The buzz

When a nation wept

There were tears everywhere as Tendulkar bid his final goodbye
November 17, 2013

Paying respects to the pitch, one final time © BCCI

A man who a nation has given constant thanks for, expressed his own gratitude, writes Rohit Brijnath in the Straits Times.

Always he was a man of runs, rarely of words, a private man locked in this most public of professions. He let others do the talking about him, but this day, for almost 24 minutes, he yanked down his well-constructed veil and spoke. In time, people will return to YouTube not just for his innings but for this speech. Tendulkar has rarely been so personal.

Time did not quite stop for the little man out in the middle, but as they had done over the years, a packed stadium and countless others watching on television held their breath, says Anand Vasu in Wisden India.

Over the years, Indians had laughed with Tendulkar when he whooped in childlike joy after picking up a wicket, had cursed fate when he was laid low by injury, celebrated when he raised his bat in glory and sighed in exasperation when he was dismissed. On Saturday, a nation wept with him as he bid farewell to the game he loved more than life itself.

Nirmal Shekar in the Hindu says happiness comes in many, many shades, and the kind that Sachin provided too has various hues.

In his NBA Hall of Fame speech in 2009, Michael Jordan called basketball his "refuge". He said it was "where I have gone when I needed to find comfort and peace."

In the last 25 years, nowhere have I seen Sachin more 'peaceful' and at home and -- if you are spiritually inclined, which this writer is not -- truly 'liberated' than when he was out there in the middle, as a batsman, as a fielder, as a bowler, at the nets…

A collective tear was shed as the Little Master signed off, says Jason Burke in the Guardian.

The end of the era came at 11.46am on Saturday. There was a pause, as tens of thousands in the stadium and hundreds of millions around the nation realised that the moment they had long known was coming had finally arrived. Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master, perhaps the world's most adored sporting hero, had retired. Then came the cheers: "Sachin, Sachin".

What is India without Tendulkar in the middle and what is Tendulkar without cricket, asks Meenakshi Rao in the Daily Pioneer

To limit Tendulkar's wonderment to just his mindboggling longevity would be criminal. For he is no ordinary sportsperson, he is a novel phenomenon, an apostle of impossible achievements and a saint of gentle aggrandisement.

The Indian Express' Bharat Sunderesan hunts down Anil Gurav, who was a batting sensation in Mumbai before Tendulkar's arrival, and one who Tendulkar admired. Today Gurav lives in a tiny room, haunted by memories of the game and of harrassment by the police, and struggles with an alcohol problem.

Talking about the time he lent Sachin his bat, Gurav says: "I was his captain at Sassanian (the cricket club). He wanted to use my bat but was too shy to ask me directly. The request came through Ramesh Parab (now the international scorer at Wankhede), and I told Sachin he could use it provided he made a big score. He said, 'I will sir', and went on to score a century with my SG bat," he says.

"Sachin was always special. He had all the shots and a great temperament. He also was blessed in a way, everything happened at the right time for him. Most importantly, he had a great background," says Gurav. "Background is everything," he adds, after a pause.

Gurav should know. Around the time he was scoring his big hits in the maidan, younger brother Ajit was climbing the ranks elsewhere -- as a sharp-shooter for a famous local gang in Parel, where the Guravs originally hail from. As Gurav moved from Western Railway to New India Assurance for better cricketing opportunities, Ajit rose into the upper echelons of crime, bringing the city police in hot pursuit.

The association would prove costly, says Gurav, notwithstanding all the laurels he was earning in the field. A top police officer who later became very well-known, he says, kept picking him and his mother up in their search for Ajit.

In the Daily Mail, James Anderson writes about the pleasure of dismissing Tendulkar nine times in Tests, and recalls the famous Test in Chennai in 2008.

Posted by jaguar7777 on (November 17, 2013, 16:30 GMT)

what can one say about sachin, the more you say, the less you have me sachin, the man, is infinitely greater than sachin, the cricketer.the speech may not be extempore but felt like coming from deep inside his heart.his humility and love for the family,friends and people connected with his development and success was expressed beautifully.he appreciated his wife's understanding for bearing the harsh language he may have used in desperate times.i thought that was extremely human.sachin is basically a very private person and to open up in the manner he did, speaks volumes about his character,his background and his upbringing.his father wanted him to keep his feet grounded and he certainly did. no wonder he made a nation cry with his stirring speech . i cry as i write and i wish him and his family the very best. jithender mehra

Posted by   on (November 17, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

A colossus amongst Greats of Sportsmen across the World; Humility and Humbleness personified against mind-blowing success, utterly sincere, fiercely competitive but friendly with opposition ( Eg.Lara and Warne ), sheer longevity of Quarter century of cricket in total age of 40, remained at highest level till end.... what else one can add ?

Posted by   on (November 17, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

I'll keep this in my heart always. :'(

Comments have now been closed for this article


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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

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