Imagine taking guard on an international stage at just 16. Add to that, you’re facing arch-rivals Pakistan and in their own backyard. On the other end carrying the ball are the likes of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Abdul Qadir. The task becomes daunting with each added layer and yet, one boy from Mumbai showed no signs of nerves and batted with such class. The signs, if not seen already, had become quite visible during his short stay in the middle. That he took multiple blows to the body on the way to 15 runs further added testimony to his never-say-die attitude. He may have retired from all forms of cricket, but his service to the nation continues unabated. And for that, India continues to applaud and hold in high regard the services of Sachin Tendulkar who turns 45 today (April 24).
Tendulkar aggregated more runs than any other player in Tests and ODIs, finished with 100 centuries in internatonal cricket. His final tally read: 15, 921 Test runs and 18,426 ODI runs and numerous other records to his name. People from all spheres of life wished Tendulkar on his birthday.
“Centurion 2003 was one of the best days in my life.Not just because we beat Pakistan in a WC match but because I got to witness from a distance of just 22 yards,a display of focus,intensity & genius.What a man, your glory will be unsurpassed @sachin_rt paaji #HappyBirthdaySachin,” said Mohammad Kaif.
VVS Laxman tweeted, “Happy Birthday dear @sachin_rt . You are and will always remain an inspiration . It’s wonderful to see you contribute towards society with some really good initiatives even after your retirement. Wish you success always. #HappyBirthdaySachin.”
Boxer Vijender Singh recalled the widely popular chant of “Sachin, Sachin” that was a regular feature in stadiums across the world. “Still The Chants SACHIN SACHIN Gives Goosebumps To Us. #HappyBirthdaySachin @sachin_rt The Man Who Carried Emotions Of The People Of A Nation For 24 Years. More Power To You🙏” he wrote in his tweet.
Former Pakistan spin bowling legend Saqlain Mushtaq also wished his former adversory. He wrote, “Long live legend @sachin_rt #one of The best batsman ever #great inspiration #great human 🏏 “. While India’s spinner R Ashwin said, “Happy birthday to @sachin_rt, the man who inspired a billion people to love the sport.”
Harbhajan Singh said, “Hindustan ki shaan ho aap, Gul hain hum to gulistan ho aap, Shatak aur shatabadi k maharathi… Har maidaan chahta hai apko, Is yug ki pehchaan ho aap 🙏!!!! Janamdin Bhut Bhut mubarak ho paji @sachin_rt #HappyBirthdaySachin ”
Virender Sehwag, once Tendulkar’s opening partner thanked him for making the bat a weapon. He wrote, “Woh sirf ek Cricketer nahi, Duniya hai Meri ! aur bahuton ki. Many more happy returns of the day to a man who could stop time in India (literally) .Thank you for making the Cricket Bat such a great weapon, which later many like me could also use. #HappyBirthdaySachin”
Suresh Raina tweeted, “To the man who united a billion Indians and brought a smile to their faces everytime he walked out to bat. A dream that he turned into reality. Sachin is an emotion.. Sachin is a phenomena! Happy birthday, Paaji!!”
Shuttler N Sikki Reddy and wrestler Geeta Phogat also wished Tendulkar.
Sachin brought in his birthday at a book launch in Mumbai with the likes of Ravi Shastri, Michael Clarke and Diana Edulji.