Thank You Sachin

India kee batting hai? Sachin khel raha hai yea out ho gaya?

(Is India batting? Is Sachin still batting or he got out?)

If there was a cricket match that involved the Indian cricket team, these were the first 2 questions asked by anyone.

People watched cricket only for Sachin, he was the only reason. And those who disagree probably didn’t follow cricket back then or have limited knowledge about Indian cricket history. Or probably they are lying to themselves. They are denying the fact that Sachin was a phenomenon. For some weird and unknown reasons they just cannot digest or acknowledge the fact that Indian cricket was synonymous to Sachin Tendulkar.

Before the troika of Gangulis, Dravids and Laxmans burst onto the scene, before the exuberance of Kohli, calming influence of Dhoni made the popular sport in India even more popular, Indian cricket had just one hero Sachin Tendulkar.  Gavaskars and Devs, Amarnaths and Vishwanaths were heroes too, but none had the fan following like him.

Sachin united the nation like no one did. Regardless of a religion one followed, regardless of caste and creed, regardless of language one spoke, he was the hero of the entire nation. When he played the flowing cut shots, the impeccable cover drivers, the flawless straight drives, the heart stopping lofted shots, the paddled sweeps, the classic flicks, the nation came to a standstill.

He is far more to the nation than just some sporting hero.  Can you ever imagine a thing, moment, person or place in Indian history post-independence that gave the entire nation such pleasure like he did? His hundreds meant hope; his fours and sixes gave joy to millions of people. People forgot their worries when they watched him bat. Their only concern was will he score yet another century…

My heart fluttered, I had that edgy nervousness while he was batting, with every ball he was about to face there was a prayer back in the mind hoping he doesn’t get out.  This emotion only Sachin Tendulkar could bring out. I am sure I am not the only one who felt it.

It saddens me that people who have never picked up a bat in their life comment about his vulnerabilities, questions his god like status in cricket, criticize him, and raise doubts over his ability to score run and the win matches for India.

I don’t think anyone in the world has enough credentials to question his batting skills and cricketing sensibilities. And for all the Sachin haters out there, I have just one small request, pick up a bat and face a hard leather ball coming at you, try to score a single run even in nets and then when you have done that you will understand what scoring hundred hundreds in International cricket is all about, what playing cricket for 24 years is all about.

Thank you Sachin for all the pleasure, joy, happiness, smiles, you brought not just to me but to millions of people all around the world.

#ThankYouSachin

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