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From student to the God of Cricket: Sachin Tendulkar's journey to the top

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar played 200 test matches and 463 ODIs, amassing 15,921 runs in test matches and 18,426 runs in ODIs

Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar interacts with the media at an event ahead of his 50th birthday, in Mumbai.

Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar interacts with the media at an event ahead of his 50th birthday, in Mumbai.

Mayank Pandey New Delhi
Some say that if God tried playing cricket, he would have done it like Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Sometimes called the God of Cricket and sometimes just known as Sachin, the right-hand batsman dominated the game for 24 years. Even the greatest batsman ever, Sir Donald Bradman, was in awe of this short, curly-haired champion from Mumbai. While his batting flair and elegance inspired several budding cricketers like Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli, it also gave nightmares to champion bowlers like Shane Warne.

As the Master Blaster turns 50 on April 24, 2023, we try to look at his career and his life. His international Cricket journey, which started in Pakistan in 1989, had a lot of highs and some lows. Here is a look at how a 10-year-old boy, seeing India lift the Cricket World Cup in 1983, dreamt of playing the game and ended up ruling the pitch.

1973: Born on April 24, 1973, in Mumbai, Sachin is the youngest among his four siblings. His father, Ramesh Tendulkar, was a famous Marathi poet and novelist. He was named after the renowned music director, Sachin Dev Burman.

1983: Sachin was ten years old when India lifted the 1983 World Cup, and this was the time he started developing a serious interest in cricket.

Starting his practice under the guidance of the late Ramakant Achrekar, Sachin worked tremendously hard with remarkable dedication and discipline towards the sport.

1987: In 1987, Sachin, then aged 14, became the youngest to be selected among the probables for the Mumbai Ranji team.

1988: Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli stitched a world-record 664-run partnership in the Harris Shield Tournament. The Harris Shield is an interschool Cricket tournament played in Mumbai since 1897. The record made it to the Guinness Book of Records (1990).

At just 15, Sachin stepped out of his school team and made his first-class debut for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy. He smashed a century on his first-class debut, leaving a remarkable impression.

1989: At 16, Sachin made his international debut against Pakistan, the most feared bowling attack at that time. He became the youngest cricketer to play for India.

1990: He hit his first Test century in a match against England in Manchester. He was just 17.

1994: Tendulkar opened for the Indian side for the first time and hit 82 runs off 49 balls against New Zealand in a One Day International (ODI). Later that year, he hit his first ODI hundred against Australia in a match played in Colombo.

1995: Sachin married Dr Anjali Mehta, a paediatrician by profession, on May 25.

1996: In a forgettable World Cup for India, Sachin scored 523 runs, including two centuries, becoming the highest run-scorer in the tournament.

At age 23, Sachin was made the captain of the national team.

1998: Sachin scored 1,894 ODI runs in a single calendar year. This record is still unbeaten.

2001: Sachin became the first player to score 10,000 runs in ODIs. The same year, he joined an elite list of cricketers with a stand named after him at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

2003: In the ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa, he was named the Man of the Series for his remarkable performance. He scored 673 runs in 11 appearances. This is still the highest number of runs scored in a single World Cup.

2004: Sachin was diagnosed with a tennis-elbow injury, but he continued to play in pain before being treated in 2005.

2005: He scored his 35th Test century against Sri Lanka, breaking the world record for most centuries held by Sunil Gavaskar, who has 34 to his credit. By the time he retired, Sachin had 51 centuries to his name, a record that still stands.

2008: Tendulkar surpassed Brian Lara's record of 11,953 Test runs. He ended his Test career at 15,921, a record that is unbroken so far.

2010: On February 24, 2010, Sachin did what was considered impossible. In an ODI against South Africa, the master blaster scored the first-ever double-century in the history of this format. Though several players achieved the same feat after that, Sachin made the world believe it was possible.

The same year, Sachin was conferred with the honorary rank of Group Captain. He became the first sportsperson to be conferred with a rank by the Indian Air Force.

2011: While records, accolades, and laurels were synonymous with Sachin, the dream of lifting the ODI World Cup trophy eluded him. The dream became a reality when MS Dhoni hit the winning six in the final vs Sri Lanka, and India lifted the World Cup trophy after 38 years.

2012: Sachin finally scored his 100th international century in 2012 against Bangladesh in an ODI. This was a long-awaited milestone for Sachin and the cricket fraternity.

In the same year, Sachin was nominated to the Rajya Sabha. He became the first sportsperson to receive the honour during his active career. He refused to accept the government bungalow calling it "a waste of taxpayers' money as I reside in Mumbai."

2013: A test match against West Indies, also his 200th, became his final appearance on the international stage. The match was played at Wankhede Stadium, his home ground, and attended by several dignitaries from across the globe.

At the time of retirement, Sachin Tendulkar had played 200 Test matches, scoring 15,921 runs at an average of 53.78, and had claimed 46 Test match wickets as a bowler.

He played 464 ODIs, amassing 18,426 runs at an average of 44.83 while claiming 154 wickets as a bowler.

2014: He was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, by then President Pranav Mukherjee in 2014. He became the youngest person to receive the honour. Apart from this, Sachin received the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, Maharashtra Bhushan Award, and Padma Vibhushan, among others.

2019: Sachin made it to the prestigious ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.


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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 7:00 AM IST

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