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Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar!

Sachin Tendulkar turns 49 today! Considered to be one of the greatest cricketers of all time, the master blaster is a living legend and is a well-known face all across the globe.

He began his journey as a cricketer in school, under the tutelage of Ramakant Achrekar. At the age of 15, he made his first-class cricket debut, and at the age of 16, he made his debut in Test cricket. Sachin played international cricket for 24 years, breaking numerous records and claiming the titles of little master and master blaster from his idols Sunil Gavaskar and Vivian Richards. He established a sparkling cricketing legacy that will live on for generations to come.

Sachin playing in his debut test match in 1989 (Image Credit: facebook.com/starsportsindia)

As the master blaster turns 49 today, let’s take a look at some interesting facts from his life and his glorious cricketing career.

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  • Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was born on April 24, 1973, in Mumbai, Maharashtra, to a middle-class Maharashtrian family. He was the youngest son of Ramesh and Rajni Tendulkar.
  • His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a big fan of singer Sachin Dev Burman. So, when he was born, he was given the name Sachin Tendulkar by his father.
  • It was his elder brother Ajit who recognized his potential as a cricketer and took him to Shivaji Park to meet the famous cricket coach Shri Ramakant Achrekar.
A young Tendulkar being coached by Ramakant Achrekar (Image Credit: facebook.com/SachinTendulkar)
  • At the age of 14, Sachin was the ball boy at the Wankhede stadium during the 1987 World Cup match between India and Zimbabwe.
  • Tendulkar once played for Pakistan as a substitute fielder during a one-day practice match against India in 1988.
  • His first car was a 1989 model Maruti 800. 
  • In 1992, Tendulkar became the first international batsman to be dismissed after a third umpire’s review.
  • Sachin started to play county cricket at the age of 19, thereby becoming the youngest Indian at that time to do so.
  • He is the first Indian cricketer to be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, while still having an active cricketing career.
  • Sachin scored zero runs in his first two ODI matches and was bowled out in the second delivery both times.
  • To avoid being noticed by people, Tendulkar wore a disguise and went to see the film Roja in the theatre in 1995. His efforts, however, went in vain when his spectacles slipped off and the audience recognized that the upcoming cricketing legend was present in the theatre.
  • When Sachin Tendulkar went to attend a selection trial as a fast bowler at the MRF Pace Foundation in 1987, Dennis Lillee rejected him.
A young Sachin Tendulkar with Dennis Lillee at the MRF Pace Foundation in 1987 (Image credit: www.facebook.com/Indianhistoricpictures)
  • In October 1995, Sachin signed a five-year contract with World Tel worth Rs. 31.5 crore, making him the richest cricketer in the world at that time.
  • Throughout his career as a cricketer, he never endorsed tobacco or alcohol products.
  • During the 1996 World Cup, he was probably the only member of the Indian cricket team who did not paste a sticker of a tobacco company (which was the main sponsor of the tournament) on his bat. 
  • He also turned down an Rs. 20 crore endorsement deal which was offered to him in 2010 by the UB Group to endorse their alcohol products.
  • Sachin Tendulkar not only won the Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in 1997, but he also became the first Indian to be named to Wisden’s all-time World XI.

Tendulkar’s post-2000 career was marred by a series of injuries that repeatedly disrupted his career and prompted him to adopt a more conservative, cautious batting technique. The failures became more frequent, and the complaints grew louder. His failed captaincy term, his low fourth-innings average, his inability to win Test matches on his own, his altered game plan…His critics continued to point out his flaws and predicted that his career was going to end very soon.

Tendulkar, like a genuine champion, lets his bat do the talking. He returned to silence the naysayers by amassing more runs and recording two remarkable achievements during the final few years of his glorious cricketing career. Those achievements were winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup, where he was India’s highest run-scorer, and achieving the historic feat of 100 international centuries.

Sachin bids farewell during the last international cricket match of his career on 16th November 2013 (Image Credit: facebook.com/only10cricket)

The admiration and love he received from his teammates demonstrated how influential he was as an inspiring mentor who helped mold the game and the psyche of many outstanding next-generation cricketers from India. Even his opponents regarded him as someone extraordinary, a significant player who deserved the longest pre-match discussions. He was always included in all potential dream teams put together by elite scribes and players.

As the master blaster turns 49 today and is just a year away from completing half a century of his life’s innings, we wish him all the very best in all his future endeavors.

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