Nov 172013
 

Newly-retired cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar says it was the “perfect time” for him to leave the game after his body began to struggle with the physical pressure.

The record-breaking batsmen made a tearful final departure from the field on Saturday after his 200th Test match, bringing to an end an unusually long and glittering career spanning 24 years.

The 40-year-old, the world’s leading scorer in both Test and one-day cricket and a national hero in India, said his body had told him that it was time to put away his bat.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries. It’s not easy to overcome all those injuries,” he told reporters on Sunday in his hometown Mumbai, where he played his final match.

“Somewhere in life and you reach a stage when your body gives you a message, enough of this physical load. I think the body requires rest.”

The only batsman ever to score 100 international centuries, he admitted it was “becoming an effort” to complete training sessions.

“This is the perfect time to leave the game,” he added.

With his last international century nearly three years ago, some had suggested Tendulkar’s retirement should have come sooner, but the “Little Master” bowed out with his god-like popularity intact across India.

The crowd at the Wankhede stadium wept with him on Saturday and deafeningly cheered his name after the match against the West Indies came to a close.

He made an emotional and poignant speech on the field thanking everyone who had supported him, before being hoisted on his teammates’ shoulders for a lap of honour around the field.

Tendulkar, who made a cup of tea and had a “relaxed” breakfast with his wife Anjali after waking up on Sunday, said the finality of his retirement was yet to sink in.

“I don’t know why but it is yet to strike me that I’m not going to play cricket anymore,” he said.

“Cricket has been my life, cricket was oxygen for me.”

Tendulkar remained tight-lipped over his future plans, but said he would like to help “the next generation” of cricketers and stay associated with the game on some level.

AFP

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Nov 162013
 
'Little Master' bows out with victory over Windies

Published: 9:09PM Saturday November 16, 2013 Source: Reuters

Sachin Tendulkar did not get a chance to bat again in his final Test, but India’s “Little Master” was allowed to bowl a couple of overs, before drawing his 24-year glittering career to an emotional conclusion.

After his side completed the formalities of a victory over West Indies, Tendulkar collected a stump as a memento and wiped tears from his eyes, as he slowly made his way off the field through a mobile guard of honour formed by his team-mates.

As television coverage broadcast images of a huge banner in the stands proclaiming “Legends Never Retire”, the 40-year-old Tendulkar shook hands with opposing players and staff, before climbing the stairs leading to the dressing room.

Earlier, responding to chants of “We want Sachin, We want Sachin” from a packed Wankhede Stadium crowd, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni allowed Tendulkar to bowl two final overs in his 200th Test match, fittingly at his home ground.

A wicket was not forthcoming for the world’s most prolific run-scorer, but he did show off a full repertoire of deliveries in his cameo, offering leg-spin, off-spin and an immaculate googly that tail-ender Shane Shillingford somehow defended.

The regular bowlers returned to finish off a match that will be largely forgotten as a contest, but remembered as a fitting farewell for a man who may be small in stature, but cast a giant shadow of greatness over cricket in India and beyond.

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Nov 152013
 
Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Massive outpouring of emotion for Little Master

They didn’t get to see a fairy-tale end to what is likely to be Sachin Tendulkar’s last occupation of the crease, but he was soon on the receiving end of the fans’ adoration as he trudged toward the pavilion, having been caught off Narsingh Deonarine for 74.

For a while the crescendo of cheers did not seem to register, but when he got near the boundary the noise grew even louder as he took off his helmet and wiped his brow.

“He has crossed boundaries, meant something to everyone, which is why you see such outpouring of emotion,” Rahul Dravid, the former India captain, said while commentating on television. “He has touched the lives of so many people over the years.”

All-rounder Yuvraj Singh, a guest pundit, added: “When he walked in, how everyone cheered for him, well that was just amazing to see – the love of people for him.”

Such was the clamour to witness the “Little Master” attempting to mark his 200th and final Test match with a century that the public was still pouring into the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai when he resumed his innings on 38 this morning.

He had earlier looked calm warming up before the day’s play began, interrupting his practice session to speak to Australian Shane Warne.

Indian artist Ranjit Dahiya braves the heights as Mumbai prepares for the start of Tendulkar’s final Test matchIndian artist Ranjit Dahiya braves the heights as Mumbai prepares for the start of Tendulkar’s final Test match  

Nov 152013
 
'Thank you for the memories Sachin'

MUMBAI: Sachin Tendulkar fell short of a fairytale ton in his farewell Test on Friday but the Indian batsman’s 74-run knock was embellished by a full repertoire of classy shots the ‘Little Master’ was renowned for during a sparkling 24-year career.Scor…

Nov 152013
 
Sachin Tendulkar retirement: The 'Little Master' out for 74, so has he missed his chance for a final century?

