'Sachin Tendulkar is bigger than Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan'

Yusuf Pathan carries Sachin Tendulkar on his powerful shoulders while doing the lap of honour after India won the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images

By Yusuf Pathan

Not everyone is fortunate enough to get a chance to carry their childhood hero on their shoulder. I was. To lift Sachin Tendulkar after India’s World Cup victory in 2011 was a special feeling.

It was he who always made us value our role in the sport. He would often say that you need to love the game that has given you all the fame and money, you need to give your hundred per cent every time you are out in the middle.

To be able to share the same dressing room and have partnerships in the middle is indeed very special. I’ve cherished every bit of it, especially when he scored the brilliant 200 against South Africa at Gwalior in 2010. For a long part of his innings, I was his partner in the middle.

That was not the only brilliant knock that I’ve seen. There have been many. He is a superhuman. And, as it stands today, there is no comparison to his superhuman efforts on the field. No other cricketer has ever had to handle the kind of pressure that he has had. Despite that, he has managed to stay at the top of his game for so long, is his biggest achievement. Not only in cricket, but across sports there isn’t a player who has managed to achieve so much.

Shahrukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan are the biggest names in the film industry. But Sachin is even bigger than them.

But, the greatness of Sachin is not only in his on-field achievements, but also for the kind of person he is off the field. Ever since we met, one thing that has pleasantly surprised me is his off-field demeanour and humility. It means a lot, especially for a person of his stature. Everything about him is worth emulating for any youngster.

— As told to Aayush Puthran

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(Yusuf Pathan has played 57 ODIs and 22 T20Is for India)