Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is a former Indian cricketer and captain, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. He took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test debut on 15 November 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi at the age of sixteen, and went on to represent Mumbai domestically and India internationally for close to twenty-four years. He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International, the holder of the record for the number of runs in both ODI and Test cricket, and the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket.
In 2002 just half way through his career, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards. Later in his career, Tendulkar was a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India. He had previously been named “Player of the Tournament” at the 2003 edition of the tournament, held in South Africa. In 2013, he was the only Indian cricketer included in an all-time Test World XI named to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
Tendulkar received the Arjuna Award in 1994 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1997, India’s highest sporting honour, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively, India’s fourth and second highest civilian awards. After a few hours of his final match on 16 November 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He is the youngest recipient to date and the first ever sportsperson to receive the award. He also won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards. In 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He was also the first sportsperson and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of group captain by the Indian Air Force. In 2012, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.
In December 2012, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs. He retired from Twenty20 cricket in October 2013 and subsequently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, retiring on 16 November 2013 after playing his 200th and final Test match, against the West Indies in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total, scoring 34,357 runs.
Tendulkar was born at Nirmal Nursing Home in Dadar, Bombay on 24 April 1973 in a Maharashtrian family. His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a well-known Marathi novelist and his mother, Rajni, worked in the insurance industry. Ramesh named Tendulkar after his favourite music director, Sachin Dev Burman. Tendulkar has three elder siblings: two half-brothers Nitin and Ajit, and a half-sister Savita. They were Ramesh’s children from his first marriage. He spent his formative years in the Sahitya Sahawas Cooperative Housing Society in Bandra (East). As a young boy, Tendulkar was considered a bully, and often picked up fights with new children in his schoHe also showed an interest in tennis, idolising John McEnroe. To help curb his mischievous and bullying tendencies, Ajit introduced him to cricket in 1984. He introduced the young Sachin to Ramakant Achrekar, a famous cricket coach and a club cricketer of repute, at Shivaji Park, Dadar. In the first meeting, the young Sachin did not play his best. Ajit told Achrekar that he was feeling self-conscious due to the coach observing him, and was not displaying his natural game. Ajit requested the coach to give him another chance at playing, but watch while hiding behind a tree. This time, Sachin, apparently unobserved, played much better and was accepted at Achrekar’s academy. Ajit is ten years elder and is credited by Sachin for playing a pivotal role in his life.
Early domestic career
On 14 November 1987, Tendulkar was selected to represent Bombay in the Ranji Trophy, India’s premier domestic First-class cricket tournament, for the 1987–88 season. However, he was not selected for the final eleven in any of the matches, though he was often used as a substitute fielder. He narrowly missed out on playing alongside his idol Gavaskar, who had retired from all forms of cricket after the 1987 Cricket World Cup. A year later, on 11 December 1988, aged just 15 years and 232 days, Tendulkar made his debut for Bombay against Gujarat at home and scored 100 not out in that match, making him the youngest Indian to score a century on debut in first-class cricket. He was handpicked to play for the team by the then Bombay captain Dilip Vengsarkar after watching him easily negotiating India’s best fast bowler at the time, Kapil Dev, in the Wankhede Stadium nets, where the Indian team had come to play against the touring New Zealand team. He followed this by scoring a century in his first Deodhar and Duleep Trophies, which are also Indian domestic tournaments.
Raj Singh Dungarpur is credited for the selection of Tendulkar for the Indian tour of Pakistan in late 1989, and that too after just one first class season.The Indian selection committee had shown interest in selecting Tendulkar for the tour of the West Indies held earlier that year, but eventually did not select him, as they did not want him to be exposed to the dominant fast bowlers of the West Indies so early in his career. Tendulkar made his Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November 1989 aged just 16 years and 205 days. He made just 15 runs, being bowled by Waqar Younis, who also made his debut in that match, but was noted for how he handled numerous blows to his body at the hands of the Pakistani pace attack. In the fourth and final Test in Sialkot, he was hit on the nose by a bouncer bowled by Younis, but he declined medical assistance and continued to bat even as he gushed blood from it. In a 20-over exhibition game in Peshawar, held in parallel with the bilateral series, Tendulkar made 53 runs off 18 balls, including an over in which he scored 27 runs (6, 4, 0, 6, 6, 6) off leg-spinner Abdul Qadir. This was later called “one of the best innings I have seen” by the then Indian captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth. In all, he scored 215 runs at an average of 35.83 in the Test series, and was dismissed without scoring a run in the only One Day International (ODI) he played. Thus Sachin Tendulkar became the youngest player to debut for India in Tests at the age of 16 years and 205 days and also the youngest player to debut for India in ODIs at the age of 16 years and 238 days.
Tendulkar’s two tenures as captain of the Indian cricket team were not very successful. When Tendulkar took over as captain in 1996, it was with huge hopes and expectations. However, by 1997 the team was performing poorly. Azharuddin was credited with saying “Nahin jeetega! Chote ki naseeb main jeet nahin hai!”,which translates into: “He won’t win! It’s not in the small one’s destiny!”.