For 68 minutes on Friday morning, Sachin Tendulkar was the calmest person at the Wankhede Stadium. Seemingly untouched by the groundswell of emotion surrounding his final days as an international cricketer, his focus was unwavering. The art of scoring runs was not an onerous task, there was no stutter or stumble as he progressed serenely, on course to keeping his tryst with a magical farewell.

Around him, the fans chanted his name, screamed and shouted and clapped when he worked the ball into the gaps or drove ferociously. Arjun, his son, sat just outside the boundary rope, dressed in whites, his persistence forcing Mumbai Cricket Association officials to accede to his request of being drafted in as a ball boy. Nearly 26 years ago, at the same venue, his father had embraced a similar role during the 1987 World Cup. Talk about life coming full circle.

In the comfort of an air-conditioned box in the grandstand, Anjali, his wife, watched every single ball, a silent prayer of thanksgiving on the odd occasion when he played and missed merely interspersing prolonged moments of controlled delight when the ball sped across the outfield and peppered the boundary boards. His mother, who made it to a cricket ground for a second day in a row, watched on stoically – no one will ever wonder where Tendulkar got his equanimity from.

It was as if Tendulkar wasn’t even aware of the goings on around him. His eye was on the ball, in the truest sense of the word. The prospect of watching him bat for perhaps the last time, the prospect of seeing him whip off his helmet one final time after reaching three figures, the prospect of being a part of the celebration of Tendulkar the batsman and the cricketer, had driven thousands to the Wankhede Stadium long before the first ball of the day was to be bowled. Some 75 minutes after the start of play, five minutes or so after Tendulkar’s departure, the queues changed direction. People started to line up to leave the venue. For many, the match had already ended with Tendulkar’s farewell wave to his ardent supporters.

He was every bit as fluent on Friday morning as he had been for 82 minutes the previous evening. He was quickly into his stride, cutting and sweeping Shane Shillingford for successive boundaries, even as Cheteshwar Pujara, forgotten and unnoticed, basked in the luxuriant strokeplay of his partner and hero.

For a brief while, Richard Kettleborough was in the limelight, winning over a million hearts with a simple shake of the head. Tino Best got one to get big on Tendulkar, who shaped to ramp it over the slips. Tendulkar whipped his head around in disappointment at having missed out on a boundary; Best went up in animated appeal, convinced he had found the edge. Kettleborough, who used to bowl in the nets to Tendulkar when he was part of Yorkshire’s academy more than two decades ago, was calm and unruffled, and ruled in the batsman’s favour. The Wankhede breathed again.

Tendulkar then played a fabulous off drive to top 50 for the 119 time in Test cricket, having taken 24 minutes and 18 deliveries to progress from his overnight 38. Then came a couple more missed ramps, including one off the last delivery of the 41 over. At the end of it, Best sat on his haunches, beaten, battered, tired. As Tendulkar walked down the pitch to touch gloves with Pujara, he playfully punched Best twice on his right shoulder, a beautiful moment of empathy and commiseration.

There was no mercy in Best’s next over as he stood tall, the high left elbow prominent in the punch off the back foot that sped through covers. Trademark Tendulkar, in an innings full of emblematic strokes, including another sumptuous punch-drive off Shannon Gabriel that sped past the bowler and away to the boundary long before the tall pace bowler had complete his follow-through.

The first drinks break of the day allowed everyone to catch their breath. Disaster struck immediately on resumption, with Narsingh Deonarine the most unlikely villain and Darren Sammy the more likely catcher. A steer-cut from the part-time offspinner flew head high to slip, and Sammy pouched it superbly. Tendulkar paused a second, then began the long walk back. The fans, momentarily stunned, then rose as one to cheer him all the way back, as did the West Indians. Tendulkar walked on, head held high, not a trace of emotion on his face.

Nearing the boundary rope, he stopped, turned back and raised his hands in acknowledgement. Thank you, he said to the fans. Then, he climbed the steps and walked into the dressing room, every single occupant of which was standing, echoing the sentiments of millions of cricket lovers across the world – ‘Thank you, Sachin.’

There was no fairytale hundred, but 24 years to the day after he made his first Test appearance, everyone will take this 74 – the most celebrated such score in cricket history.

R Kaushik is deputy editor of Wisden India (www.wisdenindia.com).

 

Will Tendulkar bat again?

West Indies lost three wickets after getting their second innings underway and trail India by 270 heading into day three of th Test. The likelihood of them reaching that target and forcing India (and Tendulkar) to bat again is slim.

