27 November 2013
Thank you Sachin
After 24 years and 664 international matches, the unparalleled international career of legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has finally drawn to a close.
(FILES) In this photograph taken on April 2, 2011, Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is carried on his teammates' shoulders after India defeated Sri Lanka in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 final played at The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Image
The only player with 100 international centuries (51 in Tests, 49 in ODIs), Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer in both Test and ODI cricket, with a combined total of 34,357 runs.
Bearing the hopes of a cricket-obsessed India largely upon his shoulders, the India superstar’s consistency and longevity in the game is second to none, and he rightfully boasts a wide array of individual and team honours.
As all great cricketers do, Tendulkar has gone above and beyond at the highest level of cricket, and is just the second player after Javed Miandad of Pakistan to have featured in six ICC Cricket World Cups.
Tendulkar is ICC Cricket World Cup’s leading run-scorer, with 2,278 runs at an average of 56.95 from 45 matches.
Perhaps coincidentally, some of India’s the best World Cup performances over the past two decades have come when The Little Master has fired at the top of the order.
Nevertheless, after six attempts, Tendulkar eventually tasted the ultimate success in 2011, when India won the ICC Cricket World Cup in Mumbai.
With two centuries and a vital semi-final half-century against Pakistan in Mohali, Tendulkar played a vital hand in his country’s success and finished as his country’s leading run-getter with 482 runs.
On two occasions, the Little Master led all opposition, in the 2003 tournament in South Africa (673 runs) and the 1996 edition on the subcontinent (523 runs).
In both these series, India came close to success, losing to Sri Lanka in the 1996 semi-final in Kolkata and to Australia in the 2003 final in Johannesburg.
His highest World Cup score was achieved in the 2003 World Cup, blazing qualifiers Namibia to all parts of Pietermaritzburg’s City Oval on his way to 152 off just 151 deliveries in a big India win.
In 1992, 1996 and 1999, Tendulkar averaged more than 40 with the bat but without success. In 1992, India failed to reach the semi-finals, in 1996 it lost in the semi-final while in 1999, it couldn’t progress beyond the Super Six stage. However, the lowlight of Tendulkar’s ICC Cricket World Cup career was in the 2007 tournament in the West Indies when he averaged 32 in three matches and India failed to qualify for the second round.
But with a record six World Cup centuries, 15 half-centuries and nine man of the match awards, the Little Master has had an impact on cricket’s greatest stage like no other.
There is no doubting he will be sorely missed, not just by followers in his home country, but by cricket fans all over the world.
It has been a privilege to watch you at the crease Sachin, congratulations and thank you for an outstanding career.
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