"There are two kinds of batsmen in the world. One, Sachin Tendulkar, two, all the others"- Andy Flower
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, popularly called as 'Little Master' is arguably one of the greatest cricket icons of all time. He is a symbol of excellence and an epitome of personal humility.
Sachin took up cricket at the age of eleven, at the age of sixteen made his Test debut against Pakistan in 1988. His professional career spanning over twenty four years was unblemished and noncontroversial. He inspired a whole generation by his perseverance, discipline and humility.
Sachin Tendulkar is the most accomplished batsman of his time. His batting is a combination of some fine principles –balance perfection, movement economy, stroke-making precision, and anticipation.
He is proficient equally at a range of orthodox shots that he is not a legend of signature stroke but a master blaster of every shot (straight drive, paddle sweep, uppercut, pull shot etc).
The greatness of his batting lies in the fact that he can score all around the world and all around the wicket in all conditions. It was not an inborn skill; rather one which was crafted by his passion, intelligence, dedication and hard work.
Sachin has a huge list of records tagged to him. A glimpse of it are; leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and one-day international cricket, first player to score one hundred international centuries, the first player to score a double century in a ODI, and so far the only to complete 34,000 runs in international cricket.
He became the first sportsperson to be awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force even without aviation background.
In 2012, Tendulkar was named as an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia. He contributed his part to the 2011 Cricket World Cup winning Indian team. He was the only player of the current generation to be included in Bradman's Eleven
For a country known for unity in diversity but also for communal riots, Sachin inspired the billions. He is an icon of every Indian and a joy for the nation. He name unites every Indian. That is why one could see his fans holding posters during matches stating; 'Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God'.
He has won the hearts and minds of the billion cricket fans in India and the rest of the world. Australian cricketer Mathew Hayden reported to have commented about Sachin Tendulkar; "I have seen God. He bats at number 4 for India."
The motherland in return laurelled him with many honors prominent being; Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour.
Despite stardom, Sachin remained a humble, self-composed man. He is regarded as a perfect man on and off the field. He brought elegance to the game of cricket and lived to the reputation that cricket is a gentleman's game.
Sachin started as a batsman as a 16-year-old, elevated to be a hero and finally retired as a God. He is unarguably the biggest crowd puller and an entertainer in the game of cricket.
He continues to be the most admired cricketer in the world. Billions of his fans adore him as a finest cricketer. This was evident at his emotional farewell in Mumbai. No other sports person has such a send off in India. Indeed, Sachin is a trailblazer.