"I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests." this aptly described words from Mathew Hayden testifies the stature of a five feet five inch 'God of Indian Cricket' or perhaps the biggest compliment would have been Sir Donald Bradman equating Sachin with himself. (I am not going into who is the greatest because both played in a different era). He almost gave sleepless nights to spin wizard Shane Warne.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar aka Tendlya when the whole world is baying for your retirement I, too at times as a human being fall prey to that. Perhaps after playing for twenty three long years the reflexes are not as great as they used to be, however you truly represent the aspirations of 1.2 billion Indians.
A cricketing genius who started playing International cricket at a young age of sixteen years, incidentally the current breed of players like Gambhir, Dhoni were 8 years old, Rohit and Raina were two years old and Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja were just toddlers.
Tendlya having amassed more than 30,000 runs in International cricket have always stood firmly to the ground and have steered cleared from any controversies which is very difficult for a man of his stature to stay for more than two decades. You were compared with Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Brian Lara but you never allowed yourself to be compared to these greats you held these greats in great esteem.
People often have called you the Richie Rich of Indian cricket and the money that you earn playing cricket is only a sort of pocket expenses, a report some time back screamed 'Tendulkar makes money more faster than his runs', but people have not seen the other side of you, a positive persona who always have been a great philanthropist and has helped several NGOs / charity houses raise funds for the deprived section of the society.
If you were only running after money why else should you turn down a multi-crore deal with liquor baron Vijay Mallya of UB Group two years ago. You have always been categorical about what categories you will endorse and always have turned down offers from tobacco and alcohol companies.
In cricket you always have been an over achiever but the pressure of performing consistently at the top seems to be taking a toll on you which is affecting your concentration and the agility. What more proof you need to deliver despite century of centuries critics always have been expecting you to perform every time you come in to bat for India.
Critics have been clearly stating that Tendukar is in the evening of his career." performance of late has been below par and this is because the last century took a long time coming and this feat was associated with fatigue, but they do not understand your first century too took a long time to come and when it came there was no looking back.
We always have loved you Tendlya, and have immersed ourselves in cricket oblivious to the surrounding, cheered you whenever you have played for India or for Mumbai Indians. My love for Mumbai Indians is only because of you else I, have no other team to cheer for. Your shots have de-stressed million of fans and made us wonder in awe whether God has really ascended on earth.
You are a source of inspiration, a heart beat of millions and always have been a great sport, the recent reports that you spoke to selectors to decide whether they would like to play you or not for the third test against England is really disturbing. It is you who should decide when to hang up your gloves. People go to God to pray when they need any help, and the reverse will never be true.
Tendlya, having brushed shoulders with the like of Sunny Gavaskar, Kapil, Ravi Shastry, Sanjay Manjrekar would definitely know through their experiences how bad or worse it would be when somebody force you into retirement, having seen you play for more than twenty three years we know you will definitely choose the day like Rahul, Kumble, Srinath or laxman.
Cricket lovers should ask why and not when and I, assure you along with me lot of avid cricket watchers will stop watching cricket the day you announce your retirement.