Sachin Tendulkar's farewell should be a celebration of a jaw-dropping career

Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed for 74 in his 200th Test © IANS

By Sudatta Mukherjee
The mood at the India Today conclave on Tuesday was about what’s next for Sachin Tendulkar, who will be India’s next Tendulkar, etc.
The man has played cricket for India for 24 years. In his long cricketing career, he has created numerous records. Some of them are as follows:

i. *Most runs in a career — 15,921 Test runs and 18,426 One-Day International (ODI) runs.
ii. Most ODI runs in a calendar year — 1,894 from 33 innings (1998).
iii. Most hundreds in a career — 51 Test hundreds and 49 ODI hundreds.
iv. Most ODI hundreds in a calendar year — 9 from 33 innings (1998).
v. Third youngest player to score a Test hundred — 17 years 107 days.
vi. One of the three cricketers to score most 90s in a Test career — 10.
vii. Most 50-plus scores in a career — 119 in Test and 145 in ODIs.
viii. *Most fours in a career — 2,058 in Tests and 2,016 in ODIs.
ix. Most ODI hundreds against one team — 9 against Australia.
x. Most ODI fours in an innings — 25 against South Africa in 2010.
xi. *18,426 runs from 463 ODIs and 15,921 runs from 200 Tests.
xii. The first man to score double hundred in ODIs.

* Updated after Sachin Tendulkar’s first innings in the second Test against West Indies at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on November 15, 2013.

These are just some of the great records that he has given us to cherish and boast about. His cricketing career has been one of glory and grandeur. Retirement is unavoidable and each and every player has to leave their respective game after some time. However, the show must go on. With Tendulkar’s 200th Test, which marks the end of the batting giant, a historic tale will come to an end. All eyes will be on the man rather than the two teams playing the farewell Test. Emotions will be high. However, it will be impertinent if we chose to sulk in sadness rather than celebrate his last Test.
From being a 16-year-old, the chocolate boy in cricket from the early 1990s, to an inspiration and an icon now, Tendulkar has united three generations. In a modern era, where nuclear families are more seen than joint families, Tendulkar has over the years, brought the grandfather, father and the young son altogether in front of the television set, glued and excited. It is true that cricket created Tendulkar but if today cricket is a religion, then it is because Tendulkar is the God.
If today, a generation of cricketers like Virat Kohlis, Rohit Sharmas, Shikhar Dhawans, Yuvraj Singhs are seen, it is because a legend like Tendulkar has inspired an entire generation to pick up the bat and the ball early in life. For cricket coaches, he has been a symbol of inspiring young guns.
For the Indian team, he has been the ‘best available coaching manual’, feels Indian skipper MS Dhoni.
For advertisers, he has been the gold mine. For television stars he has been a hero. If sports journalists are so much noticed today and their work is noted so much, then it is because Tendulkar has given them plenty of opportunities to write and narrate about.
It is clearly not the time to discuss whether India will have another Tendulkar or who will fill in his shoes. It is not the moment to ask what’s next for Tendulkar. It is surely not the moment and place to get emotional and sad that after November 18, 2013, there won’t be Tendulkar playing for India.
A year earlier, when Tendulkar announced his ODI retirement, he hardly gave us the opportunity to celebrate his last ODI match. However, he took Sourav Ganguly’s advice. He announced his Test retirement and let the world gear up and celebrate him in a grand fashion for the last time.
Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement should be a celebration of all the years of hard work and glory than mourning over the loss of a hero. Let us not get emotional and miss out the chance to celebrate his last moments on the cricketing ground as a cricketer.

Sachin Tendulkar Retirement

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)