Oh Sachin! Hail to the King!
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has rewritten history: The first double centurion in One Day Cricket History! If there was one man who was destined to achieve this, if there was one man who was worthy of this honor – it was always going to be Sachin. While there are many pretenders to the throne, there can only be one King.
So today we celebrate the coronation of our beloved King!
At age 37, after 21 years in international cricket, scoring an astonishing 30,000 runs in both forms of the game, Sachin has achieved what many thought was impossible.
The double century against South Africa at the Gwalior One Day International was a masterclass. He was conducting the symphony orchestra and the South African bowlers were his musicians. He has created cricket history and a world record; as he is the first man to have ever scored a double hundred in a one day international.
Sachin Tendulkar has played some legendary innings in his career. The two centuries against Australia in Sharjah, the double hundred at Sydney, the 96 against Pakistan in South Africa, the Chennai hundreds against England and Australia to name a few; but today is his crowning glory. His amazing ability to play critical innings at difficult and important times for his team is what makes him a class of his own. Bowlers all across the world have spent many evenings and nights licking their wounds after a Sachin thrashing. Legendary Aussie spinner Shane Warne even had nightmares of Sachin dancing down the wicket to hit him for a six. We saw the look on Shoaibh Akhtar when he was hit for six in the very first over during an unforgettable day in South Africa.
Sachin has conquered the world. But he has conquered it with humility and respect. To watch him play is one of the great privileges of life. I have watched him get a hundred in a test match in Chennai against the all mighty Australians; I will never forget what I felt that night. I thought of my life before that day and how his batting lifted my spirits like it does for everyone, how scared I was when he was in his nineties like everyone else, how much I prayed for him to reach the century and how I shared that moment with the rest of 42,000 people at Chinnaswamy stadium when he hit a six to reach his hundred. It was both nervous excitement and a pure joy, like being kissed for the first time, like being free.
Sachin bats for us, he bats for the people of India, he bats for the working classes, he bats for the children who look up to him, he bats for the memory and teachings of Ramakant Achrekar, he bats for his family, he bats to give us hope, a hope for a better life, a hope where anything is possible if you work hard and remain true to yourself, he relieves us from our daily lives as we pray to a television set for his success, more importantly he bats for his captain, his team and his country; but Sachin never bats for himself.
Feb 24, 2010 is the day when he has again made us feel proud to be an Indian. Tonight as we celebrate the first man to achieve a double century in one day internationals lets again pray that our little master carries on for many years to come.