Iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar turned 37 on Saturday at a time when Indian cricket has been plunged into one of its worst crisis ever with the IPL controversy showing no sign of relenting.
The Mumbai India batsman got a perfect birthday gift yesterday when he was adjudged the best batsman of IPL III in an award function.
However, Tendulkar will have to put his birthday celebrations on hold as he has some unfinished task to complete in the IPL final tomorrow.
The tournament’s most prolific batsman, Tendulkar, has 570 runs in his kitty from 14 matches with five fifties and beat competitions from Royal Challengers’ batsmen Jacques Kallis (553 runs from 15) and Robin Uthappa (374 from 15) and Chennai Super King’s Suresh Raina (463 from 15) and Murali Vijay (432 from 14) for the Jury Award for best batsman.
With his coruscating show with the bat, he has led Mumbai Indians to the IPL summit clash for the first time in three attempts and could give himself a perfect birthday gift by laying hands on the winners’ trophy tomorrow.
Tendulkar is, however, struggling hard to get fit after splitting his right hand webbing during the semifinals. Fans are keeping their fingers crossed that he is declared fit to play the final tomorrow.
Tendulkar’s 37th birthday comes as BCCI and the IPL battle allegations of corruption and betting. IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi is in fact, facing the possibility of being shunted out of the event which was his brainchild.
But with their splendid show, Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians have shown that the controversy - which has found an echo in the Parliament of the country as well - has not diminished their spirits and when on field they care for nothing but cricket.
Tendulkar has been in phenomenal form which has made cricket fans around the world wonder what makes him tick on the cricket field with such consistency even after 20 years of virtually non-stop play at the international level.
And to top it all, not a whiff of the scandals that have enveloped the sport in the duration of his incredible career has besmirched his name.
Just when people started writing epitaph on his career, his heavy bat boomed with a huge bang in all three forms of the game - Tests, One-Day Internationals and in the IPL - to silence them.
Cricket and Bollywood fraternity wish Sachin
Cricketers, including his Team India colleagues and the Bollywood celebrities wished happy birthday to champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar who turned 37 today.
Legendary Australian spinner and an old friend Shane Warne wished Tendulkar on his birthday and also hoped he will recover in time for the Indian Premier League final against Chennai Super Kings tomorrow.
“Happy birthday to the little master and my friend Sachin !! Hope he is not injured for the final... Good luck to both teams,” Warne said on his twitter account.
Left—handed batsman Yuvraj Singh, who played for Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, tweeted, “Happy birthday Master Blaster. Lots of love n best of wishes for the final.”
Another India cricketer Suresh Raina heaped praise on the Mumbaikar and said, “Happy Birthday Sachin, a true champion and a genuine family man.”
Wishes also poured in from the film fraternity with veteran actor Anupam Kher describing him a “reason to be proud of being an Indian“.
“Happy birthday Sachin. You are one of THE reason to be proud of being an Indian. Tks 4 helping us Rise above the pettiness of our surroundings,” Kher said.
Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan also joined the bandwagon and wished Tendulkar speedy recovery.
“Happy Birthday Sachin. Hope ur fingers heal soon,” Khan said.
Mumbai Indians skipper Tendulkar is battling a hand injury to be match fit for tomorrow’s IPL final in Mumbai