“There has never been a farewell to sport quite like this ” — this was the unanimous view of the British media as it gave a collective round of applause to Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, who called time on his inspiring international career at the end of his 200th Test.
“There has never been a farewell to sport quite like this, one perfectly designed to induce a billion cheers and a billion tears,” said The Daily Telegraph, referring to the emotional farewell speech that the maestro gave at the end of his journey on Saturday.
“How fitting that Sachin Tendulkar’s last performance on his home cricket field should have been among his very finest, even if it came not with a bat but with a microphone.”
“As all around the Wankhede Stadium eyes were being dabbed, the little man just stood on the grass, transfixing those followers one last time, only for once in silent, emotional thrall as he gave a wonderful speech charting one of sport’s most fantastical careers. ‘My life, between 22 yards, for 24 years,’ as he put it so perfectly,” it wrote.
“Yet though his worshippers wanted to honour him, it somehow felt typical of his humility that he only cared about saluting them.”
The newspaper lauded Tendulkar for delivering a speech so clear in its message despite the overwhelming emotions surrounding it.
The Guardian paid tribute by saying that he taught a generation of cricketers how to conduct themselves.
“Tendulkar’s extraordinary talent only partly explains his extraordinary stature in his homeland. His 24-year international career has charted India’s rise. From relatively modest origins in Mumbai, it was practice as much as his prodigious raw ability that brought the diminutive teenager rapid fame.
“...despite stardom, wealth and success, Tendulkar remained humble, professional and grounded, a self-made man who put in the hours. This, as well as his aggressive domination of international star bowlers, was key to his popularity,” it added.