^The above statement was (and shall continue to be) cherished by ever cricket-hearted Bunty in India. Sachin Tendulkar today announced his retirement from ODI cricket. Born 24th April 1973 in Mumbai, he was named after his father Ramesh Tendulkar’s favorite music director, the legendary Sachin Dev Burman. During his formative years he showed an inclination towards tennis with John McEnroe being his favorite It was elder brother Ajit who him to cricket and his mentor Ramakant Achrekar. Tendulkar was a child prodigy and under Achrekar he only blossomed. He featured in the record partnership of 664 runs with Vinod Kambli against Anjuman-e-Islam School in a Lord Harris Shield inter-school match. The record stand had such an impact on the opposition that one of the bowlers wept while his team showed hesitation in continuing the game.
In 1989, he was selected to tour Pakistan by Raj Singh Dungarpur and on December 18, 1989 he made his ODI debut against them. Since then Sachin featured in 463 matches for India amassing 18,426 runs at 44.83 with a personal best of 200* versus South Africa at Gwalior in 2010. For the past couple of years he was plagued by too many questions about his retirement and future plans. Of the ‘Fab Four’ comprising of former skippers Saurav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, the stylish Hyderabadi batsman VVS Laxman and Tendulkar himself, only he remained. But now his retirement has given heads to plenty of other questions.
Sachin pools a vast amount of experience unlike anyone else in the team. He has experienced the grassy-scents of almost every pitch for international ties in the world and has played against oppositions of different varieties ranging from minnows Kenya to mighty Australia and not to forget arch-rivals Pakistan. He participated in six World Cups from 1992 to 2011. With him gone whom can we bank to guide the team when comes to adapting to different conditions against different teams? Amidst reports of rift in the team, Sachin could have served as the force that held the team together.
Will the atmosphere in the dressing room be the same after Sachin?