2011 World Cup and after
From February to April, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka hosted the 2011 World Cup. Amassing 482 runs at an average of 53.55 including two centuries, Tendulkar was India’s leading run-scorer for the tournament; only Tillakaratne Dilshan of Sri Lanka scored more runs in the 2011 tournament. India defeated Sri Lanka in the final. Shortly after the victory, Tendulkar commented that “Winning the World Cup is the proudest moment of my life. … I couldn’t control my tears of joy.”
India were due to tour the West Indies in June, although Tendulkar chose not to participate. He returned to the squad in July for India’s tour of England. Throughout the tour there was much hype in the media about whether Tendulkar would reach his 100th century in international cricket (Test and ODIs combined). However his highest score in the Tests was 91; Tendulkar averaged 34.12 in the series as England won 4–0 as they deposed India as the No. 1 ranked Test side. The injury Tendulkar sustained to his right foot in 2001 flared up and as a result he was ruled out of the ODI series that followed.Tendulkar created another record on 8 November 2011 when he became the first cricketer to score 15,000 runs in Test cricket, during the opening Test match against the West Indies at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi.
Indian Premier League and Champions League
Tendulkar was made the icon player and captain for his home side, the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition in 2008. As an icon player, he was signed for a sum of US$1,121,250, 15% more than the second-highest paid player in the team, Sanath Jayasuriya.
In 2010 edition of Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians reached the final of the tournament. Tendulkar made 618 runs in 14 innings during the tournament, breaking Shaun Marsh’s record of most runs in an IPL season. He was declared player of the tournament for his performance during the season. He also won Best Batsman and Best Captain awards at 2010 IPL Awards ceremony. Sachin has scored more than 500 runs in IPL in two different seasons as a captain.
Tendulkar is cross-dominant: he bats, bowls and throws with his right hand, but writes with his left hand. He also practices left-handed throws at the nets on a regular basis. Cricinfo columnist Sambit Bal has described him as the “most wholesome batsman of his time”. His batting is based on complete balance and poise while limiting unnecessary movements and flourishes. He appears to show little preference for the slow and low wickets which are typical in India, and has scored many centuries on the hard, bouncy pitches in South Africa and Australia. He is known for his unique punch style of hitting the ball over square. He is also renowned for his picture-perfect straight drive, often completed with no follow-through. The straight drive is often said to be his favourite shot. In 2008, Sunil Gavaskar, in an article he wrote in the AFP, remarked that “it is hard to imagine any player in the history of the game who combines classical technique with raw aggression like the little champion does”.
Tendulkar’s entry into world cricket was hyped up by former Indian stars and those who had seen him play. Tendulkar’s consistent performances earned him a fan following across the globe, including amongst Australian crowds, where Tendulkar has consistently scored centuries.One of the most popular sayings by his fans is “Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God”. Cricinfo mentions in his profile that “… Tendulkar remains, by a distance, the most worshipped cricketer in the world.” During the Australian tour of India in 1998 Matthew Hayden said “I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests.” However, on God, Tendulkar himself is reported to have said “I am not God of cricket. I make mistakes, God doesn’t.” Tendulkar made a special appearance in the Bollywood film Stumped in 2003, appearing as himself.Yet, he is the one perceived God-like national figure that unites a nation of many religions.
Achievements & Awards
Sachin Tendulkar is the leading run scorer in Tests, with 15,921 runs, as well as in One-Day Internationals, with 18,426 runs. He is the only player to score more than 30,000 runs in all forms of international cricket (Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals).He is the 16th player and the first Indian to score 50,000 runs in all forms of domestic and international recognised cricket (First-class, List A and Twenty20). He achieved this feat on 5 October 2013, during a Champions League Twenty20 match for his IPL team Mumbai Indians against Trinidad and Tobago.
On 24 May 1995, at the age of 22, Tendulkar married Anjali, a paediatrician and daughter of Gujarati industrialist Anand Mehta and British social worker Annabel Mehta. Sachin’s father-in-law, Anand Mehta, is a seven-time national bridge champion. Anjali is six years his senior. His wife Anjali said in an interview that she first met him at the Mumbai airport when he returned from his first tour of England in 1990, after scoring his maiden Test ton and when she was there to pick up her mother and Sachin was arriving with the Indian team. They had a courtship of five years and had got engaged in 1994 in New Zealand. They have two children, Sara (born 12 October 1997) and Arjun (born 24 September 1999). Arjun, a left handed batsman and left arm seamer, has recently been included in under-14 probables list of Mumbai Cricket Association for off-season training camp. In January 2013 he was selected in Mumbai under-14 team for the west zone league. In 2015, he became a net bowler for English batsmen, having been a net batsman for India back in 2011 as an 11-year-old.
Tendulkar’s immense popularity has led him to be an early pioneer in India on cricket business dealings when he signed a record sports management deal with WorldTel in 1995, the value of the deal being 30 crore (US$4.5 million) over five years. His next contract with WorldTel in 2001 was valued at 80 crore (US$12 million) over five years.In 2006, he signed a contract with Saatchi and Saatchi’s ICONIX valued at 180 crore (US$27 million) over three years.
Tendulkar has opened two restaurants: Tendulkar’s (Colaba, Mumbai) and Sachin’s (Mulund, Mumbai) and Bangalore. Sachin owns these restaurants in partnership with Sanjay Narang of Mars Restaurants.
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