A week after Sachin Tendulkar let the world know that he would walk away from the game he embellished for 24 years, the reverberations are still felt around the cricketing world. On Friday, three of his former teammates lauded his achievements.
Anil Kumble: I had the honour of starting my career literally alongside him, and it seems he has seen about 100-150 players retire before him. It’s a testament to his longevity, skill and ability to perform and live up not just to his own expectations but to that of millions of others. He has influenced cricketers over the last 20 years to take up the game and he has touched the hearts of millions of fans not just in India but around the world.
It’s tough to see someone who has been part of our lives for 24 years going away, but it had to come and I am really glad that I was associated with him in a way all through his career and I will certainly be there (to watch his last match).
Rahul Dravid: We can almost imagine a one-day team which has been playing without him for a while, but imagine a Test team without S.R. Tendulkar on the team list! It was virtually given that he would be around and I guess we all wished he would go on forever. But that’s life. It’s a moment to actually celebrate that someone could achieve so much excellence and maintain that standard for 24 years.
It’s only when he decided to move on that we started looking at his numbers and it sort of boggles your mind that somebody could actually achieve what he has for over 24 years. It’s been a phenomenal career. I was seven years junior to him in terms of playing cricket for India. I always looked up to him, have been inspired by his level of excellence and he was a benchmark for all of us to follow.
Javagal Srinath: I was in Bangladesh when I got a call from Sachin at around 1.30 p.m. saying that he was retiring from cricket. I cherish the relationship that we have had all these years. I mean, it’s been almost 10 years since I quit playing cricket, it was nice of him of to call me and say, ‘look I am quitting the game and I just want to thank you for being part of my cricket and it was an honour’.
I said it was a privilege playing alongside him. As captain and player we have had some real hard discussions on the field and what I cherish now is the great relationship we have had and we still remain good friends.