In the winter of 1989, the month of November, arch rivals India and Pakistan were once again ready to draw swords at each other. Two entire nations, and many more in lands farther, had set themselves for this series. And one person who caught the most attention was a ‘little’ 16-year old guy. He must have been standing less than 5 feet 5 inches that time. Really ‘little’? Most cricket fans, the opposition team and I fear, may be even his team mates would have laughed him off. Test cricket at 16-year old? Kidding anyone? Well, if you say so? He was clean bowled for 15 runs in the first innings. The rest of the test series saw a batting legend shaping his skills. The ‘little’ kid showed enormous promise. Throughout the test series, he battled the missiles hurled at him, courtesy the ferocious Pakistani pace attack. In the final test at Sialkot, he got hit by a bouncer on his nose. He bled on the pitch. But he denied medical assistance and continued batting, as blood drops oozed from his nose.
The ‘little’ kid later came to be known as The ‘Little’ Master. There must not be anyone in this nation who will ask you ‘Who’s Tendulkar?’ Craziness for him is beyond comprehension. Even in nations where people know cricket as only an insect must have heard of him. Tendulkar doesn’t possess any magic wand like the Harry Potter, but he’s no inept in mesmerizing us with his willow. Hardly has anyone not been touched by the Tendulkar aura. He once admitted that he used to get letters written in blood from his fans, not anymore though. News reports have flashed news of people committing suicide after a poor Tendulkar innings. Such are the expectations riding on him. Over 23 years of his career till now, media houses, cricketers (both ex and his contemporaries), haven’t been able to hold their mouths while showering praises on this player’s achievements. Here, are the most memorable quotes on Tendulkar:
You can’t contain Sachin’s deeds in a statistical frame. He brings unstinted joy to the art of batting. Statistics will happen because cricket is about runs and wickets. But how can you evaluate Sachin’s contributions by just counting the number of runs he has scored. To me, he best symbolizes the heights an individual can rise to dominate a team sport. Words can never capture the beauty of Sachin’s cricket.
-Kapil Dev, India’s first world cup winning captain
Sachin Tendulkar, is in my time, the best player without doubt – daylight second, Brian Lara third.
-Shane Warne, Australian Spin Wizard
Open the text book, turn to page number 32
-Harsha Bhogle, when Sachin hit a straight drive down the ground to Ishant Sharma in IPL
Don’t bowl him bad balls, he hits good ones for fours.
– Michael Kasprowicz, Former Australian fast bowler
If I had to bowl to Sachin, I would bowl with a helmet on. He hits the ball so hard
If Sachin plays well, India sleeps well
– Harsha Bhogle
I saw him playing on TV and was struck by his technique, so I asked my wife to come look at him. Now I never saw myself play, but I feel that this player is playing much the same as I used to play.
– Sir Don Bradman
Beneath the helmet, under that unruly curly hair, inside the cranium, there is something we don’t know, something beyond scientific measure. Something that allows him to soar, to roam a territory of sport that, forget us, even those who are gifted enough to play alongside him cannot even fathom. When he goes out to bat, people switch on their television sets and switch off their lives.
- BBC Sports
In an over I can bowl six different balls. But then Sachin looks at me with a sort of gentle arrogance down the pitch as if to say “Can you bowl me another one?”
- Adam Hollioke
His mind is like a computer. He stores data on bowlers and knows where they are going to pitch the ball
– Navjot Singh Sidhu, Former Indian batsman and popular cricket commentator
You get him (Sachin) out and half the battle is won
– Arjuna Ranatunga, Former Sri Lankan Captain
There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One- Sachin Tendulkar. Two- all others
– Andy Flower.
On a train from Shimla to Delhi, there was halt in one of the stations. The train stopped by for a few minutes as usual. Sachin was nearing a century, batting on 98. The passengers, the railway officials, everyone on the train waited for Sachin to complete the century. This genius can stop time in India
– Peter Rebouck, Noted Cricket Columnist
I will see God when I die, but till then I will see Sachin.
- A fan in Sarjah
Commit all your sins when Sachin is batting. They will go unnoticed because even the Lord is watching.
- A banner in England
During our team meetings, we often speak about the importance of the first 12 balls to Tendulkar. If you get him then you can thank your stars, otherwise it could mean that tough times lie ahead
- Allan Donald
Sachin made 9 centuries in one year but many cricketers did not make 9 centuries in their whole career.
- Sourav Ganguly
There was a big party where stars from bollywood and cricket were invited. Suddenly, there was a big noise, all wanted to see approaching Amitabh Bachhan. Then Sachin entered the hall and Amitabh was leading the queue to get a grab of the genius!
- Shahrukh Khan, Bollywood Actor
I had to remind Gary Kristen that he was in the covers to field against Sachin, not to applaud him
– Hansie Cronje.
Technically speaking, the quotes on this great man are never ending. His batting has spread joy among millions of people. Never has any sportsperson from a team game (apart from football) grown so big in stature. We can only be thankful to God, for giving us the opportunity to share His gift with us, for making us a witness to the best thing that ever happened to the game of cricket.