Your Ad Here


Your Ad Here

Live Cricket Score

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Champion's story not over yet

Sachin Tendulkar reached a beautiful cricketing crescendo on Friday afternoon. And no sooner did he edge past Brian Lara's world record, Tendulkar
, like he usually does, looked to the heavens to seek his late father's blessings. As the firecrackers went up and the stands erupted into frenzy time stood still for those fleeting moments.

To be sure, in his nineteen years of cricketing pilgrimage Tendulkar has been living a dream for an adoring nation. Brian Lara, of course, scored those runs in lesser number of Tests while a certain Viv Richards was almost always pleasingly brutal. Yet, what makes Tendulkar's record memorably distinct is the fact that for almost two decades he has been the signature of Indian cricket, carrying the burden of expectations of a billion people on his shoulders.

At the peak of his prowess, India was a 'One-man' team. Again it's hardly surprising that Shane Warne, arguably the best spin bowler to have played the game, has Tendulkar heading the roll call of excellence in his list of 100 best cricketers. To most of his passionate fans, to see him grace the batting crease is akin to see the sun rising everyday. Even his walk to the wicket, which is celebrated with wild cheers from the packed stands, is a spectacle in itself.

Those who know Tendulkar as a mere cricketer may find his fawning over by the Indians quaintly amusing. However, to understand that you have to be both a cricket lover and an Indian. There are things about him more than his cricket that we admire. He is successful but not drunk on success. He is rich but not arrogant about his riches. At the height of his success, when he can order the world upside down, he remains a dignified champion.

All along Tendulkar has inspired a generation of cricketers. When he speaks, a nation listens in rapt attention, likewise when he is on a song fans watch in sheer amazement. He has grown up so fast, and is also ageing gracefully, before our eyes. For someone who started off as a shy cricketer, his interviews are rare but, of late, never short of depth and wisdom. Some time back, when asked about this change, he said, "Maybe it's a sign of growing up."

He always extends his warmth whenever his friends go through tough times. Likewise he is always respectful of the elders. More importantly, he also reaches out to the handicapped kids and supports the underprivileged with their education without making a song and dance about it. He is that kind of a person. And over the years, he hasn't changed one bit. Seldom have personalities occupied our personal mind space like that.

Winning a World Cup is probably the only thing he hasn't achieved in his magical career. And it's this inner desire that will give him the strength to go on till 2011 when India hosts the next World Cup. The Tendulkar story is not over yet. It has a few volumes still to be published.

No comments: