Media, players celebrate Tendulkar’s 40th birthday
Sachin Tendulkar celebrated his 40th birthday on Wednesday with
a nation of cricket fans willing the man they affectionately call
”The Little Master” to another year in his prolific international
Tendulkar, holder of most of the world’s batting records –
including most runs and centuries in tests and one-day
internationals – retired from limited-overs cricket last year but
continues to play tests despite watching contemporaries like Ricky
Ponting, Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman all step down over the past
Most leading Indian newspapers dedicated huge space to Tendulkar
in their sports pages, along with columns by former players.
Television channels broadcast programs dedicated to his
achievements since his international debut in Pakistan as a
16-year-old in 1989.
Tendulkar last year became the first batsman to complete 100
internationals centuries during the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, with
his 49th in ODIs. He’s scored more than 34,000 runs in tests and
one-dayers, and he was the first to score a one-day double century
with 200 not out against South Africa at Gwalior in 2010.
He’s taken little part in one-day cricket after achieving the
lifelong ambition of winning a World Cup on his home ground of
Wankhede Stadium at Mumbai in 2011, and his retirement from the
shorter format was no surprise.
Former Australia captain Greg Chappell, who also served as India
coach, praised Tendulkar for his long career in a column in The
”While crossing the age of 40 is no big deal for most people,
it is a huge milestone in the life of a professional sportsman,”
Chappell wrote. ”Not many reach that age and are still playing at
the highest level; especially if they began their international
career as a precocious 16-year-old.”
Tendulkar has often been compared with Australian batting great
Don Bradman, but Chappell says Tendulkar probably carried more
pressure through his career.
”No other player, not even Bradman, has endured greater
scrutiny and higher expectations than Tendulkar, and none has
delivered more often. My warmest birthday wishes and may the final
stanza of his career play out as he deserves,” Chappell added.
World Cup-winning former India captain Kapil Dev recalled
”It was very tough for me to deal with his near-childlike
presence in the dressing room,” the former allrounder wrote in
column in the magazine section of The Times of India that was
accompanied by with photographs from that tour of Pakistan.
”At that time, he was in the 10th standard (grade), I think.
So, for me, he was just a baby,” Dev said. ”But what I liked
about this young boy was that he had tremendous confidence in his
Spin bowling great Bishan Singh Bedi congratulated Tendulkar for
keeping a level head and avoiding controversies despite his
God-like status in India.
”The fact that Sachin, during his very long innings, has not
been embroiled in any major personal controversy is a tribute to
his modesty as much as it is to his fierce motivation to keep the
glitterati at bay at any cost,” Bedi wrote in The Hindu.
Twitter was also abuzz with praise from contemporaries.
”Welcome to the 40s buddy!! Push for singles, from here on in u
don’t want to score too quickly,” tweeted West Indies great Brian
Lara, one of the batsmen with whom Tendulkar was compared.
”Dear master blaster many happy returns of the day wishing you
health and success always thank you god for this day regards,”
tweeted allrounder Yuvraj Singh, who was man of the tournament at
the 2011 World Cup and dedicated the victory to Tendulkar.
”From idolizing him to playing with him has been an exciting
journey! (at)Sachin-rt bhai (brother) will be not out forever!”
tweeted Indian middle-order batsman Virat Kohli.