From the first time when he walked into the cricket ground to play for India during the pakistan tour of 1989 – 90 as a 16 year old ; till the recent “Ind Vs Aus” when he scored 175 of 144 balls as a 36 year old , Tendulkar plays with one passion and only one passion i.e. the passion to play for India. He gets excited like a kid playing cricket for the first time.
To me , Tendulkar is not just about cricket. To me, Tendulkar is about his passion to play for India, Tendulkar is about discipline, his commitment, his love for the game, his modesty, his sincerity, his humbleness, his eagerness to learn , his willingness to experiment. To me he is beyond cricket.
I’m not saying he is a super hero with everything coming his way. He is talented no doubt, but talent only takes one so far and Tendulkar is no exception. He worked hard at his game, worked hard to improve his concentration, worked hard at his fitness and never took anything for granted.
Having done so much for the country, brining so many laurels to the country, inspiring so many youngsters to belief in oneself and motivate them to work hard to achieve their goals, he still had to face criticisims of various kids, so much so that his home crowd boo’ed him. He once said, “Every stone thrown at him, he wanted to convert them to milestones”. This to me, was the mark of someone more than just the ordinary. All through his career, he played without a blemish. He is a human being par excellence.
To me, he is beyond cricket. And I only wish he will be remembered not just for his cricket, but also for being such a great inspiration and for being such a simple human being.