On this day in 2013: This was the end of an era! India’s greatest, most celebrated and popular cricketer of all time, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar extended an invitation to international cricket in a tearful farewell at his home ground – Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. The actual match – the second Test against the West Indies which India concluded with an innings in the space of three days was pushed to the background. Tendulkar took center stage as he always did during his glorious 24-year career.
He scored 74 in the final innings and retired after scoring 34,357 runs from 664 caps including 100 thrillers. During this trip, the young master broke many records and set many unprecedented milestones.
He amassed 6,707 runs in 144 innings at an average of almost 50 against Australia – the best team in the world for the majority of his career. 20 of his 100 hundreds have come against them – the maximum against any team.
Tendulkar was unstoppable in 1998 – his greatest year in international cricket! He amassed 2541 runs in 42 innings at an average of 68.67 including 12 hundreds a year!
He has scored runs across the world and averaged over 50 in Test cricket in both Australia and England. He had the defense and technique of Gavaskar in Test cricket and the destruction of Viv Richards in ODIs – and this made Tendulkar stand out among his peers.
No one has accumulated more than 673 runs in 11 matches at a stroke rate of 89.25 in South Africa in 2003 at any World Cup!
Tendulkar gave an emotional speech to a very emotional crowd – a speech watched by a billion Indians in India and millions across the world. He then took a triumphant lap down the field, carried on the shoulder of his teammates. He finally pays his respects to the stadium – his home ground, his home ground that played a major role in turning the little boy wonder into Sachin Tendulkar – The Legend!
Tendulkar was a complete batsman in every sense of the word. Aside from all the records he has set, what sets him apart is his ability to maintain high standards for over two decades – and that makes his accomplishments extraordinary!
On November 16, 2013, India bid farewell to her favorite son. There was not, is, or will be another Sachin Tendulkar!