There is this story from Cricinfo.
It was on the cards for some time now. You felt it would come right after the World Cup disaster…but coming on the back of news that he was finding it difficult to recover from the heavy dose of the shorter version, it sounded more gradual than abrupt.
For my generation, this brings to an end a lifetime of watching the master blaster, of following India’s fortunes revolve around the great man’s performances. We remember the days when we used to shut down our TV sets in disgust when he got out. We remember the days when we used to jump in nervous excitement every time he came in to bowl that tense last over with the opposition needing 4 runs. We remember the days when he used to take apart attacks consisting of bowlers ranging in caliber from McGrath to Olonga with sheer precision.
The generation after ours probably had less of a love-affair with the great man. His aura was sort of “diluted” with accompanying stars such as Saurav, Dravid and the younger breed of the Kaifs and the Yuvrajs. The next generation spent more time describing how Tendulkar was “not so pivotal for India’s fortunes as was the case earlier”.
But for us, memories are still fresh of the innings he played in New Zealand as a kid…his first foray as an opener in ODIs. With India needing 120-odd to win, he launched into a fercious, almost breathless, attack on the Kiwi bowlers. We were all stunned…even more than the Kiwis themselves. It was the launch of a new era in Indian cricket…an era where batsmen opened up and played with freedom.
That era is now coming to an end….
Thanks, master blaster !
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