Sunday, November 17, 2013

Indian cricket fans bid farewell to legendary Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar on the final day of the Test (Pic: Imtiyaz Shaikh, Anadolu Agency)

MUMBAI (AA) – Indian cricket fans are shedding tears about the retirement of the legendary Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, the man known as "god of cricket”. They are skeptical anyone could ever fill the void he is leaving in international cricket.
"My heart is heavy. I feel numb," Hiren Kamod, Mumbai-based young intellectual property lawyer, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
"The vacuum will never be filled. Cricket will not mean the same thing," he said.
Kamod watched Tendulkar play his final game on Friday from the Sachin Tendulkar Stand - a stand named after Tendukar at Wankhede Stadium.
"The adjectives will get exhausted but the legend of Sachin Tendulkar will continue to stay on with me, within me," he said.
Kamod said the spectators came to the stadium just because of Tendulkar.
"Though there were 15 people on the ground (including the umpires) each and every person sitting in the stadium had his/her eyes only on one man," he asserted.
"Every movement that he made was being observed meticulously. Everything that he did was being registered consciously and subconsciously," added big-time Tendulkar fan.
Kamod said that the mere thought of Tendulkar never coming on the field to bat again was enough for everyone to become emotional and have tears in their eyes. 
"Cricket without Sachin for all of us would be like a temple without its god," he suggested.
Sharique Mashhadi, a cricket enthusiast, became emotional when Tendulkar was leaving the ground.
"It was emotional moment for me. His each step towards pavilion was observed closely and I was trying to keep it in my long term memory," Mashhadi, head of the USAID-funded School Dropout Prevention Program in Bihar State, told AA.
"Sachin enjoyed his play and created amazing opportunity for everyone to discuss and dialogue over his cricketing attitude," he said.
"He knows how to carry himself on the ground, off the ground and also over the ground," added Mashhadi.
Kamod, intellectual property lawyer, said Tendulkar has given him different kinds of inspiration in each phase of his life.
"At 7, Tendulkar gave me reason to be happy and to go out and play cricket," he recalled.
"At 12, he gave me a reason to follow my passion, take responsibility and be modest," Kamod added.
"At 17, this man gave me the reason to be dedicated, determined, devoted and to make and break records. And today at 27, he gives me a reason to understand that one’s power is not determined by age, height, weight, muscles but by the sheer determination."
Throwing light on the biggest quality of the star cricketer, Kamod said Tendulkar was able to connect with people from any group; be it an 8-year-old boy or an 80-year-old man.
He noted that the two words of "Sachin Sachin" chanted in the due course of a cricket match had the potential to unite a nation of different race, caste, creed, religion.
Kamod said that even complete strangers were united by Tendulkar.
"I have seen and experienced that concerts, movie halls, rallies, discs and pubs have randomly erupted with the chant of Sachin Sachin."
Amit Surti, a 31-year-old certified Chartered Accountant at Tata company, is perhaps one of the biggest Tendulkar fans.
"Today I literally feel orphaned though my parents are still alive," Surti told AA when asked about his thoughts on Tendulkar’s retirement.
Surti’s accountancy career has been deeply influenced and motivated by Tendulkar’s rise in cricket.
After three consecutive failures to pass a tough and prestigious government examination of chartered accountancy, Surti virtually gave up.
During 2011 Cricket World Cup, Surti jokingly made a remark to his friends that if Tendulkar lifts the World Cup trophy in the final match against Sri Lanka, then he will pass his accountancy exam.
Surti’s friends laughed and made fun of him for making such "silly" pledges.
"That historic moment came on April 2, 2011. The joke was on me to prove my own worth. Tendulkar was the sole inspiration," Surti said.
His exams started exactly after a month and he passed out with flying colors.
"This belief in Tendulkar is beyond reasoning and imagination," he noted.
Surti hopes Tendulkar would open a non-commercial cricket academy to teach and train young and poor children about the finer points of cricket.
"It is our responsibility to keep away the kids from mobile and internet and to make sure that more children play sports on the field rather than on computers and tablets."
-India First-
Mashhadi said Tendulkar didn’t play to win or lose, but played for the nation.
"Tendulkar played for cricket and his contribution for making cricket and inspiring individuals from smaller cities," he noted.
"That is his best contribution for the nation."
Mashhadi said Tendulkar’s presence in the team was enough to instill fear in the opposing team.
Lalit Kumar Adlakha, Senior Branch Manager, Bank of Baroda, agrees.
He insisted that all through his career Tendulkar never played for "self-reward" but for the nation.
"The rise of Tendulkar is the story of India Rising," he told AA.
"Tendulkar is an epitome of India’s middle class because he himself came from a very humble background," Adlakha added.
He said that Tendulkar has successfully inspired and enthused young blood in the Indian team.
Adlakha hoped Tendulkar would remain attached to the cricket in any capacity, except the post of a manager.
"Tendulkar is one person who can never scold anybody. To be a successful manager, one has to be very firm at times."
Addressing media in Mumbai a day after retirement, Tendulkar said despite many challenges, playing for India for 24 years was the most important thing and it was his "dream journey."
He said cricket is his oxygen and he will continue to be associated with the game in some capacity but not in the immediate future.
Tendulkar said in all spheres of life, he thinks "India first."
"Even if I am not psychically playing for India, in my heart I will always play for India. I will pray for India’s victory. It doesn’t matter whether I am part of the team or not. In everything, I always think, India comes first."

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