13 June, 2021

He Played For India

Sachin exceeds cricket. He’s our square yard in sporting heaven.

Illustration by Sorit
He Played For India

India’s first encounter with Sachin Tendulkar was when he was only 14. The year: 1987. In a nation fascinated with cricket, it was inevitable that India would be mourning Sunil Gavaskar leaving our cricketscape. Indian cricket, overnight, was in need of a saviour. Sure Vengsarkar was in great form, Manjrekar had his sound technique and Azharuddin his magical wrists. But truth be told, none of them were in the league of the just retired Gavaskar. It was then that Indians read about Tendulkar in a Bombay newspaper. A child prodigy, he was being touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket.

At 14, he was already dominating first-class cricket. He had scored a hundred on debut at the Ranji trophy, scored a hundred against the Rest of India in his very first Irani Trophy game and was starting to knock at the doors of international cricket. This kid, who went to the nets of Ramakant Achrekar with brother Ajit at age 11 and was initially rejected by his guru, had soon managed to con­vince not only Achrekar, but the entire Bombay cric­ket fraternity, that he was...

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