24th April was just another date in the calendar before Sachin Tendulkar walked onto the cricketing field and made it his own den over a period of 24 years, which in itself was an illustrious journey. Thirty-five thousand international runs, 100 international hundreds and billions of memories worth cherishing. He conquered the game and the history of it. But there is more to Sachin Tendulkar than his records that makes him A Brand, that makes him the God Of Cricket.
Sachin Tendulkar turns 44 today and that makes us feel that we all are getting older. My first memory of Sachin Tendulkar goes back to 2003 world cup. As an 8-year-old 2003 world cups were my first exposure to Indian cricket and the earliest memories that my substandard mind can recall. The master was in sublime form. He was making life tough for the bowlers. But what made me wonder is how this man is celebrated by my family, considering the fact that for an 8-year-old child, his family is his only world.
After the Pakistan game where he thrashed a star-studded Pakistani bowling line up all over the park and got India over the line comfortably, everyone came out on the street in my town to celebrate what was going to be one of the best days to be remembered in the history Indian Cricket. But what hit my mind is that if people celebrate a game of cricket like this and shower a particular cricketer with so much love than this sport can’t just be a sport and this man can’t just be a cricketer. And see what you find today Cricket is a religion and Sachin is our God.
Following that as every Indian who watched cricket in the Sachin Era, Sachin became my hero. I also wanted to become a cricketer like every other kid, but I was intelligent enough to understand that my skill sets are way less than what is required to even knock the doors of a district team. But my failure as a player didn’t affect my love for the game. My whole childhood revolved around certain questions… Sachin Khel Raha Hain Kya? Sachin Ne Kitne Banaye? And my excuses not to study on the match days were Sachin Is Batting, I can’t miss the action. And if he gets out then it was Sachin is out, my mood is off.
I can count on many such memories that still make us glued to the TV screens when highlights of Sachin batting in his heydeys run on some channels. But Tendulkar at 44 is different now. He is a giant, a role model and the epitome of humbleness. He is adopting villages, doing philanthropy, he is taking up responsibilities of expanding the game globally and doing every bit that he can do to influence the game staying away from the 22 yard.
At 44 what do you expect from him? You know one of the best things about the master is his love for the game and his commitment not to surrender against the growing fame, riches and money. His fitness and zeal to continue playing longer and longer were commendable.
In an age when players are driven by ttwenty cricket, when the rise to fame is quick but short lived, when cricket is not the same anymore, its Sachin’s duty to teach the young stars how to stay grounded and not to be carried away by the hoch poch around them. It is the master’s duty to teach them on how to prolong their careers, how to relive the same dream every day. Hey master, teach them how to handle success well and not to get disgruntled by failures. Teach them how to be humble and great human beings on and off the field. Teach them to become like you. Teach them to be the next Sachin Tendulkars.
Story By Abhishek Dey