The buzz

Did Tendulkar deserve the Bharat Ratna?

A round-up of tributes and comments on Tendulkar's retirement
November 19, 2013

For the last month, no news has found precedence over Tendulkar's retirement in the Indian media © BCCI
related links

For two years, India had chattered manically to itself about Tendulkar's retirement, about when and how he should choose to leave the game. When he finally announced his decision to quit, in early October, the country fell into collective gloom, writes Samanth Subramanian in the New Yorker.

A national election lurks around the corner, but over the past month it has appeared to be of far smaller consequence than Tendulkar's exit. The newspapers hummed with eulogies, nostalgic essays, and editorials about his career; one media group assembled an entire conference on the subject, called "Salaam Sachin"--a daylong orgy of speechifying and tribute-paying. There were serious suggestions that Tendulkar - who was named last year to a seat in the upper house of India's Parliament - should transition swiftly into politics, and perhaps even become a member of the Cabinet. All around, you could feel a country anxiously gird itself to face the unimaginable trauma of a life after Tendulkar.

While India copes with the loss of Tendulkar, Christian Science Monitor tries to explain his phenomenon to its readers.

Think Michael Jordan, but bigger. Think Wayne Gretzky, but more adored. Think Pele, but possibly more revered. Combine them into a single athlete and you might begin to capture the adoration Indians have for cricket star Sachin Tendulkar.

In the Mumbai Mirror, Shiv Visvanathan examines the decision to award Tendulkar the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.

Awards like the Bharat Ratna are always fuzzy. We question cricket but the list of politicians chosen is far more questionable. Some of them like Rajiv Gandhi would not rate a Padma Shri but such is the nature of our time. We award Bharat Ratnas as if we are settling a bad debt. Yet, beyond the debates or the big fights, one senses the overpowering presence of Sachin. To the current generation he can do no wrong. He is the ideal. Commerce, values, family, life, talent and competence meet synergistically in him. He is a dream come true; a dream that for all his colossal achievements remains humble to the last- a genius without arrogance. That made him singular.

In Mid-Day, Paras Mhambrey, Tendulkar's former India and Mumbai team-mate and long-time friend, talks about how Tendulkar prepared for his final two Tests.

In the Hindustan Times, Sukhwant Basra asks if in celebrating Tendulkar, we are forgetting India's other sporting heroes.

On ESPNcricinfo, Sambit Bal writes that Tendulkar was the biggest worshipper the game could ever find, and in that lay the foundation of his greatness. And Sharda Ugra writes about Tendulkar's fine sense of balance, in batting and in life. Also read, S Rajesh's stats summary of the batting giant.

. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 24, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

At least this award is one which MR Sachin Tendulkar selection is in severe doubt. See you have given award to someone acknowledged as the greatest of all time cricketer.But the point is why have you ignored an forgotten the struggles and sacrifies the pains and turmoils of Mr Dhyan Chand, PT Usha. Those were the times where there was no TV no ad no sponsors no money only doing for the country sake. Now MR SRT gets crores of Rs to touch the cricket ground. Crores go the BCCI coffers, crores to Ad agencies Crores to TV channels. Please brothers calculate the remuneration earned by MR Dhyan Chand PT USha Milkha Singh and compare it with SRT and then justify the selection of SRT for Bharat Ratna. Please reply to this.

Posted by abhishek on (November 23, 2013, 18:15 GMT)

in my opinion, without a doubt SRT deserves the Bharat Ratna. His connection with politics has no way helped him to be nominated for this great respect. He has deserved each and every bit of it. Be it a cricket fan or just a commoner who does not give a damn for this game, all adore him for his respect for the game and more importantly for how great an ambassador he has been for this game for 24 long years. Many people remember him for being a GREAT BATSMAN.But even more will remember him for being SACHIN TENDULKAR,the most patient disciple of the game. So, i think thats wat makes the big difference.If in the opinion of a few, this is nt enough for getting the most prestigious honour, the NOTHING IS....!

Posted by V on (November 20, 2013, 6:31 GMT)

One stat that no writer want to most is that "SACHIN HAS PLAYED MORE MATCHES THAN ANY PLAYER EVER". As Sanath Jayasuria so humbly said before he retired, "if one plays cricket long enough then they will get record runs and wickets". This is the case of Sachin. Who deserves the Bharat Ratna or fare well ceremony is the BCCI and selectors who found a way to keep Sachin playing cricket for 25 years (quarter of a century) which is the biggest record of them all that no one wants to talk about.

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 20, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

I will certainly say that Sachin totally deserves Bhrat Ratna due to his on and off cricket field activities.. He is the only sportsperson who earned the respect of all the countries across the world.. even australia who used to treat and disrespect asians love him very much.. its not the stats.. even muralidaran has untouchable stats but aussies still booed him.. but not in case of sachin.. His humbleness, controversies free for 25 years and his gentleman attitude inspired not only the people in India but also across the World.. When he cried whole India cried.. he lives in every indian's heart.. The only thing that is creating a fuzz is that about Dyan Chand. He also certainly deserves the awrd like Sachin bcoz his statusis more than Bradman in cricket.. I HOPE THAT DYAN CHAND AND SACHIN TENDULKAR WOULD HAVE RECIEVED BHARAT RATNA AT THE SAME TIME TO AVOID CONTROVERSIES..

Posted by sivakumar on (November 20, 2013, 6:08 GMT)

I suppose Sachin can hardly be expected to refuse the Bharat Ratna but, in my view, the award, already diminished by it being awarded to Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi ,M G Ramachandran and Morarji Desai, has further lost it's credibility by not simultaneously being awarded to Vishwanathan Anand, inarguably India's greatest ever sportsperson.

Posted by srikanthan on (November 20, 2013, 5:12 GMT)

Tendulkar , no doubt was a great cricketer and a even greater role model, but did he deserve Bhartah Ratna, may be yes, but were there other who deserved it more , probably yes. Even in sports, Chess is a sport, the achievements of Anand are far greater. Let us not forget he was the first GM in India and after him , it was almost as of the floodgates were opened, now there are atleast 10 GM s in India. Let us also not forget that he was the champion and still is for several years. If and when , he does lose it, may be this time against Cralsen, it no way dominishes his stature and achievements. Recall the oft repeated one, that there have been fewer Grandmasters than the no of Nobel Laureates.

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 20, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

This is my second comment here, people who doesn't like cricket and its popularity in India are against to this award(for Sachin) and peoples who followed cricket from the long long back are agreeing to this. Its obvious that a hockey loving person will raise his voice in favor of hockey player,but its not the case here. Sachin has united the entire nation irrespective of caste,religion etc etc, he is the one who made India proud for almost 24 years ,so he deserves it. Last important point "If Central Governmet conduct a pool about who deserves Bharat Ratna among all the Sport persons" whom do you think will win the contest??????? at last its the same name again SACHIN SACHIN..............

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 20, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

Dhyan Chand - 29 August 1905 - 3 December 1979- Indian field hockey player

Cricket world's legend Don Bradman and Hockey's greatest player Dhyan Chand once came face to face at Adelaide in 1935, when the Indian hockey team was in Australia. After watching Dhyan Chand in action, Don Bradman remarked "He scores goals like runs in cricket"

Residents of Vienna, Austria, honoured him by setting up a statue of him with four hands and four sticks, depicting his control and mastery over the ball.

In Holland, the authorities broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside

Once, while playing a hockey game, Major Dhyan Chand was not able to score a goal against the opposition team. After several misses, he argued with the match referee regarding the measurement of the goal post, and amazingly, it was found to not be in conformation with the official width of a goal post under international rules

This not a game of hockey, but magic. Dhyan Chand is in fact the magician of hockey

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 20, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

Don't even debate on this topic.. whether sachin deserves or not.. if not Sachin then whom.. he was not just professional cricketer.. he is a great human being.. here are some facts which media will not cover.

What did Sachin do for the country? He donated 51 lakhs for the uttarkhand flood relief. He sponsors 200 underprivileged students every year He celebrates his daughter's birthday in mumbai slums . He donates regularly for the Cancer Crusade. His tweet made 1.025 crores for saving people with cancer. In 2011 census he participated 9 hours without asking a single rupee. He gave the bat that he used to score his 100th century to the CAB museum for free and the auction amount was used for charity.

Posted by Dummy4 on (November 20, 2013, 4:58 GMT)

yes but mr. dyanchand also deserved for bharat ratn.


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

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