Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
92! It is 94! 98 and it’s a 100! That is how people screamed when Sachin Tendulkar was finally nearing his much awaited century, his hundredth century- considered to be an unattainable record. Just when the final shot was played, even the ones who do not follow cricket jumped in jubilation. 16th march is a special day for all those who love cricket and consider one little man the God of the same. As they say: “God wanted to play cricket and then Sachin was born”.
This will remain his most superb century ever. The man who made his debut as a 16 year old boy and magnificently surpassed all his counterparts did it for the 100th time. For us, Friday will remain etched in our memories forever, as an afternoon that etched our own living legend’s name in the history of the game.
When we start talking about the ‘God of Cricket’ and more recently his hundredth ton, there is not much that hasn’t already been said, heard, written and read. The cliché is inevitable when its Tendulkar we talk about, ‘If cricket is religion then Sachin is God.’ They said he was too old for the ODIs. But he responded in the way he knows best, smashing bigger hits and setting greater records both for himself and the team.
Coming a long way from being a 16 year old boy, a career spanning 22 years Sachin has seen may highs and lows. His achievements have been jaw dropping and he has shown the true spirit of sportsmanship when he had to go through adverse circumstances and still emerged with flying colors. It has been his true grit and determination that has made greats like Brian Lara say: ”Sachin is a genius. I’m a mere mortal”. He has been burdened with expectations and the entire nation has put him on a pedestal for the past two decades. What began as a young boy’s dream, grew to become India’s obsession.
He scored his first century(119) in the year 1990 in a test match against England in Old Trattford and his first Test century (165) in India at Chennai during the home series against England in 1993. Soon in 1994 scores first ODI hundred in his 79th match against Australia at Colombo. Tendulkar became the first batsman in the history of ODI cricket to score 10,000 runs. In the world cup 2003 he made 673 runs in 11 matches, most by any batsman in a single World Cup and subsequently bagging the player of the tournament award. The next year, equals Sunil Gavaskar’s world record 34 Test centuries. Also to become only the third player in history, after Gary Kirsten and Steve Waugh, to score centuries against all Test playing nations. Alongwith being the first player in ODI history to win 50 Man of the Match awards.In his 122nd match, in 2005 the master blaster completed 10,000 runs in ODIs.
His innings of 175 against Australia at Hyderabad, 2009, made him the first ever to aggregate 17,000 ODI runs and the unforgettable 2010 milestone of an ODI double-century for the first time, before becoming the most capped player in Test cricket, surpassing Steve Waugh’s tally of 168 Tests. Contributing big in India’s 2011 world cup win, Tendulkar was highest run-getter for India with a spectacular 482 .
Sachin is one batting genius and one batsman who has given the world’s best bowlers their worst nightmares. He is one person who has taken criticism in his stride and has let his bat answer all sceptics who debated upon his retirement as meticulously as they could. His career has had its own highs and lows but the fact that he has been able to surmount all of that with such great modesty and greatness is truly commendable. Well, I am too insignificant a person to pass statements on a man of such repute but one thing that makes me wonder is what hunger drives this athlete to keep on showing up game after game? At some point though, there will be that last walk to the crease for Sachin but it will certainly be of his own accord.In the words of the India’s modest super achiever ‘‘If it comes along the way, I will cherish it. But to me records are a number game. Winning matches for India is more important’’.