Nov 152013
 
Sachin Tendulkar retirement: Has the 'Little Master' fallen 26 runs short of a fairytale century on his final appearance?

For 68 minutes on Friday morning, Sachin Tendulkar was the calmest person at the Wankhede Stadium. Seemingly untouched by the groundswell of emotion surrounding his final days as an international cricketer, his focus was unwavering. The art of scoring runs was not an onerous task, there was no stutter or stumble as he progressed serenely, on course to keeping his tryst with a magical farewell.

Around him, the fans chanted his name, screamed and shouted and clapped when he worked the ball into the gaps or drove ferociously. Arjun, his son, sat just outside the boundary rope, dressed in whites, his persistence forcing Mumbai Cricket Association officials to accede to his request of being drafted in as a ball boy. Nearly 26 years ago, at the same venue, his father had embraced a similar role during the 1987 World Cup. Talk about life coming full circle.

In the comfort of an air-conditioned box in the grandstand, Anjali, his wife, watched every single ball, a silent prayer of thanksgiving on the odd occasion when he played and missed merely interspersing prolonged moments of controlled delight when the ball sped across the outfield and peppered the boundary boards. His mother, who made it to a cricket ground for a second day in a row, watched on stoically – no one will ever wonder where Tendulkar got his equanimity from.

It was as if Tendulkar wasn’t even aware of the goings on around him. His eye was on the ball, in the truest sense of the word. The prospect of watching him bat for perhaps the last time, the prospect of seeing him whip off his helmet one final time after reaching three figures, the prospect of being a part of the celebration of Tendulkar the batsman and the cricketer, had driven thousands to the Wankhede Stadium long before the first ball of the day was to be bowled. Some 75 minutes after the start of play, five minutes or so after Tendulkar’s departure, the queues changed direction. People started to line up to leave the venue. For many, the match had already ended with Tendulkar’s farewell wave to his ardent supporters.

He was every bit as fluent on Friday morning as he had been for 82 minutes the previous evening. He was quickly into his stride, cutting and sweeping Shane Shillingford for successive boundaries, even as Cheteshwar Pujara, forgotten and unnoticed, basked in the luxuriant strokeplay of his partner and hero.

For a brief while, Richard Kettleborough was in the limelight, winning over a million hearts with a simple shake of the head. Tino Best got one to get big on Tendulkar, who shaped to ramp it over the slips. Tendulkar whipped his head around in disappointment at having missed out on a boundary; Best went up in animated appeal, convinced he had found the edge. Kettleborough, who used to bowl in the nets to Tendulkar when he was part of Yorkshire’s academy more than two decades ago, was calm and unruffled, and ruled in the batsman’s favour. The Wankhede breathed again.

Tendulkar then played a fabulous off drive to top 50 for the 119 time in Test cricket, having taken 24 minutes and 18 deliveries to progress from his overnight 38. Then came a couple more missed ramps, including one off the last delivery of the 41 over. At the end of it, Best sat on his haunches, beaten, battered, tired. As Tendulkar walked down the pitch to touch gloves with Pujara, he playfully punched Best twice on his right shoulder, a beautiful moment of empathy and commiseration.

There was no mercy in Best’s next over as he stood tall, the high left elbow prominent in the punch off the back foot that sped through covers. Trademark Tendulkar, in an innings full of emblematic strokes, including another sumptuous punch-drive off Shannon Gabriel that sped past the bowler and away to the boundary long before the tall pace bowler had complete his follow-through.

The first drinks break of the day allowed everyone to catch their breath. Disaster struck immediately on resumption, with Narsingh Deonarine the most unlikely villain and Darren Sammy the more likely catcher. A steer-cut from the part-time offspinner flew head high to slip, and Sammy pouched it superbly. Tendulkar paused a second, then began the long walk back. The fans, momentarily stunned, then rose as one to cheer him all the way back, as did the West Indians. Tendulkar walked on, head held high, not a trace of emotion on his face.

Nearing the boundary rope, he stopped, turned back and raised his hands in acknowledgement. Thank you, he said to the fans. Then, he climbed the steps and walked into the dressing room, every single occupant of which was standing, echoing the sentiments of millions of cricket lovers across the world – ‘Thank you, Sachin.’

There was no fairytale hundred, but 24 years to the day after he made his first Test appearance, everyone will take this 74 – the most celebrated such score in cricket history.

R Kaushik is deputy editor of Wisden India (www.wisdenindia.com).

 

Will Tendulkar bat again?

West Indies lost three wickets after getting their second innings underway and trail India by 270 heading into day three of th Test. The likelihood of them reaching that target and forcing India (and Tendulkar) to bat again is slim.

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