming little fellow was going to be transformed into nothing short of a living national deity and how Annabel's beautiful girl Anjali would become the rock on which Sachin Tendulkar's greatness has relied for so long? He turned their lives, gloriously, upside down.

Amid the madness surrounding Tendulkar, a form of idolatry currently attaining new peaks of insanity with his home city preparing to pay homage on his cricketing farewell at the Wankhede Stadium, it is, as ever, in the bosom of his family that Sachin finds his most comforting retreat.

"Who is the greatest among the three giants - Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar - on foreign soil?" asks S Dinakar in the Hindu:

While Gavaskar and Dravid built lasting edifices abroad by grinding the bowling, Tendulkar could do the same even as he dominated the attacks with a still head, balance and inventiveness.

This gifted batsman was inspirational, had two strokes for every delivery, impacted the psyche of the bowler, had the most complete record on all surfaces.

He might not have as many match-winning innings as Dravid but you cannot hold that against him -- winning depends on a lot of factors and a batsman alone cannot be penalised.

The Cricket Association of Bengal released a 44-page souvenir for the Kolkata Test. Mid-Day selects a few snippets:

Steve Waugh
"As a contemporary, I feel that he has fulfilled his destiny as a batsman in ample measure, and if I have a criticism, it is that he did not give his leg breaks any importance. I always thought he could spin the ball a lot more than many regular spinners, and could have claimed 100 Test sticks had he put his mind to it."

The BCCI has approached 71-year-old Musa Katchhi from Baroda to paint a portrait of Tendulkar, writes Vijay Tagore in Mumbai Mirror.

He is running against the time to meet the deadline as the BCCI wants to present the portrait to Tendulkar before the start of his 200th and final Test at Wankhede Stadium on November 14.

"I generally take two months to finish an assignment, but in this case I have only a week's time. I'm confident I will do it in time," Katchhi said.

Tendulkar, obviously, has not posed for the painting, and Katchhi will be replicating in paint a photograph which he had to pick. "I was given 50 photos to choose from and I picked the most dynamic of all the photos," Katchhi revealed.

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Zaltz Stats

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